Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Kerry Campaign Attacks NASA

The Kerry campaign has attacked NASA after the release of embarrassing photos of John Kerry in a "clean-suit" were released to the media. Mary Beth Cahill, John Kerry's campaign manager asserted that the release of the photos was a "smear campaign" against the Democratic candidate. She made the allegations in an interview with Fox News, and Drudge has posted the transcript.

The picture is embarrassing and is being compared to the Michael Dukakis flub in which he donned a helmet and rode around in a tank. The comparison should be made, and is just another in a series of embarrassing moments this week for Kerry. It will be interesting to see if Kerry gets the expected bounce from the convention after a week of missteps.

The Democratic Party Then and Now

In his speech at the Democratic National Convention, Ted Kennedy provided an incredibly useful soundbite in comparing the Democratic Party of our grandparents to the modern Democratic Party. In his speech he re-worded the memorable statement of Franklin D. Roosevelt, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself", into "The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George W. Bush".

That is a good summary of the modern Democratic Party. They are unable to see the real threats, the real evil that America faces in the form of Islamofacist terror, and instead have convinced themselves that the true enemy of America is George W. Bush. They can provide no words of comfort to America as FDR did so famously many years ago. They can only provide hate and fear, as their desire to retake the reigns of power in this country have driven the party to extremism. How can the American people give a party that cannot even identify the enemy control of the war?

It is unfortunate that do few people have tuned in to watch the convention. Those who are relying on the elite media to summarize the event's may be fooled into believing that the Democrats are providing a hopedul message for the future. They are not. The Democrats have given stage time to the hard left in their party, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy. The American people have heard these leaders rehash material that has appeared in almost every campaign speech from the past two years: "shattered alliances", "war of choice not of need", "mismanaged economy", and the "hijacked election of 2000". Although the Democrats had said that their messgae would be one of hope and not of hate for George W. Bush, their hatred could not be contained. By the second night the speakers, including Ted Kennedy, were blasting the President. This is to be expected as the Democrats have built their entire campaign for 2004 on hatred. Kerry's base of support is the the Michael Moore/"Anybody But Bush" crowd. The party has tied itself to this, and offers no specific policies except the tired tax and spend policies that have been the core of the Democratic platform for 30 years.

John Edwards will take the stage tonight, smile and most likely give some version of his "Two Americas" speech. The speech, which he gave many times during the presidential primaries, envokes the image of one America that is controlled by the super wealthy, and a second America in which a mother cannot afford to buy her daughter a coat. It is old style class warfare, but the message will be overlooked by the media who will swoon over his smile and accent. Edwards speech is an empty message which seems all the more empty when it is delivered by a multi-millionaire trial attorney.

The Democrats have little to offer this election. The economy is doing great and the American people are more confident than they have been in two years. Despite the continued violence against Iraqi civilians by terrorists, Iraq is on its way to free and fair elections. The Democrats have nominated a Massuchesetts liberal who has taken every side of every issue, including the war in Iraq (although he recently declared himself against the war), and despite their best attepts, they will not be able to hide the fact that the Kerry/Edwards ticket is the most liberal presidential ticket in modern history.

The Lifelong Presidential Campaign of John Kerry

The Drudge Report has posted that a book to be released next month written by the man that took command of Kerry's swift boat in Vietnam, claims that much of the footage that will be included in John Kerry's convention movie was re-enacted for the express purpose of being used in political campaigns. According to the author, John Kerry would return to the site of ambushes and firefights to re-enact events in order to capture them on film.

Read it here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

"Shove it": A lesson on communication and self-defense, by Teresa Heinz Kerry

We've all heard by now the comment of "Shove it" that Teresa Heinz Kerry made to a member of the press a few days ago. Mrs. Kerry defended her position by stating she was defending herself against someone who had attacked her honor.

Yes, defending oneself is important. But how you defend yourself is equally important. We hold our leaders up to a higher standard than the average Joe off the street, hoping that they serve as examples to the rest of us, most especially the President and First Lady. Mrs. Kerry's method of defending herself was crass, the type of response you'd expect from someone ill-mannered and unable to control her emotions. If she wanted to make a point to the reporter about her honor being attacked, she could have communicated that to him in a matter-of-fact but civil manner, one that is much more becoming of a woman who hopes to be First Lady and to represent the United States. Is this a sign of her level of communication skills and her general character? I fear it is, as she made the comment when angry, a time when we let our defenses down to reveal our inner-most personalities.

The Kerry's have been concerned recently that Americans don't know who they are. I think we are now becoming aware. I am sure that this is only the first of many such incidents by Teresa Heinz Kerry that we'll witness as she continues to speak out and reveal herself to America.

Friday, July 23, 2004

President Bush Speaks at the Urban League

President Bush delivered an excellent speech at the Urban League this morning. It was not just the words that made the speech excellent, but the straight-forward honest manner in which it was delivered. It was not the typical pandering that the public became used to under the Clinton administration, or that we saw with John Kerry's performance last week in which he went out of his way to quote scripture (which he mangled). It was an honest assessment of the relationship of the Republican party with the black community of this country. He ended the speech by asking the audience a remarkably candid set of questions:

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? (Applause.) It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? (Applause.) Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. (Applause.) How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? (Applause.) Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

That's what I hope people ask when they go to the community centers and places, as we all should do our duty and vote. People need to be asking these very serious questions.

Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country? (Applause.)

Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family? (Applause.)

Those are legitimate questions that I hope people ask as this election approaches. I'd like to hear those questions debated on talk radio, I'd like it debated in community centers, in the coffee shops. It's worthy of this country for this debate to go forward and these questions to be asked and answered.

I'm here to say that there is an alternative this year. There is an alternative that has had a record that is easy to see. If you dream of starting a small business and building a nest egg and passing something of value to your children, take a look at my agenda. If you believe schools should meet high standards instead of making excuses, take a look at my agenda. If you believe the institutions of marriage and family are worth defending and need defending today, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

If you believe in building a culture of life in America, take a look at my agenda. If you believe in a tireless fight against crime and drugs, take a look at this agenda. If you believe that our men and women in uniform should be respected and supported 100 percent of the time, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

If you're struggling to get into the middle class and you feel like you're paying plenty of taxes, take a look at my agenda. (Applause.)

If you're a small business owner who is trying to expand your job base and are worried about excessive lawsuits, increasing taxes and over-regulation, take a look at this agenda. (Applause.)

And finally, if you believe in the power of faith and compassion to defeat violence and despair and hopelessness, I hope you take a look at where I stand. (Applause.)

You see, I believe in my heart that the Republican party, the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, is not complete without the perspective and support and contribution of African Americans. (Applause.)

And I believe in my heart that the policies and actions of this administration, policies that empower individuals and help communities, that lift up free enterprise and respect and honor the family, those policies are good for the nation as a whole. That's what I believe. And I'm here to thank you for giving me a chance to come and express those beliefs.

I'm proud to be with an organization that does so good, so much good for the American people. I'm honored that your Chairman would extend an invitation to me. Thanks for coming, and may God bless you and may God continue to bless the country. (Applause.)


It is refreshing for anyone to hear a ploitician speak so candidly, but this audience that has been pandered to for so many years must have felt particularly relieved. Whether President Bush convinced anyone to vote for him will not be seen until election day, but after this speech many in the audience may for the first time seriously consider voting for a Republican, and that is at least a start.

Pentagon Finds Bush Service Records

The Pentagon announced last week that they believed that some of the records from the president's National Guard service had, at some point in the past, been destroyed. Today the Pentagon said that they had been incorrect and they had found the President's pay records from the time in question.

The Democrat's immediately launched into conspiracy theories, with Terry McAuliffe stating that the timing of the Pentagon finding the documents was suspicious:

According to CNN, some of President Bush's missing records from his time in the Air National Guard were found today. The payroll records that were discovered were initially reported destroyed. In response, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued the following statement:

"The supposed discovery of these records on Friday afternoon, as reporters converge on Boston to cover the Democratic National Convention, is highly questionable. If the Bush Administration continues to search, maybe they'll find answers to the long list of unanswered questions that remain about George W. Bush's time in the Air National Guard. Bush's military records seem to show up as randomly as he did for duty."


So according to the chairman of the Democratic National Committee their is a conspiracy between the Pentagon and the president, with the pentagon witholding records that add nothing to the debate until before the Democratic Convention.
If anyone can explain this conspiracy and how it might benefit the president in anyway please leave a comment. The Democrats have devolved into a political party whose knee jerk reaction to everything is a conspiracy theory. Can any Democrat, no matter how badly they hate the president, really be proud of their party?

