Sunday, November 20, 2005

HEY--Liberal Weenies--Heads-up!!!!!!

I am putting up a post that if any of my liberal weenie friends have the courage to read in its entirety (Take you meds for adult ADD) will for the first time have no reason to maintain anti-Bush, anti Conservative, pro Cindy Sheehan stance. At least they won't if they actually have any intellectual honesty.

The piece is sourced and footnoted. It is based on fact, without the hysterical bleating of the Main Stream Media's lens of conservative hate.

The only other thing I can say is that I wish I had written this.


December 2005

Who Is Lying About Iraq?

Norman Podhoretz

Among the many distortions, misrepresentations, and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral and/or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing so much as those animated cartoon characters who, after being flattened, blown up, or pushed over a cliff, always spring back to life with their bodies perfectly intact. Perhaps, like those cartoon characters, this allegation simply cannot be killed off, no matter what.

Nevertheless, I want to take one more shot at exposing it for the lie that it itself really is. Although doing so will require going over ground that I and many others have covered before, I hope that revisiting this well-trodden terrain may also serve to refresh memories that have grown dim, to clarify thoughts that have grown confused, and to revive outrage that has grown commensurately dulled.

The main “lie” that George W. Bush is accused of telling us is that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD as they have invariably come to be called. From this followed the subsidiary “lie” that Iraq under Saddam’s regime posed a two-edged mortal threat. On the one hand, we were informed, there was a distinct (or even “imminent”) possibility that Saddam himself would use these weapons against us and/or our allies; and on the other hand, there was the still more dangerous possibility that he would supply them to terrorists like those who had already attacked us on 9/11 and to whom he was linked.

This entire scenario of purported deceit has been given a new lease on life by the indictment in late October of I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby stands accused of making false statements to the FBI and of committing perjury in testifying before a grand jury that had been convened to find out who in the Bush administration had “outed” Valerie Plame, a CIA agent married to the retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, IV. The supposed purpose of leaking this classified information to the press was to retaliate against Wilson for having “debunked” (in his words) “the lies that led to war.”

Now, as it happens, Libby was not charged with having outed Plame but only with having lied about when and from whom he first learned that she worked for the CIA. Moreover, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor who brought the indictment against him, made a point of emphasizing that

[t]his indictment is not about the war. This indictment is not about the propriety of the war. And people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel.

This is simply an indictment that says, in a national-security investigation about the compromise of a CIA officer’s identity that may have taken place in the context of a very heated debate over the war, whether some person—a person, Mr. Libby—lied or not.

No matter. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, spoke for a host of other opponents of the war in insisting that

[t]his case is bigger than the leak of classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the President.

Yet even stipulating—which I do only for the sake of argument—that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion, it defies all reason to think that Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false. But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was “a slam dunk.” This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with “high confidence” was that

Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.

The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and—yes—France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix—who headed the UN team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past—lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:

The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.

Blix now claims that he was only being “cautious” here, but if, as he now also adds, the Bush administration “misled itself” in interpreting the evidence before it, he at the very least lent it a helping hand.

So, once again, did the British, the French, and the Germans, all of whom signed on in advance to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s reading of the satellite photos he presented to the UN in the period leading up to the invasion. Powell himself and his chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, now feel that this speech was the low point of his tenure as Secretary of State. But Wilkerson (in the process of a vicious attack on the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of Defense for getting us into Iraq) is forced to acknowledge that the Bush administration did not lack for company in interpreting the available evidence as it did:

I can’t tell you why the French, the Germans, the Brits, and us thought that most of the material, if not all of it, that we presented at the UN on 5 February 2003 was the truth. I can’t. I’ve wrestled with it. [But] when you see a satellite photograph of all the signs of the chemical-weapons ASP—Ammunition Supply Point—with chemical weapons, and you match all those signs with your matrix on what should show a chemical ASP, and they’re there, you have to conclude that it’s a chemical ASP, especially when you see the next satellite photograph which shows the UN inspectors wheeling in their white vehicles with black markings on them to that same ASP, and everything is changed, everything is clean. . . . But George [Tenet] was convinced, John McLaughlin [Tenet’s deputy] was convinced, that what we were presented [for Powell’s UN speech] was accurate.

Going on to shoot down a widespread impression, Wilkerson informs us that even the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) was convinced:

People say, well, INR dissented. That’s a bunch of bull. INR dissented that the nuclear program was up and running. That’s all INR dissented on. They were right there with the chems and the bios.

In explaining its dissent on Iraq’s nuclear program, the INR had, as stated in the NIE of 2002, expressed doubt about

Iraq’s efforts to acquire aluminum tubes [which are] central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear-weapons program. . . . INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors . . . in Iraq’s nuclear-weapons program.

But, according to Wilkerson,

The French came in in the middle of my deliberations at the CIA and said, we have just spun aluminum tubes, and by God, we did it to this RPM, et cetera, et cetera, and it was all, you know, proof positive that the aluminum tubes were not for mortar casings or artillery casings, they were for centrifuges. Otherwise, why would you have such exquisite instruments?

In short, and whether or not it included the secret heart of Hans Blix, “the consensus of the intelligence community,” as Wilkerson puts it, “was overwhelming” in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam definitely had an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and that he was also in all probability well on the way to rebuilding the nuclear capability that the Israelis had damaged by bombing the Osirak reactor in 1981.

Additional confirmation of this latter point comes from Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under Clinton. “In the late spring of 2002,” Pollack has written,

I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes).

No wonder, then, that another conclusion the NIE of 2002 reached with “high confidence” was that

Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material.1

But the consensus on which Bush relied was not born in his own administration. In fact, it was first fully formed in the Clinton administration. Here is Clinton himself, speaking in 1998:

If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

Here is his Secretary of State Madeline Albright, also speaking in 1998:

Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.

Here is Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Adviser, who chimed in at the same time with this flat-out assertion about Saddam:

He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.

Finally, Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, was so sure Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that he remained “absolutely convinced” of it even after our failure to find them in the wake of the invasion in March 2003.

Nor did leading Democrats in Congress entertain any doubts on this score. A few months after Clinton and his people made the statements I have just quoted, a group of Democratic Senators, including such liberals as Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urged the President

to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs.

Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

This Democratic drumbeat continued and even intensified when Bush succeeded Clinton in 2001, and it featured many who would later pretend to have been deceived by the Bush White House. In a letter to the new President, a number of Senators led by Bob Graham declared:

There is no doubt that . . . Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical, and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf war status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.

Senator Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Bush’s benefit what he had told Clinton some years earlier:

Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed, speaking in October 2002:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical- and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

Even more striking were the sentiments of Bush’s opponents in his two campaigns for the presidency. Thus Al Gore in September 2002:

We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.

And here is Gore again, in that same year:

Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.

Now to John Kerry, also speaking in 2002:

I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force—if necessary—to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.

Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Senators Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002:

Kennedy: We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.

Byrd: The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.2

Liberal politicians like these were seconded by the mainstream media, in whose columns a very different tune would later be sung. For example, throughout the last two years of the Clinton administration, editorials in the New York Times repeatedly insisted that

without further outside intervention, Iraq should be able to rebuild weapons and missile plants within a year [and] future military attacks may be required to diminish the arsenal again.

The Times was also skeptical of negotiations, pointing out that it was

hard to negotiate with a tyrant who has no intention of honoring his commitments and who sees nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as his country’s salvation.

So, too, the Washington Post, which greeted the inauguration of George W. Bush in January 2001 with the admonition that

[o]f all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous—or more urgent—than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade’s efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf [where] intelligence photos . . . show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons.3

All this should surely suffice to prove far beyond any even unreasonable doubt that Bush was telling what he believed to be the truth about Saddam’s stockpile of WMD. It also disposes of the fallback charge that Bush lied by exaggerating or hyping the intelligence presented to him. Why on earth would he have done so when the intelligence itself was so compelling that it convinced everyone who had direct access to it, and when hardly anyone in the world believed that Saddam had, as he claimed, complied with the sixteen resolutions of the Security Council demanding that he get rid of his weapons of mass destruction?

Another fallback charge is that Bush, operating mainly through Cheney, somehow forced the CIA into telling him what he wanted to hear. Yet in its report of 2004, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, while criticizing the CIA for relying on what in hindsight looked like weak or faulty intelligence, stated that it

did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq’s weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities.

The March 2005 report of the equally bipartisan Robb-Silberman commission, which investigated intelligence failures on Iraq, reached the same conclusion, finding

no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community’s pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs. . . . [A]nalysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments.

Still, even many who believed that Saddam did possess WMD, and was ruthless enough to use them, accused Bush of telling a different sort of lie by characterizing the risk as “imminent.” But this, too, is false: Bush consistently rejected imminence as a justification for war.4 Thus, in the State of the Union address he delivered only three months after 9/11, Bush declared that he would “not wait on events while dangers gather” and that he would “not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer.” Then, in a speech at West Point six months later, he reiterated the same point: “If we wait for threats to materialize, we will have waited too long.” And as if that were not clear enough, he went out of his way in his State of the Union address in 2003 (that is, three months before the invasion), to bring up the word “imminent” itself precisely in order to repudiate it:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

What of the related charge that it was still another “lie” to suggest, as Bush and his people did, that a connection could be traced between Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11? This charge was also rejected by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Contrary to how its findings were summarized in the mainstream media, the committee’s report explicitly concluded that al Qaeda did in fact have a cooperative, if informal, relationship with Iraqi agents working under Saddam. The report of the bipartisan 9/11 commission came to the same conclusion, as did a comparably independent British investigation conducted by Lord Butler, which pointed to “meetings . . . between senior Iraqi representatives and senior al-Qaeda operatives.”5

Which brings us to Joseph C. Wilson, IV and what to my mind wins the palm for the most disgraceful instance of all.

The story begins with the notorious sixteen words inserted—after, be it noted, much vetting by the CIA and the State Department—into Bush’s 2003 State of the Union address:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

This is the “lie” Wilson bragged of having “debunked” after being sent by the CIA to Niger in 2002 to check out the intelligence it had received to that effect. Wilson would later angrily deny that his wife had recommended him for this mission, and would do his best to spread the impression that choosing him had been the Vice President’s idea. But Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, through whom Wilson first planted this impression, was eventually forced to admit that “Cheney apparently didn’t know that Wilson had been dispatched.” (By the time Kristof grudgingly issued this retraction, Wilson himself, in characteristically shameless fashion, was denying that he had ever “said the Vice President sent me or ordered me sent.”) And as for his wife’s supposed non-role in his mission, here is what Valerie Plame Wilson wrote in a memo to her boss at the CIA:

My husband has good relations with the PM [the prime minister of Niger] and the former minister of mines . . . , both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.

More than a year after his return, with the help of Kristof, and also Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, and then through an op-ed piece in the Times under his own name, Wilson succeeded, probably beyond his wildest dreams, in setting off a political firestorm.

In response, the White House, no doubt hoping to prevent his allegation about the sixteen words from becoming a proxy for the charge that (in Wilson’s latest iteration of it) “lies and disinformation [were] used to justify the invasion of Iraq,” eventually acknowledged that the President’s statement “did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address.” As might have been expected, however, this panicky response served to make things worse rather than better. And yet it was totally unnecessary—for the maddeningly simple reason that every single one of the sixteen words at issue was true.

That is, British intelligence had assured the CIA that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy enriched uranium from the African country of Niger. Furthermore—and notwithstanding the endlessly repeated assertion that this assurance has now been discredited—Britain’s independent Butler commission concluded that it was “well-founded.” The relevant passage is worth quoting at length:

a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.

b. The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger’s exports, the intelligence was credible.

c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium, and the British government did not claim this.

As if that were not enough to settle the matter, Wilson himself, far from challenging the British report when he was “debriefed” on his return from Niger (although challenging it is what he now never stops doing6), actually strengthened the CIA’s belief in its accuracy. From the Senate Intelligence Committee report:

He [the CIA reports officer] said he judged that the most important fact in the report [by Wilson] was that Niger officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Niger prime minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium.

And again:

The report on [Wilson’s] trip to Niger . . . did not change any analysts’ assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal.

