July 19, 2003


Fred Barnes reconstructs the recent history of the current Bush Administration nightmare. It began with a question to Ari Fleischer:

Fleischer botched the response. He gave a confusing and contradictory answer to whether the passage should have been included in the address.

...Late that evening, after Fleischer had departed with Bush and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice for Africa, a White House official told reporters the information on buying uranium was "not specific enough for us to be certain that attempts were in fact made." A second official said the claim, even attributed as it was to British intelligence, should not have been in the speech.

...Bush's Africa tour was overshadowed by a credibility issue back home.

Before the Bush entourage left, there had been a debate in the White House over how to handle the issue. Many senior aides believed the State of the Union passage under attack should have been flatly defended. After all, it had the advantage of being true.

...Still, one senior Bush official insisted the White House should yield on the point. The president went along. Since then, both Rice and CIA director George Tenet have stated the evidence of Iraq's activity in Africa was not sufficiently solid to warrant mention in the State of the Union. The president himself has never said so. Rather, he's defended the intelligence he gets as "darn good."

Within days of conceding an error was made, most of Bush's senior staff concluded they had made a mistake. No, it wasn't in mentioning Saddam's quest for uranium in the State of the Union in the first place. It was in making an admission of error about intelligence information. "We have nothing to apologize for," an official said.

Barnes also exposes the four media myth/lies about Dick Cheney's involvement, how the speech was drafted and more.

Who was the mystery "senior official" who insisted Bush must apologize for the SOTU address? I'd love to know.

Posted by Chris Regan at 10:54 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 18, 2003


A.M. Siriano (should we start calling you Tony the Syrian?) opens up a fine cant of rant on hyphenated Americans and their divisive Congressional caucuses. As the descendant of an English- Irish indentured servant with Cherokee and British and who-knows-what-else coursing through my veins, married to a Japanese wife who's as conservative and Republican as me though she isn't even a citizen (no, she doesn't actually vote), and the father of a mixed-blood son, I'm not into race caucusing either. They are, in the deepest sense of the term, un-American.

And while you're there, you may uncover his former secret identity. Heh. Proof that there is indeed one born every minute.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2003


Tell me that Iraqi's aren't happy we kicked out Saddam Hussein:

For decades Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s Baath Party held lavish celebrations every July 17 to mark the anniversary of the 1968 coup that brought them to power.

No speeches and no fanfare rang out in Baghdad on Thursday as Iraqis ignored the 35th anniversary. The broadcast by an Arab TV station of a new tape purportedly of Saddam's voice, marking the anniversary, brought anger and derision on the street.

"This is the best July 17th I've seen so far because there is no Saddam and no Baath," said Fadil Amin, an out-of-work translator. "We're better off without them, even if we don't have any electrical power or water and security is abysmal."

And this is in a Reuters story, mind you. Must be one of those cats and dogs living together things the Prof. is always going on about. Back to the file:

The audio tape of "Saddam" was broadcast by the Arabic satellite television station Al Arabiya on Thursday. It won little applause on the streets of Baghdad. "Saddam's saying what he's saying because he is weak and a failure," said Sayed al-Baaj. "Allah has got rid of him and his Baathists forever and there is no way they are coming back."

Money changer Jassem Mohammed agreed. "The whole Iraqi people were against Saddam. He oppressed us... and now we've been liberated."

Liberated? Does ANSWER know Iraqis are using such language? And Reuters didn't even bother to put it in its own set of quotes. What's gotten into them?

Ah...the story ends with a twister. For "balance," naturally...

Some are a little more equivocal about the Baath, weary at a crumbling economy, the U.S. occupation and the often violent disorder of postwar Iraq (news - web sites).

"The Baath Party was bad in many ways but it was also good for security, cleanliness and jobs," said Sarah Abdul Samad, shooing away a cloud of flies from her vegetable cart.

"They protected people but oppressed them. And now there is no alternative but the Americans, who don't care about us."

And some believe the moon is made of cheese--so freaking what? Some? How many? Who are they? Reuters manages to find one ingrate and puts her at the end of the story to rebut everyone else above. That's bias by placement. But the rest of the story is amazingly positive. Some Reuters intern must have accidentally let it slip through.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:03 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Am I reading this right? Seems like Hatch's idea of destroying PC's should now be embraced as completely reasonable. Then again, that's the idea with all these outrageous trial baloons. What seemed nuts before becomes tomorrow's law.

The Conyers-Berman bill would operate under the assumption that each copyrighted work made available through a computer network was copied by others at least 10 times for a total retail value of $2,500. That would bump the activity from a misdemeanor to a felony, carrying a sentence of up to five years in jail.

You shared with ten friends...they shared with ten friends...then they shared with ten friends...and so on...and so on...

Soon each man, woman and child in the world will be charged with owing the RIAA $2.5 million in "damages" to go with their life in prison. Here's an idea for the lawyers: Propose that Australia become the official RIAA prison island. It's clearly the only efficient solution -- as long as the continent is cut off from the Internet.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:49 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


The EU is leading the way to our fascist utopia:

...they're testing it: a computer gizmo that makes the car decelerate when it hits the maximum posted speed on any given stretch of road. The system is complicated, involving satellites and Global Positioning gear. It's a grand opportunity for new bureaucracies and the further infantilization of the public in the name of the greater social good

I can imagine we'll someday see tamper-proof smoke detectors mandated in every car similar to the ones in airliners. That government satellite link will have many more uses. Illegal cell phone use could easily be monitored and reported as well.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Ramesh Ponnuru's piece about the pharmaceutical industry's efforts to buy off pro-lifers is a hair-raiser. Could the Traditional Values Coalitition really have sold out the unborn for a few pieces of gold?