AP Lies to Discredit Heroic Passengers of Flight 93

The story of flight 93 has been that crashed outside Pittsburgh is well known. However, the September 11th Commission Report describes the heroic fight that the unarmed passengers launched against the hijackers in great detail. It is the struggle of Americans in the first battle of the War on Terror. It would be hard for anyone to read the account of the passengers attempt to retake the plane without becoming emotional.

The AP decided to comment on the struggle as detailed in the report, and it decided to smear the passengers with it's headline. This is the full AP story, including the headline as it appeared on yahoo news:


Panel: Flight 93 Crashed Without Struggle

Fri Jul 23, 5:37 AM ET

Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers but never actually made it into the cockpit, the Sept. 11 commission concluded.

The assertion, included in the panel's dramatic summary of the harrowing flight, contradicts the firmly held belief by some victims' families that passengers breached the cockpit and fought with hijackers inside during their final moments.

In phone calls from the plane, four passengers said they and others planned to fight the hijackers after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York earlier that morning.

With the words "Let's roll," passengers rushed down the airliner's narrow aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers.

Relying on the cockpit recorder and flight data, the commission said terrorist-pilot Ziad Jarrah violently rocked the jet's wings and told another hijacker to block the door. With the sounds of fighting outside the cockpit, Jarrah asked, "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"

Another hijacker, who wasn't identified, replied, "No, not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."

Jarrah then began pitching the nose of the plane up and down to throw passengers off balance.

Seconds later, a passenger who wasn't identified yelled, "In the cockpit! If we don't, we die!" And 16 seconds afterward, another passenger yelled, "Roll it!" Investigators previously have said they believe passengers tried to use a food cart to break the cockpit door.

Jarrah said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!", and he asked his fellow hijacker, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?"

The other hijacker answered, "Yes, put it in, and pull it down."

Roughly 90 seconds later, the jet rolled onto its back and crashed into a Pennsylvania field at more than 580 mph, killing everyone aboard.

The commission concluded that the hijackers remained at the controls of the plane, "but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them."

The commission said the hijackers' destination was Washington. It praised the courage of the passengers and said their struggle "saved the lives of countless others, and may have saved either the Capitol or the White House from destruction."

The Associated Press reported last year that the government's theory about Flight 93 — described by FBI (news - web sites) Director Robert Mueller to congressional investigators in closed testimony — also concluded that passengers grappled with terrorists but never actually got into the cockpit.


The body of the story describes a struggle, but the headline is meant to deceive. Why? Why would the AP decide to lie about the passengers on Flight 93 with the headline of the story? Is there an agenda or is it just another example of the poor quality of today's "journalism"?

The link is here, but the link may be removed by the AP at any point.

Bush 1, Bush Haters 0

During his televised testimony before the 9/11 Commission, and in his subsequent book, Richard Clarke asserted that when he briefed the incoming Bush administration in 2001, National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice had never heard of Al-Queda. The Democrats used his testimony to launch an assault on the Bush Administration’s efforts before the attacks of September 11th, suggesting that the Bush Administration had no plan against terror until after we had been attacked. Of course this was not true, but that minor detail did not stop the press and the Democrats from running with the story for weeks in an attempt to undermine the administrations credibility and place most of the blame for the attacks at the feet of the President.

More recently Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 played to this assertion in a famous scene of the President at a golf course telling reporters that he planned to unit the world to fight terror just before he asked them to watch his drive. This was used in the movie to “prove” that the Bush administration wasn’t serious about terror before the attacks.

The administration responded to the attacks in the media and the press by laying out the proposals and decisions it had made in the first month regarding fighting Al-Queda. This included scrapping the Clinton era plan of pin prick responses to attacks in exchange for an overall strategy to eliminate Al-Queda in three to five years. The press was not as anxious to cover the administrations response, which was laid out by Condoleezza Rice in her televised testimony. The 9/11 Commission reports addressed the transition period and reports that the Bush administration had indeed had planned to take out Al-Queda from the opening days of their term:


After the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, evidence accumulated that it had been launched by al Qaeda operatives, but without confirmation that Bin Ladin had given the order. The Taliban had earlier been warned that it would be held responsible for another Bin Ladin attack on the United States. The CIA described its findings as a “preliminary judgment”; President Clinton and his chief advisers told us they were waiting for a conclusion before deciding whether to take military action. The military alternatives remained unappealing to them.
The transition to the new Bush administration in late 2000 and early 2001 took place with the Cole issue still pending. President George W. Bush and his chief advisers accepted that al Qaeda was responsible for the attack on the Cole, but did not like the options available for a response.
***
The Bush administration began developing a new strategy with the stated goal of eliminating the al Qaeda threat within three to five years.
***
While the United States continued disruption efforts around the world, its emerging strategy to eliminate the al Qaeda threat was to include an enlarged covert action program in Afghanistan, as well as diplomatic strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The process culminated during the summer of 2001 in a draft presidential directive and arguments about the Predator aircraft, which was soon to be deployed with a missile of its own, so that it might be used to attempt to kill Bin Ladin or his chief lieutenants. At a September 4 meeting, President Bush’s chief advisers approved the draft directive of the strategy and endorsed the concept of arming the Predator. This directive on the al Qaeda strategy was awaiting President Bush’s signature on September 11, 2001.


For more analysis refer to Powerline.

Presidential Race is a Dead-Heat

Despite months and months of the most biased television coverage in the history of presidential politics, despite the unending promotion and publication of anti-Bush books (there are so many now it is impossible to get an accurate count, during a recent trip to a bookstore there were 34 books with anti-Bush titles on one table), despite the complete suppression by the media of any good news from Iraq, despite the suppression by the media of good news about the economy (a recent poll found that 51% of Democrats believe we are in a recession), despite the fact that the Democrats are benefiting from millions of dollars of negative advertising from 527 groups such as Moveon.org, despite the unending publicity for the "crockumentary" Fahrenheit 9/11, and despite the media fawning over the selection of and every subsequent word spoken by John Edwards, the presidential race is a tie at this point. The expected poll bounce for John Kerry after his selection of John Edwards never materialized. Almost every poll shows the two candidates within one or two points, well within the margin of error.

Democrats say publicly that they are in a good position with a challenger that is tied with an incumbent, but that is based more on a pre-convention high than anything else. Other candidates have gone into their convention with a lead and have emerged with a stronger lead. The Democrats and the Republicans were expecting Kerry to have up to a double digit lead at this point, which would be in line with past presidential races. At about this point in the '88 campaign Dukakis held a 14 point lead over the first President Bush, and Bill Clinton went into his convention with a lead over the incumbent and emerged with a 24 point lead over the first President Bush. He went on to win, but by a narrow margin. Some polls have Kerry behind by two, others have him ahead by two, but either way he is not in as good a shape as the most recent Democratic challengers have been. President Bush is vulnerable, but his major opponent in this election is the press. John Kerry is not likeable, his base support is far less solid than the president's, he is still double digits behind the president on national security matters, and the economy is improving and is set to keep improving and creating jobs through next year. Unlike the 1992 election where the economy turned the corner much too late to help the incumbent, this economy turned around last year and the job growth has been phenomenal with approximately 1.5 million jobs added. Kerry may very well emerge from the media attention the convention brings with a lead. If he does it will not surprise anyone, but if he does not come out with a lead it may be a sign that he is in real trouble.

This election is likely to turnin the final few weeks or even days of the campaign. Many people do not pay attention until after labor day, so the entirety of their information comes from newspaper headlines and morning shows that go out of their way to portray the President in a negative light. This may very well be the most event driven campaign history. This is the first presidential election since September 11th, and many of the old markers by which a race is judged are out the window. If the economy continues to improve and the situation in Iraq conitues to stabilize the President will be in good shape on election day. The capture of Zarqawi or Bin laden would have an immediate impact on the race, as would another terrorist strike in the US. The polls will drift up and down, but the American people may have to wait until election day to see a victor emerge.

For analysis of all recent polls, refer to RealClearPolitics.com

US Installs First Phase of Missile Defense

The United States has installed one of the first elements of a Missile Defense shield in Alaska. The installation is the first in a series of installations on Alaska and California. This is good news, especially with the increasing threat from North Korea and Iran and the continued development of long range missile technology by both countries.

In true AP fashion, this story uses most of its space quoting people who do not believe the system will work, but there are a few useful facts sprinkled in amongst the agenda journalism.