This passage goes on to note that the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research—which (as we have already seen) did not believe that Saddam Hussein was trying to develop nuclear weapons—found support in Wilson’s report for its “assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq.” But if so, this, as the Butler report quoted above points out, would not mean that Iraq had not tried to buy it—which was the only claim made by British intelligence and then by Bush in the famous sixteen words.

The liar here, then, was not Bush but Wilson. And Wilson also lied when he told the Washington Post that he had unmasked as forgeries certain documents given to American intelligence (by whom it is not yet clear) that supposedly contained additional evidence of Saddam’s efforts to buy uranium from Niger. The documents did indeed turn out to be forgeries; but, according to the Butler report,

[t]he forged documents were not available to the British government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine [that assessment].7

More damning yet to Wilson, the Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that he had never laid eyes on the documents in question:

[Wilson] also told committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article . . . which said, “among the envoy’s conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because ‘the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.’” Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the “dates were wrong and the names were wrong” when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports.

To top all this off, just as Cheney had nothing to do with the choice of Wilson for the mission to Niger, neither was it true that, as Wilson “confirmed” for a credulous New Republic reporter, “the CIA circulated [his] report to the Vice President’s office,” thereby supposedly proving that Cheney and his staff “knew the Niger story was a flatout lie.” Yet—the mind reels—if Cheney had actually been briefed on Wilson’s oral report to the CIA (which he was not), he would, like the CIA itself, have been more inclined to believe that Saddam had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

So much for the author of the best-selling and much acclaimed book whose title alone—The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity—has set a new record for chutzpah.

But there is worse. In his press conference on the indictment against Libby, Patrick Fitzgerald insisted that lying to federal investigators is a serious crime both because it is itself against the law and because, by sending them on endless wild-goose chases, it constitutes the even more serious crime of obstruction of justice. By those standards, Wilson—who has repeatedly made false statements about every aspect of his mission to Niger, including whose idea it was to send him and what he told the CIA upon his return; who was then shown up by the Senate Intelligence Committee as having lied about the forged documents; and whose mendacity has sent the whole country into a wild-goose chase after allegations that, the more they are refuted, the more they keep being repeated—is himself an excellent candidate for criminal prosecution.

And so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq—the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy—have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation, and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.

—November 7, 2005

NORMAN PODHORETZ is the editor-at-large of COMMENTARY and the author of ten books. The most recent, The Norman Podhoretz Reader, edited by Thomas L. Jeffers, appeared in 2004. His essays on the Bush Doctrine and Iraq, including “World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win” (September 2004) and “The War Against World War IV” (February 2005), can be found by clicking here.

1 Hard as it is to believe, let alone to reconcile with his general position, Joseph C. Wilson, IV, in a speech he delivered three months after the invasion at the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, offhandedly made the following remark: “I remain of the view that we will find biological and chemical weapons and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam’s regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons.”

2 Fuller versions of these and similar statements can be found at Another source is

3 These and numerous other such quotations were assembled by Robert Kagan in a piece published in the Washington Post on October 25, 2005.

4 Whereas both John Edwards, later to become John Kerry’s running mate in 2004, and Jay Rockefeller, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, actually did use the word in describing the threat posed by Saddam.

5 In early November, the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who last year gave their unanimous assent to its report, were suddenly mounting a last-ditch effort to take it back on this issue (and others). But to judge from the material they had already begun leaking by November 7, when this article was going to press, the newest “Bush lied” case is as empty and dishonest as the one they themselves previously rejected.

6 Here is how he put it in a piece in the Los Angeles Times written in late October of this year to celebrate the indictment of Libby: “I knew that the statement in Bush’s speech . . . was not true. I knew it was false from my own investigative trip to Africa. . . . And I knew that the White House knew it.”

7 More extensive citations of the relevant passages from the Butler report can be found in postings by Daniel McKivergan at I have also drawn throughout on materials cited by the invaluable Stephen F. Hayes in the Weekly Standard.

Friday, November 18, 2005



Democrat Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania took to the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday to call for an immediate pullout of American troops from Iraq. I'm told that Muslims don't drink. Perhaps so, but I'm betting that they were more than willing to throw down a cool one when this Democrat stood up in the U.S. Capitol to plead their case. Murtha was actually calling for the very thing that these Islamic radicals have been trying to accomplish with their campaign of terror against Iraqi citizens and coalition troops.

Somewhere in Iraq yesterday the word of Murtha's cut-and-run strategy reached the home of an Iraqi who had, up to now anyway, been supporting the new freely-elected government of Iraq. As soon as he heard this American lawmaker talk about an immediate pullout this Iraqi started rethinking his options. Perhaps, he thought, it might be better to show some support and allegiance to the insurgency. After all, if the Americans suddenly leave the insurgency will have control of the Iraqi government in no time at all. It would be better to be alive under the insurgency than to die for supporting the new Iraqi government.

Elsewhere in Iraq an American serviceman from Pennsylvania couldn't believe what he had heard. He has seen first-hand the successes of the American armed forces in Iraq. He has personally felt the warmth of the Iraqi people who have shown their appreciation for the efforts of the Americans and their coalition partners. He has seen Iraqis with running water who have never had running water before, Iraqi children going to schools that didn't exist under Saddam. He knows what has been accomplished, and now he hears about this Democrat calling for him and his fellow soldiers to leave --- not when the job is finished, but right now.

And .... somewhere in Iraq, and in Syria, and in Iran, and in Jordan, and in Saudi Arabia, Murtha's words reached the ears of the Islamic terrorists themselves. Last week Democrats were calling for a timetable. This week they have Democrats calling for an immediate withdrawal. They view this as nothing short than an immense victory. They know what they must now do. They must step up the campaign. Strap bombs on more suicide bombers, plant more roadside devices. They have their hated non-believer enemy on the run. Today there's one member of congress calling for an immediate surrender. Kill a few more Americans and tomorrow maybe there will be two. Murder a Mosque full of Iraqis and more will turn against their new government. Kill a few school teachers and school children and more Iraqi children will shun the schools newly built by Americans. The infidels are collapsing. They're growing weak. Their resolve is dissolving. Keep up the pressure --- step up the pressure --- and soon Iraq will be theirs! Not only will Iraq be theirs, but the Arab people will once again have a stark reminder that the Americans cannot be trusted to keep their word, to carry out their goals. Once again the Americans will have left tens of thousands of Iraqis to die at the hands of the Islamic terrorists.

