Saturday, February 08, 2003

Guardian Outlines Post-War Iraq Plans

The plan is in three stages: first, US-led military rule; second, a transitional phase with an American military governor ruling alongside a civilian leader appointed by (or at least acceptable to) the international community; and, finally, handover to a regime sympathetic to and nurtured by Washington.

Initially, the model for post-war Iraq was that of Japan's reconstruction under General Douglas MacArthur. But State Department experts felt this would be too brazenly colonial and cause resentment throughout the Arab world. However, although the MacArthur-style scheme has been discarded, a key resource for the planners is the archives of the denazification of Germany.

As it was with post-war Germany, it will be unfeasible to purge Iraq of all members of the Baath Party, Saddam's political vehicle. 'Millions of people are complicit. If they were all rounded up, the administration of the country would collapse. These are people who will be needed in any post-war situation,' Daniel Neep, of the Royal United Services Institute in London, said.

The US military governor of Iraq is likely to be Tommy Franks, the general due to head the attack on Iraq. This is not entirely the promotion it seems: Rumsfeld is known to dislike Franks for his strategic conservatism.

The first phase, US-led military rule, would last between six and 18 months after the war. It would be policed by armies from the 'coalition of the willing', including a big British contingent.

The second phase is seen as being a kind of international civilian administration, backed by a diminished military presence. Here, the inspiration being worked on is the protectorate in Kosovo.

But if the Americans are hoping for a broad, UN-led international coalition to take on the task of running Iraq, the United Nations is dreading the role. Officials at UN headquarters speak about having to 'clean up the mess ' at the end of a war which may not have been sanctioned by the Security Council.

'In American logic, the UN seems to have an advisory role when it comes to making war, the easy part; but becomes essential when it comes to making peace, i.e. the difficult part,' said one official.

There is bitter argument over who should be the prospective civilian governor, or 'High Representative', to rule alongside an American during the second phase. The Americans want an American. The veteran peace-broker George Mitchell, with his experience in Ireland and the Middle East, is a front-runner. But the Bush administration sees Mitchell, a Democrat, as too much of a dove. It favours Norman Schwarzkopf, who led coalition forces in the first Gulf war and is now, as a civilian, a vigorous campaigner for the Bush family.

But most Security Council members would prefer an appointment from a European Union country to counter American influence. The UN is determined, in the face of fierce US opposition, that Iraq's top civilian 'must' be a Muslim. Lakhdar Brahimi, the veteran Algerian diplomat who brokered peace in Afghanistan, is a possibility.

The third phase of reconstruction is the most controversial and least planned: the establishment of a pro-American Iraqi government, ideally within two years, that eschews the nation's recent past and, of course, weapons of mass destruction. The latter is more controversial than it sounds, as chemical weapons have been a corner-stone of Iraqi military strategy for two decades.

Never thought I'd see the phrase "US military governor" referring to a current event in my lifetime.

One Commandment, One Amendment

I'm always a bit puzzled by conservative Christians' obsession with only one commandment - "You shall not be a dirty nasty homosexual', strangely that one isn't there. I must be thinking of 'You shall not commit adultery.' Likewise, I'm always a bit puzzled by the fact that for most libertarians, big or small L, the Bill of Rights begins and ends with #2.

Agonist surveys the blogosphere response to Patriot Act Part Deux.

And, for the rest of you Republicans - I can't wait until President Hillary Clinton starts expatriating your asses!

Why We Need Medicare

Because nothing can ever guarantee 30 year old promises by companies:

Bethlehem Steel wants to terminate the health care benefits of 95,000 retirees and dependents, an action the union calls “morally callous.’’

Bethlehem Steel filed a letter on Thursday seeking to eliminate its health and life insurance benefits “because we cannot pay the obligations for retiree health and life insurance now or in the future,’’ chief executive officer Steve Miller said in a statement.

Blitzer Torture Pays Off

Maybe MoDo is reading.

(thanks c.m.)

Actually, if there's anything more silly than running your own online polls and reporting them it's reporting on someone ELSE'S online polls. But, hey, as long as they keep pretending they're meaningful...

Powell's Dud

Slacktivist gives us the run-down on Powell's dissolving case.

I guess we're the only ones allowed to gas his people...

Such moral clarity.

Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons. The Sunshine Project and other nonprofits have warned since late 2001 that the "War on Terrorism" may result in the United States using prohibited biological and chemical armaments, thereby violating the same treaties it purports to defend. The US announcement creates grave concerns for the future of arms control agreements, particularly the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Rumsfeld stated that plans are being made for multiple applications, including use of gas or aerosols on unarmed Iraqi civilians, in caves, and on prisoners. Rumsfeld reiterated the confusing, typical US official language about so-called "non-lethal" biochemical weapons. Rumsfeld described applications of a "riot agent" that clearly imply the complete incapacitation of victims, combatant and non-combatant, in armed conflict - a definition and usages that are at odds with the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). Rumsfeld acknowledged US ratification of the CWC but expressed "regret" about its restrictions, stating that the US has "tangled ourselves up so badly" on policy for use of incapacitating biochemical weapons. Rumsfeld indicated that - in his opinion - if President Bush signs a waiver of long-standing restrictions on US use of incapacitating chemicals, that the US will be able to legally field them in Iraq and elsewhere.

More fine protesters

A bit easier without the snow.

From the slightly creepy department....

BRONSON, Texas (Reuters) - Hundreds of National Guardsmen, federal agents, state troopers and volunteers closely searched this tiny Texas town on Thursday, looking for what was believed to be a top-secret device that fell from the shuttle Columbia when the spacecraft broke apart last week.

They formed long lines to walk through block-by-block and used machetes to hack their way through the thick woods that envelope the town, which is near the Texas-Louisiana border, 125 miles northeast of Houston.

The shuttle fell in thousands of pieces on Saturday, killing the seven astronauts on board. NASA is trying to recover shuttle parts from Louisiana to California in hopes of understanding why the disaster occurred.

Written instructions given to the searchers in Bronson showed a picture of a faceplate from the device, which in white letters on a black background spelled out "Secret Government Property.

Breslin on the New York anti-War Rally

Angry, as he should be.

What Then?

Jeanne d'Arc discusses the appearance of Thomas Friedman on the Oprah Winfrey show.

The whole Iraq situation has been yet another demonstration of the overall incompetence of the news media. There is one simple question which no one ever bothers to ask - or at least, one which no one ever bothers try and get a serious answer to - what happens after we win the war?

Friedman is clearly inhabiting a delusional world of his own creation in which he believes, absent any evidence - and in fact, in complete opposition to a mountain of contrary evidence - that the invasion of Iraq will be be followed up with a commitment to the democratization of the Arab world. Our dealings with Turkey regarding the Kurds and the hopeless muddle that is Afghanistan should themselves be evidence enough that this administration's intentions to implement Friedman's desires are not there. But, more to the point - Friedman's desires for invading Iraq are simply not the administration's, and this fact alone precludes his desired outcome from becoming reality absent some serious regime change here at home.

More generally, with all of the ink spilt on Iraq, all of the hours devoted to it on television, complete with catchy graphics, ominous music, and yapping pundits, the simple question of what happens after "regime change" has not been explored. The coverage of the war has almost entirely been political coverage - that is, it is seen as a horserace. Will Bush "win" the UN election? If he loses the election, will he assume power anyway? Did his latest speech improve his standing in the polls? The media have not demanded any answers from the administration regarding their plans for a post-war Iraq. Little attention was paid to this detail when we attacked Afghanistan, either, though then the media's willingness to accept the "trust us" answer was more understandable if no less disturbing.