Manchurian America

According to the Drudge Report, ultra-liberal movie critic Frank Rich of the New York Times is prepared to say that the remake of the Manchurian Candidate starring Meryl Streep is the most partisan movie ever made, even more than Fahrenheit 9/11. Please note that Frank Rich loved Fahrenheit 9/11 and is deluded enough to believe that the movie contained facts. The movie takes elements of the Bush Campaign and uses them as the tools with which millions are brainwashed. The movie apparently makes use of elements from the Bush campaign and presidency. Drudge quotes Frank Rich:

"The American people are terrified," says Streep's villainous senator early on as, John Ashcroft-style, she wields a national security report promising "another cataclysm, probably nuclear." And so we watch her and the rest of the Manchurian Global cabal exploit that fear in any way possible, using the mass media as a brainwashing tool, manipulating patriotic iconography for political ends. "Compassionate vigilance" is one campaign slogan. A televised election night rally features a Mount Rushmore backdrop (as in a signature Bush photo op) and a chorus line of heroic cops and firemen (reminiscent of the early Bush-Cheney ads exploiting the carnage at ground zero)."


According to the films director, we have been brainwashed:

"This is a movie about political brainwashing, and we're right back there again now," said director Jonathan Demme. "I hope it has the potential for stimulating people to start thinking about the process because Lord knows we could use some stimulation," he added


Yes, we are all brainwashed. Thank you Hollywood for informing us. The president you call "stupid and illiterate" is, at the same time, an evil genius able to brainwash the entire country into believing his lies, and able to control vast international conspiracies that allow him to use the world's most powerful army to go around the world overthrowing innocent dictators and killing civilians for fun in a bloodthirty quest to fill his cronies pockets with oil money. Yes we know. You have told us this before. You told us this four years ago when he ran for president. You have told us with the shameless promotion of book after book that turn out to be lies (Joe Wilson, Richard Clarke), you have told us in the relentless interviews on 60 minutes and the morning shows. You have told us with full page ads in the New York Times, you have told us in anti-war rallies organized by the communist group A.N.S.W.E.R., you have told us in the endless jabs at the president written into the scripts of TV sitcoms. You have told us when we pay money to see you perform and you use the stage as a platform from which to condemn the president. You have told us through the use of editing magic in the movie Fahrenheit 9/11, (a movie that has its major assertions debunked by the 9/11 Commission Report, but why worry about facts) and you will tell us again countless times before the election. We know we are brainwashed, and you in Hollywood and on the far left in academia, you are the enlightened ones, without whom the rest of America would be doomed to the hell that George Bush has unleashed upon the earth.

Thank you for saving us.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

9/11 Commissioner: We Were Hijacked By the Kerry Campaign

In a stunning indictment of the Kerry Campaign and Richard Clarke, commissioner Tom Lehman (a republican member of the commission) has stated that the commission was "hijacked" by Richard Clarke, the Kerry campaign and Viacom (owner of CBS & 60 minutes):

"I think we were mugged by Viacom," Lehman told NRO in a phone interview on Thursday afternoon. "Because they changed the release date of the book and geared up 60 Minutes to launch his book to time them with his testimony and they edited his book to take out all of the criticisms of Clinton from his [original private] testimony. Because they wanted to make it a jihad against Bush."

Lehman says that Clarke's original testimony included "a searing indictment of some Clinton officials and Clinton policies." That was the Clarke, evenhanded in his criticisms of both the Bush and Clinton administrations, who Lehman and other Republican commissioners expected to show up at the public hearings. It was a surprise "that he would come out against Bush that way." Republicans were taken aback: "It caught us flat-footed, but not the Democrats."


He stated this in a phone interview with Rich Lowry of the National Review after the release of the commissions report this morning. He continued:

Clarke's performance poisoned the public hearings, leading to weeks of a partisan slugfest. Lehman says Republican commissioners felt they had to fight back, adding to the partisan atmosphere. "What triggered it was Dick Clarke," says Lehman. "We couldn't sit back and let him get away with what he wanted to get away with." He adds, "We were hijacked by a combination of Viacom and the Kerry campaign in the handling of Clarke's testimony."


Although Lehman is a Republican commissioner the truth of his statement was obvious in the televised hearings. The investigation into the deadliest attack on American soil in the history of the nation was used as a campaign pulpit by the Democrats. Richard Clarke used the commission and its public hearings to advertise his book and to campaign against George W. Bush. There is no line the Democrats are not willing to cross in their desire to destroy President Bush. The actions of Richard Clarke and by extension the Kerry campaign during the hearings were disgraceful. However the episode does serve to highlight the fact that the Democrats place a higher priority on their own power than they do the national security of the Untied States. This is a party that cannot be handed the reigns of power during a time of war.

The 9/11 Commission Report

The September 11th commission report released today will not tell us anything that we didn’t already know. There were institutional failings that were exploited after a decade of terrorist planning and attacks, and no single person is to blame. The report does not say that the attacks were preventable because even with 20/20 hindsight no reasonable human being can argue that they were.

The Democrats will attempt to spin the report to their benefit to try to tear down support for the President before the election. Republican leaders will most likely have little to say about the report unless the attacks and the spin from the other side of the aisle are over the top, as they will likely be. President Bush received a copy of the report this morning. He thanked the commissioners for their work and said that the report was important. The commission made a few specific recommendations that the administration will consider, and a few may even be implemented in time. For many, the simple fact that their was an investigation will be enough to make them feel bette. However, after the spin has faded and the report is forgotten by the majority of the public, Americans will make a choice more important to the national security than any recommendation made by the September 11th commission. It is a choice that will decide if we will continue to take the fight to the enemy or revert back to policies that allowed terrorist to plan and attack for over a decade unimpeded. The war on terror and how it is waged is the most important issue of this election. All other issues are secondary, including the economy especially now that it is booming and will continue to do so. No matter what polls show on any given day, President Bush will have an advantage on election day because of his leadership since September 11th. He has proven that he is willing to strike the enemy instead of waiting for the enemy to strike the United States with increasing lethality. That is the choice that must be made, will we continue to fight on our terms or will relent and wait for the next strike on our soil? Let’s hope that Americans have the will to continue the fight with the knowledge that the fiercest battles are those yet to come.

Read news releases on the report here and here.

Download the executive summary of the report here (large file)


Unbelievable - Edwards Cites "Un-named Foreign Leaders"

In a repeat of the ridiculous claim by John Kerry that "un-named foreign leaders" had told him they wanted him to win, John Edwards has now made the same statement on Larry King Live, as reported by Drudge:

"Just a few weeks ago...I was in Brussels at NATO meeting with a whole group of NATO ambassadors and hearing their perspective on this. I just believe that these countries around the world, whose cooperation and alliances we need, believe that in order for them to have a fresh start with America, we're going to need a new president to do that. Now, they're not going to want to say this very vocally, of course, but the reality is that in order for us to reestablish old relations and to establish new relationships, I believe we need a new president. ...
"They didn't say that directly. What they said was they're very frustrated with the way this administration has dealt with them. They believe that in this case our trans-Atlantic relationships are important, should be important to America, are important to them. They want to be treated with some level of respect.

"They understand, because I made it very clear, at the end of the day, the president of the United States is going to do what's in the best interest of the American people. But the vast majority of the time, our interests are aligned with the interests of our allies around the world."


At least Edwards had the sense to state that he saw the leaders somewhere other than New York restaurants.

Berger's Pants Start To Unravel

Since the story broke that he took classified materials from the National Archive, Sandy Berger has maintained that it was an "honest mistake". After the accusations were made that he removed many of the documents by stuffing them in his pants or socks, Berger insisted that he had simply been "sloppy" and that any removal of documents was unintentional, save a few hand-written notes that he knew he had taken with him. He also maintained that the returned the information to the archives as soon as he was informed they were missing. His story never seemed plausible even though the Democrats were quick to get to their talking points, starting with a Bill Clinton interview for the Denver Post, in which he maintained that he had known about the investigation for months and that Berger was very "sloppy", to the point that he was not surprised by the story, but was sure Berger was telling the truth. He then went on to question the timing of the story, as had been done by David Gergen on the morning shows earlier in the day. The next day every Democrat associated with Sandy Berger was on TV repeating the word "sloppy" and was acting indignant over the timing of the story.

However the details of the story do not match the "sloppiness theory": Multiple versions of the same report had disappeared from the archives in multiple visits from the former National Security Adviser, the National Archives staff had witnessed Berger putting documents in various articles of clothing, he had knowingly taken some notes that he wasn't supposed to, but the rest was unintentional.