Why didn't Murtha take this one step further? Why didn't he ask for us to restore Saddam's presidential palaces and put him back in power before we run?

Tell me. Is Murtha a French name?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

From a pissed off Frog

Liberals Are Unpatriotic

Oh yeah, you read that correctly. All you liberals out there that would rather score political points against the President and Vice President than win this war hate your country. Willfully LYING about how the US came to be in Iraq is not dissent; it is sabotage of our national security. Dissenting IN GOOD FAITH is patriotic. All Americans are duty bound to speak up against the actions of our countrymen when we feel they are acting in error. But repeating lies every day to get back at the President that beat you doesn't make them true; it makes you a traitor to this country and disloyal to the troops who are on this day protecting you.

If by legitimate dissent liberals could have convinced the American people and by extension their elected representatives that they were correct by substantially refuting Saddam’s possession and prior use of WMDs, his connections to terrorism including Al Qaeda, and his genocidal behavior toward his own Shia population, then we would not have gone to war. Liberals were not able to achieve this because Saddam was an evil dictator who actively and openly supported terrorism and had verifiably massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent people many by using chemical weapons. Those facts are not in dispute and never have been.

Liberals now claim that the White House essentially “cherry picked” intelligence favorable to the case for war and ignored data that argued against it. As “evidence” of that contention, Democratic Senator Carl Levin presented a declassified DIA report of a debrief of captured AQ terrorist Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi who told interrogators that Iraq was training AQ members in making bombs, poisons, and gases. This report was used by the President in a speech in Cincinnati given in October of 2002 to bolster his case that Iraq was a threat to the United States. The DIA report from February 2002 stated that al-Libi “was intentionally misleading the debriefers’’ in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda’s work with illicit weapons. Furthermore, al-Libi fully recanted his statements regarding Iraq and AQ in January of 2004 prompting the CIA to completely negate any information received by him. It is on this statement that the liberal Democrats are making their case against the President for deliberately ignoring contravening information. Sounds bad, huh? Well, unfortunately for you lying scumbags who are trying to turn Iraq into another demoralizing defeat for the US, the Director of the CIA, Clinton appointee, and Medal of Freedom recipient George Tenet stated in OPEN SESSION of the Senate Intelligence Committee that,
“[Iraq] has also provided training in poisons and gases to two al Qaeda associates. One of these associates characterized the relationship he forged with Iraqi officials as successful…” on FEBRUARY 11, 2003!
This took me, a knuckle dragging enlisted frogman, all of 30 seconds to find on Google, so I know Carl Levin’s staff saw it.

The National Intelligence Estimate is the amalgamation of the intel gathered by all branches of US Intelligence Community to include reports from allied intelligence services. It collates vast amounts of data into a consensus view of the given threat situation weighing divergent opinions according to their reliability at the time. A famous element of the 2002 NIE was the opinion of the State Department’s Intelligence and Research (INR) that aluminum tubes known to be in Iraq’s possession were not intended for use in gas centrifuges to enrich uranium as the CIA believed. That and Joe Wilson’s excellent adventure to Niger ought to nail the coffin shut on Iraq, uranium, and their illegal nuclear program right? Wrong. It seems that we just found 1.77 METRIC TONS of enriched uranium and “1,000 ‘highly radioactive sources’ were also removed” in Iraq but I had to link to a BBC report because the American media isn’t interested. So there’s a famous dissenting view that turned out to be DEAD WRONG.

You tell me who’s cherry picking. The State Department concluded that Saddam had no nuclear program and were rebuffed by the preponderance of evidence to the contrary in the 2002 NIE. So Levin and Senate liberals pick out a minority report by the DIA and essentially charge the President with what could be considered treason for having concealed it from the Congress. The fact that the Director of the CIA was still publicly using that information two months before the onset of hostilities in Iraq means that the preponderance of the evidence concluded that Iraq was in fact training AQ in bombs, poisons, and gases.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report from July 2004 categorically dismissed any claims that the White House had “manipulated” intelligence data in any way to build support for the Iraq War by suppressing dissenting views of Saddam’s WMD capabilities. The Committee found NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that intelligence officials were coerced into withholding intelligence exonerating Saddam Hussein from Congress. The fact is that very few Senators or Congressmen even bothered to have the CIA brief them on exactly what was known about Saddam’s WMD programs. It seems that 12 UN Resolutions, a Clinton bombing campaign in 1998, and the fact that Saddam failed to cooperate with weapons inspectors all the way up until the war began was enough for many prominent liberal Senators to make dozens of Senate floor speeches advocating the invasion of Iraq.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Co-Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee said the following on October 10, 2002 on the floor of the US Senate,
“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
“I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!”
President Bush never even said that Iraq posed an “imminent threat”. Hillary, Kennedy, Kerry and dozens of other liberals made similar statements in the run up to the war, but Senator Rockefeller is the one man who cannot make any excuses for having not received the most comprehensive intelligence reports. In fact, he probably spent more time with the intelligence an analysts preparing these reports than the President since his only job in Congress was to act as the ranking minority member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Many of my readers might remember Senator Rockefeller’s memo from November 2003 detailing the Democrat’s strategy for manipulating intelligence through disingenuous investigations targeting the President during his re-election campaign. Rockefeller stated that Democrats should,
“Prepare to launch an independent investigation when it becomes clear we have exhausted the opportunity to usefully collaborate with the majority. We can pull the trigger on an independent investigation of the administration's use of intelligence at any time. But we can only do so once.”
That trigger was pulled prior to the 2004 Election and the weapon misfired, so now the liberals have reloaded and are pulling it again.

