Friday, December 30, 2005

It is about time

It was announced today by the White House that the Justice Department is launching an investigation into who leaked the top secret NSA intellegence gathering program to the media. Earlier the Gray Lady made a big deal out of "Who outed Valerie Plame" thinking that it had to be someone in the White House and cried about the dire consequences to Natioal Security and then the dear old gal herself outed the covert CIA flights and the black ops detention centers for terrorists and then this NSA story without blinking so much as an eye about damaging "National Security". The NY Post had a good editorial about the actions of the "Paper of Record" where it had this to say.

Does The New York Times consider it self a law unto itself — free to subversively undercut basic efforts by any government to protect and defend its citizens?

The Times, it appears, is less concerned with promoting its dubious views on civil liberties than with undercutting the Bush administration. The end result of the paper's flagrant irresponsibility: Lives have been put in danger on the international, national and local levels.

The ability of the nation to perform the most fundamental mission of any government — protection of its citizens — has been pointlessly compromised.

The Jayson Blair and Judith Miller fias coes were high-profile embarrass ments for The Times, but at the end of the day mostly damaged the newspaper alone.

The NSA, CIA and NYPD stories are of a different order of magnitude — they place in unnecessary danger the lives of U.S. citizens.

The New York Times — a once-great and still-powerful institution — is badly in need of adult supervision.

The NYT cited current and former members of the intellegence community as its source. These sources need to be found and prosecuted to the fullest exent of the law. The NYT and the Washington Post have both been shown to care nothing for our security and only for what damage they can do to Bush and Company. The worst thing that can happen to a newspaper is to lose its crediblity and the two mentioned along with the LAT are certainly working on that.
From Ed Morrissey :
In another attempt to find something sinister to hang onto the Bush administration, another secret program constituting a major part of the war on terror has been exposed by another member of the Exempt Media. This time, the Washington Post uses its contacts in the CIA to expose an umbrella program called GST, the code for a loose affiliation of dozens of programs designed to locate and fight terrorists abroad rather than wait for them to show up here. Nothing about the article stands out as a smoking gun, it never alleges anything specifically illegal, but Dana Priest writes the front-pager as a warning that the President has gone out of control in defending the US from attack Reading the lengthy article, it becomes clear that the sources feeding this to the Post come from the CIA. Not only does the article expose Langley programs exclusively, the entire end of the article is dedicated to the whining of CIA personnel over their public image.

If Porter Goss can't clean out this cesspool then Congress should. It seems the only successful black ops this CIA can succeed in, is against our own Government. As I have said before, the CIA and our entire intellegence community seems to have more leaks than an Iraqi sewer. Some super secret bunch of spooks we have entrusted the security of our country to.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The UN and Tsunami Response

This is the UN we have all grown to know, love and respect. From the Heritage Foundation website comes the shocking (not really) information that the UN is still the UN. After the Oil for Food scandal and Kofi's missing Mercedes, you would think that maybe, just maybe there would be some actual reforms going on. Not. It seems that it is business as usual in the "World Body". (this is the same UN that was going to give that Global Test)
The research, done by the Financial Times (subscription required) focuses a spotlight on the tsunami relief effort taken over by the UN.

When the U.N. took over the tsunami relief operation in early 2005, the world body pledged full transparency, in light of its disastrous handling of the Iraq Oil-for-Food Program. The U.N.’s under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Jan Egeland, boasted in an opinion editorial that “only the UN has the universal legitimacy, capacity, and credibility to lead in a truly global humanitarian emergency.”[2] Egeland had earlier criticized the U.S. contribution to the tsunami relief effort as “stingy.”[3]

A recent investigation by the Financial Times, however, has raised serious questions regarding the U.N.’s handling of the tsunami relief effort, in particular the way in which it has spent the first $590 million of its $1.1 billion disaster “flash appeal.” The appeal includes nearly $50 million from the United States.[4] The two-month FT inquiry revealed that “as much as a third of the money raised by the UN for its tsunami response was being swallowed up by salaries and administrative overheads.”[5] In contrast, Oxfam, a British-based private charity, spent just 10 percent of the tsunami aid money it raised on administrative costs.[6]