Bloggers and pundits alike can spin their desires or predictions for the post-war Iraq, but shouldn't the media start demanding some answers?

That Liberal Media

The host of the top-rated cable news/talk show refers to Mexicans as "wetbacks" and there's nary a a peep.

Buy the book. My copy arrived yesterday and I'm reading now...

Terrorists Have Chemical, Nuke Info

SPOKANE, Wash. Feb. 7 —
A former National Guard officer and his ex-wife pleaded innocent to charges they attempted to sell illegally obtained national security secrets that the FBI said are worth millions of dollars.

Rafael Davila, 51, and Deborah Davila, 40, entered their pleas at a detention hearing Thursday.

Both have been held without bail since their arrest Tuesday, and U.S. Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno ordered Friday that they be held without bail until trial. She said the government had proved there was no way to guarantee the pair would show for trial.

If convicted, the Davilas each face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

The stolen documents related to U.S. chemical, nuclear and biological capabilities still have not been recovered, said FBI agent Lee McEuen.

"They are worth, on the black market, millions of dollars, and would be of huge interest to militias and terrorist organizations," he testified. "Based on that, I believe they are a huge danger to the United States."

Prosecutors said that because many of the more than 300 documents are secret or top secret, they could not specify what they contained. Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said there was no evidence the documents had reached foreign governments. He also said the suspects have not divulged where the documents are.


Court documents and law enforcement sources say it was Deborah Davila, a 40-year-old schoolteacher, who came to authorities about her ex-husband, Rafael Davila, 51, a former major and intelligence specialist with the Washington National Guard.

He stands accused of taking perhaps hundreds of documents, including at least one on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and she of sending those documents out. The ultimate recipients, federal agents fear, were radical, anti-government groups within the United States. The documents, which filled a dozen or more boxes, remain missing.

They both have pleaded not guilty. A federal magistrate in Spokane ordered them yesterday to remain in jail.

The idea of white supremacist and other right-wing groups studying these top-secret papers worries law enforcement.

"They (the militia) are definitely still out there," said one federal criminal justice source. "They cannot be discounted as a potential threat as far as committing a terrorist act. The biggest concern is that you get a Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph."

(thanks Mac Diva)

Return of Scumbuster!

Scummy got his own place!

Friday, February 07, 2003

Alterman Radio Appearance

Eric Alterman will be appearing on the Johnny Wendell Show on Sunday on KFI out of Los Angeles at 6PM PST (9PM EST). They have streaming audio which can be found here.

Moyers' Transcript



MOYERS: I just go through here, you know? "Will give the Attorney General the unchecked power to deport any foreigner?"

LEWIS: Right.

MOYERS: Including lawful permanent resident aliens. It would give the government the power to keep certain arrests secret until an indictment is found never in our history have we permitted secret arrests. It would give the government power to bypass courts and grand juries in order to conduct surveillance without a judge's permission. I mean these do really further upend the balance between liberty on the one hand and security on the other.

True Patriots

About 30 naked women lay down in the snow in Central Park forming the words 'No Bush' in an event described as a 'nude political action photo shoot' in New York on February 7, 2003. The protesters are opposed to U.S. President George Bush's policies and possible U.S. led war against Iraq.

The Antichrist

Symbolman and American Stranger from Take Back the Media and will be on MSNBC at 4:30 on Sunday, discussing things with Joe Scarborough and Mark Foley.
Talkleft has more on Save the Cute Puppies and Sweet Kittens and Adorable Innocent Babies Act of 2003*

*Formerly known as USA Patriot Act II.

Bill Moyers' NOW will do Patriot Act II


and here.

Damn, guess I'll miss Reba ...

You just can't parody this stuff

So, Fox News is actually running, non-stop, a little orange-colored "TERROR ALERT HIGH" logo above the their standard logo.

Oh Lordy, CNN is doing it too.. and CNN's is even bigger.

Patriot Act II

Be very afraid.

Section 501, “Expatriation of Terrorists”: This provision, the drafters say, would establish that an American citizen could be expatriated “if, with the intent to relinquish his nationality, he becomes a member of, or provides material support to, a group that the United Stated has designated as a ‘terrorist organization’.” But whereas a citizen formerly had to state his intent to relinquish his citizenship, the new law affirms that his intent can be “inferred from conduct.” Thus, engaging in the lawful activities of a group designated as a “terrorist organization” by the Attorney General could be presumptive grounds for expatriation.

(via Tom Tomorrow)

New Hampshire GOP head Resigns

The executive director of the state Republican Party resigned Friday after being accused of lying about hiring a telemarketing firm to jam Democratic phone lines on Election Day.

Chuck McGee's departure was announced by party Chairwoman Jayne Millerick. In a telephone interview, Millerick would not say whether the allegations prompted the resignation.

What Plagiarism?

Joe Conason ends his discussion of the plagiarism story with this comment:

What any American reading these stories must wonder is why our own news organizations have ignored this remarkable story so far.


I mean, regardless of what one thinks about the relevance of this to the war/no war question, it should be a major news story, and it has practically gone unreported. Ibrahim al-Marashi was on Lou Dobbs yesterday and Lou didn't even bring it up. A major "intelligence report," released at a critical moment in the war debate and praised by Colin Powell in a key speech to the U.N., was discovered not to have been the result of any intelligence gathering at all. It has caused major embarrassment for our only real ally in this thing and increases the possibility his government won't survive this decision - and our press has been practically silent on it thus far?

*As Spike and Buffy noted the other night, the phrase "who you gonna call?" is no longer fit for being used. I believe indeed is about there as well.

No Thanks

Rittenhouse Review has a few words about Camille Paglia, who is apparently against the war in Iraq. Lovely. Thanks for the, uh, 'help.'

Moral Calculus

One dead american soldier = X dead innocent unarmed noncombative Iraqi civilians.

What is X?

Not a clue here.

Over to you, Snitchens

Tim Dunlop has some more on the Kurds and Hitchy-poo.

Line of the Week

Charles Pierce:

Why does Tucker Carlson insist on dressing like the Wonka brother they ran out of the family chocolate business?

he wins the honorary mention too:

PPS — How do all those Fox News stars feel about that ad on the back of The Nation? I mean, they’ve spent months ripping the antiwar people for associating with the radical left, and now Fox News is PAYING for them to do it. Priceless.

More Coble

Is That Legal? is all over the hideous comments and beliefs of Representative Coble.

This isn't just some crackpot member of the Ann Coulter circle, this is the man who is in charge of Homeland Security in the House.
It's Blitzer-time.

Pass the Popcorn

Wonder who wins this one...

Conservative activist Grover Norquist says the American Conservative Union must take tougher action and ban a Florida vendor -- who sold anti-Muslim material at the group's Conservative Political Action Conference last week -- from future conventions.

Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, e-mailed fellow ACU board members this week, calling for a resolution apologizing "for the discomfort and insult that these offensive materials caused."

He also said a CPAC panelist, Frank J. Gaffney Jr. of the Center for Security Policy, had impugned the patriotism of a Muslim who works at the White House, because of his religion. Gaffney was formally uninvited from Norquist's "center-right coalition meeting" Wednesday -- the weekly lunch for conservative A-listers.

Gaffney said his comments were "addressing a serious national security issue and do not remotely qualify for his characterization as racist or bigoted."

ACU Chairman David Keene has not committed to banning the vendor and opposes Norquist's resolution. "We are not in the business of enforcing orthodoxy at CPAC or within the movement," he wrote to Norquist in an e-mail he sent to the whole board. "[Gaffney's] views may be obnoxious to you, but I'm sure some people find everything we say about a myriad of issues equally obnoxious."

Anyone know what Frank Gaffney said?