Last night, as Democrats continued to fume about the timing, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert called for hearings into the missing information. This morning the Washington Post has an article that claim that the archive staff had become so suspicious of Berger's activity that they mounted their own "mini-sting" to catch Berger removing the documents:

The government source said the Archives employees were deferential toward Berger, given his prominence, but were worried when he returned to view more documents on Oct. 2. They devised a coding system and marked the documents they knew Berger was interested in canvassing, and watched him carefully. They knew he was interested in all the versions of the millennium review, some of which bore handwritten notes from Clinton-era officials who had reviewed them. At one point an Archives employee even handed Berger a coded draft and asked whether he was sure he had seen it.

At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said.


Four or five versions of the same document, some of which contained hand written notes from Clinton-era officials? The September 11th commission, which released it's final report on the hijackings today, has stated that it had all the information it needed, and that the Berger case would not have had an impact on the report. Did the commission have access to the versions of the report that contained hand-written notes? Also this morning, James Gordon Meek of the New York Daily News, reports that although Berger was supposed to be monitored the entire time he had documents, he convinced his monitors to leave their posts so he could make private phone calls. He also made many trips to the restroom. Both of these apparently helped to rouse the suspicion of the staff:

"He was supposed to be monitored at all times but kept asking the monitor to leave so he could make private calls," a senior law enforcement source told the Daily News.

Berger also took "lots of bathroom breaks" that aroused some suspicion, the source added. It is standard procedure to constantly monitor anyone with a security clearance who examines the type of code-word classified files stored in the underground archives vault.


The article also states that an employee of the archive saw Berger putting hand written notes in his socks:

The same archives monitors told the FBI Berger was observed stuffing his socks with handwritten notes about files he reviewed that were going to the Sept. 11 panel. It is prohibited to make notes about the secret files and leave with them without special approval.


This morning in The Weekly Standard, Hugh Hewitt (buy his new book, "If It's Not Close They Can't Cheat - Crushing the Democrats in every Election and Why Your Life Depends On It) explains the significance of the fact that these reports are said to have contained hand written notes by principals in the Clinton Administration, and puts that issue in historical context by juxtaposing it with another "gap" in information that we are all familiar with, the 18 minute gap in the famous tapes from the Watergate investigation:

Washington has had to judge gaps in the record before. "[A] few minutes missing from a non-subpoenaed tape hardly seemed worth a second thought," Richard Nixon wrote in his memoir of his reaction on first learning that Rose Mary Woods had deleted a portion of the famous tapes. Nixon would conclude "most people think that my inability to explain the 18 and 1/2-minute gap is the most unbelievable and insulting part of the whole of Watergate." Imaginations ran wild, and Nixon's credibility never recovered.

Now crucial drafts of an important report are missing, and no one has reported if exact duplicates--not "copies"--have been found. Unless and until "red-lined" versions of the previous and following drafts are produced and compared to the "missing" drafts, we will never know what vanished from the record in Berger's pants. Could it have been a reference to Osama's flight from Sudan, or a warning of airplanes as missiles? No one can know unless some other repository existed for all of the drafts, and only if copies of all handwritten notes exist in that same file. The trouble with widely circulated papers is that principals make handwritten notations on all of them, which are then returned to the central record keeper. Every "copy" is an original if a note has been made in the margin.


It does not seem plausible that a former National Security Adviser could inadvertently walk out of the National Archives with several versions of the same report. Especially with the new details that are emerging regarding the steps taken by the staff to monitor Berger and his suspicious activities. Sandy Berger knew the potential consequences of taking classified material, yet he was willing to take the risk on more than one occasion to ensure that certain material was purged from the record and out of the hands of the September 11th commission. The obvious question is: What could the papers have contained that would make the risk of prison time worth removing them? Sandy Berger maintains that he "accidentally discarded" several versions of the reports after he took them home. If there is no record of the documents and their hand written notes, the public may never know the true story. This is a tragedy considering it is possible that the information that Sandy Berger purged may have had a direct impact on the report being issued by the September 11th commission. Sandy Berger should be investigated, the House should hold hearings and the government should make every effort to piece the information back together for the sake of the public.

The Clinton years brought us scandal after scandal, and as we spent time investigating them, and as the Clinton team rehearsed their talking points, the terrorist threat grew and was unchallenged, even after previous attacks. The law enforcement approach to terror taken by the Clinton administration and put forth by the Kerry campaign proved to be disastrous. Whether Berger was "sloppy" or he intentionally destroyed information damning to the Clinton "legacy" this scandal proves one thing, the Democrats cannot be trusted to run the country in a time of war. Let's not forget that Berger was a top adviser to John Kerry, and before the story broke he was set to get a cabinet position in a Kerry administration. The attitude that leads to documents being taken by a former National Security Adviser are not relegated to one man, but to an entire party that has become incapable of defending the country. The current Democratic party is led by radicals that came of age during the Vietnam War. Their attitudes and actions in foreign policy and national security are direct reflections of that time, and they are incompatible with the defense of the country. Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, Al Gore, Howard Dean or John Kerry - it makes no difference. The United states cannot afford another eight years of an administration whose first reaction is to hide threats to the nation or to their legacy down their pants.






Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Hastert Calls For Hearings

House Speaker Dennis Hastert has called for congressional hearings into "trousergate".

Car Bomb Explodes in Tennessee

The details are scarce at this time, but a car bomb has exploded in the parking lot at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.

Developing...

Terry McCauliffe Goes Hollywood

Terry McAuliffe has filed to get all correspondence regarding the Sandy Berger investigation between the White House and the justice department made public under the Freedom of Information Act. His stated reason for doing this is the timing of the investigation being made public, stating the leak was politically motivated and timed.

Terry McAuliffe knows that he will not find anything in the documents (if there are any) but this is his misguided attempt to turn an ugly situation for the Kerry campaign around in the press by trying to make the public believe that the real scandal is the timing of the release. Like most of his past ideas this will end up backfiring. The press was doing all it could to squelch the story, and it looked like it might go away. Now McAuliffe has brought the issue back to the forefront. Now the story is likely to drag out through the Democratic Convention, and Kerry will likely have to comment even further. Terry McAuliffe is putting on a show to distract from the fact that an adviser to Kerry stuffed his pants with classified documents, documents that very likely pointed to negligence on the part of the Clinton administration.

Terry McAuliffe has proven to be one of the best friends Republicans have had in the past few elections.

The Fruits of Appeasement

What do you get when you appease terrorists to save the life of one Filipino truck driver? You get six more civilians kidnapped with the same demands. Appeasement kills.

Private War on Terror?

This is a strange story that is just making headlines. It seems that there were civilians in Afghanistan running a private War on Terror. They claim it was under the authority of Don Rumsfeld. They have been arrested for prisoner abuse and are standing trial.

Read it here.

Nuclear Weapons Found In Iraq?

Reports coming from Baghdad raise the possibility...

Developing...

Greenspan Offers Upbeat Assessment of the Economy

Yesterday Allen Greenspan offered an upbeat assessment of the economy, which sent stocks higher. Greenspan noted that the softness in economic numbers for June were due to temporary factors such as high energy prices, but stated that:

"Not only has economic activity quickened, but the expansion has become more broad-based and has produced notable gains in employment"


Greenspan noted that while the numbers for June were soft, numbers for July had already improved, and that the outlook for the future was good.

This is good news for the country and the president.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.

WSJ on Berger

The Wall Street Journal has an excellent op-ed this morning on the Berger affair. They have zeroed in on the contradictions on Bergers story as well as what infomation the berger might be wanting to keep from the September 11th commission and the public. They make the excellent point that it is highly unlikely that "sloppiness" as Sandy Berger attributed it to, would lead Berger to "inadvertantly" remove drafts of the same report on more than one occassion.

The larger point of the piece is the more important one: whether America wants to go back to treating terrorism as a law enforcement issue under John Kerry, or continue the war on terror. The choice in November could not be more clear.

September 11th Report Will Not Say Attacks Preventable: Media and Democrats Disappointed

The highly partisan and, thanks in part to Sandy Berger, the at least partially incomplete analysis of the September 11th commission is due to be released to the public on Thursday. The report will not state that the attacks were preventable. This will be a big disappointment to John Kerry who, according to his aides, is hoping to use the report to show that President Bush was inattentive to terror before September 11th. To put it bluntly, Kerry wanted, and will still try, to blame the Bush Administration for failing to stop the attacks:

Advisers to Democratic candidate John Kerry have said they hope to use the report to show that in the summer of 2001 the Bush administration was inattentive to threats of a possible attack.


This is beyond disgusting, but it is typical John Kerry. The entire nation, except for the widows that Katie Couric will parade before the nation after the release of the report, realizes that with 20/20 hindsight we can see steps that could have been taken that might have prevented the attack, but in September 10th American nobody could have predicted what happened that morning. End of story.