The Financial Times concluded that “a year after the tsunami, pledges of transparency and accountability for the UN’s appeal appear a long way from being realized. This is primarily blamed on dueling UN bureaucracies and accounting methods plus what in many cases appears to be institutional paranoia about disclosure.”[8]

This is an excellent overview and insight into what the UN is all about and should be read in its entirety.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Very Interesting

This will be a short post but with a few interesting reads about the NSA kerfuffle and the "Bush Lied" screed from some unexpected places. The first comes from the NYT op-ed column by David Rivkin and Lee Casey on the law applicable to the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program: "Unwarranted complaints."
The next is from the WSJ by Robert Turner. Both excellent reads, so take your time and absorb the information.
The "Bush Lied" screed is addressed by the Chicago Tribune. I wonder if anyone is listening to this or are they like the monkey with his hands over his ears and doesn't want to hear what he doesn't like.

Also interesting is this new poll from Rassmussen:

December 28, 2005--Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that just 23% disagree.

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Americans say they are following the NSA story somewhat or very closely.

Just 26% believe President Bush is the first to authorize a program like the one currently in the news. Forty-eight percent (48%) say he is not while 26% are not sure.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My Wish...

for everyone today is for all to have a Merry Christmas and to keep our men and women in harms way and far from home in your thoughts this Holy Day Season. May God bless them, their families and yours. Merry Christmas all.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Gotta love it

From the WSJ "Best of the Web" by Tarantino. 'We Didn't Have English Class'

Last week Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate minority leader, boasted to a Democratic gathering that "we killed the Patriot Act." Perhaps realizing that this was not the most appealing message to send to voters outside the Bush-hating base, Reid took to the Senate floor Monday and offered an apology of sorts (link in PDF):

Mr. President, maybe I didn't have the education of a lot of my friends. I was educated in a little school in Searchlight, NV. We didn't have English class. Maybe my choice of words wasn't perfect. Maybe I should have said we killed the conference report. But the fact is, that is what we had done. People can try to change the words and the meaning of it all they want, but that is what happened. I may not have the ability to express myself like the folks who were educated in all these private schools and fancy schools, but I understand the Senate rules. Everyone knows that cloture was defeated, killed, whatever you want to call it. That means that cloture was defeated and that bill is still before the Senate.

This is the same Harry Reid who, a little over a year ago, called Justice Clarence Thomas "an embarrassment to the Supreme Court" because "I think that his opinions are poorly written." If Reid's literacy is as defective as he himself claims it is, doesn't this make him, by his own standard, an embarrassment to the Senate?

Further, if Reid never even had an English class, what qualifies him to evaluate Justice Thomas's writings? Or was he merely stereotyping Thomas as unintelligent because of his race, in the manner of ignorant men throughout history?


Still more on the NSA story

From an interview with a noted Constitutional scholar(and by no means is he a consevative one) Cass Sunstein on the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday. Transcript via The Radioblogger.
Here is an excerpt:

HH: ....First, did the authorization for the use of military force from 2001 authorize the president's action with regards to conducting surveillance on foreign powers, including al Qaeda, in contact with their agents in America, Professor?

CS: Well, probably. If the Congress authorizes the president to use force, a pretty natural incident of that is to engage in surveillance. So if there's on the battlefield some communication between Taliban and al Qaeda, the president can monitor that. If al Qaeda calls the United States, the president can probably monitor that, too, as part of waging against al Qaeda.

HH: Very good. Part two of your analysis...If...whether or not the AUMF does, does the Constitution give the president inherent authority to do what he did?

CS: That's less clear, but there's a very strong argument the president does have that authority. All the lower courts that have investigated the issue have so said. So as part of the president's power as executive, there's a strong argument that he can monitor conversations from overseas, especially if they're al Qaeda communications in the aftermath of 9/11. So what I guess I do is put the two arguments together. It's a little technical, but I think pretty important, which is that since the president has a plausible claim that he has inherent authority to do this, that is to monitor communications from threats outside our borders, we should be pretty willing to interpret a Congressional authorization to use force in a way that conforms to the president's possible Constitutional authority. So that is if you put the Constitutional authority together with the statutory authorization, the president's on pretty good ground.
Read Sunstein's original post on his blog. It seems that there is a concerted effort to not only deflect but obscure the true issues of the NSA intelligence gathering program and convince the public that it is something it is not.
Cass Sunstein seems to think so too.