O'Reilly - Bigot

via the Hamster we see that 'ole Bill thinks using racial slurs is A-Ok!

O'REILLY: Oh, I am with you there. You've got to get the high-tech stuff there.

But I'll tell you what. I've talked to the commanders, and they tell me, look, you deploy us down there, we stop the drug traffic dead, we stop it dead, all right. They're not even going to try.

We'd save lives because Mexican wetbacks, whatever you want to call them, the coyotes -- they're not going to do what they're doing now, all right, so people aren't going to die in the desert.

The Hamster has some more context.

Alterman Media Appearance Update

John Gibson is supposedly running the segment, originally scheduled for yesterday, some day after 5. O'Reilly is scheduled for February 11, and Nachman for Sunday, February 9.

Max Mishkin, American Patriot

In my own state, too.

Max Mishkin, a suburban Philadelphia high school sophomore who gets straight A's in all honors classes and plays in the school band, describes himself as "patriotic."

But Mishkin, 15, who also works on the school newspaper, doesn't think much of a new state "patriotism law" that requires students in public, private and parochial schools throughout Pennsylvania to recite either the Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem each class day.

The new law, signed late last year, was to take effect today, but state officials last night agreed not to enforce it until a lawsuit filed by Mishkin and a private school in Harrisburg is heard by a federal judge.

Several Philadelphia lawyers, assisted by the American Civil Liberties Union, filed the lawsuit late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, contending the new law was unconstitutional.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of a controversial ruling last year by a federal appeals court in San Francisco stating that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance violated the principle of a separate church and state.


The new law "compels private schools, like the Circle School, and their students to adhere to a state-imposed ideology in a state-mandated manner," the lawyers complained.

Private schools that violate the law would face suspension or revocation of their license.

State Attorney General Mike Fisher and Secretary of Education-designee Vicki Phillips were named as defendants, along with eight members of the state Board of Private Academic Schools.

Under the law, schools must see to it that students recite either the Pledge or the national anthem at the beginning of the school day.

The only exception is for religious schools, which don't have to comply with the law if the school believes such forced recitals violate the "religious conviction on which the school is based."

Could this law be as screwed up as it the reporter makes it sound? That is, individuals aren't allowed to be exempted due to their beliefs - whatever they are - but religious institutions are allowed to be exempt?

(via Pandagon)

UPDATE: The law does allow individual opt-outs, but it requires the parents to be informed when it happens.

Good Trial Lawyers, Bad Trial Lawyers

I'm sure we'll see lots of outrage about the greedy trial lawyers handling these cases.

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds

Recently, filmmaker and photojournalist Kevin McKiernan went looking for human rights abuses against the Kurds. They had been much touted as a reason for why Saddam was an evil bastard. He did find them - being committed by the Turkish military. Of course, the U.S. media didn't care about Kurds in Turkey, the bad ones, just Kurds in Northern Iraq - the good ones.

It looks like they soon may all be Bad Kurds, as Andrew Sullivan's wailing about their plight grows a bit more silent each day.

American diplomats are engaged in delicate negotiations here that could allow tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers to occupy part of northern Iraq behind an advancing A merican army, Turkish and Kurdish officials said today.

A United States official confirmed that the negotiations were under way, but said that the Turks would be restricted to a limited area close to the border and that the numbers discussed by the Turks and Kurds were exaggerated.

The plan, which is being negotiated in closed-door meetings in Ankara, the Turkish capital, is being bitterly resisted by at least some leaders of Iraq's Kurdish groups, who fear that Turkey's leaders may be trying to realize a historic desire to dominate the region in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The Kurdish officials say they fear a military intervention by the Turks could also prompt Iran to cross the border and try to seize sections of eastern Iraq.


The Turkish officials echoed comments made Wednesday by the Turkish prime minister, Abdullah Gul. He suggested that the Turkish Army's role would go beyond humanitarian concerns to protecting Turkish interests in the region.

"Turkey is going to position herself in that region in order to prevent any possible massacres, or the establishment of a new state," Mr. Gul told Turkish reporters.


UPDATE: Nathan Newman is on this as well.

Minnesota is Doing Important Things

Gays and Lesbians to lose state protections

You have to love these people. How dare you persecute me by not letting me persecute others!

Supporters of the bill say that they don't want people to be persecuted or harassed but that the law is doing just that to Christian conservatives and others who consider homosexuality a violation of God's law.

As vaara notes, the bill also includes this:

Dibble said he found it particularly offensive that the bill would remove sexual orientation as a classification in the human-rights law's definition of Holocaust survivors and victims.

I suppose they're not claiming that homosexuals were not put into the gas chambers, just that, well, maybe they kinda deserved it.

Minnesotans can take action here.

White House Proposes 9.3% Funding Increase

For the White House.

If this were the Clinton administration we'd already have 867 identically worded op-ed pieces from the conservative borg about how greedy Clinton was taking our taxpayers' money, how Clinton was fiscally irresponsible, how it was unpatriotic in a 'time of war,' blah blah blah. These same editorial writers would then fan out to all of the talk shows making these same points, which would then be parroted by the "non-partisan" journalists. Oh, and Limbaugh would accuse Clinton of treason and Bob Barr would draft his 47th article of impeachment.

Liberal Media my ass.

Buy the book!

MSNBC to put Bigot Savage on the Air

Jeebus. I bet some network honcho is in a cemetery right now with a shovel, trying to salvage some DNA from the festering corpse of Father Coughlin to send to the Raelians for an express job.

I look forward to their next new show - Andrea Dworkin is Making Sense! *

*I thought I'd stolen that joke from another blogger. I did - Ted Barlow.

These People Hate Democracy

Alleged attempt by Republicans to jam Democrats' "get out the vote" phone banks:

Manchester police have alerted the U.S. Justice Department to an Election Day operation allegedly ordered by a Republican telemarketing dealer that jammed get-out-the-vote phone banks operated by the city’s firefighters union and the state Democratic Party.

Lt. Fred Roach of the city’s detective bureau said this week Idaho-based telemarketing firm Milo Enterprises was hired by GOP Marketplace of Alexandria, Va., to make repeated hang-up calls to a group of New Hampshire phone banks on Nov. 5.

Union and Democratic officials said the phone jam, broken by Verizon after two hours, lasted long enough to hurt their efforts to reach people who needed rides to the polls. Union president William Clayton said many intended contacts with potential riders, especially seniors, were not made, and, “I know a lot of them got shut out” of voting.

A Blogger does something more than shoot off his mouth

Calpundit interviews Josh Marshall.

What Liberal Media?

What liberal media indeed.


Neal Conan at Talk of the Nation ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Terry Gross at Fresh Air ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Diane Rehm at the Diane Rehm show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Click and Clack at Car Talk and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show (hey, why not? The loathsome Kaus has a car blog..)

Todd Mundt at the Todd Mundt show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

On the Media ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact the Connection and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact Wait Wait Don't Tell Me ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on. Oh, and go bother Adam Felber about it to - maybe he has some pull.

Contact Michael Feldman from Whaddya Know and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact All Things Considered ( )and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Oh, and buy the book. And read the Nation cover story here.

David Neiwert tells us more about white supremacists, Kirk Lyons, and internment

It's okay for Bush to lie...

just not okay for him to deceive poor Andrew Sullivan!. Wahh!

Sterling notes that two years ago in the New Republic, Andrew said presidential lying was a good thing. Now it's a bad thing.

Maybe this is that moral clarity and absolutism we keep hearing about.

But, anyway Andy, I haven't been deceived - I always knew Bush was neither a compassionate nor fiscal conservative, and that he would cave on most trade issues.