New ISG Report Will Support Weapons Claims

The new report by the ISG, currently headed by Charles Duelfer, is said to contain new information that supports the intelligence presented by both President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair (as well as John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and scores of other politicians) before the war in Iraq. Senator John Warner made this statement to the press after being briefed on the findings of the ISG:

"I'm not suggesting dramatic discoveries," Warner told reporters, but "bits and pieces that Saddam Hussein was clearly defying" international restrictions, "and he and his government had a continuing interest in maintaining the potential to shift to production of various types of weapons of mass destruction in a short period of time."


He also stated that the report contains a "great deal of new information" that covers weapons that predate the first Gulf war as well as information regarding what he was doing the past few years. The report was initially due to be released this summer, but will now be released in September.

It seems more and more obvious that the reason no stockpiles have been found is that Saddam Hussein removed them in the run-up to the war. He maintained the essential "ingredients" to weapons systems that would allow him to resume production at a time of his choosing. This is analogous to a bootlegger dismantling his operation upon hearing that he would be visited aby a "federal man", as used to happen quite often in certain parts of the country. The bootlegger would dismantle his operation and get rid of any "stockpiles" of moonshine. The authorities would visit, search the place, and find nothing illegal. All the pieces required to reconstitute the business were there, just not in a recognizable form. As soon as the coast was clear, the pieces would be put back together, and the moonshine would flow. It is a game that is as old as the hills. The problem is that the members of UN inspection teams had apparently never played it before, and Saddam Hussein took advantage of them.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Clinton Defends Berger

Drudge is reporting that in an interview with the Denver Post set to hit newsstand tomorrow, Bill Clinton defends Sandy Berger. In the interview, Clinton states that "We were all laughing about it", in reference to the federal investigation. How many Americans will think a former Clinton administration member removing classified documents pertaining to a terrorist attack that killed over 3,000 people on American soil is funny? Clinton goes on to describe it as a "non-story", and continues what immediately became the Democratic spin, that the real story is not a former National Security Adviser willing to risk prison to purge documents from the national archive by stuffing them in his clothes, but that the story was made public just before the Democratic convention. The public is not going to buy this.

These are very serious allegations. Sandy Berger was, until today, an adviser to John Kerry. Hugh Hewitt is asking the questions that the media should be asking John Kerry: What did you know and when did you know it? Bill Clinton has apparently told the Post that he has known about the story for several months. Jim Geraghty at the Kerry Spot at the National Review is reporting that the Kerry Campaign only found out about the investigation yesterday. If Bill Clinton knew about the investigation months ago and "they" were "all laughing about it", how is it possible that the Kerry Campaign just found out about it yesterday? It seems impossible that John Kerry would not know that one of his advisers was under investigation if Berger, Clinton and friends were laughing about it. The idea that Kerry just found out seems like a convenient story to minimize the damage to his campaign.

Sandy Berger and his allies are denying that he put any documents in his socks, and they are demanding that the person who made the allegation come forward and make it publicly. Fox News has reported that it was Berger and his attorney that stated Berger had placed items in his socks:

Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.


While Fox News may very well have the story wrong, it seems that the first people to report suspicious behavior on Sandy Berger's part were employees of the National Archive who saw Berger placing documents in his clothing:

The FBI searches of Berger's home and office occurred after National Archives employees said they believed they witnessed Berger placing documents in his clothing while reviewing sensitive Clinton administration papers and that some documents were missing.


So it may be that the people that Berger and Co. are demanding come forward with the sock charge is an employee of the national archive who can't because of the ongoing investigation. Also, it is important to remember that multiple copies of the same document disappeared after being reviewed by Berger, and this is what triggered the investigation:

Breuer said the Archives staff first raised concerns with Berger during an Oct. 2 review of documents that at least one copy of the post-millennium report he had reviewed earlier was missing. Berger was given a second copy that day, Breuer said.

Officials said Archive staff specially marked the documents and when the new copy and others disappeared, Archive officials called Clinton attorney Bruce Lindsey.


So, Berger was given classified reports (written by none other than Richard Clarke) to review and they disappeared. The staff noticed they were missing and provided Berger with additional, specially marked copies of the reports later the same day, and they disappeared. Why did the staff put special markings on the copies of the reports after the first version disappeared? It is a question that needs to be answered.

The missing documents include "two or three draft versions of the report as it was being refined by the Clinton administration". Was there something in one of the versions of the draft report that Sandy Berger did not want made public? Although the September 11th Commission has stated that they saw the final version of the report, did they ever have access to the draft versions that are missing? If Sandy Berger wanted the documents there must have been something of value in them.

The Blogosphere had led this story from the beginning, and their is excellent analysis and links at Instapundit.

Berger Steps Down As Kerry Adviser

Sandy Berger has stepped down (in disgrace) as an adviser to the Kerry campaign. The question remains as to what information he gave the Kerry campaign in the months since he took the classified reports from the National Archives.

Donations to John Kerry Going To His Bank Account

If you have donated money to the John Kerry campaign, your money may be going directly into John Kerry's bank account. Last year John Kerry was forced to "loan" his own campaign $6.5 million, now he intends to pay himself back with campaign contributions.

Kerry supporters must feel good knowing their hard earned money is going into the checking account of their billionaire candidate.

The Makings of A Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy?

In the past few days the Bush Administration has seen the sudden collapse of many of its most vocal critics of the past year. Joseph Wilson, the man sent to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq had tried to purchase Yellowcake, who subsequently became a media hero and a Kerry advisor by claiming the Bush Administration had misled the public, has been outed and disgraced as a liar by the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, the Butler Report, and the Roberts Report. Now we have learned that Sandy Berger, a Kerry advisor and Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor, took classified documents pertaining to the September 11th investigation from the National Archives. It is now breaking that some of these documents were written by Richard Clarke who also became a darling of the left and the media with his testimony and book that made outrageous (and mostly false) accusations against the Bush Administration and their fight against terror.

Mr. Berger and his attorney stated that Mr. Berger:

knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.


Sandy Berger has chalked the whole thing up to sloppiness:

"I deeply regret the sloppiness involved, but I had no intention of withholding documents from the commission, and to the contrary, to my knowledge, every document requested by the commission from the Clinton administration was produced,"


How exactly is the stuffing of classified documents in his jacket, pants and socks "sloppiness"? Yes, and Joe Wilson was just "sloppy" with the truth.

Until more details of the investigation are released the scope of the fall out will be hard to judge. The September 11th Commission is downplaying the events, as one would expect, to try to shore up the already tattered report that will be released on Thursday.

For their part, the Democrats are trying to portray the fact that this information was made public three days before the September 11th report is due to be released as some discredit to the Bush administration. The chutzpah it takes to try to cover a member of the Clinton Administration stuffing classified information pertaining to an active investigation into his pants, socks, and jacket and taking them illegally by pushing some sort of blame to the Bush Administration is almost too much to believe.

Is anyone in the Democratic Party buying this? How can the "Bush Lied" crowd defend or explain this? Michael Moore, how about a film about the lies told by the administration's detractors and the media's complicity in their lies? The President and his administration have for the past year had their character dragged through the mud day after day by people lie Joe Wilson, Richard Clarke, Sandy Berger and John Kerry. The media has been more than happy to report every lie they have uttered. Will any of them have the character to apologize? Don't hold your breath.


Drudge has done a good job of compiling the big media's responses to the Berger story.

More On Sandy Berger

Hugh Hewitt has more on the scandal involving Sandy Berger and classified documents, including his first thought for a name for the scandal.

This should be huge. The question is what was Berger attempting to purge from the archives? The 9/11 commission was a partisan farce months ago, and this secures its place in history as one of the most useless, partisan wastes of tax payer dollars in the history of the United states. With this breaking story we now know that the commission could not have had all of the relevent information they would have needed to come to any untainted conclusions.

More reports here.

Top Ten Reasons To Buy & Read Hugh Hewitt's Book

For anyone out there that still hasn't purchased If It's Not Close They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats In Every Election and Why Your Life Depends On It, here are 10 reasons to order it from Amazon.com right now:

10. Page 10

9.   As a reminder of the President's excellent leadership since September 11th.
 
8.   So you will know what "permission slip Democrat" means
 
7.   Tammany, Pendergast and Daley, Kennedy in Chicago and Texas in 1960, Clinton  and the Chinese in 1996, Gore and the military vote in 2000, the Torricelli switch of 2002, and the attempted judicial coup in California in 2003
 
6.   218 and 51
 
5.   To understand the increasing importance of the Blogosphere
 
4.   Appendix I
 
3.   To be able to control the tone of debate with a Democrat
 
2.   To be armed with the facts to win any debate against an annoying office or family liberal/Kerry supporter
 
1.   Because "What you don't know about politics could get you killed"
 
If any of the 10 are confusing, then buy the book, read it and then pass it on to someone else who needs it.  If you understand all 10 buy several of the books and give them to your friends.  This election is the most important election in most of our lives, make sure you are appropriately armed to fight for it.