Read Sunstein's assessment of the poor job that the media has done covering this issue.
HH: Do you consider the quality of the media coverage here to be good, bad, or in between?

CS: Pretty bad, and I think the reason is we're seeing a kind of libertarian panic a little bit, where what seems at first glance...this might be proved wrong...but where what seems at first glance a pretty modest program is being described as a kind of universal wiretapping, and also being described as depending on a wild claim of presidential authority, which the president, to his credit, has not made any such wild claim. The claims are actually fairly modest, and not unconventional. So the problem with what we've seen from the media is treating this as much more peculiar, and much larger than it actually is. As I recall, by the way, I was quoted in the Los Angeles Times, and they did say that in at least one person's view, the authorization to use military force probably was adequate here.

HH: Do you think the media simply does not understand? Or are they being purposefully ill-informed in your view?

CS: You know what I think it is? It's kind of an echo of Watergate. So when the word wiretapping comes out, a lot of people get really nervous and think this is a rerun of Watergate. I also think there are two different ideas going on here. One is skepticism on the part of many members of the media about judgments by President Bush that threaten, in their view, civil liberties. So it's like they see President Bush and civil liberties, and they get a little more reflexively skeptical than maybe the individual issue warrants. So there's that. Plus, there's, I think, a kind of the American culture, including the media, streak that is very nervous about intruding on telephone calls and e-mails. And that, in many ways, is healthy. But it can create a misunderstanding of a particular situation.

(ht Betsy Newmark)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

DOJ Response to NSA questions and more.

Glenn Reynolds points us to this missive from the Dept.of Justice response to the NSA issue. (via The Corner).
More answers and more understanding will tend to lead to more hand wringing and gnashing of teeth on the left. heh.

Speaking of a Quagmire

It seems from all I have been reading that the Democrats have found themselves in a querulous quagmire politically on the NSA position along others that they have taken. From what I can glean from those much more qualified than I am, the warrantless searches being talked about is not only legal but common when talking about international intelligence gathering. John Hinderaker has one of the most extensive posts on it to date. Scroll down on their site and read much more on this issue. The is also an interesting link to Harvard Law Review article by Professors Curtis Bradley and Jack Goldsmith: "Congressional Authorization and the War on Terrorism."

It seems that the Democratic Party leadership and talking points are not being produced "in house", rather they are being written by the NYT etal. First the non story of the flushed Koran, then lately the NSA story followed by the revelation that the FBI was surveillance the ELF/ALF and their support groups (egad, the horror) and that even the NYPD was sending undercover cops into demonstrations in NY. The New York Times has reported leaks about the covert CIA flights, the covert detention facilities and now the NSA legally spying on foreign communications and they seem to be proud of it. Where is the outrage about the leaks and the leakers ala Valerie Plame? Whose side are these people on?
Ed Morrissey writes: "This series of articles show just how much that leftists want to return to a 9/10 world, where the evils of society comprise the government agents that want to protect the US from terrorists instead of the terrorists themselves. New Yorkers, at least those at the Times, appear to have forgotten why a huge gaping hole exists in Lower Manhattan. They either forgot or stopped caring about "connecting the dots", a phrase that they used to castigate these same security forces for not divining the intent of Mohammed Atta and al-Qaeda prior to 9/11 -- but now resolutely oppose and expose the very methodology which would allow them to see the 'dots' in the first place."
I could not agree more.
ht to OBT for the link.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Patriot Act and National Security.

First let me say I am not an attorney or a Constitutional scholar but I am an everyday lay student of the law and its different effects on our life. I try to read as much as I can from the postings and writings of those that are. Being a citizen, I think that is the least that we can do.
As for the Patriot Act under fire now, it is my understanding that it was mainly an extension of what has been used for years against the drug runners and organized crime and was expanded to include the terrorist enemies of our country. The PATRIOT Act is based on fifteen extant statutes, most importantly the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was passed by Congress in 1978.