I've had my differences (mostly tactical) with Rev. Falwell, who is also implicated in Ponnuru's piece, but I've never thought of him as corrupt--just tin-eared. Then again, I didn't think Pat Robertson was corrupt either...
Posted by B. Preston at 09:55 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Oh, those Iraqi weapons programs. I hear the sound of a limbsaw...
Posted by B. Preston at 09:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Maybe thoroughly screening grannies and toddlers at the airport isn't so pointless after all.

Screeners at a passenger checkpoint at the Orlando International Airport last Friday found a loaded handgun hidden inside a stuffed teddy bear belonging to a 10-year-old boy, the Transportation Security Administration has told CNN.

The boy was part of a family of five that had been on vacation in Orlando and was returning home to Ohio, the TSA said.

"The family reported it had been given to the child at a hotel in Orlando two days earlier," TSA spokesman Robert Johnson said.

The .22-caliber Derringer, according to another TSA official, was "artfully hidden" inside the bear.

Screeners became suspicious after the teddy bear was x-rayed, and a small hole was found on the bottom of the stuffed toy, the official said.

Johnson said the FBI is examining who gave the child the bear and why.

Hmmm. It doesn't make much sense for a terrorist, smuggler, whatever to secretly put a gun in someone else's hands unless he has a reasonable chance of recovering it later. Which makes me think either someone in the kid's family put it there to get it through security, or, just possibly, the whole thing is a set-up to "prove" Underperformin' Norman Mineta "knows" what's he's doing.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:19 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The Times should upgrade its journalistic real estate and just bring on Mark Steyn. He's as brilliant as usual today:

Intelligence is a hit-and-miss business. In 1998, when Bill Clinton launched mid-Monica cruise-missile attacks on Afghanistan and the Sudan, he hit a Khartoum aspirin factory and missed Osama bin Laden. The claims that the aspirin factory was producing nerve gas and was an al-Qa’eda front proved to be untrue. Does that mean Clinton lied to us? I mean, apart from about Gennifer, Monica, and which part of the party of the first part’s enumerated parts came into contact with part of the party of the second part’s enumerated parts. Or was it just that the intelligence was lousy? The intel bureaucracy got the Sudanese aspirin factory wrong, failed to spot 9/11 coming, and insisted it was impossible for any American to penetrate bin Laden’s network, only to have Johnnie bin Joss-Stick from hippy-dippy Marin County on a self-discovery jaunt round the region stroll into the cave and be sharing the executive latrine with the A-list jihadi within 20 minutes.

So, if you’re the President and the same intelligence bureaucrats who got all the above wrong say the Brits are way off the mark, there’s nothing going on with Saddam and Africa, what do you do? Do you say, ‘Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day’? Or do you make the reasonable assumption that, given what you’ve learnt about the state of your humint (human intelligence) in the CIA, is it likely they’ve got much of a clue about what’s going on in French Africa? Isn’t this one of those deals where the Brits and the shifty French are more plugged in?

Indeed. And if the French are the Brits' source for all this as the rumor mill has it, doesn't this put them in a rather awkward position? I mean, the country that makes the most noise about international norms and laws had hard data that Saddam was breaking those laws in ways that endangered everyone, but did everything in its power to thwart the consequences. The question is no longer about Bush: It's what did Chirac know, and when did he know it, and why did he try to keep us from finding out?
Posted by B. Preston at 08:03 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I'm starting to wonder if the NY Times is using some sort of Mad Libs system to gin up headlines for its stories. Kevin Holtsberry has caught the Old Gray Liar in yet another case of the headline not only not matching the content of the story, but actually running contrary.
Posted by B. Preston at 07:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 16, 2003


It looks like North Korea is probing the South's front line defense, or just making enough noise to remind us that they're there.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:09 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


A few weeks ago I lamented the state of music, Christian in particular. Then along came Spock's Beard, which is still in my Sunfire's cd player and in my head most days. Awesome stuff. When I can get over to the neighborhood Christian music store I plan to check out Reliant K too.

One other reason that music is boring nowadays is the absence of Steve Taylor. What in the world has Christian rock's original rebel been doing for the past few years? Lots of things--films, watching his successful indie label (which brought us Sixpence None the Richer) crash and burn, and battling with evil recording industry lawyers. He summed up his recent wanderings in an entertaining interview.

One interesting item--he doesn't mind if you download his music from the web. The three labels on which he has released music have put most of his stuff out of print, and won't sell the rights back to him so he can re-issue. So he says if you can find Steve Taylor mp3's, have at it.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It looks like Socialists are essentially a protected minority:

Like Socialist candidates before her, Averill is seeking an exemption from donor disclosure laws, claiming that identifying her supporters could expose them to harassment.

...But critics claim that Averill is benefiting from biased exemption laws that favor organizations on the political left.

...in 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 1979 FEC ruling that exempted the Socialist Workers Party from the disclosure laws, saying that the party's ideas were so unpopular that its supporters could reasonably expect a backlash. The ruling was found to be constitutional because it protects unpopular party supporters' rights of free speech and free association.

On a 4-2 vote, the Federal Elections Commission renewed in April the Socialist Workers Party exemption from the donor disclosure law, saying Socialist party members would be subject to harassment if they were exposed like major-party donors.