I relate all of these facts to say one thing. While the garden variety liberal moonbat hanging on every word coming out of Cindy Sheehan’s piehole may not know that these charges of manipulation intelligence are false, liberals in the Senate are knowingly LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE every day. They are lying to gain an electoral advantage at the expense of the War on Terror and our troops. Paris is burning, Jordan, Britain, Spain, Turkey, Bali, Indonesia have been recently bombed, and the Aussies just rolled up a massive plot by AQ. The stakes in the War on Terror could not be higher and yet the Democrats shamelessly lie every day so that they can destroy the President of the United States. That is UNPATRIOTIC, and those who engage in this scheme are traitors of the lowest form. If you are a liberal reading this post and you followed all of those links and read that material, you now know. If you persist in this campaign of lies, you are UNPATRIOTIC, a TRAITOR, and SCUMBAG as well.

Friday, November 11, 2005


On the heels of the "White House -- CIA leak" investigation, which concluded that no laws were broken (but charged one administration staffer with perjury), liberals are attempting to parlay that non-starter into a much bigger political brawl. Their charges have no substance, and are completely contrived to keep Republicans off balance through next year's midterm elections.

Sens. Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin have accused President George Bush of lying about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, insisting he "lied us into war." They are even floating the suggestion that he be impeached.

Here are their accusations:

"The Bush administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America should never have fought." --Ted Kennedy

"We all know the Vice President's office was the nerve center of an operation designed to sell the war and discredit those who challenged it. ... The manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq...the Vice President is behind that." --Harry Reid

"I seconded the motion Sen. Harry Reid made last week. Republicans in Congress have refused, despite repeated promises, to investigate the Bush administration's misuse of pre-war intelligence, so Senate Democrats are standing up and demanding the truth." -- Dick Durbin, who recently compared U.S. troops to the Nazis and Pol Pot.

Naturally, the Democrat's media lemmings are reporting these charges as de facto truth, but there is considerable evidence that these Demo-gogues and their colleagues believed Iraq had WMD long before President George Bush came to Washington. Here is a small sample of that evidence from the Clinton years:

Bill Clinton: "If Saddam rejects peace, and we have to use force, our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."

Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State: "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."

Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Advisor and Classified Document Thief: "[Saddam will] use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has ten times since 1983."

Harry Reid: "The problem is not nuclear testing; it is nuclear weapons. ... The number of Third World countries with nuclear capabilities seems to grow daily. Saddam Hussein's near success with developing a nuclear weapon should be an eye-opener for us all."

Dick Durbin: "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that...Iraq...may acquire or develop nuclear weapons."

John Kerry: "If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me."

John Edwards: "Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, it's just that simple. The whole world changes if Saddam ever has nuclear weapons."

Nancy Pelosi: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons-inspection process."

Sens. Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski, Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry in a letter to Bill Clinton: "We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

After President Bush was sworn into office in 2001, his administration was handed eight years worth of intelligence analysis and policy positions from the Clinton years -- you know, the years of appeasement when Saddam was tolerated, when opportunities to take out Osama bin Ladin were ignored, as was the presence of an al-Qa'ida terrorist cell in the U.S. -- which reared its head on 9/11.

In the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq, Democrats, who had access to the same intelligence used by the Bush administration (much of which was compiled under the Clinton administration), were clear about the threat of Iraq's WMD capability.

Ted Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

John Kerry: "I will be voting to give the president of the U.S. the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security. ... Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein."

Hillary Clinton: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock. His missile-delivery capability, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including al-Qa'ida members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

Carl Levin: "We begin with a common belief that Saddam building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."

Al Gore: "We know that he has stored nuclear supplies, secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."

Bob Graham: "We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has and has had for a number of years a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."

For the record: Here's a partial list of what didn't make it out of Iraq before the OIF invasion: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium, 1,700 gallons of chemical-weapon agents, chemical warheads containing the nerve agent cyclosarin, radioactive materials in powdered form designed for dispersal over population centers, artillery projectiles loaded with binary chemical agents, etc. Assuming Irag had no WMD because only small caches were recovered after Operation Iraqi Freedom began is perilously flawed logic. That, in no way, affirms what he spirited out through Iran and Syria before OIF.

So, ask Ted, Dick and Harry, what is their real agenda?

One might fairly conclude that they are willing to reduce U.S. national security to political fodder by accusing the President of the United States of "lying." Problem is, the President had no political motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom -- only a legitimate desire to fulfill the highest obligation of his office -- to defend our liberty against all threats.

Ted, Dick and Harry, on the other hand, have plenty of political motivation for their most recent antics -- and all of America should look upon these disgraceful Demo-gogues, and anyone who supports this dangerous folly, as traitorous louts.

On Veterans Day, President Bush noted: "Today our nation pays tribute to our veterans -- 25 million vets.... At this hour, a new generation of Americans is defending our flag and our freedom in the first war of this century. This war came to our shores on the morning of September 11, 2001. ... We know that they want to strike again and our nation has made a clear choice. We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire or rest until the War on Terror is won. ... [I]t is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. ... We will never back down. We will never give in. We will never accept anything less than complete victory."

"Deeply irresponsible"? He is too kind.

Thursday, November 10, 2005



For months and months we have heard how outrageous it was that somebody in the Bush administration leaked Valerie Plame's name to the media. A special prosecutor was appointed...and no crime was found to have been committed regarding the "outing" of Plame. All indications are that her identity was an open secret, and even her husband was running around telling people she worked for the CIA. But since the imagined "scandal" involves a Republican president, we will never hear the end of it.

So it is with a bit of hypocrisy that we see the Democrats jump up and down about the national security implications of the leaking of Plame's name....but when it comes to somebody leaking the existence of secret CIA prisons...well, they don't care about that as much. The CIA has started an investigation into who leaked the information about the prisons to the Washington Post. One could assume there are covert operatives working in those prisons at some point....having their locations outed would put them in danger.

Not that anyone on the left cares. They're more concerned with debating the existence of the prisons themselves. Suddenly their outrage about leaking classified information has disappeared. What happened? Liberals only care about national security when it serves their political purposes. As outraged as the left was over the leaking of the name of one pencil-pusher at the CIA, they just can't seem to work up an ounce of indignation over the outing of an entire operation abroad.