The PATRIOT Act, as described in the Department of JusticeÂ’s website does the following:
· Allows law enforcement investigators to use the tools that were already available to investigate organized crime and drug trafficking.
· Allows laws enforcement to use surveillance against more crimes of terror, including the development of networks and training for violence.
· Allows federal agents to follow sophisticated terrorists trained to evade detection, especially by allowing the same “roving wiretaps” long used to track organized gangs and smugglers.
· Allows law enforcement to conduct investigations without tipping off terrorists, in much the same manner as they already do against organized crime and drug cases.
· Allows federal agents to request a Court Order to obtain business records in national security terrorism cases, rather than wait for the violence to begin.
· Facilitates information sharing among government agencies, to see trends and planning before they evolve into violence.
· Updates the law to reflect new technologies and threats; most laws before the PATRIOT Act were written before the age of portable computers and roving cell phone towers.
· Allows victims of computer hacking to request law enforcement assistance.
· Increases the penalties for terrorist acts.
· Acts against the creation or support of terrorist networks.

The main concern supposedly about this act is the possible infringement of our civil liberties although an extensive search including the ACLU has found no such examples or complaints. I would think that any examples of such abuse would be shouted from the rooftops. I therefore have to conclude that there has been no such abuse.

Bill Roggio posted these telling quotes from some of todays detractors yet they were yesterdays supporters:

Regarding the need to expand FISA to allow roving wiretaps - “the FBI could get a wiretap to investigate the mafia, but they could not get one to investigate terrorists. To put it bluntly, that was crazy! What’s good for the mob should be good for terrorists” (Senator Joe Biden, D-DE)(Congressional Record)

Regarding the need for expanded cooperation between intelligence and law enforcement – “We simply cannot prevail in the battle against terrorism if the right hand of our government has no idea what the left hand is doing” (Senator John Edwards, D-NC)(Press Release)

Regarding the need to take legal action against the financial support for terrorist groups and networks – “if one is going to cope with an al Qaeda, with a terrorist entity such as Osama bin Laden, who moves his money into this legitimate marketplace, law enforcement has to have the ability to hold people accountable” (Senator John Kerry, D-Mass)(Congressional Record)

Since no one I could find have had their rights trampled under the jackboots of this legislation in 4 years and untold numbers of terrorists and their networks have been destroyed, this seem too much of a political ploy for gratuitous gain than true interest in National security. What is going through these people mind? Apparently it is okay to use these laws for fighting organized crime and drug trafficking but we need to go out of our way to protect the civil liberies of terrorists and those sworn to destroy us. Go figure.I'm outta time for now but will be back with a follow-up later including my research on the NSA kerfuffle.

I think that the Democratic Party has again jumped the shark on national security and will once again be judged to be on the wrong side of history just like their commitment to defeatism will be judged by the American voters. Who do you trust when it comes to security for America? It seems that the left is more interested in the civil rights of terrorists and enemies than they are about the safety of the people, or perhaps it is just a bigger interest in their political future and the downfall of Bush that is upmost in their minds. Either way, they are again showing the true colors of the left. This is not the Scoop Jackson Democratic Party. I'm not sure what party it is anymore.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Who do you Trust?

I was reminded today about one of my older posts highlighting the idiocy of our Congress when it come to keeping National Security secure and keeping secrets secret. The article cited was from Jeff Babin and noted the following:
It's been about two years since Sen.
Richard Shelby blew one of our most important secrets -- that we were bugging
Osama bin Laden's cell phone, a fact that could have led to the capture of
America's most wanted terrorist -- by bragging about it to a reporter. Shelby's
action (if it really was him) has never been prosecuted. Why not?

He went on to talk about the members of the Senate Select Committee on intelligence:

Three members of the Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence have apparently committed a very serious crime by
blabbing about a highly-classified satellite program to the press last week. If
these men actually did what it appears they did, we ought to throw the book at
'em for divulging one of our most-protected secrets: stealthy reconnaissance
satellites. As a result of their revelations to the public and the press, three
U.S. Senators -- Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who's also the ranking Dem on
the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Ron Wyden
(D-Ore.) -- are the subject of a "criminal referral" made on Monday for speaking
publicly about this satellite. Such referrals are made to the Justice Department
by the administration when criminal conduct is suspected.