...Almost all exemptions go to candidates on the extreme political left, like Averill. Fox News was unable to find a single instance of exemptions going to candidates on the fringe right, no matter how distasteful the platform. Whatever the reason for the apparent double standard, critics said that election laws must be equally applied.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on because the Socialist Workers Party is one of the groups that actually has supported all these campaign finance laws," Moore said. "So they want disclosure for all these other parties but don't want disclosure for themselves." [emphasis mine]

The Supreme Court must have never dreamed that the Democratic Party would come to be dominated by unpopular "mainstream Socialism." The Democrats could now apply for the same exemption -- citing contributions from any formerly popular people who have seen a backlash for their wacky ideas. Maybe Sean Penn, Janeane Garofalo and the Dixie Chicks could testify about their "loss" of free speech.
Posted by Chris Regan at 01:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


...may not be a fake after all. A.M. Siriano has been following the story, noting that the press is as usual doing a sloppy half-baked job on it.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


From the WaPo, a no-nonsense editorial aptly titled "Wait for the Facts." And from Democrat and former NY Mayor Ed Koch, a call to repudiate the Democrats and media types who are turning this non-scandal into a firestorm.

Koch says, with some equivocation, "Bush in 2004!"
Posted by B. Preston at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Where is the outrage? NAACP Executive Director Julian said that the GOP is just a more sophisticated version of the KKK during the organization's recent convention in Miami. He also said something about Confederate flags with swastikas, which makes no sense but seems to be a Republicans-are-Nazis dig. But the press is utterly ignoring it. So far, only Fox and NewsMax have had anything to say.

Is it impolite to point out to Mr. Bond that Democrats founded the KKK, after losing a war they fought to preserve slavery? Probably. Anyway, it's a digression.

It's also probably impolite to remind Mr. Bond that the NAACP is a 501 (C) (3) organization, and thus isn't supposed to endorse political parties. Based on his remarks and the NAACP's shameless Bush-bashing in 2000, it should be stripped of that tax-free status. But that will never happen, because the press is too busy straining gnats in the President's SOTU address, and because the NAACP is what it is: a liberal advocacy group and part of the vast left-wing idiotarian coalition.

Am I being harsh? At least I didn't compare them to the KKK.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:50 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I've been turning over a little bit of history in my mind lately. Didn't President Clinton bomb a pill factory in Sudan at the height of Monica, circa August 1998? Didn't that pill factory get squashed because Billy Boy said it was actually a chem weapons plant? Didn't he bomb the thing without consulting the JCS until about two hours prior to launch? And yet no one, to this day, has accused him of lying about the intel that led to the bombing. We've accused him of wagging the dog, sure, but not lying about the intel itself.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:20 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


ABC has hired Slate's Jake Tapper to be a political reporter. Tapper once worked for Handgun Control, the liberal anti-2nd Amendment advocacy group. Do ya think they'd ever hire a former NRA spokesman? Or someone from Right to Life?

The Media Whores Online pinheads love what the media's doing with the "Bush lied, people died" lie--so much so that they decided not to publish anything new themselves.

And don't miss David Broder's column, which is nothing but a laundry list of how the media is skewing the news and the effect it is having. I doubt Broder intended his column to read like a Media Research Center bias analysis, but it does.

(thanks to Hanks)
Posted by B. Preston at 06:56 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Ralph Peters' column today is a masterpiece--nearly every line quotable. One good line of many:

No congressional committee ever won a war, and no columnist ever stopped a terrorist from killing.

Read the whole thing. I could on and on about the history that Peters parallels to our present time, as I've thought of it often since 9-11. But I won't. Just check out the linked column.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:32 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 15, 2003


Though bloggers may disagree on the importance of the uranium story, we're at least thinking and talking about the facts. It's shocking though how fraudulently unprofessional and grossly irresponsible the mainstream media has been in robotically repeating their own actual lies:

A LexisNexis search conducted on Tuesday turned up over 1,000 print and television reports containing the words "uranium" and "false" or "erroneous" in the nine days since the story was first misreported in the New York Times.

Typical was a front page report in Friday's Wall Street Journal, which got the story wrong twice in a single sentence.

"Powell, traveling with Bush in Africa, said the president shouldn't have to apologize for making an erroneous assertion of an Iraq uranium purchase," the paper insisted.

...On Thursday, July 10, CBS Evening News introduced its fraudulant story on the African uranium flap with the teaser "President Bush's false claim about Iraqi weapons; he made it despite a CIA warning the intelligence was bad."

...the Seattle Post-Intelligencer outdid even the L.A. Times with its bogus headline "Democrats Turn Up Heat Over Misuse of False Report."

Some press outlets went so far as to publish patently false claims that even Mr. Blair didn't believe his own intelligence service. That's what the New York Daily News did on Friday, July 10, in the midst of an editorial defending the Bush administration.

"Saddam was not trying to buy uranium from Niger. Downing Street and the White House have now admitted as much," the paper misreported.

Not surprisingly, the media's big-lie blitzkrieg was kicked off by the granddaddy of made-up news and fabricated stories, the New York Times.

Will the anyone in the media issue a correction for even a single story, or are we witnessing unrepentant post-Jayson Blair editors creating a "new normal" for reporting standards? Forget the Dowdification of the Dems, Jayson Blair has seemingly become the patron saint for a new style of mainstream gonzo news tabloidization. As with Weekly World News "reporters", the mainstream media know they've invented bogus headlines and reported false information about the President. Yet they have the nerve to charge him with reporting false information? How arrogant is that? Have they no sense of decency? I mean, at least McCarthy wasn't a Communist when he was charging people with being Communists.