And what if it is found that a Democrat leaked the information to the Washington Post about the prisons? Will Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi take to the floor of the House and the Senate and demand they be fired? I wouldn't hold my breath, though I would like for them to hold theirs.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to the White House and demanded that President Bush promise not to pardon Scooter Libby. He then made the most ridiculous statement that shows either a.) he has no grasp of the facts in the Plame investigation or b.) he is capitalizing on the general public's ignorance and he knows the media won't call him on it. Here's what he said:

"We're demanding President Bush make a commitment to the American people that he will not pardon Scooter Libby, who was involved in this mess, nor will he pardon anyone involved in this mess. Unless a pardon is ruled out by President Bush, the American people will certainly not learn the truth." What?

Not learn the truth about what? Does he not know that Fitzgerald found no evidence that a crime was committed regarding the outing of Valerie Plame? The truth has been learned, Senator Reid. Of course, he knows that. Furthermore, it is an outrageous request that they never made of Bill Clinton.

Where was the letter to Clinton asking him not to pardon his cronies? What about his last-minute pardon of Henry Cisneros...his former HUD secretary convicted of lying to the feds? They seem to have forgotten about that one. Well ... they haven't actually forgotten, but their hatred of George Bush overpowers all other emotions, including love of country and concern over the threat of Islamic terrorism.

ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE----Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigghhhttttttttttttt.

The people who shot those school children in the back in Chechnya were ... Muslims.

The people who cut off the heads of those Christian school girls in Indonesia were ... Muslims.

The sniper who terrorized the Washington beltway area a few years ago was a .... Muslim.

The people who flew those jets into the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon were ... Muslims.

The people who invaded those American-built schools in Baghdad and killed the teachers were ... Muslims.

The so-called "pirates" who attacked that Miami-based cruise ship off the coast of Africa were ... Muslims.

The people who are rioting in Paris, shooting at police and paramedics, are ... Muslims.

The people who are rioting and burning cars in Germany are ... Muslims.

One of the first things you should do if you want to stay alive and healthy is to identify the people out there who want you dead. Pay attention.

It is now being reported that the three bombs that went off earlier today in Jordanian hotels were detonated by suicide bombers. The confirmed death toll is at least 67. (See Power Line News.) The photo below was taken at a wedding reception at the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman, just moments before one of the mass murderers set off his bomb.

The fathers of both bride and groom, at the far left and right, were murdered. The bride and groom were both wounded, but, thankfully, survived. The groom, Ashraf Mohamed al-Akhras, said from his hospital bed:

I lost my father and my father-in-law and I saw many other dead. This is a horrible crime. The world has to know this has nothing to do with Islam.

I understand his sentiment, but the fact is that this mass murder, like all the others committed by al Qaeda and like-minded groups, has everything to do with Islam. It is up to sane Muslims everywhere to reclaim their religion from the sadists and fanatics.


What a difference a year makes, eh Mary Mapes?

Just think…a year ago you were a big shot producer at the “Tiffany Network” of CBS. You had gofers at your beck and call. A nice, fat, expense account. A couple of awards under your belt. The fawning admiration of your colleagues. Dan Rather even said hello to you in the CBS cafeteria.

Now, you’re a wreck:

I was extremely battered,” she said in an interview yesterday. “I’d had months and months of having my head kicked around a soccer stadium by much of the Western world. I needed some time to regroup.”

Just goes to show that the more elevated your own opinion of yourself, the farther you fall when you blow it. And Mary, let’s face it; you screwed the pooch big time.

But don’t worry. It appears you are landing on your feet, as your ilk usually does. And what better parachute to hang on to than a chatty, tell-all book in which everyone is accused of being against you, or undermining you, or trying to destroy you. It makes for great copy if not very accurate story telling. But hey! At this point, who’s keeping track?

“I’m a human being; I do things wrong from the first breath I take in the morning,” Mapes said. “I don’t in any way feel I am without responsibility in this. . . . I probably shouldn’t have been as pliable or as malleable as I was” when her bosses were finalizing the story. “This is a huge shortcoming. I didn’t know how to say no. . . . I was trying very hard to please them.”

There, there, little one. You also seem to have trouble saying “no” to partisanship. Remember that call to Kerry campaign mouthpiece Joe Lockhart offering to put serial liar and mentally disturbed Bill Burkett in touch with the Kerry campaign? Of course, that was just in furtherance of the story, right? It had nothing to do with trying to get the opposition party to help you smear the President of the United States in a time of war. After all, you’re just a victim of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

“Truth and Duty” unloads on Rove, the White House senior adviser, calling him “the mastermind of the Republican attack against the story.” Asked about this, Mapes said Rove was “an inspirational figure” for the critics. “I’m not saying I had any proof at all” of his involvement.

I am continually fascinated with the left’s fear of Karl Rove. It reminds me of the way the Union Army looked upon Robert E. Lee during the civil war. Prior to the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864, Union Generals were fretting that Lee would slip around their flank as he had on numerous occasions. The usually phlegmatic Ulysses S. Grant exploded upon hearing this saying “Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time.” This is the way the left sees Rove – as some kind of magic man who can not only cast a spell to bewitch the American people but also call upon his minions to do his evil bidding. I wonder if Captain Ed, the Powerline boys, Charles Johnson, and Michelle Malkin – the biggest conservative bloggers – laugh out loud when they read that they’re in Rove’s pocket and can be activated whenever The Evil One feels the need.

It takes a special kind of stupidity to believe that you are right when everyone else on the planet says you’re wrong:

She is disdainful of Moonves, the CBS president who ordered the outside investigation. “He doesn’t know journalism from dirt farming,” Mapes said. In the book, noting that Moonves courted and then married “Early Show” anchor Julie Chen, she writes: “I used to say everything Les knows about journalism had been sexually transmitted. Now I know even that hasn’t taught him much.”

She says Viacom, CBS’s corporate parent, threw her overboard because Chief Executive Sumner Redstone feared regulatory retaliation by the Bush administration.

There’s a clinical term for that kind of fantasy; paranoid delusion. There is not one shred of evidence that the Bush White House has ever even contemplated using the FCC to “intimidate” networks. In order to posit that notion, you’ve got to make it up out of whole cloth; something Mary Mapes is an expert at doing.