We couldn't even keep our promise to cut textile tariffs with Pakistan. Argentina's economy is in the dump and we can't even help out by getting rid of our beef import quota.

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Paxman Shaves the Poodle

Jeebus I wish Paxman would take Timmy Russert's job.

Can you imagine anyone subjecting Bush to an interview like this?

Read it here.

Astroturf Update

Bush has officially demonstrated genuine leadership 102 times. And, sadly, probably still counting.

5th Column?

White Supremacists Accused of Spying

A former Washington Army National Guard intelligence officer arrested earlier this week on espionage charges had a top-secret clearance and had drifted toward the radical right in recent years, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Rafael Davila, 51, and his ex-wife, Deborah Davila, 46, are suspected of providing white supremacists and other radical organizations with sensitive materials involving the strategic response of the Guard to a variety of emergency situations, both foreign and domestic, according to a Department of Justice source.

Military officials confirmed Rafael Davila's clearance level but would not comment on what information he allegedly provided.

The two were arrested Tuesday after a grand jury in Spokane indicted them on unlawful possession of "documents related to the national defense of the United States" in 1999 — the year Rafael Davila retired from the Guard with the rank of major.

Rafael Davila is named in a single felony count while Deborah Davila is named in three counts, including providing false statements to the FBI in April 2000. According to the indictment, she lied when she told agents she did not know Kirk Lyons — a firebrand North Carolina lawyer who has defended the Ku Klux Klan and White Patriot Party and who has advocated for "Southern ethnic cleansing."

Lyons was involved as a defense lawyer in a 1987 trial in Fort Smith, Ark., in which Butler and 10 others were charged with a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government by acts of violence. All the defendants were acquitted.

A federal law-enforcement source said some of the national security documents were passed on to Lyons.

Lyons has not been charged with a crime. He told The Associated Press he barely knew Deborah Davila but that she had attended his wedding, which was performed by Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler at the group's former compound near Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Kirk Lyons is also a major power in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the League of the South.

Diplomacy, Rumsfeld Style

From Der Spiegel and the actual quote in Taggesspiegel:

"Rumsfeld hatte in einer Anhörung über den Umfang der Unterstützung für die Irak-Politik gesagt: «...Und dann gibt es eine ziemlich große Gruppe von Ländern, die angedeutet haben, dass sie in der Koalition mit dem Wiederaufbau in der Ära nach Saddam Hussein helfen wollen. Und dann gibt es drei oder vier Länder die gesagt haben, sie würden gar nichts tun: ich glaube Libyen, Kuba und Deutschland haben angedeutet, dass sie in keiner Weise helfen wollen.

Rumsfeld said in a hearing on the question of support for Iraq policy: "There are many countries that have indicated that they want to help the coalition with rebuilding in the post-Saddam Hussein era. And then there are three or four countries that have said that they want nothing to do with it: I believe that Libya, Cuba, and Germany have indicated that they do not want to help at all."

(sent in and translated by reader a.s.)

This one's gonna hurt. Torture Wolf! Quick!

Oh poor Wolfie, he's a broken hurt to read those results.

Who compiled Blair's dossier?

1) British Intelligence

2) Blair's political office.

3) American intelligence.

4) Some flunky working for Paul Wolfowitz.

other suggestions?

New General Counsel at EEOC

More payback.

His qualifications seem to be that, before a recent stint in the Bush Administration's Department of Labor, he spent a few years representing employers in discrimination suits (with no published appellate decisions in employment law cases to his credit, as near as I can tell from Lexis) and was -- did you even have to ask? -- part of the Ken Starr investigatory team.

Are we going to have to bomb London now?

Someone bold reporter should ask Condi about this one:

Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text. Far from informing, the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq's arsenal. It is a reflection of the regime's well-earned reputation for dishonesty and constitutes a material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which set up the current inspections program.

[bold reporter?-ed. Yeah, I know, I know..]

The Best MI6 Could Do?

MI6, Britian's spy/international intelligence agency, employees around 2000 people.

This is their headquarters:

And they can't even get someone to dummy up a convincing dossier on Iraq without resorting to cutting and pasting?

And didn't anyone tell Powell?

I would call my colleagues attention to the fine paper that United Kingdom distributed yesterday, which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities.

Reverend Moon Gets Scammed

Moonie World tells us that the Rev just "won" a sham poetry competition.


Channel 4 Picks up on the Dossier Story


The government's carefully co-ordinated propaganda offensive took an embarrassing hit tonight after Downing Street was accused of plagiarism.

The target is an intelligence dossier released on Monday and heralded by none other than Colin Powell at the UN yesterday.

Channel Four News has learnt that the bulk of the nineteen page document was copied from three different articles - one written by a graduate student.

On Monday, the day before the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell addressed the UN, Downing Street published its latest paper on Iraq.

It gives the impression of being an up to the minute intelligence-based analysis - and Mr Powell was fulsome in his praise.

Published on the Number 10 web site, called "Iraq - Its Infrastructure of Concealement Deception and Intimidation", it outlines the structure of Saddam's intelligence organisations.

Read the rest.

UPDATE: You can watch the report here. About 12 minutes in. Which I'll go do..

Oh man, it's true. Most of the stuff is from information taken right after the first Gulf War.

Go Caption the Vial Picture

BBC is running a contest.
Big Dog's on Larry tonight.

What Liberal Media #1 At Eschaton!

So far 47 of you have ordered it, which clearly puts it at the top of the Eschaton Bestseller List. Not quite as presitigious as that of the Times, but hey.

On a related note, via Calpundit I see that Alterman is going head to head against Bozell for the second time over in the National Review's sandbox.

Here's the transcript from last night's show. As far as I can tell Bozell didn't score a single point. That's my fair and balanced opinion, as always.

Alterman will be on Fox News at 5pm today, apparently.

And, while we're on poor Brent Bozell, the Hamster notes that how our boy Brent feels free to piss on the grave of the recently deceased Sarah Petit, in the article I mention below. But, we should feel sorry for the moralizing Brent. After all, it is his cousin that's been violating a commandment or two, not the nasty homosexuals he can't stop talking about.

War Profiteers

So, anyone know how much we're going to spend to "upgrade" Turkish ports and bases?

And which companies are getting the contracts...

Shut Up!

Take Back the Media gives us Shut Up! With Kelly Osbourne and Bill O'Reilly. (flash)

For context, see the O'Reilly/Glick transcript here.

Another day, another poll..

It's childish, but sometimes it's all we can do.
It looks like Haloscan did a backup restore and got some of the few day old comments that had been lost, but then lost some of the more recent ones.

Beyond my control.

Did the UK plagiarize their Iraq Dossier?

I just woke up so I haven't had a chance to look into this, but it sure sounds odd.

(this is a very instapundit type post, I admit. "not endorsing, but looks interesting!")

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Josh Marshall Has The Goods on Estrada!

Liar liar pants on fire.

Defending Ceci Connolly?

Oh Lord, has is it come to this? Have I sunk so low?

I apologize, but we're going to have to take a quick trip to the parallel universe inhabited by Brent Bozell. Crazy Brent has written a column attacking the supposed mischaracterizations of Jerry Thacker. Thacker, you will remember, had withdrawn himself from consideration for a position on the President's Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS, after the Washington Blade and then the Washington Post revealed that Thacker had referred to AIDS as a "gay plague" and to homosexuality as a "deathstyle."

Bozell says this:

Connolly didn't put these comments in context. On the Web site of his Scepter Institute, a biography of Thacker explained that in 1986, "He knew vaguely about the 'gay plague' known as AIDS, but it seemed a distant threat." But then he, his wife and daughter contracted the disease through a tainted transfusion. The Post story did not explain that the plague quote a) did not come out of Thacker's mouth, as implied, nor that b) it was put in quotes in this biography. By that standard, Connolly could be deprived of future government work, given that she, too, used that quote.