If Jayson Blair reported a false story about President Bush and wartime intelligence on the front page of any paper in the middle of a war, there would be an insane media firestorm that would center on the reporter, right? But as long as it's other senior anchors and reporters doing the wartime lying to America it's accepted. Now you know why Blair thinks he was just a scapegoat for a larger media problem. I can't believe we have this many brain dead editors or pathological liars in the nation's newsrooms either. We do have lots of Stepford reporters though -- and they're all robotically telling the exact same lies.

MORE: Lots more along these lines over at the Daily Howler. (via Instapundit)

Indeed, all over the press corps, [Stepford] reporters are now mysteriously failing to get the point the Admin made this weekend.

...What is happening here? In the case of individual scribes, we can’t tell you, but in the aggregate, this pattern is familiar. To all appearances, the press corps has reached an overall judgment—the Bush Admin spun the intelligence on Iraq. That overall judgment may well be true. But as you know, when the press corps reaches an overall judgment, they often start looking for easy-to-tell stories to illustrate their global belief. If they have to change or make up facts, all too often they’re willing to do it. In this case, the Washington press corps has clearly decided that the Bush Admin mistreated intelligence. And, as they have done many times in the past, they seem to be massaging some basic facts to convince you of that global conclusion.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:17 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The Congressman who would be king is having a hard time raising campaign cash. He was off by about $1 million in his target for this quarter. Couldn't happen to a nicer tyrant in waiting.

On the other hand, Gephardt claimed that he would raise $5 million, yet in reality he raised less than $4 million. According to the Democrats' current standards of truth and perfidy, he must have been lying!
Posted by B. Preston at 02:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Whoever advised Bush and everyone else to apologize for a completely truthful State of the Union Address should apologize to Bush and resign. That was the worst political advice I've seen in a very long time -- much worse than the original advice to include the 16 (now infamous) truthful words. It may be that the apology damaged the credibility of the President far more than the original statement.

Besides putting a giant "vote me out" sign on the President's back, it also undercut the future credibility of the CIA and the UK intel agencies. For what? To make a point about how the SOTU address should never be tainted by the mention of our top ally's intel? What voter outside the beltway ever saw that as the real issue? Nobody knew it was a big deal until the Bush Administration told us it was. Turns out it's actually more important than even the truthfulness of the statement.

In other words, the Administration said, "You may not realize this America, but we seriously screwed up in telling you the 'technical' truth. We're ashamed. You should consider holding the President and his clearly incompetent advisors ultimately responsible for this grave error in judgment. It wasn't something obvious at the time but trust us when we tell you it was unconscionable that he mentioned UK intel in the sacred All-American address. It's a new rule we just made up for the purpose of self-flagellation."

Prior to this episode, voters just saw a bunch of Democrats making outrageous accusations. Now they've essentially been told by Bush himself that everyone in his administration royally screwed up as a team on a matter of trust, war and national security. Voters' ears perk up and they say, "Oh? Hmm...I didn't know that."

For some perspective: "Bush Nuke Basher Admitted Saddam Sought the Bomb"

The diplomat who set off a political firestorm last week when he told the New York Times that President Bush may have "exaggerated" when he told the nation that Iraq sought nuclear fuel in Africa admitted last October that he believed Saddam Hussein had "an aggressive program to try and get" nuclear weapons.

Though former acting U.S. ambassador to Iraq Joseph C. Wilson's op-ed in the Times warned that Bush might have led the U.S. to war "under false pretenses" by ginning up a bogus nuclear threat, he was singing a different tune during an appearance on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" nine months ago.
Posted by Chris Regan at 09:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


The US and its allies are looking into setting up an international force to halt North Korea's weapons sales. Should Australia join that force, it would face nuclear attack according to an unofficial spokesman for Kim Jong-Il:

Kim Myong-Chol from the Centre for Korean-American Peace last night said if North Korean ships were stopped at sea, North Korea could turn its nuclear arsenal on Australia.

Mr Myong-Chol said North Korea had reprocessed 8000 nuclear fuel rods at the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and had nuclear missiles pointed at the United States.

He said North Korea also had missiles capable of hitting Australia.

"If Australia become part of American manipulation against North Korea, North Korea reserve the right to strike back on Australia," Mr Myong-Chol told ABC TV's Lateline program.

"That is official North Korean position."

I don't see a diplomatic solution to solve this problem that falls short of deposing Kim Jong-Il.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:10 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Let's stipulate a fact: The White House screwed up this whole Africa-Iraq- uranium story big time. Had they simly stuck by Tony Blair the way he has stuck by us, there would be no feeding frenzy on the question of Iraq and African uranium. That's because the British still stand by the intel, which they have never shared with the US, upon which the Iraq-uranium claim is based. On that fact alone it is impossible for President Bush to have lied when he claimed in the State of the Union address this year that Iraq had recently sought uranium from African sources. But the White House, by coming out and saying that the offending 16 words should not have been in the address, has fed the Washington rumor mill and given lift to left-Democrat charges that the whole Iraq war was based on lies. But to restate the base facts, the British still to this day say the information that led them to conclude that Iraq had indeed sought to purchase uranium from African sources is valid, and that it is seperate and distinct from the forged documents debunked by the IAEA earlier this year.

This morning, Slate is ignoring all of that, running with no less than three stories about the Bush "lie." Here's the lede for the first one:

When George W. Bush ran for president, one of his big selling points was responsibility. Americans were tired of Bill Clinton's fudges and legalisms. They were tired of hearing that the latest falsehood was part of a larger truth, or that it was OK because the president had attributed it to somebody else, or that the country should "move on." Bush promised to end all that. He promised an "era of responsibility" in which leaders and citizens would no longer "blame somebody else."