Sandy Berger "Loses" Classified Information

This smells worse than the alley behind Captain D's on a hot summer day. It seems that Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor, illegally took classified information critical of the Clinton Administrations response to terror threats from the National Archives and misplaced them. He also removed from the archives hand written notes he had taken while reviewing classified documents, also illegal. Berger's home and office have been searched by the FBI and he was informed that he was the target of a criminal investigation. The document's that have yet to be found included assessment's of the Clinton Administration's handling of terror threats:

The officials said the missing documents were highly classified, and included critical assessments about the Clinton administration's handling of the millennium terror threats as well as identification of America's terror vulnerabilities at airports to sea ports.


What is more suspicious is that it seems that multiple copies of the same document's are missing:

Breuer said the Archives staff first raised concerns with Berger during an Oct. 2 review of documents that at least one copy of the post-millennium report he had reviewed earlier was missing. Berger was given a second copy that day, Breuer said.

Officials familiar with the investigation said Archives staff specially marked the documents and when the new copy and others disappeared, Archives officials called Clinton attorney Bruce Lindsey to report the disappearance.

Berger immediately returned all the notes he had taken, and conducted a search and located two copies of the classified documents on a messy desk in his office, Breuer said. An Archives official came to Berger's home to collect those documents but Berger couldn't locate the other missing copies, the lawyer said.


There has not been a reaction from Capital Hill, but let's assume for a second that the documents had been taken and lost by either someone in the current Bush Administration. What would the reaction of the press and the Democrat's be? This morning on all of the morning shows indignant Democrats would be paraded out accusing the administration of the worst sort of conspiracy/cover-up imaginable. If Dr. Rice had lost the documents, there would be immediate calls for the her to resign amid calls for multiple Senate investigations. President Bush would be denounced as a "liar" and howls of "cover-up" would be plastered on the front page of every newspaper for weeks until someone was arrested or until all the documents were found. John Kerry would take to the campaign trail saying that this proved that the President could have done more to prevent the attacks, that he allowed this to happen through negligence. Kerry would call on George Bush to make public all the documents his administration is "hiding". We would hear "Watergate!" on the nightly news along with predictions of this being the "final blow" to the President's re-election chances.

But it was Sandy Berger, National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton, who lost the documents, so none of that will happen. There will be a few newspaper articles about it all and then it will simply fade away as if it never happened.

It was irresponsible for Sandy Berger to take classified documents and even more irresponsible for him to lose them. Let's hope he finds them all soon, for the sake of the country.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Kerry Takes the Misery Tour On the Road

Not long ago, Kerry took his tour of misery and pessimism on the road to the town of Massillon, Ohio. The town has been hard hit by lay-offs in the past and is struggling to get back on its feet. If residents of the town did not think they were miserable before, John Kerry is coming to town to ensure they know it. The resident's of the town have warned Kerry that he should not try to use their hard luck for political gain. The Kerry campaign has stated that Kerry will bring specific proposal's to save jobs, which will no doubt amount to an increase in government spending, the raising of taxes and an increasingly isolationist position on the economy.

On the stump Kerry has often referred to this as the "worst economy since Herbert Hoover", despite the creation of over 1 million new jobs this year and very strong economic forecasts. Why would Kerry fall back on economic pessimism in his stump speeches? According to Democratic consultant Dane Strother, "It's the best issue they've got, especially in some of the swing states". It is the only thing they have to cling to. Senator Kerry has been put in a position where he has to hope the economy falters. But, according to Fox News Kerry will have a much harder time selling the poor economy than Reagan did in 1980 or than Clinton did in 1992 when he defeated the President's father:

When it comes to voters' anxiety about the economy, this election year is a far cry from 1980, when Ronald Reagan (search) famously asked: "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

Nor does 2004 measure up to 1992, when Bill Clinton's team summed up the campaign's theme with the memorable phrase: "It's the economy, stupid."

Kerry and Edwards have a bigger selling job than Reagan had in 1980 when he defeated President Carter or Clinton had in 1992 when he beat the first President Bush.

In June 1980, three-fourths of Americans disapproved of Carter's handling of the economy at a time of rising inflation and little growth.

In June 1992, three-fourths disapproved of the elder Bush's economic performance when the economy was just starting to revive.

An AP-Ipsos poll this month found that voters were about evenly divided about the current president's handling of the economy, with 49 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving. Also, consumer confidence has been on the rise.

In a twist on the old Reagan question, those in the AP poll were asked: "Compared to four years ago, is your family's financial situation better today, worse today or about the same?"

Four in 10 respondents said better, 34 percent said the same and 26 percent said worse.

In July 1992, only one-quarter of Americans said they were doing better than four years earlier.


The economy is improving everyday and the message is getting to the voters, as evidenced by the steady rise in consumer confidence the past few months. Kerry has to be able to convince voters that despite the fact that the economy has weathered the storm of the past few years quite well, they are doing poorly. As this is the only issue they have any several swing states, voters are assured of hearing more pessimism from John Kerry for the next 100 days.

The Bulls of Baghdad

The Iraqi Stock Exchange is open for business and trading is frantic, with volume quadrupling in five sessions and the value of some stocks rising over 600% since the exchange reopened in a restaurant. The Exchange is seen as a valuable part of Iraqi financial recovery.

Read it here.

Joseph Wilson: The Bell Tolls For Thee

People who have abandoned Katie Couric, Dan Rather, the New York Times and LA Times and have embraced the media of now and of the future on the internet have known about Joe Wilson's spectacular nosedive from credibility since the day the Senate Intelligence Committee Report, the Butler Report and the Robert's Report were released. The members of "old media" (to borrow in part from Don Rumsfeld) are either just catching on, or are just becoming willing to print the political obituary of Joe Wilson.

The AP released a ridiculous article yesterday that stated that the "16 words" in the President's State of the Union Address had gotten "some" support. Today the Boston Herald printed this story about Joe Wilson's lies yesterday. Today the New York Times, via an op-ed by William Saffire, has brought the story out of the last paragraphs of page A27 articles and printed it in a location where it might be read. The USA Today has printed an article by Robert Benedetto that asks the $64,000 question: Where are Democrats and the media — now that Bush may have been right?

Joe Wilson Lied. He was the flag bearer that brought in the parade of "Bush Lied" charges from everyone from newspaper columnists to John Kerry and John Edwards. Now we know that the President did not lie but his accuser did. The Kerry campaign sent out a press release after the release of the intelligence reports that referred to the claim that Iraq tried to purchase yellowcake from Niger as "false".

Again, Apologies Can Be Sent To 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Party of the Past

Party of conspiracies, party of the race card. Continuing in the tradition of the Kerry campaign, John Edwards traveled to Florida and gave a speech (to a black church) in which he referred to the election of 2000. His implication was, of course, that black votes were intentionally not counted in 2000. Is that the action of a forward thinking party? The defeat of Al Gore in 2000 by such a small margin may be seen in the future as the point at which the truck that is the Democratic party turned directly toward the cliff that they have now driven over. The party has never recovered, thanks in no small measure to the fact that there isn't a single member of the Democratic leadership that can step into Florida without mentioning the recount. Since that time every conspiracy that was once considered looney and laughable has managed to creep it's way into the mainstream of the party. John Kerry mentions Halliburton routinely in his speeches just to keep alive the idea that we went to war to boost their profits. Michael Moore's conspiracy propaganda film has been embraced by leading Democrats including Terry McCauliffe and Tom Daschle, and although John Kerry has not seen the film, he told Larry King he did not have to because he had lived it the past four years. If the Democratic party had not completely derailed into the land of lunacy, his statement would have been tacit to an admission of insanity. But as the party stands now, after months of Howard Dean screams, red faced rants by Al Gore, Nazi comparisons by George Soros and Moveon.org, and the reliving of the Florida re-count over and over, the statement by Kerry he has lived in an international conspiracy the past four years goes unnoticed and without comment. This party is not fit to lead this country in wartime.