So Thacker wasn't really "quoted" on "gay plague." What about the "deathstyle"? Connolly did explain in print how she got that one: from a Web site summary of Thacker's remarks on AIDS at his alma mater, Bob Jones University. Once again, Connolly couldn't find Thacker saying it. So how can she state as fact that Thacker used the term, instead of attributing it directly -- and solely -- to the university staffer trying to summarize? She can because she wants to. Being a Post reporter means never having to worry about being factually sloppy.

Actually, I agree with the last sentence. This *is* Ceci Connolly after all.

However, this is a masterful bit of cheap propoganda by Brent. He actually has no idea if Connolly had other confirmations of this quote. Neither do I. But, I can do in 4 seconds what either Brent or Ceci could have done and find the Google archive of Thacker's website, where the word "deathstyle" sits proudly.

Help for Homosexuals. A message on the nature of homosexuality and how Christ can rescue the homosexual. Includes statistics on homosexual behavior, tips for ministry to those practicing this "deathstyle" and information on the homosexual movement and its political agenda.

There are a few other things in that article I could take issue with, but 'ole Brent can be forgiven for his sloppiness. He's probably busy readying a column condemning the immoral behavior of his cousin Christopher Buckley.

Poor me stuck at work and so I'll miss Alterman square off against that jerk Bozell. So, if anyone can capture it that'd be great.

It's for their own safety

Jesse, Hesiod, and TalkLeft all mention the comments of the delightful congressman from North Carolina, Howard Coble.

''We were at war. They (Japanese-Americans) were an endangered species,'' Coble said. ''For many of these Japanese-Americans, it wasn't safe for them to be on the street.''

Like most Arab-Americans today, Coble said, most Japanese-Americans during World War II were not America's enemies.

Still, Coble said, Roosevelt had to consider the nation's security.

''Some probably were intent on doing harm to us,'' he said, ''just as some of these Arab-Americans are probably intent on doing harm to us.''

Recently, Josh from OxBlog said regarding the possibility of internment of Arab residents and Arab-Americans, "Outside of the Ann Coulter circle, no one has proposed anything of the sort, and no one will."

I wish it were so, but the evidence just doesn't back up that assertion. Or, at least, the Ann Coulter crowd is far bigger than and more influential than he thinks. Interestingly, Ann Coulter did once work for Arab-American Spencer Abraham, but that's another story.

Anyway, I would suggest that there is a non-trivial segment of the population who feel as this congressman do - That the internment of Japanese-Americans was a right and necssary thing to do. There is an even larger segment of the population that agrees with Glenn Reynolds:

The wrongfulness in the World War Two internments, after all, wasn't that they happened, but that they were unjustified. Had significant numbers of American citizens of Japanese descent actually been working for the enemy, the internments would have been a regrettable necessity rather than an outrageous injustice."

In other words, rounding up people simply based on their ancestry would be okay if enough people who look like them are doing bad things.

September 11 was a one-off, thankfully. As horribly destructive as it was, and as much as it put the country on edge, there weren't any successfull followups. I have little doubt that if their were regular terrorist activities linked generally to Arabs/Muslims and Arab/Muslim-Americans in this country which came even close to the scale of activities in Israel - that there would be huge popular support for the mass roundups and detentions. I have zero doubt that if we experienced terrorists attacks on the scale of Israel - normalized for our population size - that it would happen. That is, if after 9/11 we had even the absolute numbers of suicide bombings and death toll that Israel has had I would be surprised if there wasn't something resembling a mass roundup or detention. If we multipled that by about 35 to reflect our larger population, it would be a done deal. We shouldn't forget this event either:

Kirsanow, who was appointed to the commission last year by President George W. Bush, said after the session that he personally doesn't support such camps and the government would never envision them. He said he was merely saying public opinion would so strongly favor the idea that it would be difficult to prevent. There would be a "groundswell of opinion" for the detainment, he said.

I agree with his sentiment, frightening as it is, though not with the point that the "government would never envision them." Of course the government has envisioned them, the only question is the threshhold at which they would implement them.

Nor should we forget when now-Senator Chambliss, then Congressman and Chair of the House Subcomittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security said "just turn [the sheriff] loose and have him arrest every Muslim that crosses the state line." It wasn't clear what he intended to do with the Muslims who were already living there.

It is true that Senator Chambliss is likely a member of the Ann Coulter circle. He's also a U.S. Senator. It's clear how he thinks.

UPDATE: David Neiwert has more.

(fixed multiplier to be closer to correct)

The Return of Blitzer Torture

You know what to do...

Chrysler Racial Discrimination Suit

I'm sure Dinesh D'Souza will make a fine expert witness for the defense.

DaimlerChrysler denied low- interest car loans to customers because they were black and employed a financing manager who regularly spewed racial epithets, a federal lawsuit in Chicago alleged Monday.

Six African Americans from the Chicago area sued the fifth-largest automaker, alleging they were victims of redlining and were recently turned down for Chrysler loans at a South Side dealership, then named
Marquette Chrysler Jeep, which is now under new ownership. The customers had received high marks for their credit histories but had to get loans with higher interest rates at other financial institutions, the lawsuit


"Do you really believe that these people really think that they should have a new car?" the manager allegedly asked. "These people shouldn't be able to get financing for a Schwinn [bicycle]. Those n------ have never
paid anyone."

The zone manager said he would allow "some n------" to take out loans at suburban dealerships "because at least they're smart enough not to get shot while trying to buy a car in the ghetto."

Help Get Alterman on TV

Contact the Today Show at and politely suggest that Katie Couric, who had the woman that called her Eva Braun on her show, might like to speak with Eric Alterman about that and related issues.

Contact Howard Kurtz at and suggest that he might want to have Eric Alterman on Reliable Sources.

A Vial!

Neal Pollack posts his real-time analysis of Powell's speech.

Replaced the comments with YACCS, which is often problematic too. So, I'll probably switch it back to Haloscan once it is back up. In other words, probably not the best time to write your Magnum Opus and post it into the comments.

Alterman on CNN Today

Eric is still scheduled to be on Crossfire at 7pm.

Lott Losing Friends

Even Michelle Malkin at World Nut Daily is abandoning him.

Comments Down

I assume they'll return

They're All Chicken!

Even NPR won't have Eric Alterman on! What Liberal Media? indeed!


Neal Conan at Talk of the Nation ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Terry Gross at Fresh Air ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Diane Rehm at the Diane Rehm show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Click and Clack at Car Talk and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show (hey, why not? The loathsome Kaus has a car blog..)

Todd Mundt at the Todd Mundt show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

On the Media ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

When the Tigers Broke Free

And kind old King George sent mother a note
when he heard that father was gone
It was, I recall, in the form of a scroll
with golden leaf and all
And I found it one day in a drawer of old
photographs hidden away
And my eyes still grow damp to remember
His Majesty signed with his own rubber stamp

It was dark all around
There was frost in the ground
When the tigers broke free
And noone survived from the Royal Fusiliers Company C
They were all left behind
Most of them dead
The rest of them dying
And that's how the High Command took my Daddy from me

-R. Waters

Your Typical Lott Fan

John Lott still has some fans - you know, American Renaissance magazine, Instapundit....Here's what the reviewer for AmRen said:

Not surprisingly, the decrease in crime has been greatest where there was the most to begin with, and this means cities with large black populations. As Prof. Lott explains, "While many blacks want to make guns harder to get, the irony is that blacks benefit more than other groups from concealed-handgun laws." As he notes, the percentage of young blacks in an area is the single variable that best predicts the level of violence. If the non-criminals in these places start carrying weapons it evens the odds and discourages predators – just as it does everywhere else – and there are more predators to discourage.