This month, Bush was given a chance to make good on those promises. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, he told Americans, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." But in March, the International Atomic Energy Agency debunked the only public documentation for that claim. And on July 6, a U.S. emissary who had been sent to Niger to check out the principal basis of the claim disclosed in the New York Times that he had found—and had told the U.S. government more than a year ago—that "it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."

The first paragraph is true, and therefore fine. But the second paragraph is full of holes. The 16 words heard round the world are based on British intel that is seperate from, not the same as, that which was debunked by the IAEA in March. If William Saletan had done a smidgeon of research he would know this, because the British press is abuzz with Tony Blair's defense of that very data. Is Saletan so parochial that he doesn't read the British press? The US emissary who went to Niger (and apparently only to Niger--the 16 words refer to Africa, not just one country in Africa) was Joseph C. Wilson, whom NRO's Clifford May characterizes as a Bush-hater with an axe to grind. May backs up his assertion with a pile of evidence--Wilson's anti-war op-ed in The Nation (one of the most lefty mags around) by itself shows that he is hardly a dispassionate party. Why doesn't Saletan mention any of this?

The rest of the story falls apart on this one fact: The British still stand by the claim that Iraq did attempt to purchase uranium from African sources. Bush could not have lied, because the information isn't bogus according to the people that gave it to him. If someone I trust tells me a story that I don't know isn't true, am I lying if I simply repeat it? Even if I attribute it to the person who told me? Of course not. That's what the President did--he repeated a claim that came from a trusted friend, and in this case the trusted friend still stands by the story. How could he have been lying then?

The CIA disputed the British claim, but the CIA doesn't have the same intel source that the British have. Big deal. The CIA also missed about a zillion signs that 9-11 was coming. The CIA missed about a zillion signs that the USSR was about to collapse, an event that caught it by almost as much surprise as it did the rest of the world. The British haven't publicly disclosed the source of their African uranium intel--they haven't even told the White House who the source is--and probably have some very good reasons for doing so. Intelligence is by nature a very dangerous, risky business. Governments cultivate sources who take tremendous risks, and those sources in turn depend on the governments they work for to act in good faith and with all appropriate discretion. The British source is likely someone intimately familiar with the uranium trade in Africa, which means they probably take part in it, and his or her life would be in jeopardy should their link to the British be exposed. But because they are a valuable source of information, the British protect them from everyone, including the US. That is the nature of intelligence work. It is sometimes sloppy, nearly always dangerous, and demanding a certain circumspection when protecting sources.

As far as the press including Slate goes, what they're doing amounts to a bait and switch. I chalk it up to two things--they really want to catch Bush in a lie so that Clinton doesn't look so bad in comparison, and they just don't know what they're doing when it comes to handling matters related to security and intelligence. Most press types today have zero military or intel experience. They may work the occasional anonymous source in some government agency, but the stakes there are small potatoes compared with those in international intelligence work. Reporters are simply playing beyond their depth in these matters. The bait and switch is most evident in Jack Shafer's story on the fake Niger yellowcake documents. He wonders why Secretary of State Colin Powell never referenced the Nigerian forgeries in making his case. He is of course implying that President Bush did refer to those documents in the SOTU, which is untrue. Bush referred to the British intelligence, not the forgeries--he didn't even name Niger in the 16 offending words. But Shafer has substituted the Niger forgeries for the British intel, trying to smear Bush but not Powell as a liar. Neat trick, too bad the facts don't support it.

Shafer goes on to wonder who made the forgeries in the first place. Good question. Even the US intel agencies don't seem to know, or aren't saying. I suspect that an anti-war state, most likely Russia or China or possibly France, had a hand in it. They have certainly had the effect that an anti-war state would desire in deflecting the success of the war while focusing attention on a few controversial words amid a vast case for war. Then again I pretty much always suspect China and France of being up to no good, so take my suspicions for what they're worth. But with regard to the SOTU, the author of those documents is irrelevant, because President Bush wasn't referring to them. He was referring to British intelligence that, as of this writing, still has the backing of its source.

Oh, Slate did run a third story on all this. But as it's a Mike Kinsley piece, it's just another smarmy, snarky anti-Bush hit piece. Not worth the pixels it's made of.

MORE: InstaPundit says the media and the Democrats (why do I bother to differentiate between the two?) are suffering from "creeping Dowdification." Ouch.

MORE: A reader writes that Joseph C. Wilson has also bait-and-switched on the uranium question:

I notice that Mr. Bush said that the Brits alleged that "Hussein has ... sought ... uranium..." The diplomat reported that, "it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place."
They're talking about two different acts -- seeking is not a transaction. In fact, the diplomat's words are more of a confirmation of British intelligence than a denial.

MORE: And now Sen. Bob Graham, who doesn't know how many letters are in the word "deceit" (so he obviously must be lying about it!) apparently supports impeaching Bush over this non-issue. The Dems are jumping the shark on this, big time.

MORE: The 12th Man had the "Dowdification" line up looong before any of the rest of us did, and the analogy is apt. Dowd and the Dems both lop off vital bits of quotes in order to twist their intended meaning. In journalism it's unethical. In politics it's immoral, though unfortunately not unusual. This one is laced with irony, though, as the Dem ad that chops off the first phrase of the 16 words is titled "Truth." Ha!
Posted by B. Preston at 07:02 AM | Comments (43) | TrackBack

July 14, 2003


You know that big speech that President Bush gave last January, the so-called State of the Union address? Well, it seems that he actually wrote and edited parts of it! And there are pictures to prove it!