Now some of these same people are crying about not being in the loop about the NSA intercepts of foreign communications (Rockeffeller is one and has been briefed on this operation. He is still on the intelligence Committee).

What ever came of this breach of security? Nothing that I could find. Tell me again that this latest dustup is not political. Would you tell the Congress-at-large anything that needed to be kept even confidential , much less Secret? They have more leaks than old plumbing. And apparently so does the CIA and the NSA. There needs to be a serious house cleaning in all three. There is this and then the leaks about the CIA covert airline flights, the covert detention centers, and the covert operations with the NSA. Yet outing Valerie Plame is such a scandalous evil scheme that it needs to be investigated for two years and two Grand Juries when no crime has even been charged in the original compaint. Hell no, none of this is political.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

PC Greetings again

PC Greetings

[I posted this a year ago and thought it would go with the current year as well]
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all ...

... And a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2005, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great, (not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country or is the only "AMERICA" in the Western Hemisphere), and without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year, or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.)

In other words... Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

First let me get something straight. If the exposure of Valerie Plame, a desk clerk-analyst of little consequence at the CIA is allowed and it beomes known to apparently the only people who didn't know who she was, those outside of DC, it is a matter of National Security and needs to be investigated. Even if it appears there was no illegality found or charged. If covert CIA flights and even tail numbers and the names of employes and the Company is exposed, it is just the media doing their job. If the locations of covert detention facilities used by the US to house and interogate terrorists, it is not a security breach, it is just the media doing their job. If several current and former intellegence officers leaks to the press about an apparently legal though covert operation to trace terrorists phone calls and contact to and from people here in the US and elsewhere, it is not a National Security breach, it is just the press doing their job. Is that about it?

It seems to me that there needs to be a massive investigation of the CIA. They are no better at keeping a secret than Aunt Ethel the town gossip. They also seem to be better at covert operations against our own government than against our enemies. There is much here that does not pass the smell test.

According to the Washington Post:

Bush said the program is reviewed every 45 days by the attorney general and White House counsel and that he must then reauthorize it to keep it active. He said he has reauthorized it more than 30 times "and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups."

The president also said the administration has briefed key members of Congress on the program a dozen times. Classified programs are typically disclosed to the chairmen and ranking minority members of the House and Senate intelligence committees.
...The president criticized the media for reporting on the NSA surveillance as well as the officials who "improperly" provided the information. "As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk," he said.

So the Senate Intellegence Committee was fully aware of this as was the Justice Department and the FISA judges. I have no doubt the Administration was very sensitive about sharing NSA programs with Congress after this intel debacle involving NSA intercepts and Senator Shelby.

Tom Maguire has been writing extensivly about this latest exposure of the lefts hypocracy and that of the NYT as has Ed Morrisey .

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Woe is us, all is for naught

According to this nabob of negativity from CBS [no, say it isn't so.] Charles Wolfson "There are no corners to turn in Iraq". "In the run-up to the voting in Iraq this week, an interviewer on National Public Radio asked George Packer, author of “The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq,” if this round of elections meant we were turning the corner there, to which Packer replied “there are no corners in Iraq …” He went on to say what Americans need to realize is that the war in Iraq is just one long haul with many problems ahead..."
Wolfson went on to point out "If Iraq is a distance race and not a sprint, can we say this week’s election was a success? Just as the two elections earlier this year should be seen as successes, of course this week’s balloting should be seen in the same way. But even before millions of Iraqis voted this week, it was pointed out the hard work isn’t in holding the election itself. The more difficult piece is whether those elected can form a government which most Iraqis from across the ethnic and religious spectrums will rally around and support."

No good news shall go unspun and all is lost no matter what the facts say it seems.

Patriot Act

Thanks to Senate Democrats and a few Republican votes, the Patriot Act will expire December 31. "God forbid that there is a terrorist attack that could have been prevented by the Patriot Act after it has expired." Sen. Jon Kyle said yesterday. "If that happens, those who have supported the filibuster will have to answer for it,..."