She’s also an expert at the put down:

Mapes is dismissive of Marian Carr Knox, the 86-year-old former secretary to Bush’s late squadron commander, who told Rather she believed the memos were fake but the substance of the documents was true. Mapes called her “maddening” and “a quite self-righteous typist.”

Being an expert in “self-righteous,” I can see where Mary Mapes would recognize that personality trait – especially in an 86-year old woman who by all reports knew a helluva lot more about the authenticity of those memos than you did.

But that still doesn’t answer the question of “why?” Why go after a story that’s 30 years old?

“Bush didn’t keep his promise to the country,” Mapes writes. “He swore he would fly military jets until May 1974 . . . .”

No Mary, he swore to serve the country until May of 1974 , something he did honorably which is more than can be said about you . The last time I looked, the oath taken upon entering military service does not specify anything like “I will faithfully drive a tank” or “I will gladly work as a PR flack” or even “I will command a swift boat for a couple of months and then carry on with traitorous anti-war activities while still in uniform.”

And what about us, your favorite people, the bloggers?

Perhaps her greatest fury is reserved for the “vicious” bloggers who pounced on the “60 Minutes II” report within hours—and who she believes provided the map that major news organizations, including The Washington Post, essentially followed.

“I was attacked, Dan was attacked, CBS was attacked 24 hours a day by people who hid behind screen names,” Mapes said. “I may be a flawed journalist, but I put my name on things.” Some of the key bloggers, however, posted criticism under their own names.

Okay, let me get this straight. The “map” supplied by bloggers to newspapers like the Washington Post contained information vetted by thousands of individuals with more expertise than any of the “experts” you retained to authenticate those memos (whose judgment you ignored anyway) and you have the unmitigated gall to say that bloggers were “attacking” you? Could it be because you were standing by a bogus story that you had cooked up for partisan political purposes?

The story of Mary Mapes is classic tragedy. There are two elements that mark the difference between tragedy and melodrama. The first is the main character’s “tragic flaw” which is usually one of the seven deadly sins. In Mapes case, you can take your pick; pride, envy, or anger will do. But it is the second element in tragedy that is the most difficult to achieve for both the playwright and the actor playing the tragic character. And that is the character’s cluelessness regarding why they are suffering this downfall. Look at the great tragic characters in literature and you will see that they go to their deaths without any idea of why their world collapsed around them. In that respect, their sin is always the sin of overweening pride and ambition.

Reaching for the brass ring carries with it the danger that eventually, you’ll fall of the horse. Mape’s fall may have been written in the stars long ago when she ceased being any kind of an impartial journalist and decided to become an advocate. It may have been emotionally satisfying for her to see herself on top of the battlements waving a bloody shirt. But in the end, her belief in her own moral superiority was her achilles heel. How can anyone so good she might have asked herself, be wrong?

The fault, dear Mary, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.

Dear Yasser,

Publicly, I'm condemning the blasts in Amman.

Privately, I'm thankful for them.

That means I can cancel my trip there and spend more time with you on the anniversary of your death.

I hear that meadows upon meadowns of flowers have been laid bare to make the garlands and wreaths that shall be heaped upon your tomb.

A fine, fitting place for the flowers to spend their final days than stealing nutrients from the soil and occupying land that should be used for launching rockets and building training camps.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Joe Wilson is still a Fat Lying Weasel

Within the journalistic trade, only Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard and Clifford May at National Review Online have devoted significant attention to this story. The story has received extraordinarily little attention from the bigfoot journalists of the mainstream media, who have by and large contented themselves with peddling the canard that the Bush administration was out to "punish" Wilson by "outing" his wife.

Today's Wall Street Journal provides yet another instance of a journalistic outsider -- Washington attorney Victoria Toensing -- pursuing the relevant facts in the underlying story: "Investigate the CIA" (subscription may be necessary for access to this column). Ms. Toensing puts me in mind of the little boy who pointed out that the emperor wore no clothes. Toensing outlines the facts hiding in plain sight that point to the real scandal the lamestream media have declined to cover or pursue:

• First: The CIA sent her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, to Niger on a sensitive mission regarding WMD. He was to determine whether Iraq had attempted to purchase yellowcake, an essential ingredient for nonconventional weapons. However, it was Ms. Plame, not Mr. Wilson, who was the WMD expert. Moreover, Mr. Wilson had no intelligence background, was never a senior person in Niger when he was in the State Department, and was opposed to the administration's Iraq policy. The assignment was given, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee, at Ms. Plame's suggestion.

• Second: Mr. Wilson was not required to sign a confidentiality agreement, a mandatory act for the rest of us who either carry out any similar CIA assignment or who represent CIA clients.

• Third: When he returned from Niger, Mr. Wilson was not required to write a report, but rather merely to provide an oral briefing. That information was not sent to the White House. If this mission to Niger were so important, wouldn't a competent intelligence agency want a thoughtful written assessment from the "missionary," if for no other reason than to establish a record to refute any subsequent misrepresentation of that assessment? Because it was the vice president who initially inquired about Niger and the yellowcake (although he had nothing to do with Mr. Wilson being sent), it is curious that neither his office nor the president's were privy to the fruits of Mr. Wilson's oral report.

• Fourth: Although Mr. Wilson did not have to write even one word for the agency that sent him on the mission at taxpayer's expense, over a year later he was permitted to tell all about this sensitive assignment in the New York Times. For the rest of us, writing about such an assignment would mean we'd have to bring our proposed op-ed before the CIA's Prepublication Review Board and spend countless hours arguing over every word to be published. Congressional oversight committees should want to know who at the CIA permitted the publication of the article, which, it has been reported, did not jibe with the thrust of Mr. Wilson's oral briefing. For starters, if the piece had been properly vetted at the CIA, someone should have known that the agency never briefed the vice president on the trip, as claimed by Mr. Wilson in his op-ed.