I'm speechless, nay apoplectic with shock! The President wrote his own speech...what is the world coming to? And surely, if he wrote and edited at least parts of it--there are pictures, don't forget--then that automatically means that he was lying through his teeth about that whole Iraq-uranium deal. What else could it mean?

It could mean that pinheads like Media Whores Online have reached a new low in their desperate attempts to pin something--anything--on President Bush.

On the bright side, the MWO piece actually refers to Mr. Bush as "competent." That surely is a first.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


China's new premiere Hu Jintao, who might as well be a clone of the old one for all the difference he seems to be making, sent a personal letter to one Kim Jong-Il, address Pyongyang, North Korea this week.

Neither the Chinese nor the North Koreans have gone public with the letter's contents. Ten to one says it's not a recipe for moo goo gai pan. I doubt it was a Valentine too.

Some thoughts. With the Hong Kong protests festering and its economy still recovering from an embarassing bout with SARS, the ChiComs probably aren't in a trifling mood. They want to find some way out of the Hong Kong democracy trap that the British kindly left behind, and they want the Americans off their backs asap, but they keep getting calls nagging them to deal with their pet in Pyongyang. That pet is developing a nasty bite, and if the ChiComs don't take care of it they know that there will be American troops occupying the entire Korean Peninsula before too long.

That letter was probably a carrot-and-stick set-up, designed to persuade Kim to stop threatening everyone in the region. The carrot was increased financial and fuel support if Kim cooperates. The stick was a series of escalating threats, beginning with fuel stoppages and ending with some suggestion that perhaps the ChiComs could find a more suitable ruler for its new parking lot.

Let's hope that's what was in that letter. If it was a love letter, we're in for another war in the short to mid term.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Christians can be idiotarians too. I know most of you were saying some form of "No s***" under your breath when you read that opener. Nonetheless, I believe in calling out the mistakes of people who agree with me as well as taking on people whom I might call my intellectual opposites, even enemies.

So firing toward the right, Pat Robertson should be ashamed of himself. I first heard about his connection to Liberia's Charles Taylor sometime last year. Frankly, I thought it must be some sort of anti-Christian smear. Not that I carry water for Robertson. I think his doctrine is very unsound and unorthodox, and his televised healings are, frankly, a joke. Who can't say to an audience of several million "I'm hearing from the Spirit about someone with a headache. You've had them for years. As you listen to me right now, God is healing you and the headache you've been having for the past week is going to go away" and not have it come true for one person in the audience? C'mon, Pat, that's a pathetic parlor trick. It's a shame really, because his CBN newscasts are pretty good, or at least they were back when I watched them. Like a lot of people who attain success and wealth, I'm afraid Robertson has fallen into vanity. Now he's not only questionable on doctrine, he's openly supporting a terrible thug because he and that thug have a diamond deal. Pat, stop buying jewels from swine or you surrender whatever moral authority you had left.

And firing to the left, the Rev. Tony Campolo became a household name during the Clinton years. He's nominally a Baptist, and so is Clinton, so when wild Bill got caught in the Monica mess he called in Campolo to advise him or whatever. Campolo was one of about a half dozen ministers who prayed with Billy Jeff in an auspicious prayer circle that included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was doing deeds that would lead to his on little sex scandal not long afterward. A real spiritual group, that. Since then, lots of us Baptists have wondered about Campolo a bit, and Campolo has given us a lot to wonder about. Recently, he put those wonders to rest and denounced several major Baptist doctrines. Just trashed them. Fine, free speech and so forth--but Campolo went way too far. He said that anyone who disagrees with him on some pretty controversial stuff is a tool of the devil. And the stands he took were way to the left of center, not in the Baptist church but just generally to the left, putting the vast majority of Baptists and most Americans in the devil column. He has since apologized, but only after the Baptist Press made a big stink about what he'd said. And his apology didn't say that he didn't mean it--he just apologized for being intemperate. Whatever. Like Robertson, Campolo seems to have let his notoriety go to his head where it sucked out his brain and then reached down and squeezed the life out of his heart. So he's just jumped the line and made himself an idiotarian too. Oh, and don't think I'm saying that just because he trashed my church. He's also pro-Palestinian and thinks Israel's self-defense amounts to terrorism. And he thinks the Iraq war was unjust, blah blah blah.

So there you have it--a two-fer Christian idiotarian smackdown. I can't say I like doing these things, but they're necessary sometimes I guess.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Treating the ministry, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is probably the most difficult thing a filmmaker can do. The central character is just too difficult to depict in a way that expresses both sinless humanity and true divinity without resorting to Shakespearean accents and melodrama. In my judgment, it has yet to be done well. Don't get me started on how bad Last Temptation was--Harvey Keitel with a Brooklyn accent is supposed to be Judas? Never mind everything else that movie got wrong, twisted or otherwise hacked. What an awful film.

But I've just watched the trailer for The Passion. Wow. If that trailer is any guide at all, Mel Gibson has given the Gospels a Lord of the Rings treatment.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I've long thought it nearly impossible to beat InstaPundit to any major and interesting headline--but we beat him to this story about a translator blowing the whistle on FBI officials who tried to slow down her work translating terrorism-related documents.