The graph on this page shows the average drop in violent crime the year after passage of a "shall issue" law, as a function of the percentage of the population that is black. The blacker the population the greater the benefit. Washington and New York City, which have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country, would benefit greatly from letting honest citizens carry guns.

As the graph makes clear, for areas with few blacks the declines in violence are modest, but for the country as a whole, the effect is certainly significant. Prof. Lott concludes that if the entire country had liberal concealed-carry laws, in 1992 there would have been 1,400 fewer murders, 4,200 fewer rapes, 60,000 fewer aggravated assaults, and 12,000 fewer robberies.

This makes perfect sense. What criminals fear most is the possibility that an intended victim will pull a gun and blaze away. This fear is so great that changes in concealed carry laws have a measurable effect even when only a small percentage of people actually carry guns. Once the bad guys know that people might be armed, it pays to assume everyone is armed.

Even More Poll Numbers

It's bad for Turd Blossom.

O'Reilly Welcomes Bigot!

Has anti-gay bigot, and rejected Bush administration member, Jerry Thacker, on his show.

Embraces a bigot, but too much of a wimp to take on Eric Alterman!

What a pathetic cowardly loser!

Gay hatred good! Eric Alterman tooooo scary!

E-mail Bill O'Reilly, the frightened little bunny, and ask him why he's scared of the Bearded Liberal Eric Alterman!

UPDATE: The Hamster notes that Bill O'Reilly is an anti-American hypocrite!! Will Bill O'Reilly apologize for having himself on his show?!?!?

The Full Hitchens

Here's the full interview with Hitchy-poo. I almost feel sorry for the guy.
Neal Pollack resigns from PNAC.

This cannot be a slow burn, my Beagles. The world trembles in fear at our might, but the French are arming. If they get the Belgians on their side, we may have a protracted European front on their hands. I cannot sit by idly, twiddling as part of a secret organization of powerful men bent on world domination. We must take action now. That's why I'm forming PNAC II: The Wrath Of God, an even more secret organization whose board is even more influential as the original PNAC. The membership is confidential, but I do have one wild-card spot available.

People think Bush is dishonest

The Horse has the numbers.

Is Bill O'Reilly a Coward?

Apparently blowhard is too chicken to face Eric Alterman.

E-mail Bill O'Reilly and ask him why he isn't man enough to have Eric on.

Going Gizmodo

Not to steal Gizmodo's thunder, but I just got a Norcent DP-300 DVD play from Amazon. It's cheap, comes very well reviewed by the geek sector - largely because they're usually pretty easy to make Region-Free. One can't guarantee that, as there are always lots of different versions, but for the one I just got it was no problem at all. They also have both NTSC and PAL outputs and voltage selector. So, if you have need to play international DVDs or play your DVDs internationally - this is a good deal.

Buy one here!

You can even go to and get Buffy season 4 and season 5!

Take Action Now!

You can use this spam machine to contact all of the current advertisers of the Rush Limbaugh show! Now, you can keep the current message which tells the advertiser how wonderful the disgusting one is, or you can put in your own message! (i suggest the latter, of course.)

UPDATE: The spam is no longer editable.

Take Back the Media

Mike Signorile writes about boycotting Limbaugh and Schlessinger.

Franks Under Investigation


What Liberal Media Day!

Go buy the book damnit!

Why I Care About John Lott

Readers of my weblog have probably noticed I don't talk a lot about guns. There are a couple reasons I don't - one is that I don't know much about them. Another is that I'm definitely not "anti-gun" in any sense of the word, though I'm sure I'd probably support many measures that would have me branded as such by the gun crowd. A third is that any discussion of the topic inevitably sends not one but many Mary Rosh-types over and it isn't worth the effort.

As for thinking Lott is somehow payback for Bellesiles - well, I never read Bellesiles' book. I think I looked at the blurb on the cover once and thought "oh, that's interesting" but that was the extent of my exposure - or interest - in the book. I never actively defended him - or wanted to - as it wasn't something I knew a thing about. I was a bit troubled that it seemed that it wasn't enough to destroy the guy's career - probably deserved - but that his detractors were intent on destroying the man. I was a bit turned off by the continuing spectacle, which I mostly saw through blogs, and I probably agree with the sentiments expressed by Sullywatch in comments:

We forget now how much there was an all-out effort (kind of like a certain recent special prosecution) to throw anything they could find at Bellsiles until it stuck, and finally one thing relatively marginal to the whole thesis of the book did. There were death threats, evil hatemails and goonish thugs attending his lectures. It was all about making sure that no one would dare ask certain questions ever again than it was about maintaining academic integrity.

And then there was the sound of a million backs slapping themselves afterwards, from Knoxville to Evanston, loudly and repeatedly.

And they expect us to just forget we ever witnessed this spectacle?

Though I never really followed the issue closely, I did note one thing - that Bellesiles' detractors were invariably big fans of John Lott's book. Now, I'd never read the book. I had read enough criticisms of it to know it was a piece of a propaganda with some really shoddy and sometimes clearly dishonest work. But, it wasn't something I ever focused on enough to have anything to say about it. Besides, I didn't want to have the Mary Roshes scurrying over to bug me. Still, I was always a bit amused that the sanctimonious Bellesiles bashers were simultaneously propping up the dishonest Lott.

The real reason I care about John Lott is that the man testified to congress about the patterns of disenfranchisement in Florida during the 2000 election. The work was so hideously obviously deliberately dishonest, as Dr. Lichtman easily demonstrates, that the man obviously has no ethics. In fact, his willingness to present disinformation to cover up the disenfranchisement of voters makes him anti-democratic and anti-American as far as I'm concerned, and his willingness to try and cover up the disenfranchisement of black voters makes him a bigot.

I thought he was working for the Russians

Poor Snitchens. Nutty and desperate for attention:

When our friend Christopher Hitchens was a card-carrying (or at least Scotch-hoisting) member of the left. But the British-born polemicist has apparently come a very long way since he stopped writing for the Nation magazine last year.

In the new issue of Doublethink, a Washington-based right-wing quarterly, Hitchens reveals that he plans to support President Bush's reelection campaign -- never mind his recent Vanity Fair puff piece about Democratic hopeful John Edwards. "I don't believe in [Edwards]," Hitchens tells Doublethink interviewer Tom Ivancie. "I mean, I told him I wouldn't vote for him. . . . Because I'd vote for Bush. The important thing is this: Is a candidate completely serious about prosecuting the war on theocratic terrorism to the fullest extent? Only Bush is." Hitchens also scoffs at the Everyman pitch of the millionaire trial lawyer turned North Carolina senator: "Oh, that's all [bleep]. . . . Spare us the false populism."

Meanwhile, Hitchens suggests that old nemesis Bill Clinton was a CIA plant at Oxford, where both were students in the late 1960s. "I think he was a double," Hitchens says. "Somebody was giving information to [the CIA] about the anti-war draft resisters, and I think it was probably him. We had a girlfriend in common -- I didn't know then -- who's since become a very famous radical lesbian."

But that's another story.

Monday, February 03, 2003

Tim Noah on Lott

I just gave it a quick skim, but Tim Noah seems to have a pretty good rundown on the Lott affair.