Before you pull the lever for a Democratic candidate, think long and hard about what the party has become.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sharon Urges French Jews To Flee To Israel

Our oh so enlightened "allies" in France have become so openly and violently anti-Semitic that Prime Minister Sharon is urging French Jews to migrate to Israel. In the first half of this year France has documented 510 anti-Semitic acts, including the fire bombing of synagogues and the desecration of graves.

John Kerry: Appealing To The Un-informed

Powerline has an incredible post that points out that a mere four days ago John Kerry's campaign sent out a press release that referred to the yellowcake claim as false. For background on this story refer to these previous posts on A Time For Choosing: AP: Uranium Claim Gets Some Support, Kerry Holds Joe Wilson Up As Model Of Honesty, The Roberts Report, Apologies Can Be Sent To 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and The Butler Report.

One point needs to be added to the Powerline post. The Kerry press release that is linked by Powerline also attempts to make an issue of the fact that the President did not read every page of the 90 page document that he was issued before the war. Kerry leaves this an open ended assertion, never attempting to answer the "So What?" question and giving the reader the opportunity to draw their own negative conclusion. Since Kerry is attempting to use this against the President, one would assume that before Kerry voted to use force against Iraq he would have read the 90 page document. One would be wrong. According to his aides he did not read it. He voted for the war after receiving briefings from the CIA, but he never read the report. The report is supposed to have contained dissenting views regarding Iraq's WMD stockpiles. Again so what? The president was faced with world wide intelligence (including from the UN) that Saddam had unaccounted for weapons. So if the State Department presented dissenting views could the President have responsibly ignored decades worth of intelligence that reported that Saddam did have weapons? The short answer is no.

AP: Uranium Claim Gets Some Support

This may be one of the most flagrant examples of media bias, laziness or ignorance in a long while. Almost a week after the release of the Senate report on pre-war intelligence, days after the release of Britain's Butler Report and Roberts Report, the AP has gotten around to reporting that Iraq did try to by "yellowcake". However they try as best they can to downplay the story and turn what is a known truth, that Joseph Wilson lied, into a question of partisan politics. The Senate report that found that there was evidence that Iraq did try to purchase nuclear material from Africa was bi-partisan, but the AP attempts to cloud the issue with the suggestion that is only Republicans on the panel that support the claim. The AP makes no attempt to hide their bias in this story, they make it clear in the opening paragraphs:
It was one of the first signs that the intelligence used to go to war in Iraq was wrong: White House repudiation of 16 words in last year's State of the Union speech that had suggested Saddam Hussein tried to buy uranium in Africa.

Yet even as two recent reports sharply criticized prewar intelligence, they also suggested President Bush's claim may not have been totally off-base


The AP declares in the first sentence that the pre-war intelligence was wrong. That is something that the Butler report was not even willing to do. The Butler Report stated that weapons of mass destruction may yet be found:
Even now it would be premature to reach conclusions about Iraq's prohibited weapons. Much potential evidence may have been destroyed in the looting and disorder that followed the cessation of hostilities. Other material may be hidden in the sand, including stocks of agent or weapons. We believe that it would be a rash person who asserted at this stage that evidence of Iraqi possession of stocks of biological or chemical agents, or even of banned missiles, does not exist or will never be found.


Maybe the CIA and the US and British governments should have saved time by simply asking the AP whether or not Iraq had stockpiles of weapons because they are apparently in the position to know. The AP continues their sham journalism with the statement that the reports imply that President Bush's claims may not have been "totally off base". What did the Butler Report atually have to say about the statement in the State of the Union that British intelligence had learned that Iraq had attempted to buy large amounts of uranium from Niger? The report states:

We conclude that, on the basis of the intelligence assessments at the time, covering both Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the statements on Iraqi attempts to buy uranium from Africa in the government's dossier, and by extension the prime minister in the House of Commons, were well founded. By extension, we conclude also that the statement in President Bush's state of the union address of 2003 that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" was well founded


The President's statement was "well founded". The AP avoids having to mention this fact by never giving the reader any of the text of the report. The difference in meaning between "not completely off-base" and "well-founded" is immense.

Then the AP makes this unbelievable claim (at least in the face of the US and British reports) in the fourth paragraph:
A Senate Intelligence Committee report found inadequate evidence that deposed Iraqi President Saddam had been rebuilding his nuclear weapons program. It cited various reports, however, that Iraq had sought uranium in Africa. Thus, although Bush cited only British evidence that was determined to have been inconclusive, other intelligence files clearly contained other inconclusive evidence of the truth of the claim.


As well as being poorly written, this paragraph is misleading. The Butler reports that based on the evidence the claim was "well founded". If all of the evidence was inconclusive as the AP reports, the claim would not have been considered "well-founded". Interesting note, filed at the bottom of this srticle is what appears to be an author's correction to this paragraph:
(SUBs 4th graf, A Senate ..., to correct that inconclusive evidence, not forged documents, was basis of Bush claim; INSERTS new 11th graf, `He said ...,' to UPDATE with Wilson request for committee to look again)


It is difficult to guess what the correction at the end of the paragraph is supposed to mean, but it does appear that it was not meant to be published with the story.

Both the US and British Reports found that there was faulty intelligence given to both governments before the war, but the reports also found that neither the Prime Minister nor the President made any attempt to mislead the public or coerce the intelligence community into producing damning reports about Iraq. The Butler Report did state that Iraq had indeed reconstituted it programs and maintained the capability to produce weapons as soon as sanctions and inspections were lifted:

Even now it would be premature to reach conclusions about Iraq's prohibited weapons. Much potential evidence may have been destroyed in the looting and disorder that followed the cessation of hostilities. Other material may be hidden in the sand, including stocks of agent or weapons. We believe that it would be a rash person who asserted at this stage that evidence of Iraqi possession of stocks of biological or chemical agents, or even of banned missiles, does not exist or will never be found. But as a result of our review, and taking into account the evidence which has been found by the ISG and debriefing of Iraqi personnel, we have reached the conclusion that prior to the war the Iraqi regime:

a) Had the strategic intention of resuming the pursuit of prohibited weapons programmes, including if possible its nuclear weapons programme, when UN inspection regimes were relaxed and sanctions were eroded or lifted.

b) In support of that goal, was carrying out illicit research and development, and procurement, activities, to seek to sustain its indigenous capabilities.

c) Was developing ballistic missiles with a range longer than permitted under relevant United Nations security council resolutions, but did not have significant - if any - stocks of chemical or biological weapons in a state fit for deployment, or developed plans for using them.


The AP fails to mention any of this of course. However the author of the story does make the claim that the Republicans were looking to discredit Wilson:

Republicans said Wilson was trying to boost John Kerry's presidential campaign and looked to discredit him and his mission.


Again, maybe the investigator who is trying to determine whether or not the leak of Valaie Plame's name to the press should just ask Ken Guggenheim of the AP, because according to him it is a fact that Republicans were trying to discredit Joe Wilson. That is an amazing and contradictory claim considering that the AP story does note the fact that the White House apologized for referring to the uranium claim after Joe Wilson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times. If the Republicans were set on discrediting Wilson, why would they apologize for making the statement? Of course we now know from separate government reports that te claim about the Uranium was correct and most of what Joe Wilson wrote in that op-ed was false.

When the AP does finally state in the article that the British and US reports cite evidence that suggest that the claim is true, it immediately tries to cast doubt on the intelligence:

But how much credibility these reports had was not clear. The Senate committee criticized the CIA for "inconsistent and at times contradictory" reports to policy-makers on the uranium issue.


There is an obvious question that needs to be asked of those who believe that Saddam had no weapons or weapons programs at the time fo the invasion: Why would he attempt to buy yellowcake if he did not intend to produce nuclear weapons? The fact is he was intent on producing nuclear weapons, and as the Butle Report found, he had maintained his ability to produce other weapons as well. Despite the blatant spin the AP puts on the story we now know that Joseph Wilson is the only person that has been found to have misled the public.

The AP and other elite are frantically trying to spin the results of the intelligence reports as they undermine the "Bush Lied!" mantra they have been spouting the past year. It also highlights their gullibility when it comes to promoting anyone that has an openly anti-Bush agenda, like Joe Wilson.







Is Fallujah Turning on the Jihadi's?