• Fifth: More important than the inaccuracies is the fact that, if the CIA truly, truly, truly had wanted Ms. Plame's identity to be secret, it never would have permitted her spouse to write the op-ed. Did no one at Langley think that her identity could be compromised if her spouse wrote a piece discussing a foreign mission about a volatile political issue that focused on her expertise? The obvious question a sophisticated journalist such as Mr. Novak asked after "Why did the CIA send Wilson?" was "Who is Wilson?" After being told by a still-unnamed administration source that Mr. Wilson's "wife" suggested him for the assignment, Mr. Novak went to Who's Who, which reveals "Valerie Plame" as Mr. Wilson's spouse.

• Sixth: CIA incompetence did not end there. When Mr. Novak called the agency to verify Ms. Plame's employment, it not only did so, but failed to go beyond the perfunctory request not to publish. Every experienced Washington journalist knows that when the CIA really does not want something public, there are serious requests from the top, usually the director. Only the press office talked to Mr. Novak.

• Seventh: Although high-ranking Justice Department officials are prohibited from political activity, the CIA had no problem permitting its deep cover or classified employee from making political contributions under the name "Wilson, Valerie E.," information publicly available at the FEC.
Toensing concludes:
The CIA conduct in this matter is either a brilliant covert action against the White House or inept intelligence tradecraft. It is up to Congress to decide which.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Boortz on target


There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the last week or so over the reports from major oil companies of increased profits. These reports have given many Americans the opportunity to exhibit their total ignorance when it comes to matters economic. For this we can thank our wonderful government schools, where basic education in economics is, for all practical purposes, non-existent.

October survey shows that 72% have an unfavorable opinion of oil companies. In the Sunday "Vent" in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution several of Atlanta's more poorly educated citizens chimed in with their thoughts on oil companies and their profits:

"When do the oil company profits for the quarter become proof of price gouging?"

"Oil company profits show we have been hosed."

Oil company profits can not in and of themselves be proof of price gouging, neither can they be proof that we've been "hosed." Once again the "Vent" serves as a platform from which people can demonstrate their ignorance.

Now .. just what have we read about oil company earnings. Generally, we've read that oil company profits are up. This, if you read the public opinion polls, is evidence of evil. How dare the oil companies allow their profits to go up? Now .. a little test. Ask someone in your office, school ... whatever ... what the difference is between profits and profit margins. See if they can come up with an answer. Simply put, your profits are the money that's left over from gross revenues after you pay the costs of doing business. Profit margins are the percentage of gross revenues that are left over after you pay those costs. I would bet you five bucks against a stale donut that 95% of seniors in our illustrious government high schools couldn't tell you the difference between the two ... and it will be those 95% who are screaming bloody murder about oil company profits.

Now ... for those of you who went to government schools, let's expand on the explanation. Let's say that the total gross revenues for a company for one year equal $1,000,000. That's a million bucks. This company spends $930,000 to bring in that million. The difference between the one million and the $930,000 is $70,000. That's your profit. Divide the $70,000 by the one million and you get 0.07, or 7%. That's your profit margin. Now let's say that the very next year the company sells twice as much product the second year and brings in two million bucks. Let's also say that the cost of making those products doubles as well .. to $1,860,000. How much money did you have left over? Those of you who went to government schools get out your calculators .. the rest of you can figure it out in your head. You have $140,000 left over. That's your profit.

Wait! Your profits have doubled! How dare you? What are you doing, price gouging? These are excess profits -- windfall profits -- and the government ought to step in immediately and take them away from you, you greedy capitalist pig!

Hold on ... before we get carried away with our little price gouging rant here, let's grab those calculators again. Divide the $140,000 in profits by the $2,000,000 in gross receipts and what do we have? Why, it seems the answer is once again 0.07, or 7%! The profits have doubled, but the profit margin remains exactly the same!

The problem here is that, thanks to the hideous education the vast majority of Americans have received at the hands of the government, few people know the difference between a profit and a profit margin. Whey they read that oil company profits have gone up they have no educational basis upon which to balance the fact that oil company revenues have also gone up ... thanks to the increase in the price of crude oil. Revenues go up. Profits go up. It's not really that hard to understand.

Now, as I've said, that explanation is rather simplistic. The tragedy is that most Americans don't understand the concept of profits and profit margins even at that basic level. Someone will now come along and point out that the oil company profit margins have been rising along with the profits themselves. They're right. You see, costs don't necessarily double when revenues do. There are some costs that remain fixed even when the prices for raw materials (crude oil) increase. This will mean that profit margins will also increase, though not anywhere near as much as profits themselves. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Hardly. Just where do you think the energy companies, including the oil companies, get the money they need to explore for new sources of oil, to build new refineries, and to conduct research on additional or alternate energy sources? That money comes from profits. If profits increase due to high demand met by a scarcity of product the oil companies will be in a position to use increased profits to expand production and to search for new sources of oil. If the government seizes these profits, as suggested by Hillary Clinton, then those dollars would not be available for energy company investments into expanding our energy resources.

Hillary's brilliant idea of seizing profits does not come as a surprise to many. After all, Hillary was identified by her college professors as a budding young socialist many years before she achieved fame as Bill's "wife." Hillary's idea is for the oil companies to hand over about $20 billion a year to the government to be used for "research" and to subsidize consumers. The subsidies, of course, would become just another government entitlement that Democratic politicians would use to buy votes. The research? Well, sad to say there are actually people out there who think that the government can do a better job conducting research to insure our future energy needs than can the private sector. The impact of state education is widely felt.

Let's explore Hillary's profit-seizure idea a bit more. Another source of funds for oil companies to use for exploration and the development of additional energy resources would be the money that comes from investors. These investors purchase shares of stock in oil companies because they believe that their investments will appreciate in value and, in some cases, will pay dividends. If the government bows to the paranoia and anti-capitalist ignorance of the state-educated masses and seizes those profits, what then will be the reason to invest in these oil companies?

Look. I'm not trying to hammer the government schools here; but the more I think about it the more I'm convinced that so many of the problems that we face today as a nation are the direct or indirect result of the abysmally poor education most Americans get from their state-operated schools. It's clear that vast numbers of Americans have scant knowledge of the role of prices in the allocation of resources by the marketplace, and the relationship of profits to those prices. Politicians, like Hillary Clinton, exploit that ignorance to enhance their personal political power at the expense of our economic liberty.