O'Reilly Post-Game

Symbolman did really well until blowhard derailed him about NPR. The thing about NPR is, to the extent that it's liberal it isn't spewing RNC talking points all day. And, in addition, it provides a 24/7 platform for the various subsidized pundits from all of your favorite right wing groups. "Liberal" in the NPR context means having some people who are vaguely sympathetic to moderate democrats, who are always 'balanced' by Moonies from Heritage and the like. There is no NPR Limbaugh, or NPR O'Reilly. NPR doesn't have regular voices from labor, doesn't have a regular voice from the minority community (except Tavis Smiley whose show doesn't have a decent timeslot in most markets). It's "liberalism" is at its most extreme "E.J. Dionne" liberalism, which is drowned out by the regular stream of AEI, Heritage, Weekly Standard, etc... representatives. Also, O'Reilly lied about the number of stations NPR has - they claim 620, he said 800.

Buy Eric's Book

My copy hasn't yet arrived, but judging from the introduction available at the website, it looks pretty promising.

Actually, I don't even care if you read it. But, it's important to demonstrate that there's a market for this kind of stuff.

Click the cover to buy:


(insert obligatory Bruce Springsteen joke here)

Oh, and that other media book of his is pretty good too. Lots of good dirt on that pompous twit Will.


Speaking of Will, that reminds me of the humorous passage in David Brock's book when he discusses how early in his career he was trying to dress up as a Pundit Action Figure by emulating William F. Buckley. Obviously Tucker Carlson is doing the same - but who the hell would want to emulate George Will? I mean, Buckley at least had a bit of idiosyncratic style...

Those wacky Republicans...

What will they think of next?

(This was on their website, but is no longer)

In an effort to educate UCLA students on the hypocrisy of affirmative action, an issue currently on the Supreme Court docket with the Michigan case, the UCLA Bruin Republicans will be holding an Affirmative Action Bake Sale at the bottom of Bruin Walk, Monday, February 3, 2003 from 9 am to 3 pm.

The Bruin Republicans will be selling cookies from Diddy Riese, a Westwood favorite, under the following price structure: Black, Hispanic and American Indian Females: 25 cents Black, Hispanic and American Indian Males: 50 cents White Females: $1.00 White Males and All Asian-Americans: $2.00

Staffing the Bruin Republicans' table on Bruin Walk will be members playing the following roles: "The Man," "The White Oppressor," "The Self-Hating Hispanic Race Traitor," "Uncle Tom," and a special "Admissions Officer" who will be in charge of determining each customer's race, gender, and general level of oppression.

The Bruin Republicans anticipate a strong campus reaction, with possible protests from the African Student Union and MEChA. If campus opposition does not destroy the message of the event, we hope to show students the inherent hypocrisy of assigning exclusive meaning and value based purely on skin color or perceived ethnicity.

Ah, theocracy.

For a man associated with the Unification church and their desire to install a worldwide theocracy, this takes some balls. From CNN Saturday on January 18:

IN: Well, yes, it is a free country, but some think these protesters are traitors. Niles Gardiner has a suggestion about what should happen to these demonstrators. He is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He joins us right now.

Niles, good to see you.


LIN: Now, you say, you have told us, that you think these people are traitors and they should be treated as such, why?

GARDINER: Well, I think that the leaders of today's demonstrations of the United States have very close links with a number of extreme left-wing organizations. They are effectively acting as mouthpieces for the Iraqi propaganda machine. And I believe that these
demonstrators should be viewed as such.

LIN: I mean, you actually think they should go on trial for their actions?

GARDINER: Well, I think if any of the anti-war demonstrators are foolish enough to go out to Baghdad and Iraq to act as human shields in the event of war, I believe that if they survive the Allied onslaught, that they should be put on trial if they return back to the United

LIN: But how is it that they're being a mouthpiece for the Iraqi government? I mean, this is a free society and what essentially they are trying to say is that the Bush administration has yet to present evidence that the Iraqis have weapons of mass destruction, therefore
they're questioning any military action that should occur?

GARDINER: Well, I think that the Bush administration has made a tremendous case for military action against Iraq. The regime in Baghdad has simply not cooperated fully with the United Nations weapons inspectors. The Iraqi regime has not intention of disarming.

And I believe that the anti-war movement here has not voiced any concern whatsoever about the plight of the Iraqi people who are living under a brutal totalitarian dictatorship.

LIN: Well, what evidence is there? What evidence do you have that the Iraqis are in violation?

GARDINER: I think that there's plenty of evidence. Of course, the latest find of chemical warheads, by the inspectors. We do have a tremendous amount of intelligence information gathered by the U.S. and British intelligence agencies, which no doubt will be released in the
weeks ahead.

Let's not forget that the Iraqis are trying, everyday, to shoot down British and American war planes, flying over the no-fly zones. Again, in clear violation of Resolution 1441.

LIN: All right, well, military action certainly place in the northern and southern no-fly zones. We are going to be following the story, obviously, very closely, both sides, for you on the protest.

Thank you very much, Niles Gardiner, from the Heritage Foundation.

It's pretty clear he told the reporter/producer beforehand that he thought anti-war protesters were committing treason and he wimped out on camera.

Now, if Dr. Gardiner is no longer a Unificationist, or never was, then he should correct both me and the Moonies on this point.

Either that's a big ball of wax in his ear, or...

Moonie Monday

Joe Conason mentions hearing from a Dr. Nile Gardiner today on NPR. Gardiner is a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

According to the Moonies, he's also (or at least was) a "Unificationist."

In November 1993, Kwon Jin Nim gave his first public speech here and laid the foundation for True Mother to come in March 1994. This is the only university to have experienced substantial Mother-Son cooperation in proclaiming "True Parents and the Completed Testament Age." The Yale Daily News gave Kwon Jin Nim a photo and a fairly objective article, and with total unity with church members, over 500 guests were invited for Mother's speech in Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School-the alma mater of three of the last five presidents (Ford, Bush and Clinton) and the current First Lady. It was filled with guests and students.

At the same time as Mother's speech, a spiritual battle was being waged on campus with one of our graduate students at the forefront. The Gay and Lesbian agenda has been pushed to the maximum here at Yale. Prof. John Boswell, who helped establish a Gay Studies Program here, died of AIDS recently. As a self-proclaimed Gay historian at Yale, known for his book Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe, he left a pernicious legacy here.

You can imagine how many of those ministers are turning in their graves. For the past few years, there has been a week of homosexual programs and propaganda called BGLAD Week organized on campus. In 1994, it fell right at the time of True Mother's speech. This included pornographic chalk drawings on the sidewalks to "heighten awareness." One of the Unificationist graduate students in history at Yale, Nile Gardiner, and a Christian friend, took mops and buckets and proceeded to clean it all off. This of course started allegations concerning free speech, and many articles in the Yale newspapers covered this. They became quiet famous in the Yale conservative circles as "The Moppers." Literally cleaning up Yale!

(thanks MW)


Forget to mention this yesteday after posting the article about the AARLC. The organization's spokesman, Kevin Martin, posts at Free Republic as Trueblackman.
Neal Pollack writes a moving tribute to the Columbia astronauts.

Bombers on standby for Guam...

Let's hope this is a pissing contest and nothing more.

TBTM vs. O'Reilly

Symbolman from Take Back the Media is going to do battle with the the big blowhard tonight on the factor.
Somebody go help Jesse fight his spam attack...

First Boobs, then War


Mary Rosh Keeps on Giving

Tim Lambert provides an example of some highly unethical behavior by Ms. Rosh.

I never participated in the Usenet discussions with Ms. Rosh, but I'm starting to wonder why no one figured this one out before...

But, man, this argument with her is just like every argument I've ever had with internet dittoheads...The full exchange is unbelievable.

The Myths We Believe

CalPundit says:

Blogging has a number of virtues, but confessing "immediately and openly to mistakes" sure doesn't seem to be one of them. On the contrary, with the exception of fairly mundane factual errors ("Megan McArdle reminds me that Keynes died in 1946, not 1945....") I'd venture to say that bloggers are about as likely to admit error as a 6-beer drunk in a barroom argument.