Yesterday, the AP ran the story Fallujah Savors Quietest Spell in a Year, the majority of which was used to claim that the past violence of the city was caused by the US military and their violent repression of the people. The story is, quite frankly, disgusting. It puts the blame for the violence that the city has seen squarely at the feet of the soldiers and fails to mention the fact that many of the most violent terrorists and their followers are in the city. The article claims that the United States "waged nighttime security sweeps, storming private homes in search for weapons and fighters", which leads the reader to believe that the United States was raiding homes randomly during the night. The article does mention that the US soldiers painted schools, installed water pumps but concludes that this had no effect on the citizens. The article also quotes a volunteer at a hospital that makes the claim:
"All I know is that our American liberators were sniping at civilians and the so-called terrorists were bringing them to the hospital to be treated and were donating blood."
But the article fails to provide the United States the opportunity to rebut that statement.
More important than the obvious bias of the story is it's overall point. The story claims that the military's actions in Fallujah, dubbed the "Fallujah Experiment" have been a "disaster". The article makes its case by stating that the city has become a "den of terrorists and a refuge for foreign Muslim fighters waging global jihad against America".

A lot can change in a day. This morning the AP has reported that the United States struck a terrorist safehouse in Fallujah, killing 14. Permission for the strike was given by the Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi. Allawi has promised full cooperation with the United States in rooting out and destroying the terrorists in Iraq. The AP includes the typical account by people at the scene who claim that the house was owned by a poor innocent family, and it fails to provide any details about the intelligence that led to the strike or who may have been the target. However, in the Washington Times, Jack Kelly, a writer that has been featured many times on A Time For Choosing reports that while the local leaders in Fallujah may be tolerating the terrorists, the citizens are not, and are in fact providing timely intelligence to the United States. It is this type of intelligence that has made successful airstikes like the one this morning possible. Kelly reports that many of the foreign fighters, particularly those from Syria and Saudi Arabia have found the environment in Iraq so hostile that they have begun to return home, giving up the jihad in Iraq. Some of the factions that have stayed behind have apparently started fighting amongst themselves. All of this is good news for the citizens of Iraq, the US forces there, and for the War on Terror as a whole. The AP story is right that many of the the foreign terrorists and jihadi's have concentrated in Fallujah, which may be why many of the citizen's have started to turn against them. Their concentration in one city will make them easier to target for the United States, especially as the population of the city becomes less tolerant of their presence and provides the coalition with more and more intelligence.

Jack Kelly concludes his article by stating that the letter sent to OBL by Zarqawi and intercepted by coalition forces has proven prophetic. In the letter Zarqawi states:

"If, God forbid, the government is successful and takes control of the country, we just have to pack up and go somewhere else again, where we can raise the flag again or die, if God chooses us."

It is too early to tell if the United State's actions in Fallujah have been a "disaster".  At this point it appears that the military's actions may have been a calculated risk that are set to have a big payoff.  Although it has become a refuge for terrorists, the citizens seem to have grown tired of their presence.  If they are driven out of the city by the citizen's providing intelligence to the coalition, Fallujah may end up being the terrorists final stop before they either leave the country or are killed in a coalition raid.  Fallujah, which may be the last hope for the terrorists, may end up being the city where they realize their actions are futile. 


Saturday, July 17, 2004

President Bush is Still Right

Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York and life long Democrat, and Representative Pete King have written an op-ed in today's New York Post that outlines why, after the release of the Senate Intelligence report, the Report on September 11, and Britain's Roberts and Butler Reports that the President was still right to go into Iraq.  They also remind us what other politicians were saying about Iraq not so long ago:

We strongly believe that these critics are wrong on both counts. First: The committee unanimously concluded that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments." Second: Based on the facts as they were known at that time — and, indeed, based on what we know today — President Bush acted properly in going to war against Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein. Indeed, to have done otherwise in the post-9/11 world would have been irresponsible.

To see all this in proper perspective, consider the reaction if Iraq had attacked Americans with chemical or biological weapons in the Middle East, in Europe or in our cities here at home — or if terrorists carried out these attacks using Iraq's WMD — and the president tried to explain away the attacks by claiming there was no "hard" intelligence that Iraq possessed WMD or had any formal relationship with al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

They continue, citing the statements made by prominent Democrats, including the current nominees for President and Vice President, regarding Iraq before they found it politically convenient to be "anti-war" candidates:

No wonder that, in 2002, Al Gore said, "We know Saddam has stored away many supplies of chemical and biological weapons throughout his country"; John Kerry said, "The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real"; and John Edwards said, "Iraq and Saddam Hussein provide the most severe and imminent threat."

A president cannot disregard the daily warning of the CIA director, George Tenet, not when the latter refers to the existence of weapons of mass destruction as a "slam dunk."

As to Saddam's relationship with al Qaeda, the Senate report acknowledges numerous contacts between the two but said these "did not add up to an established formal relationship." In this post-9/11 world, did anyone actually expect to see Saddam and al Qaeda enter into a formal Hitler-Stalin type accord?

No, we could not have expected that they would have entered into such a pact, and the fact that two sworn enemies of the United States had numerous proven contacts is enough to warrant the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator. President Bush understood the danger that Saddam Hussein posed and he accepted the burden of getting Saddam out of power. It would have been very easy for him to pass the buck to the next administration, hoping that Saddam Hussein would not hand his deadly weapons to terrorists. Yet he and Tony Blair, along with dozens of other countries, took action in the face of tremedous opposition, and forever removed from power one of the worlds worst dictators and the sons that would have followed him to power.

For this effort, Mayor Koch and Rep. King state that "President Bush is entitled to thanks from those with common sense".

Thank you indeed, President Bush.





Victor Davis Hanson: Worth Reading Again

The Victor Davis Hanson article posted yesterday is worth posting again.  In a world of around the clock news coverage from imbedded reporters, it is very easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in the War on Terror and specifically the battle of Iraq.  The United States military under the command of its field commanders, guided by the leadership of George W. Bush,  has overthrown an brutal dictator, freed a people and in doing so they have made the United States and the world safer.  There have been mistakes, and the media and public have had an unprecedented opportunity to see many of the mistakes live on television in real-time.  There are mistakes in every war, as Victor Davis Hanson writes:
In the short period between June and August 1944, military historians can adduce hundreds of examples of American amateurism, failed intelligence, incompetent logistics, and strategic blundering — but not enough of such errors to nullify the central truth of the Normandy invasion. A free people and its amazing citizen army liberated France and went on in less than a year to destroy veteran Nazi forces in the West, and to occupy Germany to end the war. Good historians, then, keep such larger issues in mind, even as they second-guess and quibble with the tactical and strategic pulse of the battlefield.

As will good historians who will write about the campaign that finally overthrew the brutal dictator in Iraq. Mistakes will be written of, but will be minor footnotes in a campaign that liberated 25,000,000 people from dictatorship. As for the need to go to war in Iraq, Victor Davis Hanson states:
Like Hitler, Saddam Hussein was a mass-murdering fascist, whom we had also appeased for years. For all his bluster, Hitler had not been in a prior shooting war with the United States, but after Pearl Harbor he had to be destroyed. In the same manner, after 9/11 there was no longer any margin of error in "boxing in" a rogue dictator that had struck four nations, violated most of the 1991 armistice agreements, ignored over a dozen U.N. resolutions, butchered tens of thousands, ruined the environment of Mesopotamia, constantly tried to recycle petrodollars to terrorists, attempted to assassinate a sitting U.S. president, and was in a stand-off with the U.S. Air Force involving 12 years, 350,000 sorties, and the control of two-thirds of Iraqi air space. Indeed, on September 11, 2001, American military forces were being fired on and firing back at the forces of just one nation in the world: Baathist Iraq.
This is not difficult to understand, and without the media and political spin taking place today, these facts would be self-evident to more Americans. Regardless of whether we find stockpiles of weapons, Saddam Hussein was a threat that had to be removed in a post 9/11 world. A responsible leader could not let the threat remain, and George W. Bush did not. As for the President's opponents and their stand on the war, Victor Davis Hanson writes:
In contrast to all this, John Edwards says that Americans have died "needlessly" in Iraq, although he does not tell us why he voted for the war, or whether he would now change his vote had he known beforehand that CIA estimates of Iraqi WMD seem to have been in error. Yet this same John Edwards once thundered: "The path of confronting Saddam is full of hazards. But the path of inaction is far more dangerous."
He goes on:

With extremists like Michael Moore and ANSWER breathing down their necks, Kerry and Edwards cannot accept history's tragic verdict that there are terrible costs to pay in any necessary war. Yet they also don't know what else could or should have been done to get us where we are now.
We had no choice in Iraq and despite what John Kerry and John Edward's would have us believe today, the soldiers who have given their life in Iraq did not die needlessly. They died in one of the first battles of an historic campaign to rid the world of Islamofascist terror and they died to make the world safer for Americans and freedom loving peoples everywhere. 
 
Read or re-read the article here.