The New York Times can take some credit for the disclosure of the NSA monitoring communications after 9-11 in the story headlined "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Court Orders" That apparently influenced some in the Senate to vote the way they did however not surprising is what the NYT left out of the story. The NSA monitors only international calls. Paragraph 17 of the NSA program states "The program accelerated in early 2002 after the CIA started capturing top al Qaeda operatives overseas...The CIA siezed the terrorist' computters, cellphones and personal phone directories...The NSA surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible."

The program helped uncover al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris who was ordered by Bin Laden to research the possibility of destroying New York City bridges. He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Hopefully the day will come when we will no longer find the need for the Patriot Act and others like it but today is not that day.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt.

Rich Lowry in the Salt Lake Tribune tells it like it is and there is bound to be some of the Democratic Party who will remind us of the "Not Me" ghost in the old Family Circle cartoons. I found this part to be especially chuckle worthy.

More than 100 Democrats in Congress voted to authorize the war because many of them thought it was good politics to do so. It turns out it would have been much better politics to have voted their beliefs, so no flip-flopping would be necessary when they came to oppose the war openly. Part of the Democrats' indictment against President Bush is that he made them vote on the war prior to the November 2002 election as if to say, ''How dare you make us vote at a time when we would be running scared from our own principles.'' All the pressure that had built up from this self-defeating opportunism burst when formerly hawkish Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called for an immediate pullout of American troops in Iraq. A frisson of excitement coursed through the Democratic Party at the prospect of again declaring a war lost: Oh, to be young (or even graying and paunchy) was very heaven once again! Rep. Murtha, a former Marine, was declared by the media the perfect vessel for an anti-war message. Not quite. Blogger Mickey Kaus noticed that within the same interview he said we had to get out of Iraq because there was a raging civil war, and also that it was OK to get out of Iraq because a civil war wouldn't erupt if we left. He told Newsweek that he wouldn't have publicly denounced the war if the White House had returned his calls. Maybe if he makes the list for the White House Christmas party he'll call for more American troops in Iraq. The sight of Murtha denouncing (even incoherently) the war was too much temptation for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. The House Democrats' strategy was to let Murtha take the lead with his surrender proposal and otherwise get out of the way. But Pelosi couldn't resist blurting out that she agreed with Murtha's call and so did most House Democrats. As the political damage of that outburst sank in, Democrats - including Pelosi - began to backpedal. She explained that she would lobby her House colleagues to keep them from officially adopting her position and, apparently, their own position. Elsewhere, in the spirit of the moment, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean declared the war lost - until a furor prompted him to explain what he really meant to say was that we could still win, and that it's imperative that we do so.

He goes on to point out even more of the obvious...

The Democrats can't help themselves. The party's attitudes about matters of war and peace were forged during Vietnam, and so defeat is stamped in its DNA. Learning what they consider the lesson from Vietnam - that the war dragged on too long when it was a lost cause - they consider declaring defeat the height of geopolitical wisdom in almost any circumstance. Perhaps they eventually will be proved right, but the American public would prefer to try to win. This is why Democratic calls for retreat are so politically perilous, and so senseless, when Iraq might be on the cusp of a turning. What a fine irony it would be if after denouncing President Bush for being out of touch with Iraqi reality, Democrats were even more so, right at the moment they began to be true to themselves.

Here we are after the third successful election in Iraq in the last year and the continued re-building of the security and infrastructure including schools and all we hear from the Democratic Leadership and the MSM is defeatism and doom and gloom.

I'm Back

Having negleted this blog for some time, I plan on getting active again with all the ramblings and rants with some of the usual dark humor. Consider this an open thread for now and check back later for what may be another climb up the ecosystem ladder to mammalian evolution.
A note about one of my commentors Tom Thumb. His comments are out of line and I usually try to delete ones like his with that kind of language but I have chosen to let them stay for now. This is just to let others know what the considerate and civil left is like. I also know now who he is. Bush Deraingment Syndrom at its finest.