How far ahead are we? Glenn has the story today--the JYB had it last november. How much will someone bet me that those footdragging FBI officials are "career officers" who came of professional age in the Clinton years?
Posted by B. Preston at 12:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Those Catholic priests who made man-love to all those little boys made one big mistake: The committed their crimes too soon. What they did--manipulating trusting boys, lying to those boys' parents, having various forms of sex with those boys in and around the churches entrusted to them--may soon be legal if one Supreme Court Justice, the American Psychiatric Association and the odious North American Man-Boy Love Association get their way. And they may, since last month's SCOTUS decision in the Lawrence case has made it easy for them. That's the case that struck down sodomy laws, which were likely to become extinct the democratic way in a few years if the court hadn't unilaterally struck them down. As a side piece, Lawrence may have opened the door for pedophiles to claim that they're just another repressed minority with the same rights to sexual gratification as anyone else.

Critics of the US Supreme Court's logic in the Lawrence sodomy case feared that the decision would lead to legalized pedophilia, via the lowering of the age of consent. One of those critics happened to be Sen. Rick Santorum, who was roundly castigated for merely stating case law as it existed prior to Lawrence.

Well, it seems that the ink hasn't even dried up on that ruling, and we're slip-sliding down the road to our worst fears.

On its website, NAMBLA Director David Thorstad claims: "Pederasty, like homosexuality, has existed, and exists, in all societies that have ever been studied. Homoeroticism is a ubiquitous feature of human experience, as even efforts to repress it confirm. Men and youths have always been attracted to each other, and, like homosexuality in general, their love is irrepressible."

Murder has also existed as long as humans have been around--want to legalize that too? Wait--they already have--it's called "abortion!" NAMBLA probably already knows, but you may not, that it already has an ally on the Supreme Court:

Given that homosexual advocates are in a full court press to lower the age of consent as low as it can go, and pro-pedophile sitting Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 's documented advocacy of lowering the age of consent to 12 years old, parents should be horrified that there are so few politicians, like Sen. Santorum, actually defending the family," Timothy Chichester, CFAA president, said April 23.

Chichester was referring to a paper authored by Ginsburg entitled "Sex Bias in the U.S. Code," which was prepared for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in April 1977

The allegation was further substantiated by Robert Knight, director of CWA's Culture Institute, in "Homosexual Behavior and Pedophilia," an article he co-authored with the Family Research Council's Frank York.

"When U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an attorney for the ACLU, she co-authored a report recommending that the age of consent for sexual acts be lowered to 12 years of age," the article points out.

Knight and York's footnoted documentation on this is as follows: "Sex Bias in the U.S. Code," Report for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, April 1977, p. 102, quoted in "Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Feminist World View," The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Vol. 26, No. 12, Section 1, p. 3. The paragraph (from the Ginsburg report) reads as follows: "'Eliminate the phrase "carnal knowledge of any female, not his wife, who has not attained the age of 16 years" and substitute a federal, sex-neutral definition of the offense. ... A person is guilty of an offense if he engages in a sexual act with another person. ... [and] the other person is, in fact, less than 12 years old.'"

LaRue said pedophiles may co-opt language used in the Lawrence decision regarding homosexuals; that laws against their behavior are a discriminatory attempt to harm them as a persecuted minority. And they will be supported, she claimed, by academia.

Didn't that noted radical lefty, Sen. Orin Hatch, recommend President Clinton put Ginsberg on the Supreme Court? Yet another horrid SCOTUS appointment with GOP fingerprints. But while Ginsberg sits happily on the Supreme Court, the Democrats continue to block Miguel Estrada's nomination to the federal bench for....? Because he's Hispanic but not liberal, apparently.

As for academia, they're way ahead of the courts. The American Psychiatric Association may drop pedophilia as a mental illness:

During its annual convention in May, the American Psychiatric Association hosted a symposium discussing the removal of pedophilia along with other categories of mental illness (collectively known as paraphilia) from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

After much criticism following CNSNews.com coverage of the symposium, the APA issued a statement reiterating its position on pedophilia.

But in his 1999 article "Harming the Little Ones: The Effects of Pedophilia on Children," Timothy Dailey, senior analyst for cultural studies with the Family Research Council, chronicled the APA's treatment of pedophilia in the DSM and compares it to the APA evolution of homosexuality.

In DSM revisions, Dailey explained that APA "adds a subjective qualification similar to that which appeared with regard to homosexuality: The individual must be 'markedly distressed' by his own pedophilic activity to be considered needful of therapy," Dailey wrote, adding that in the latest revision, pedophilia "is to be considered a paraphilia when the behavior causes 'clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.'"

The child, the victim, never gets a mention. Just the perp and his "distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning." How compassionate. It gets worse, folks. The APA published a study in 1998 on child abuse. Among other things, the study proffered renaming "consensual" acts of pedophilia simply "adult-child sex." Not only would pedophilia not be a mental illness, but it would no longer constitute child abuse either. No more jailtime for 44 year-old men who have sex with their twelve-year-old neighbor, so long as it's "consensual."

Liberals in this country are always going on about how everything they do is for The Children. Here's one thing they can do that really is for The Children--stop this pedophilia madness in their ranks right now. But they won't. The left doesn't function as a self-criticizing body--all it can do is strike out at anyone to its right.

Is this worth worrying about? Could pedophilia really get the legal stamp of approval? You bet. The APA once regarded homosexuality as a mental illness--dropping that classification made all the difference in the world, opening up the debates we're now having on gay marriage and adoption. NAMBLA already has at least one Supreme Court Justice already in their corner.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:12 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


"We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France."
--The Duke of Wellington

(via The Corner)
Posted by B. Preston at 09:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


As regular JYB readers know, I've been saying for a while now that the Bush Administration is going to attempt to provoke a war with N. Korea (with the sincere hope that Kim Jong-il backs down first -- possibly with China's prompting). We clearly need to have a credible threat of force in place to have any chance for peace. Kim is convinced we're too petrified of nukes to do anything about him now. Technically it could be argued that we're the ones that have been threatened into the provocative pre-war posture we're about to take. Think Libya: 1986

I've been in favor of using the ultra-aggressive blockade and surveillance of N. Korea as a way to continue to defend America from nuclear terror without interference of the the State Dept, liberal politicians and the worldwide Communist-led protest machine. All plagued our runup to war with Iraq and allowed Saddam to import and train more terrorists, export/hide his WMD, and otherwise construct a plan for his Fedayeen war and our current post-war troubles.