Amazing Spin

At some point in his life Bill Frist dumped his girlfriend of 10 years 2 days before the elaborately planned wedding.

David Brooks makes that out to be a good thing

Now, there are plenty of worse things one can do and it has little nor nothing to do with whether we should think the kitty Doctor is a good senator...but, spinning it into a GOOD thing?

What a bobo.

Somerby also points out the disparate treatment of the Challenger astronauts versus the 4 men killed in a downed helicopter in Afghanistan:

Those others “we will never hear about” include the coming dead in Iraq. It has been remarkable to compare the mourning for the Columbia seven to the all-encompassing lack of interest in the deaths which will soon occur in Iraq. Is war on Iraq a good idea? On that, we don’t express a view. But it has become rather clear that these upcoming deaths play no role in our current calculus. In the press, we have seen almost no attempt to estimate or discuss the impending loss of life. Recent reports about “Shock and Awe” or possible use of American nukes have produced almost no discussion. Do Americans care about Iraqi deaths? There is almost no sign that we do.


The human mind is deeply tribal; the human mind is wired to care about those perceived to be “one’s own.” Over the weekend, that tribalism was put on display. As a people, we can’t even seem to give a fig about the safety of our own soldiers; meanwhile, we wipe out debate about impending war to mourn seven high-profile accident victims. Such utter lack or moral seriousness may not hurt us this time around. In the long run, almost surely, it will. Tomorrow: Does Saddam Hussein really have nukes, and other lightly-limned Iraq questions

I think it's difficult and not particularly productive to compare the two disasters in a meaningful way. In fact, I think there's a stronger point to be made - it isn't that the shuttle disaster knocked our dead soldiers out of the news cycle, it's that the dead soldiers wouldn't have been a major news story even in the absence of the shuttle disaster. The media isn't telling us much about the dead in Afghanistan - theirs or ours. While it's likely difficult to cover up military deaths, it isn't too hard to cover up the deaths of the rent-a-soldiers we have over there and the deaths of the special ops of the intelligence agencies. And, even when we do hear about it we don't HEAR ABOUT IT which means it may as well have never happened.


There are stupider columnists than Thomas Friedman, but none who get quite so much respect. Charles Dodgson gives us the short version of his latest here:

Some Europeans object to genetically modified food. Other Europeans smoke. Therefore, Europe as a whole has an inconsistent position on matters of personal health. And since this inconsistent position which the whole of Europe has adopted, all at once, is self-contradictory, it must not be based on a rational assessment of things; they're just trying to be something the Americans are not.

A commenter in Brad DeLong's website says, response to Friedman's statement that "It's not that there are no serious arguments to be made against war in Iraq. There are plenty. It's just that so much of what one hears coming from German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and French President Jacques Chirac are not serious arguments. "

More broadly, I think that this is probably the worst Tom Friedman piece I have ever seen. Friedman, after all, supports (in the end) this war for completely different reasons than the Bush Administration offers for fighting it.

Or, to put it another way, he could just as easily today have written "It's not that there aren't serious arguments to be made against the war. It's just that those aren't the arguments being made by George Bush."

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Filibuster Estrada

There are a lot of reasons to not support the Estrada nomination, but frankly there is a simple one which should be enough - his complete failure to be forthcoming about any controversial issue during his confirmation hearing.

Take action. Contact your Senator. Stiffen their spines.
Dwight Meredith suggests a letter of recommendation for the biology professor at Texas Tech who has refused to write them for students who profess to not believe in evolution.

I think Dwight gets the point exactly right. By simply refusing to write such a recommendation letter based on a standard which some might consider to be discriminatory he opens himself up to that line of criticism - and legal recourse. I tend to side with those who think it is his right to do this, though I'll admit it does have one foot in the gray area. However, what is definitely his right is to say what he thinks in a recommendation letter. While tradition generally dictates that professors write "good" letters if they write anything at all, there's nothing requiring that. A professor isn't obligated to inform a student of his/her intent to write a nasty letter, though it would be unethical to write a dishonest nasty letter. However, writing a perfectly honest one, as Dwight suggests, would seem to shut the door on any criticisms. Or lawsuits.

Mobile Eschaton

Reader P.J. has set up a website with a stripped down version of the blog handy for your cell phones or other mobile devices. I've posted the link up and to the right, and he also has feeds for Cursor and The Horse here.

Ann Coulter - Vermicious Knid?

Click the link and tell me what you think...

Could be..

(thanks to sphinxy)

The Geek Lobby

Jeff Hauser discusses libertarians and their desire to use the coercive power of the state to take your hard earned money to satisfy their geeky fantasies.

For the record, I actually like the government supporting those geeky fantasies, but I'd also like the government to support a few more easily justified noble endeavours as well.
Well, apparently a lot of you went to check out the great clothes at Persephone and even put in a bunch of orders! Always nice to see businesses run by good liberals being supported.

Maybe I should start charging for that advertising thing...

UggaBugga Ugh

Quiddity Quack diagrams the Project for the New American Century.


(ugh directed at PNAC, not QQ)
WampumBlog tells us about the Ivory Coast.
Eric Alterman's book comes out Tuesday. You can buy it here.

You can read the first chapter at the website.

The First Casualty of the Iraq War

Apparently it's Andrew Sullivan's Book Club.

Thom Hartmann tells us more about voting machines and Chuck Hagel.

The Very Stylish Mary Rosh

Ms. Rosh makes the Style section. I thought the article bent over backwards to be fair to Lott.

And, Julian Sanchez tells us that US News will have another article soon.

Tom Spencer, Kieran Healy, Tim Lambert, and Mark Kleiman all have comments.

For those who think this is all about one survey, or an amusing tale of cross-dressing virtual onanism, now would be a good time to go read Tim Lambert's Lotts of Errors.

Stupid Intelligence

It isn't just the fact that they're lying, it's also that they're shifting resources to try and prove that the square peg really does go into the round hole instead of actually trying to track down real terrorists. Incompetent dangerous bastards.

At the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some investigators said they were baffled by the Bush administration's insistence on a solid link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network. "We've been looking at this hard for more than a year and you know what, we just don't think it's there," a government official said.

Three Jewish Guys go to Iowa

It's shaping up to be an almost all Jewish democratic primary! (well, sort of).


For years, US Senator John Forbes Kerry had sought to know the true story of his immigrant grandfather, Frederick A. Kerry, the patriarch who established the family in Boston and then mysteriously took his own life.

The senator searched phone books and the Internet and quizzed his cousins, but he was only able to learn fragments of family history.

The story, it turns out, began in a small town in the Czech Republic that once was part of the Austrian empire. Birth records there show that Frederick A. Kerry was born as Fritz Kohn to Jewish parents, according to a genealogy specialist hired by the Globe. Kohn changed his name to Kerry around 1902 and emigrated to the United States in 1905, eventually moving to Boston.


Raised a Southern Baptist by his mother in Little Rock — his father died when he was 4, and his mother remarried — Clark is the grandson of a Jew, Jacob Nemerovsky, who escaped from the pogroms of Czarist Russia in about 1894-95. He remembers his father, Benjamin Kanne, a lawyer who served in Chicago's Corporation Counsel, as "a happy man who loved life." Still, it wasn't until he was in his 20s that Clark learned that he descends from "generations of rabbis" from Minsk, as he told the Forward in a telephone interview. "We did a genealogy," he said. He keeps in touch with a large Jewish family dispersed from Georgia to California.

And, of course, Lieberman.

Don't forget Mrs. Howard Dean!