In the case of Korea, any sensible preemptive strike plan will be bitterly opposed by liberals. They will cite nuclear weapons as the reason we must give in to blackmail. That would give Kim additional Saddam-like boldness to ignore us, and the additional time continue nuke development. So the Pentagon is going with an alternate plan.

Now we have the leaking of Operations Plans that back up what I've been theorizing about our designs for Korea.

Elements of the draft, known as Operations Plan 5030, are so aggressive that they could provoke a war, some senior Bush administration officials tell U.S. News.

Adm. Thomas Fargo, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, and senior Pentagon planners are developing the highly classified plan. The administration insiders, who are critical of the plan, say it blurs the line between war and peace. The plan would give commanders in the region authority to conduct maneuvers--before a war has started--to drain North Korea's limited resources, strain its military, and perhaps sow enough confusion that North Korean generals might turn against the country's leader, Kim Jong Il. "Some of the things [Fargo] is being asked to do," says a senior U.S. official, "are, shall we say, provocative."

...One scenario in the draft involves flying RC-135 surveillance flights even closer to North Korean airspace, forcing Pyongyang to scramble aircraft and burn scarce jet fuel. Another option: U.S. commanders might stage a weeks-long surprise military exercise, designed to force North Koreans to head for bunkers and deplete valuable stores of food, water, and other resources. The current draft of 5030 also calls for the Pentagon to pursue a range of tactical operations that are not traditionally included in war plans, such as disrupting financial networks and sowing disinformation.

...But if the Pentagon gives commanders more authority to take aggressive actions in peacetime, as contemplated in Plan 5030, it risks tripping over the president's--and Congress's--authority to commit the nation to war, says a senior official. "Who decides when to go to war?" the official asks. "Good question."

In my view, we let Kim Jong-il decide. If he wants war, he attacks us and we fight a war -- sooner rather than later. He's already threatened us enough, and it's time to press him before he can actually do all he claims he will do. It's time to end the blackmail and shut down the nuclear fuel reprocessing that we just detected.

This warplan leaking by Bush opponents -- most likely in the pro-Kim State Dept this time -- is what stopped us from considering a surprise attack on Baghdad last year using a small (50,000 man) force to decapitate the regime. If I remember right, it was Bush opponents in the Pentagon that leaked our Iraq warplans to the NY Times.

Why Bush and Ashcroft continue to allow internal enemies to harm national security and disrupt pending operations, I'll never know. The stakes are too high.

From a recent high-ranking defector: "Strike N. Korea before it's too late"

The United States is however the only power that can end the Kim Il-Sung dynasty's nuclear blackmail tactics and the enslavement of the North Korean people, Park argued.

"Many North Koreans believe that the United States is their savior and the only nation that can liberate North Korea," he said. The flood of hate-America propaganda from North Korea represents only the relatively small number of people around Kim Jong-Il, he said.

"We cannot expect to bring down the regime of Kim Jong-il by internal means," Park said. "A pre-emptive U.S. strike against selected targets inside North Korea will succeed," he said.

"U.S. strikes against North Korean targets would force Kim Jong-il to seek asylum in China. Kim is a coward. If attacked, he will flee. The North Korean army would not fight after the regime collapsed," he said.

Park heads the National Salvation Front, a group of high-ranking North Korean exiles that includes five former generals of the North Korean army, the former vice minister of home affairs, the former vice minister of culture and the former superintendent of the North Korea Military Academy.

Park warned that North Korea would use its nuclear weapons against Japan, South Korea and even the United States if given the time to develop them.
Posted by Chris Regan at 09:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Posted by B. Preston at 06:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 13, 2003


testing to see if MT works.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:49 PM | Comments (9)


Google News had up a curious set of links as of 9:52 tonight. In the "US" section, it links to a story headlined "Attacks on US Forces in Iraq Seen Very Likely to Continue." That's fairly obvious given the environment, and Google didn't write the headline so I'm not hitting them for that. What has me puzzled is the link to the story's right--it's one of those thumbnail links, subbed "Intellectual Conservative." The image seemed to depict a gorilla leaning on a fencepost for a good hard think, and with the interesting subhead I decided to click. Turns out it led to one of the most angry (and poorly written and reasoned) anti-Rumsfeld diatribes I've seen in a while, by an anonymous writer on an obscure site. Why would Google link to such an irrelevant piece? The linked story had nothing to do with the antecedent story's topic, namely the ongoing violence in Iraq. It was just some anonymous writer spleen venting in the direction of the Secretary of Defense. I suspect someone at Google News is having an editorial moment when they shouldn't. Here is a screen shot. Look on the right hand side (and sorry about the file size--I didn't want to cut it down too much).

This little bit of bias may be one more reason to leave Blogger (now owned by Google), which the JYB will be doing in about a week. The new and smoother running JYB will feature actual archives, actually searchable, the return of the monster blogroll (with links that lead to real blogs!), and a swank new logo (if James gets off his duff and makes us one...). MT will drive it from stem to stern.
Posted by B. Preston at 07:23 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack