July 24, 2004


I went to my website stats page tonight, just to see how the traffic is shaping up and see where people like you are coming from to see this blog.

Like most statistics gizmos, ours keeps a running tally of referrers that send readers our way. Guess who's third on the list.

The International Atomic Energy Agency. To the tune of over 3,000 hits this month.

Now, I'll grant that that number only amounts to less than 2% of the site's total traffic (the vast majority come here through direct clicks, and lucianne.com and instapundit.com send quite a bit of traffic these days too), but from the looks of the stats most of the IAEA traffic has come here in the past day or two. They weren't even in the top 20 yesterday.

Weird. Like the post's title says, I don't know what to make of it. Maybe our
"Nuclear Anaconda" post struck a nerve.

Anyway, to those of you coming here via the International Atomic Energy Agency's website, welcome! I'm fairly anti-UN, but don't let that put you off. I mainly oppose the UN's existence because it's dominated by dictators, doesn't do much to foster democracy or human rights, has thoroughly mishandled every single peacekeeping operation it has ever been given, is hopelessly corrupt and lets its people live high in places like North Korea while the average family there has to get by foraging for grass and roots, let the Saddamite Oil-For-Food program turn into bribes and kickbacks to keep the old butcher in power, fails to enforce its binding resolutions on dictators even while it elevates them to absurdly influential spots on its Human Rights Commission, and is in general beyond repair. We need to dissolve the UN and start over, imho, with a mutual security organization that bans non-democratic states (thus creating incentive for non-democracies to democratize so they can join the club), and elevates emerging powers like Japan and India while putting cranks like Chirac's France in its place. We would still need an organization like the IAEA, though. And I still hope you guys in the IAEA can help keep the world safe from the Iranian mullahs and Kim Jong-Il. I don't have a great deal of confidence that you can given your close association with the UN, but I do hope you prove me wrong.

Regardless of my animus toward the UN, you folks are welcome here. Feel free to drop me a line anytime. The address is in the right-hand column.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Chris informs me that Joe Wilson's Kerry-financed website, www.restorehonesty.com, needs some restoring of its own.

It's gone. Deleted. Ba-bye now.

See for yourself.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 23, 2004


As we posted earlier, it seems Sandy Berger has spent most of his adult life primarily working with (on behalf of?) business and government contacts in Communist China. As it turns out, he also once leaked classified information to the press in 1999 in an attempt to diffuse his role in allowing top-secret technology to be obtained by the Chinese:

CONGRESSMAN WELDON: Well, the Administration has already released that portion that they wanted to release to trivialize that whole effort. But, you know, it’s amazing that we were very serious about the China Committee. There were nine of us on that Committee. None of us leaked any information. All of our meetings were in secret with the CIA, DIA, the FBI. All of our sessions were quiet so we didn’t put aside the whole issue of tech transfer. And we kept our word up until the end to not leak anything out and to do the report in a substantive way, which is why we got a nine to zero vote. Nobody dissented. We sent the report to the Administration and then we find out - this is really troubling to me - last Monday I guess it was or the Monday before, that [National Security Advisor] Sandy Berger had sent out to the press corps responses to the 30-some recommendations we made - which up until that point in time were classified.

Now those responses were asked for - I mean, were given by the Administration publicly, not privately. Publicly. So the Administration sought, although they did redact certain items, to respond to our 32 recommendations in a public format. And there was also a leak to The Wall Street Journal of one of our most serious findings which dealt with a nuclear weapon. And we know that leak, or we highly suspect that leak, came from an [National Security Council] source. In fact, we have other people in the media who have led us to believe that. But, be that as it may, those two leaks did occur. But here’s the irony here. Sandy Berger on behalf of the White House responds publicly to the China Committee recommendations which were bipartisan. That’s on a Monday. The following Wednesday we have a National Security Committee briefing by the DCI, the Director of Central Intelligence. One of my questions to him was, do you agree with the basic finding that’s been publicly announced that there was harm done to our security? His response to me was, ‘Congressman, I haven’t finished reading the report yet.’ This meant that the White House responded to 32 recommendations two days before the DCI comes up on the Hill and testifies in a closed session that he hasn’t finished reading the report yet. Doesn’t that trouble you? It troubles me.

The incident was also referred to in this Washington Post article from 1999.

So he leaks secret info to defend himself from top-secret tech transfer scrutiny? Sandy Berger sure is one "sloppy" guy. If we don't dodge the incoming bomb of a Kerry Presidency we certainly will have dodged a bullet in not allowing Sandy Berger to be our next Secretary of State or CIA Chief. Manchurian Appointee: Return to Power would not be a funny sequel.

(World Magazine tried to report this first, but a Drudge link immediately crashed their website and I've not seen the info for days now.)

MORE: It also appears Sandy Berger was the one who tried to obtain secret FBI files on Chinese campign contributions from Jamie Gorelick in early 1997.

Charles Ruff, Clinton legal counsel who most recently defended him in the Senate Impeachment trial, made the FBI contact. Ruff contacted Janet Reno's deputy Jamie Gorelick and wanted to know what federal investigators knew or suspected about Chinese illegal contributions to the presidential campaign.

However, when FBI director Freeh learned of the White House probe by Gorelick, he ordered the information not be provided to Clinton, federal law enforcement officials told the Daily Republican in 1997. In a New York Times story Ruff was quoted as telling Gorelick he was seeking the information on behalf of the National Security Council. Ruff said at the time that there was nothing improper about his contacts with the Justice department. The Times story depicted Clinton's probe to obtain the secured FBI files as a written request marked TOP SECRET. Ruff said in an interview, 'This was a matter being dealt with by the National Security Council in its capacity as adviser to the president.'

However, law enforcement officials pointed out that Ruff's request was received only after FBI director Freeh had left Washington on a trip to the Middle East. In his absence, attorney general Janet Reno and Gorelick quickly moved to obtain the secret FBI files. Before the Justice Department turned over the FBI files to Clinton's legal counsel, Robert Bryant, then head of the FBI national security division, picked up the telephone and informed Freeh of Clinton's probe for the secret files on the Chinese investigation. Freeh ordered the files withheld.

Was "Sticky Fingers" Sandy foiled by Freeh?

MORE: Looks like Louis Freeh also had questions about why an unqualified trade lawyer and lobbyist for the ChiComs, Sandy Berger, was involved in national security matters:

In the Khobar case, the law-enforcement approach itself risked creating pressure for a military strike. The White House was therefore angered when Freeh — the head of its lead agency in the fight against terror, whose job it was to pursue the facts — pursued the facts.

When Freeh told national security adviser Sandy Berger there was evidence to indict several suspects, Berger asked, "Who else knows this?" He then proceeded to question the evidence. A reporter for The New Yorker who later interviewed Freeh about the case writes that the FBI Director thought "Berger . . . was not a national security adviser; he was a public-relations hack, interested in how something would play in the press. After more than two years, Freeh had concluded that the administration did not really want to resolve the Khobar bombing."

Blocking action against terrorists was Berger's default stance:

Sandy Berger, then serving as deputy national security adviser--seemed to work overtime at opposing tough measures against terror.

When Sen. Alfonse D'Amato pushed through legislation that sought to cripple the Iranian funding of terrorism by mandating U.S. retaliation against foreign or American companies that aided its oil industry, Mr. Berger advised a veto unless the bill were amended to allow the president to waive the sanctions. When the bill passed--with the waiver--Mr. Berger successfully blocked the implementation of sanctions in virtually every case.

Posted by Chris Regan at 09:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


527 groups are nominally independent political organizations, able to raise and spend their own money but barred from cooperating or colluding in any way with the political parties. They are in practice shadow parties--they may not legally coordinate their activities, ads, messages or events with the parties, but they're free to echo party messages or even take party ideas and run further with them than the parties themselves tend to do.

527s are or will soon be a threat to democracy, in that it takes little more than a post office box to set one up, and they can change names, ownership, locations etc as often as they like, and they're free from the rules that govern party fundraising. Say a 527 gets legitimate criticism because some enterprising blogger discovers that a Communist group from China actually owns it, for instance. That 527 can just dissolve and reconstitute under a new name, naming a new person as its chair, and it has dodged the criticism for a while, even though its assets just go straight to the new group. Rather than making our political process more transparent, campaign finance reform in the form of 527s has made it far, far less transparent.

It has also left a gigantic loophole for what has become the world's largest and wealthiest 527, which is Viacom, Inc.

Contrary to what most of the left thinks about giant corporations, Viacom is a far left corporation, and its corporate children reflect its politics.

Want proof? According to OpenSecrets.org, Viacom employees have donated a whopping 74% of their political funds to Democrats this year. Further, as Chris Regan and I have documented, Viacom uses its corporate holdings to create multimedia "perfect storms" this year to help drive President Bush from the White House. Those holdings include Simon & Schuster, publisher of Richard Clarke's anti-Bush book along with several others including Ron Suskind's The Price of Loyalty; CBS, whose 60 Minutes has donated the majority of its airtime this year to whoring for Clarke, Suskind and Bob Woodward when not allowing former President Clinton to re-justify his wasted years in office; and Paramount. Viacom acquired that gem a few years back. Paramount is behind one of this summer's more odd films, The Manchurian Candidate.

Rather than describe a film I've yet to see (and probably won't see until it comes out on DVD), I'll let Frank Rich do the honors:

I cannot recall when Hollywood last released a big-budget mainstream feature film as partisan as this one at the height of a presidential campaign. That it has slipped into action largely under the media's radar, as discreetly as the sleeper agents in its plot, is an achievement in itself. Freed from any obligations to fact, "The Manchurian Candidate" can play far dirtier than "Fahrenheit 9/11." Not being a documentary, it can also open on far more screens - some 2,800, which is more than three times what Michael Moore could command on his opening weekend (or any weekend to date).

"The Manchurian Candidate" is a product of Paramount Pictures, whose chairwoman, Sherry Lansing, is a loyal Democratic contributor, according to public records. (So, for the most part, is her boss, the Viacom chairman, Sumner Redstone.) One of the film's stars, Meryl Streep, shared the stage with Whoopi Goldberg at the recent Kerry-Edwards fund-raiser. As Bill O'Reilly will be glad to hear, the cameo role of a cable-news reporter is played by Al Franken.

The screenplay has holes as large as those in the still woefully inadequate U.S. homeland security apparatus. (At the outset the film actually posits that political conventions are exciting events where even the vice presidential nomination can still be up for grabs.) Hokey, literal-minded sci-fi gimmickry usurps the wit of the 1962 original, which was faithfully adapted by the director John Frankenheimer and the screenwriter George Axelrod from the 1959 Richard Condon novel. But the new version, even at its clunkiest, could not be more uncompromising in its paranoid portrayal of a political cartel with certain familiar traits that will stop at nothing, including the exploitation and even the fomenting of terrorism, to hold on to power for its corporate backers.

...The new "Candidate," which takes the first Gulf War instead of the Korean War as its historical template, finds a striking new international villain to replace the extinct evil empires of Mao and Stalin: Manchurian Global, a "supremely powerful, well-connected, private equity fund" that is in league with the Saudis and eager to scoop up the profits from privatizing the U.S. Army. Think of it as the Carlyle Group or Halliburton on steroids, just as its primary fictional political beneficiary, the well-heeled "Prentiss family dynasty," with its three generations of Washington influence, is at most one syllable removed from the Bushes.

Perhaps to fake out the right, the villain played by Streep has been given the look, manner and senatorial rank of Hillary Clinton. (The character's invective, typified by her accusation that civil libertarians enable suicide bombers, is vintage Fox News Channel, blond auxiliary division.) She has programmed her son to be the "first privately owned and operated vice president of the United States" - in other words, the left's demonized image of the current vice president. This conspiracy unfolds in a sinister present-day America where surveillance cameras track library visitors, cable news channels peddle apocalypse 24/7, and the American government launches pre-emptive military strikes in countries like Guinea to prolong a war on terror "with no end in sight." The crucial election at hand will use electronic touch screens for voting, a dark intimation of Floridian balloting mischief. It will not be an election at all, says the movie's military-man hero (Denzel Washington in Colin Powell's rimless specs), but "a coup - in our own country, a regime change."

So what we have is an old film remade in Michael Moore's image, complete with leftwing conspiracy fears and theories and the rest. It is, as Rich (no conservative partisan) describes, like a day added to the Democrat convention. And it's a Paramount property. And Paramount is a Viacom property. Viacom is using its corporate empire as the multimedia arm of the Democrat party, making it in effect the largest 527 on earth. Only in this case, Viacom's fund raising happens not at little cocktail soirees on the Upper West side, but in a couple thousand theaters around the country, and in Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores a few months from now. Say, around October.

Call it corporate synergy. Call it whatever you want. But it's a leftwing path around the campaign finance law that the Democrats disingenuously pushed on the nation and incredibly persuaded President Bush to sign into law.

Democrat propaganda dressed up in Meryl Streep's high heels: Coming soon to a theater near you.

(thanks to JS for the tip on the film, and to Chris for background research on the original NRO article)

Posted by B. Preston at 10:37 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


You'll get headlines like this:

9/11 report: "Terrorism" catchall too vague an enemy

And selective quoting like this:

The report argues that the notion of fighting an enemy called "terrorism" is too diffuse and vague to be effective. Strikingly, the report also makes no reference to the invasion of Iraq as being part of the war on terrorism, a frequent assertion of President Bush and his top aides.

"The first phase of our post-9-11 efforts rightly included military action to topple the Taliban and pursue al-Qaida. This work continues," the report said. "But long-term success demands the use of all elements of national power: diplomacy, intelligence, covert action, law enforcement, economic policy, foreign aid, public diplomacy and homeland defense. If we favor one tool while neglecting others, we leave ourselves vulnerable and weaken our national effort."

Which would make you think the 9-11 Commission is backhandedly chastising the warmongering Bush administration. For all I know, it may be.

But. If you go to the searchable Commission Report and run a query on "proliferation," you get this:

Recommendation: Our report shows that al Qaeda has tried to acquire or make weapons of mass destruction for at least ten years. There is no doubt the United States would be a prime target. Preventing the proliferation of these weapons warrants a maximum effort—by strengthening counterproliferation efforts, expanding the Proliferation Security Initiative, and supporting the Cooperative Threat Reduction program. Targeting Terrorist Money The general public sees attacks on terrorist finance as a way to “starve the terrorists of money.” So, initially, did the U.S. government. After 9/11, the United States took aggressive actions to designate terrorist financiers and freeze their money, in the United States and through resolutions of the United Nations. These actions appeared to have little effect and, when confronted by legal challenges, the United States and the United Nations were often forced to unfreeze assets.

The Commission is recommending something that is already being done. The Bush administration is already expanding the PSI. It's up to 15 active members now with another 45 or so cooperating. And it's quietly building the Caspian Guard alliance, which is a Central Asian mini-PSI. Both alliancec combine intel sharing, law enforcement, military, diplomacy and probably half a dozen other carrots and sticks, their long-term aim being encircling and squeezing Iran and North Korea until they give up their nuke programs.

Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2004


Just caught the Oscar-winner on MSNBC, and he is one Hollywood type who actually makes sense, completes sentences, never foams at the mouth, doesn't refer to Republicans and Christians as inhuman, and most shocking of all, thinks Michael Moore is a toad and supports the war. He suggested that the left has gone into a bit of a brainwashing mode this year in its hatred for President Bush and the "neocons." I think he's right. MoveOn will have Al Gore goosestepping down Pennsylvania Avenue by October.

I guess we can add Voight to the small but growing list of reasonable celebrities, a list that includes Ahnuld, Gary Sinise, James Woods, Sammy Hagar, Gene Simmons, Ted Nugent, Robert Duvall, Paul McCartney and Bono for a while...ah, I'm tired and can't think of anymore. If you can think of any, add them in a comment with a URL or a quote or something.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:24 PM | Comments (21) | TrackBack


A reader sends in a note to my usually dysfunctional Hotmail account regarding a counteroffensive against the MoveOn empire.

In response to a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint filed earlier this week by MoveOn.org against FOX News for allegedly using a deceptive slogan in their advertising, Citizen Outreach President Chuck Muth and Citizen Outreach Senior Policy Adviser Lyn Nofziger urged the FTC in a letter released today to immediately reject the complaint against FOX News...or accept their own complaint against the New York Times.

"We encourage the FTC to give this frivolous and absurd complaint exactly the attention it deserves: None," Muth and Nofziger write regarding the complaint against FOX News. "We hope the FTC will immediately dismiss this partisan stunt as the political theater it is and not waste so much as one minute or one dime pursuing it."

The Citizen Outreach letter continues, "However, should the FTC take this ridiculous complaint seriously, please be advised that we ask for 'equal time.' We'll start with the New York Times, which regularly misleads consumers with its slogan of 'All the news that's fit to print.' This slogan doesn't even pass the snicker test."

I think Citizen Outreach has the better argument here, and not just because I wuv Juliet Huddy and Kiran Chetry. Proving Fox's alleged unbalance in actual news coverage is tricky, whereas proving that the Times does not print all the news that's fit is easy. Further, it's easy to prove that the Times prints news that isn't fit for print.

The Augusta National crusade and Bush was AWOL v 1.0 and later releases, etc on that latter point; its laughably lousy coverage of SamBergler on the other point. Jayson with a "y" Blair, anyone?

In fact, Citizen Outreach should pursue this counter complait regardless of the outcome of MoveOn's Fox fight. Make those radical lefties pay for smearing Fox by putting the Old Gray Liar in chains, I say.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Georgia's 4th Congressional District has put the reprehensible, Islamist-friendly and anti-Semitic Democrat Cynthia McKinney on course to return to the House of Representatives.

Simply put, McKinney owns the distinction of being the worst political figure in America to hold office in probably the last ten to twenty years.

Yes, the worst.

And she would still hold that title if David Duke, Al Sharpton and Leni Reifenstahl could all somehow become one candidate and win office.

Two years ago, she lost her spot in the House when she accused President Bush of allowing 9-11 to happen so that he'd get a political boost. Two years ago, of course, it was beyond the pale for elected officials to suggest such a heinous thing. Today, the chairman of the Democrat[ic] National Committee agrees with Michael Moore that the US invaded Afghanistan to lay an oil pipe across it, and that whole business about crushing the Taliban and destroying al Qaeda was just a ruse.

So a lot has changed in two years. But Cynthia McKinney hasn't:

On Tuesday night Ms. McKinney had a little celebration for supporters. The media was there to chronicle and report on the event .... including a reporter for our flagship radio station, Atlanta's News-Talk 750 WSB. When Cynthia's bodyguards noticed the female WSB radio reporter in their midst they swung into action. They approached our reporter and physically shoved her toward the exit with the words "Get your WSB ass out of here."

McKinney is an anti-Semitic thug. She is owned lock stock and barrel by the Islamist fat cats who have long poured cash into her poisonous campaigns. And now she's coming back to Washington. Vindicated, she says, by the voters who have chosen to put here there.

God help us, because we're obviously incapable of helping ourselves.

(thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 01:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


The "inadvertent" theft of classified material by former National Security Advisor and until this week John Kerry foreign policy advisor Sandy Berger just got a whole lot harder to swallow:

Shortly after news broke that former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Samuel "Sandy" Berger was being investigated by the Justice Department for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives, the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) removed its anti-terror plan from its web site.

Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified. The sudden disappearance of the policy from the campaign web site that coincided with Berger's dismissal supports Republicans' contention that the purloined data formed the basis of at least part of the Democratic candidate's homeland security program.

Which if true would mean a couple of things. First, the Kerry camp either knowingly or unknowingly used stolen classified documents to formulate its policy. So we have an explanation for the "inadvertent" theft: Berger was spying for Kerry, not the Chinese, or at least not the Chinese directly and immediately. Second, Kerry probably didn't know Berger was under investigation for the thefts, which occurred on multiple occassions. If Kerry did know and kept Berger around and used the stolen material anyway, he's too stupid to be president, not to mention corrupt.

Key portions of the policy removed from the web site included the following three passages:

-- Increase Port Security and Accelerate Border Security. Currently, 95% of all non-North American U.S. trade moves by sea, concentrated mostly in a handful of ports. John Kerry believes improvements in port security must be made, while recognizing that global prosperity and America's economic power depends on an efficient system. Kerry's plan would develop standards for security at ports and other loading facilities for containers and assure facilities can meet basic standards. To improve security in commerce, John Kerry believes we should accelerate the timetable for the action plans agreed to in the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico "smart border" accords as well as implement security measures for cross-border bridges. Finally John Kerry will pursue modest safety standards for privately held infrastructure and will help owners find economical ways to pay for increased security.

-- Secure Nuclear Power Plants, Nuclear Weapons Facilities and Chemical Facilities. John Kerry will appoint an Energy Secretary who takes nuclear plant security seriously and ensures meticulous follow-up to any security violations. He would also order an immediate review of engagement orders and weaponry for plant guards, and ensure attack simulation drills be as realistic as possible. A Kerry Administration would ensure that security of our nuclear weapons facilities is a U.S. government responsibility -- not cede it to private contractors as the Bush Administration considered doing. A Kerry Administration will tighten security at chemical facilities across the nation that produce or store chemicals, focusing first on facilities in major urban areas where millions of Americans live within the circle of vulnerability.

-- Tighten Aviation Security and Combat Threats to Civilian Aircraft. John Kerry will close loopholes in existing regulations on cargo carried by passenger flights and increase the reliability of new screening procedures. Kerry will increase perimeter inspections of U.S. airports and work with international aviation authorities to make sure the same standards are in place at all international airports. He will work with our allies to crackdown on the sale of shoulder-fired missiles that could be used in an attack on civilian aircraft, and are sold on the black market.

The Kerry campaign did not respond to a Talon News inquiry about the removal of the link from the web site.

I wonder why.

It looks like it's time to batten down the hatches, Mr. Kerry. You're in for a spell of very nasty weather. Tossing Berger overboard, which you've already done, won't make good for the cover-up you're currently perpetrating.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: We're probably looking at above Watergate-level skullduggery here, folks. There is no innocent explanation that satisfies any of Berger's actions (yes, even the socks bit still holds up), and now Kerry's minions are acting like they have something to hide too.

Because they do.

(thanks to Chris)

MORE: Ed Morrissey has more. Does this sound accidental to you?

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.

Handwritten notes. Now we know why he was so interested in pilfering and subsequently "discarding" multiple copies of the same memo. Those handwritten notes from Clinton officials contained statements or information best either kept secret or, as the Kerry campaign's behavior indicates, could be useful to a hapless, clueless candidate attempting to formulate an anti-terrorism policy.

Or both.

(via InstaPundit)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

WHAT THE.....?

The Stalinist Show Trial otherwise known as the 9-11 Commission just got weirder:

The Sept. 11 commission continues to exasperate House Republicans, who said they learned yesterday that the panel’s chairmen will barnstorm the country promoting the report, which will be privately published in paperback, and that the commission chose not to analyze the effectiveness of the USA Patriot Act.

“We authorized the commission. The report should have gone right to [the Government Printing Office (GPO)] and gotten it to Congress [instead] of this dog-and-pony show,” Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) told The Hill. “They’re acting on their own volition; that’s what they want to do.”

A senior GOP lawmaker said he is frustrated that the “report won’t be available to give to Congress but will be available at bookstores.”

Who the hell do these people think they are? They kept hopelessly compromised Jamie Gorelick on the Commission, they didn't properly grill anyone--her, Sandy Berger, Richard Clarke, anyone--about the Wall. They leaked like a sieve when anything that could possibly damage the Bush administration turned up. And now they have bypassed Congress, the body that authorized their Commission's existence, and privately published their report, made at taxpayer expense, and are going on some kind of book tour to promote it? What's next, a spot on Oprah to talk about how their feelings got hurt when Condi Rice and John Ashcroft gave them the evil eye?

That Commission wasn't serious. Never was. It's been a big fake dialogue aimed at achieving a consensus that never had anything to do with finding the truth. That's why we've been calling it a show trial around here. It was all for show, meant to make the American people think their government cared, and to protect several people who had an awful lot of explaining to do if the truth about their own actions during the Clinton years ever came to light.

At least the GPO plans to release the thing on the internet. Otherwise, you and I who paid for the thing with our tax dollars would be expected to fork over $10 at the neighborhood book store to read what is very likely to amount to a lot of sound and fury, while signifying nothing.

What a sham. What a disgrace. We are not a serious people, and our government officials are not serious about their duties. Maybe we deserve four years of John Kerry's crypto-communism and utter inability to stick to a principled pro-American stand, even in war, to wake us up. The problem with that is four years of Kerry is likely to get a lot of us dead.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


It's a must-read:

he tale spun by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson that Iraq did not ever try to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger is now in the process of unraveling. And, of course, the phalanx of anti-war journalists is desperately trying to stop the bust-up. But it can't be done. The flying apart began with two stories in the Financial Times (London), one on June 28, the other on July 4. Relying on information ultimately sourced to three European intelligence services--none of them British and one of them that had monitored clandestine uranium smuggling to Iraq over three years--Mark Huband reported that the network also serviced or was to service Libya, Iran, China, and North Korea. A tell-tale element of the story is that the mines in Niger from which several thousand tons of uranium had been extracted and sold were owned by French companies. Apparently, after a time, they had abandoned the mines as economically unviable. But, as a counter-proliferation expert told Huband, this does not mean that extraction stopped. In any case, Lord Butler's altogether independent panel in the United Kingdom concluded that Tony Blair's claim about Hussein being in the market for uranium was "well-founded." These are the same claims made by George W.

He goes on to expose Wilson's lie about his wife's involvement, and then lays into Sandy Berger:

He clearly still has McGovernite politics, which means, in my mind, at least, that he believes there is no international dispute that can't be solved by the U.S. walking away from it. No matter. Still, here's his story about the filched classified materials dealing with the foiled Al Qaeda millennium terrorist bombing plot from the National Archives: He inadvertently took home documents and notes about documents that he was not permitted to take from the archives; secondly, he inadvertently didn't notice the papers in his possession when he got home and actually looked at them; and, thirdly, he inadvertently discarded some of these same files so that they are now missing. Gone, in fact. One of his lawyers attributes this behavior to "sloppiness," which may better explain his career as Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser and certainly describes his presentation of self in everyday life. But it is not an explanation of his conduct in the archives or, for that matter, at home. Personnel at the archives actually noticed him stuffing his pockets with papers as he left, which is how the FBI found out about this bizarre tale in the first place. Inadvertence, then, doesn't do it either. Maybe Sandy wanted souvenirs from his career in the White House that was punctuated by so many catastrophes for the United States.

He also takes on the PCUSA:

On the day that the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to begin divesting its holdings in corporations that do business with and in Israel, there was a pitched street battle in and around Bethlehem. It was not a battle between Jews and Arabs or between Hamas and Fatah. It was a battle between Christians and Muslims. Bethlehem used to be a largely Christian city. It is, after all, where Jesus was born, so where the Church of the Nativity stands. Roman Catholics, Armenians, and Greek Orthodox have lived and flourished there since the first centuries of early Christianity. No longer. As soon as the Palestinian Authority took over in 1994, the Christians of Bethlehem began to leave, many in an understandable panic. For all its secular pretenses, the PA is a militant Muslim jihadist show. A Christian population that not so long ago stood at roughly 75 percent may now be as low as 30 percent. Many of them have come to the U.S. But American churches have averted their eyes from what is really tantamount to an expulsion of Christians not only from Bethlehem but from the Holy Land itself. The Presbyterians have also turned the other cheek by siding with those who torment their own. And they have disavowed Christian Zionism as a heresy. Of course, there are only two and a half million Presbyterians in the U.S.--way down from what once made up this proud church. Moreover, there is growing alienation between the political leadership of the church and lay believers, as there is in the Episcopal communion, much of this revolving around the implicit support of the clerisy for Palestinian terror.

Presbyterians who do not want to belong to an anti-Semitic church, you are always welcome in the Southern Baptist fold.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 21, 2004


What is it with the left and giant puppets? As fervent as Clinton hate got, you never saw Ralph Reed leading a parade with a big papier mache Wild Bill behind him, did you? It's just not something the vast right-wing conspiracy ever got into.

SPOKANE, Wash. - Call it the burning Bush. The co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is on the road, towing a 12-foot-tall effigy of President Bush with fake flames shooting out of the pants. Ben Cohen says it's an acceptable way to point out what he calls the president's lies.

It's acceptable to fake burn an effigy of a real president? Moving on...

"In a polite society, you don't go up to a person and look at them in the face and say, 'You're a liar,'" Cohen said in a telephone interview before arriving in Spokane, the next stop on the Pants on Fire Tour.

"We think it's a lot more dignified and there's a lot more decorum to say, 'Excuse me sir, your pants are getting a little warm, don't you think?'" Cohen said.

I probably shouldn't have even dignified this level of stupidity with a post, but I thought it might be worth pointing out the fact that if Mr. Cohen had any honor he wouldn't travel around the country toting a burning effigy of the President of the United States. You think Bush is a liar? Then say so, and back up your statement with facts. But making a big joke of immolating him is dishonorable, not to mention kinda dumb. It certainly has nothing to do with politeness. And it's an unserious way to deal with a pretty serious accusation. I really don't think the left is capable of seriousness at all anymore. When they're not burning a 12-foot Bush, they're making paintings of him eating a headless child, all to somehow prove he lied about Iraq's WMDs, which he didn't. Meanwhile, al Qaeda plans the next big one and the left either doesn't care, doesn't take it seriously or hopes in its heart of hearts such an attack will kill a few more Republicans or Christians this time around and somehow boomerang back and cost Bush the White House. Tell me I'm wrong about that.

Anyway, no more Ben & Jerry's for me. I prefer Blue Bell or Turkey Hill ice creams anyway.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:53 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


So Terry MacAuliffe has filed a FOIA demand for the White House and DoJ to release all documents pertaining to communication between the two regarding SandyPants.


It won't happen, and MacAuliffe knows it. If such documents or communications even exist they are the subject of an ongoing investigation, at least tangentially, so they will stay unreleased until that investigation is resolved. At least, that was my initial take and Mark R. Levin seconds.

MacAuliffe is just trying to create a distraction. He filed the demand and when it is rejected will claim that it's evidence of a Bush cover-up. Prepare to see all the old Clinton spinners rev up that talking point, and prepare to see Josh Marshall recover from overuse of the word "inexplicable" long enough to explain quite a few things, all of them spun to cast the Bush administration in the most unfavorable light possible. He didn't call his blog "Talking Points Memo" for nothing.

Republicans, watch this little gambit and learn from it. Not so that you can become just as slick and sinister as MacAuliffe. So that you can learn to expect and anticipate these moves and be prepared to counter them. In the court of public opinion in this charged political year, this move will be a tough one to counter.

The cover-up charge will probably stick since the press will assist, even though there won't be a scintilla of truth to it. The White House may even be forced to disclose, which could further damage the prospect of prosecuting Berger. Even one email, however innocent, that can be spun in any way as pertaining to the Berger burglary will become the central focus of the entire Democrat spin machine and the press--sorry for the redundance there--and will be used to damage the White House. The Berger case may just be a big gift for the Dems after all.

All of which will be just fine with MacAuliffe, since the national security implications of Berger's actions sit somewhere far to the south of "will it put a Democrat in the White House?" on his list of priorities. Honestly, I don't think national security is even on his list of priorities at all.

UPDATE: I was right--if the documents were compiled for law enforcement purposes they're not subject to FOIA. But it won't matter, because the press won't play up that angle.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The evil that men and women once elected to the highest office in the land expresses grudging respect for Republicans. We're Scam-Tastic!!

The ex-president, who by anyone's measure is a master politician, was talking about the 2002 Republican campaign to take control of the Senate by beating up Democrats over the creation of a new Department of Homeland Security. As Mr. Clinton points out, such a cabinet agency was originally pushed by Democrats led by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut and resisted by Republicans and President Bush. When Mr. Bush reversed course and decided to back it, Republicans then insisted on taking away some union protections for prospective employees, saying they would curtail the president's flexibility in running the department.

"When the Democrats resisted that, the White House ran ads saying they wouldn't stand up to terrorists because they wouldn't vote for the bill exactly as the president had presented it — even though he had been against it for eight months," Mr. Clinton says in an interview in the Aug. 5 issue of the magazine.

The Republican approach was effective and helped defeat at least two incumbent Democrats, Max Cleland of Georgia and Jean Carnahan of Missouri, and Republicans ended up with their narrow Senate majority. "As a politician, I kind of admire it, and I can be mad at our guys for letting him get away with it," he said, referring to President Bush.

Wait a minute. Clinton just accidentally told the truth about something. Max Cleland, Democrat martyr, was defeated on the basis of his Homeland Security shenanigans, not because the GOP painted him as strictly unpatriotic, which has been among the closet full of Democrat bloody shirts this year. And Clinton admitted it!


But the former president said the tactic could ultimately have a price. He said it has contributed to Democratic anger at Mr. Bush and helped solidify the party for 2004. And he said it may have also made the administration overconfident about its own abilities. "They thought, `If people swallow that, they'd swallow anything,' " said Mr. Clinton.

Clinton...swallow. Insert retro 90s vintage Monica joke here.

Posted by B. Preston at 01:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


You sincere anti-war types had better pay attention to the alliances you're forming. If you marched in any action connected to the Socialists Workers Party (they organized most of the major anti-war marches last year), you were also marching with Islamists. In case you're having trouble keeping track, they would be the enemy. The ones that perpetrated 9-11, behead Americans, and so forth.

How anti-war can you be if you were marching with enemy sympathizers and possibly terror cell operators, supporters and financiers? Not very. Here's the story:

Though it failed in its objective [of saving Saddam Hussein], the alliances formed within the Stop The War Coalition still exist, and, if certain groups have their way, may become a force in this year’s European elections. A new grouping centred around the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), as well as representation from Islamic groups such as the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), is hoping to mobilise new young voters at the ballot box.

Directing its election efforts at an amorphous mass, i.e. all those who didn’t agree with Tony Blair’s decision to go to war against Iraq, this unlikely communion of socialists and Islamists has already engendered charges of being homophobic, anti–Islamic, anti–Semitic, anti–women’s rights and anti–democratic. And it’s barely twelve months old.

The most influential party in this group is the SWP, whose leading member John Rees has been a key figure in both the anti-war movement and the Socialist Alliance, an electoral coalition that has increasingly become a vehicle for the SWP.

One former Alliance press officer expressed her alarm at the SWP’s ‘hijacking of the Stop The War Coalition: “Having run the Alliance into the ground,” she says, “the SWP is now threatening to do the same to the fragmented anti-war movement.”

It's worth noting that such an alliance between the SWP--a Communist group--and Islamists isn't new, and it doesn't just pertain to marches, meetings and the like. It's a true alliance. Terrorists kill, and the Western leftists show them just where and when to strike to maximize the political fallout. It's likely that that's how the Madrid attacks were pulled off so successfully--with advice from Western SWP Stalinists and the like incorporated into the timing. Evidence from a January 2004 terror convention in Tehran:

The guest list reads like a who-is-who of global terror.

In fact, most of the organisations attending the event, labelled "Ten-Days of Dawn", are branded by the US and some European Union members as terrorist outfits. For more than two decades, Tehran has been a magnet for militant groups from many different national and ideological backgrounds.

The Islamic Republic's hospitality cuts across even religious divides. Militant Sunni organisations, including two linked to Al Qaida, Ansar al-Islam (Companions of Islam) and Hizb Islami (The Islamic Party), enjoy Iranian hospitality.

They are joined by Latin American guerrilla outfits, clandestine Irish organisations, Basque and Corsican separatists, and a variety of leftist groups from Spartacists to Trotskyites and Guevarists. Tehran is the only capital where all the Palestinian militant movements have offices and, in some cases, training and financial facilities.


The Tehran gathering is also expected to deepen the recent informal alliances made between Islamist militant groups and a variety of communist, anarchist and environmentalist militant groups against the "American common enemy".

Khomeini himself presided over an alliance of Islamists, Communists, and other Marxist-Leninist groups that brought down the Shah's regime in 1979. "Today, mankind has a common enemy", says Ayatollah Ahmad Janati, who heads the powerful Guardians Council in Tehran.

Ah, but you say, that's so six months ago! What have the Socialists and Islamists done for each other lately?

Well, for starters Tehran hosted another terror convention in June 2004. What do you wanna bet several SWP members showed up?

I'd bet the $600 this guy owes me.

So it turns out that Mikey was right. The Islamists are the REVOLUTION, or at least they're connected to it. It just happens to be the Communist Revolution.

(first link via InstaPundit, the rest thanks to Chris)

Posted by B. Preston at 11:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Seen at the bottom of this interesting Iraq WMD story.

Saddam Hussein -- Should Saddam get the death penalty? Tell us what you think for a prize!

(story link thanks to Hanks)

Posted by B. Preston at 10:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


You make the call.

An upstart blog is offering $200 to anyone who can prove Joe Wilson lied. Here's the post with the offer:

It's only the day after I posted my $200 reward offer for conclusive evidence that Joe Wilson is a Big Fat Liar. So far, I just keep getting e-mail from people with links to the same scurrilous crap.

I don't understand this. It's so simple, people:

(1) identify the sources with the full, in-context, direct quotes from both Wilson and from the person who demonstrates that he knew he was not telling the truth,

(2) copy, paste, supply URLs,

(3) send it off to leap@gol.com. (If that bounces, try turner@idiom.com)

My promise to you: the $200 check - maybe the easiest money you ever made in your life - goes out the first working day after I've been able to verify your claim.

My response, which is in his comments:

You've already moved the goalposts, Michael. Wilson said explicitly that the Vice President had been briefed on Wilson's Niger findings, when he hadn't. His excuse now is that he just assumed that to be the case, but he offered no such caveats to that effect last year. He made definitive declarative statements concerning whether or not the VP had been briefed. We now know definitely that the VP had not seen Wilson's report. But by your rules, that's not a lie since Wilson has given himself a weasel's way out of it.

Lie #2 (which you also won't accept) is the bit about his wife. He told Josh Marshall she had no role in his trip, when the fact is that she recommended him for that trip. Since being called out on that, he has moved the goalposts to say that she didn't "send" him on it. Of course she didn't "send him" to Niger. She just made sure the right people did send him, by writing up a recommendation for him.

Lie #3, which you also won't accept, is that his findings could in no way have debunked the SOTU 16 words. He went to Niger--one country in Africa. The 16 words concerned UK intel suggesting that Iraq had sought uranium "in Africa." Wilson's trip didn't concern yellow cake trade in all of Africa, just one country in Africa, which was Niger. His claim to have debunked the 16 words was a lie, since he only worked the angle from one country as opposed to looking at the UK finding from a continental perspective.

So did I give you enough to prove three lies, or only one? Do you feel lucky, punk?

Yeah, I didn't send the guy a pile of URLs, and that'll be his excuse. He can follow the comments link back to a raft of URLs on this site if he's inclined to pursue this honestly. Which I doubt.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


NRO's Byron York advances the story a bit:

Third, it appears that Berger's "inadvertent" actions clearly aroused the suspicion of the professional staff at the Archives. Staff members there are said to have seen Berger concealing the papers; they became so concerned that they set up what was in effect a small sting operation to catch him. And sure enough, Berger took some more. Those witnesses went to their superiors, who ultimately went to the Justice Department. (There was no surveillance camera in the room in which Berger worked with the documents, meaning there is no videotape record of the incidents.)

The documents Berger took — each copy of the millennium report is said to be in the range of 15 to 30 pages — were highly secret. They were classified at what is known as the "code word" level, which is the government's highest tier of secrecy. Any person who is authorized to remove such documents from a special secure room is required to do so in a locked case that is handcuffed to his or her wrist.

It is not clear why Berger would focus solely on the millennium-plot report. But it is clear that the report has been the object of intense discussions during the September 11 investigation.


The after-action review became the topic of public discussion in April when Attorney General John Ashcroft mentioned it in his public testimony before the September 11 commission. "This millennium after-action review declares that the United States barely missed major terrorist attacks in 1999 and cites luck as playing a major role," Ashcroft testified. "It is clear from the review that actions taken in the millennium period should not be the operating model for the U.S. government."

In May, a government official told National Review Online that the report contains a "scathing indictment of the last administration's actions." The source said the report portrayed the Clinton administration's actions as "exactly how things shouldn't be run." In addition, Clarke was highly critical of the handling of the millennium plot in his book, Against All Enemies.

Inexplicable? Quite explicable, actually. John Kerry, whom Berger has been advising for months, has said several times that he would return the war on terrorism to a courtroom, pre-9-11 footing. The documents Berger thought he was eradicating from the face of the earth clearly explained what a disastrous move that would be while also demonstrating just how shallow and laughable the Clinton anti-terror strategy had been. So it was better to pilfer and destroy those than risk their release and force Kerry and the Democrat party at large to answer for it on the campaign trail.

This is above Watergate-leve skullduggery, ladies and gentlemen. Stealing classified material and "losing" it is a very, very grave matter. That's why the old Clinton machine has gone into maximum spin cycle. They're rightly terrified that Berger's amateur hour theft will sink them all.

MORE: Justice Department prosecutors don't seem interested in a plea deal. The blogosphere's digital brownshirts aren't interested in letting the Hambergler off the hook, either.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:13 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Question: How many WMD shells do we need to find in Iraq before we can officially call it a "stockpile?"

Answer (from the left): More than we've already found.

That is how this year will play out. The US or coalition forces will find more sarin or mustard gas or whatever Iraqi WMD shells, and the left will keep moving the goalposts.

So how many shells have we found to date?


That is proof of two things to me. One, Iraq had illegal weapons. Two, it had them in sufficient quantities to constitute a stockpile. Oh, let's add a third one too. Where there are 35 shells, there are very likely many more. And not all of them will be poison shells. Some may be worse.

UPDATE: Bingo!

Baghdad, Iraq, Jul. 21 (UPI) -- Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday.


The report could not be authenticated by the interior ministry or the national security department, but the paper noted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari made a surprise request recently to Mohammed el-Baradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to resume inspections for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

This also comes on the heels of a decision to re-insert UN weapons inspectors into Iraq, so circumstantially this looks like it could pan out. And yes, I'm a bit skeptical--it's healthy to cast a jaundiced eye on all such reports until confirmation arrives. (via InstaPundit)

MORE: This story somehow slipped under the radar a few months ago, too.

U.S. Army troops operating at a former Iraqi air base recently made a startling discovery: Russian-made missiles marked with radioactive warning signs. Army bomb disposal troops confirmed using Geiger counters that the missiles are indeed radioactive.

The discovery is not, however, considered the long-sought "smoking gun" of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The missiles appear to be part of a cache of weapons supplied to Iraq before the 1991 Gulf War.

The Russian-made R-60, NATO code name AA-8 Aphid, air-to-air missiles are part of a huge stockpile of former Iraqi Air Force munitions uncovered in over a dozen concrete bunkers.

Meanwhile, Reuters offers the first counter to the nuke find:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq (news - web sites)'s Interior Ministry dismissed as "stupid" a report in a local newspaper Wednesday that said three nuclear missiles had been found near the town of Tikrit.
Posted by B. Preston at 08:19 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 20, 2004


From Silflay Hraka (via InstaPundit):

Q: Who covertly removes top secret documents?
A: Spies.

Q: So who's he spying for?
A: If we're lucky, the Kerry campaign, or the company he's chairman of.

Q: If we're not lucky?
A: Let's hope we're lucky.

Unfortunately, we're probably not that lucky. The company Berger is chairman of is called Stonebridge International LLC. He worked at another international strategy firm, Hogan & Hartson before joining the Clinton administration, and joined Stonebridge after leaving office. H&H has earned a reputation within the international law community as a major--perhaps the major--conduit to doing business with China. Further, last year H&H established a strategic partnership with global strategy firm Stonebridge International LLC in 2001, itself a major player in the business-with-China game.

None of this might raise too many hackles, since it is legal to do business with China, but Berger's history with China and trade are quite interesting. Remember the sale of advanced US satellite technology to China back in the 1990s? It concerned very advanced technology that was supposed to be protected from export because its possession by unfriendlies could jeopardize national security. Berger was at the center of that deal, and pushed hard for it to happen from his post as National Security Advisor. In fact, Berger appears to have been the Chinese Communists' best friend in the Clinton adminstration, and that's saying something. According to insider Dick Morris:

-- Berger was the point person at the law firm of Hogan & Hartson for trade with the Chinese government.
-- New York Times reporter Jeff Gerth revealed that Berger was told about Chinese spying in April 1996 but did not tell the president until July 1997
-- Berger was the administration official who "labored ceaselessly to complete a trade deal with Chine during the negotiations with Premier Zhu Rongji.
-- His urgent memos "triggered the administration's decision to grant a waiver to Loral Space Systems to launch its satellite on Chinese rockets."
-- Defense writers Edward Timperlake and William Tripplett note that "it was Berger who led the charge to repeal export controls on satellites for China."

Look at that second point a second time. It's about Chinese spying at Los Alamos National Laboratory, our nuclear weapons incubator. Berger took an entire year to relay to the President concerns that the Chinese had planted a spy in our high tech weapons inner sanctum. Why would he do that? A year is a very long time to allow a potential spy to do his work.

And where did Mr. Berger go within a nanosecond of leaving public office at the end of the second Clinton term? Straight back into bed with China, of course. And that's assuming he ever got out of bed with China in the first place. The reality seems to be that he stayed very much in bed with China even while he was nominally in charge of advising the President of the United States on national security issues.

I am not here alleging that Berger wallpapered his shorts with classified documents because he was spying for China. But I am saying that in any question related to Sandy Berger, it is not reasonable to assume that we're lucky and he just screwed up. He was National Security Advisor, and he has a long career as a world renowned lawyer behind him. He is not stupid. He knew the protocols for handling classified material, and on more than one occassion he willingly violated those protocols, and the data he mishandled concerned two things: the Clinton administration's draft reports on the millennium bomb plot, and apparently some sensitive airport security data. His burglary was a serious offense, and he knew it when he did it. The question is why did he do it? He deserves the benefit of the doubt in the narrow eyes of the law, but not from anyone who knows much about his history. In nearly all the webs of corruption that still linger from the Clinton administration, Berger appears at the center.

A VodkaPundit reader reports that Democrat spinner Chris Lehane, fresh from his enemy propaganda tour with Michael Moore, looked terrified when discussing the Berger case on cable tonight. If I were him, I'd be terrified too. Berger's career is a kind of Rosetta Stone for Clinton scandals, scandals that touched just about every member of that administration. If Berger goes down, he is likely to take more than a few people with him.

(Chris Regan contributed to this report)

MORE: Jonah Goldberg doubts the Berger story will go anywhere, and for all I know he may be right. Democrat scandals of a non-sexual nature have a way of getting deep-sixed pretty quickly. Remember last summer's collusion scandal on the Senate Judiciary Committee? The one that proved several unelected leftwing lobbyists control Ted Kennedy and the rest of the Democrats on that Committee like bad-haired sock puppets? Didn't think so.

But. Jonah's missing an important point, which concerns the hand-written notes Berger either stuffed into his pants and socks, or into his pockets, depending on which version turns out to be accurate. Those notes were not "unimportant." If you see classified material and take notes on it, those notes themselves become classified. That's to prevent anyone from handcopying classified documents in an attempt to remove their data from archive while leaving the actual papers behind. If such notes were not classified, you could access (supposing you had the relevant clearances and need to know) say, a classified design for a new warhead and rough out a sketch or schematic that would fetch a tidy sum from any unfriendly power or group with a desire to know all about that warhead. Berger knew all about those reasons for classifying notes taken on classified material, and broke the protocol anyway. The question remains: Why?

MORE: It's like we're back in the 1990s all over again. Obvious misdeeds done by Clinton cronies, and Democrat spinners take to airwaves to defend it. Complete with witness intimidation!

And yes, Josh Marshall can keep a straight face when writing this sort of drivel. How "inexplicable" would Marshall find the Berger burglary if Berger were a Republican? I'd wager Marshall would already have spun out half a dozen theories on such a highly explicable scandal. In fact, he's already busily spinning quite a few theories on the part he does find explicable--those evil, nasty Republicans who must be behind Berger's political lynching!!! Marshall always finds Republican tricks quite explicable, even when there's not a shred of evidence so far that any Republican had anything to do with the Berger case.

It would be funny, if it weren't transparently, pathetically partisan.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Sandy Berger is out as a Kerry campaign advisor.

But Joe Wilson is still in.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Linda Ronstadt:

It's a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I'd rather not know."

Joseph Wilson:

The Washington Times reported that Wilson said, "Neoconservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both."

Andrew Sulllivan: Just Google "site:andrewsullivan.com theocrat", or theocon or fundamentalist or Christian. Hours of entertainment! Sullivan uses the terms "theocrat" and "fundamentalist" to describe the Iranian mullahs and Pat Robertson interchangably. Theocon denotes any Christian who for any reason is both a Christian and a conservative, which in his mind destroys that person's credibility. If you're a Christian and to his right politically (which describes the vast majority of Christians), you're a theocrat or a theocon or a fundamentalist. Sullivan loves to toss around the epithets. If you're a Christian who actually takes scripture seriously and therefore oppose his lifestyle as well as gay marriage (again, the vast majority of Christians), you're all of those nasty names too. He's an anti-Christian bigot. Or perhaps a self-hating Christian, since he claims to be one of us.

There are more such bigots out there, and as Sullivan demonstrates they're not all on the hard left. Bigotry against traditional Christians is definitely on the rise in America. And unlike any other prejudice, this one's acceptable in polite society. It's perfectly acceptable for a Linda Ronstadt to say her piece to most people. And many are the times I have been with a group of hard leftists who, forgetting who I am, have ranted on about "Bible thumpers," hurled the name "Christian" around like a swear word, and railed at the evil of Dominoes Pizza because it donates to pro-life groups.

And yes, if you throw around terms like the above similarly, you're a bigot too.

Posted by B. Preston at 03:48 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack

July 19, 2004



President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a criminal investigation after admitting he removed highly classified terrorism documents from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, The Associated Press has learned. Berger's home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI agents armed with warrants. Some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration are still missing.

Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed handwritten notes he had taken from classified anti-terror documents he reviewed at the National Archives by sticking them in his jacket and pants. He also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio, they said.

I don't buy the "inadvertently" bit, not when he was stuffing notes down his pants. You would have to be beyond credulous to look for an innocent explanation for this behavior. And as Ed Morrissey notes, what was in those files that Berger felt it was worth committing a crime--there doesn't seem to be any doubt that he knew he was committing a crime in stuffing those notes to take away--to remove them? Was he hiding something for himself, or for his old boss, or for someone else?

And can you imaging the uproar if anyone from the prior Bush administration, or this one for that matter, got caught spiriting sensitive national security-related files away?

MORE: Gazing into the JYB crystal ball, Berger's excuse will be that he needed the files and notes for a memoir. Everyone in Washington writes a memoir at some point, right? So that'll be his story. And it may work.

MORE: Vedy, vedy inteddesting. Berger was stuffing papers in his shorts that pertained to the millennium bomb plot. A while ago, villified Attorney General John Ashcroft called for the public release of Clinton-era documents pertaining to, what else, the millennium bomb plot. That call was not heeded.

And now the former NSA has been caught pilfering and destroying several of those documents.

Hmmm. Coincidence? Extremely unlikely.

It's a good bet there's some information about Jamie Gorelick's wall in those documents, and it's a good bet Berger was doing his yeoman's best to protect that information, even it meant a jail term for him.

Another Clinton buzzard may be coming home to roost.

(via KJL)

UPDATE: Or maybe Berger was hoping to hide his role in stopping the 1997 deal with Sudan that would have given us Osama bin Laden.

Mr. Clarke's role figured in two key areas of the debriefings — Sudan's offer to share terrorism data on al Qaeda and bin Laden in 1997, and a serious effort by senior members of the Abu Dhabi royal family to gain bin Laden's extradition from Afghanistan in early 2000. • Fall 1997: Sudan's offer is accepted by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, then rejected by Mr. Clarke and Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel "Sandy" Berger.

(thanks to Chris)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:49 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack


Posted by B. Preston at 09:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Chirac to Ariel Sharon: Don't come around here no more.

Chirac to Robert Mugabe: Let's trist again like we did last summer.

Why is it that the one foreign leader not welcome in France happens to be a Jew? Not a murdering thug like Mugabe. Not any petty tyrant or major world threat. A duly elected Jew. Coincidence? Unlikely.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A few weeks back Al Gore accused the right of harboring and supporting "digital brownshirts," by which he meant to smear online activities aimed at debunking him.

Stuff like blogs. And this.

And this.

But guess what? There are some real brownshirt types out there. They're planning to disrupt the GOP convention, and they're planning to use tactics designed to fool explosives-sniffing dogs and injure police officers.

And they're funded in part by Teresa Heinz Kerry.

The Ruckus Society has been training demonstrators for months in the kind of street tactics that could turn the GOP's August confab into a security nightmare.


Some say Ruckus' decision to spare the Kerry-Edwards campaign may have something to do with a cash grant from the Tides Foundation, an environmental advocacy group heavily funded by charities controlled by would-be first lady Teresa Heinz Kerry.

The Heinz foundation gave more than $4 million to Tides over a seven-year period, according to a study by the Washington-based monitoring group Capital Research Center.

Tides, in turn, funneled at least $39,000 to Ruckus starting in 1999 - and continued to bankroll the protest group's operations even after the Seattle riots.

That foundation funds all sorts of interesting things.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:42 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


"A society of different lifestyles spawned a group of young people who were brought up without parental discipline, without proper role models and without any sense of responsibility to others. All of this was then multiplied in effect by the economic and social changes that altered the established pattern of community life in cities, towns and villages."


"Today, people have had enough of this part of the 1960s consensus. People do not want a return to old prejudices and ugly discrimination. But they do want rules, order and proper behaviour. They want a community where the decent lawabiding majority are in charge."


Mr xxxxx blamed "swinging Sixties" attitudes for encouraging criminals to think they could get away with it. He said laudable attempts to understand criminal behaviour had bred "freedom without responsibility" while a new generation of criminals were more violent and better organised.

"The petty criminals were no longer the bungling but wrongheaded villains of old, but drug pushers and drug abusers, desperate and without any residual moral sense."

Mr xxxxx added: "I got used to the society of fear in the Eighties, canvassing on the Holly Street estate in Hackney - now thankfully greatly improved - when people were too scared to open the door and the letterboxes had burn marks where lighted rags had been shoved through them."

See comments for the answer.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


An InstaPundit reader writes:

I posted this in the comments to Brad DeLong's 1030 Days post, but I thought you'd be interested:

An attack against Iran will be much easier now since we can force them into a two front war, attacking from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe this has been the strategy all along.

We've done a pretty good job of surrounding potential trouble makers. Pakistan has the US on one side and India on the other. Iran has the US on two fronts. And Syria has the US and Israel on two fronts. Not a bad strategic maneuver.

My rejoinder: This has been the Bush strategy all along, and not just as regards Islamist terrorism. The same strategy is at work in two alliances the Bush administration has put together to deal with North Korea's and Iran's nuclear programs.

(JYB hobbyhorse alert)

The Proliferation Security Initiative, now over a year old, is a 15-member alliance that in effect encircles North Korea, interdicting any ships leaving that Stalinist backwater that are suspected of trafficking in nuclear technology. Such an interdiction, which took place based on intel gathered within the PSI, played a major role in the disarmament of Libya and the end of the Pakistani A. Q. Khan nuclear black market ring.

A second alliance, dubbed Caspian Shield, is in the works. It includes Kazakhistan and Azerbaijan, neighbors of Iran who together straddle the Caspian Sea. Look for Caspian Shield to grow once it is truly up and running, to include several more of Iran's neighbors.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the Bush administration is putting together a kind of nuclear Anaconda Plan, a blockade (without that incendiary name) of states that are developing nuclear weapons and have links to terrorism. Iran and North Korea fit those criteria, as does Syria. Libya fit that description until late last year.

MORE: InstaPundit links to this site, about Thomas Barnett's work for the Naval War College. I reviewed his book, The Pentagon's New Map, for National Review Online earlier this year. If you want to understand the war on terrorism from a non-partisan big-picture perspective, you need to read Barnett's book. In fact, if you only read one book this year and it isn't the Bible, it should be The Pentagon's New Map. I've put a link to buy it in the top of the right-hand column.

MORE: Another strategy for dealing with North Korea has been to drive a wedge between Kim and his patrons in Moscow and Beijing. The end of the Cold War actually did much of the hard work with Russia (hat tip: Ronald Reagan), but Beijing has been thornier. As an attack dog to push Japan and South Korea around and gauge the toughness of American presidents, China has occassionally found North Korea useful. But as a true nuclear state, well, even the Chinese recognize the problems that would create. First, South Korea would go nuclear, followed closely by Japan and probably even Taiwan. China would find itself more or less surrounded by strong nuclear states allied with or increasingly friendly with the US, with India on its other flank. Not an ideal situation.

Recognizing this, the Bush administration has refused to play games with North Korea, thus muzzling the Nork attack dog. It has built up alliances in the region via PSI and other means--even Russia is in the PSI now, and PSI's major mission is fencing North Korea in. And the Bush administration has apparently been working to persuade China that it should take a lead role in dealing with Kim.

Can we trust them to do it? On its face and absent other realities, no, we can't. China's long-term wish is to supplant the US as first a regional hegemon and then the world's leading power. But those "other realities" include trade, they include membership in international organizations that Beijing believes lend it legitimacy on the world stage, and the aforementioned nuclear domino effect an atomic North Korea would have. So China may be playing ball, and gearing up to bring its full game to bear if it has to:

In a recent seminar at the Asia Society in New York City, former Ambassador to both the Peoples Republic of China and South Korea James Lilley addressed this issue in response to a question. Outwardly, he said, China continues to support North Korea. But internally, the Chinese leadership is chafing impatiently at continued North Korean intransigence. The Chinese recognize that the utility of North Korea as a counterweight to U.S. presence in the region has nearly lost its value. America does not pose the same threat to the Chinese that they perceived 30 years ago. Economic ties are so extensive with America, Japan and South Korea that China now takes a jaundiced view of North Korean misbehavior and disharmony. "Late in the evening over drinks," Lilley recounts, "tough, old Chinese generals say that the North Koreas are pushing the limits." If the North Koreans test a nuclear device, Lilley says, the Chinese generals say that they would "take appropriate action."

What that action would be remains to be seen. Just a little over a year ago this blog proposed that before things get further out of hand in Pyongyang, China should bring about regime change. The Bush administration had apparently already been talking a similar line with China, or perhaps the Chinese decided to study the possibility of invading North Korea on its own. Either way I'm sure Hu Jintao doesn't read the JYB, but China conducted a military study of swapping regimes in North Korea, concluding that it wasn't feasible for them to pull it off.

Given the fact that the Kim clan sees itself as the only rightful rulers of North Korea (of all of Korea, actually), and the fact that most North Korean citizens have probably absorbed enough of the Kim personality cult to believe it, it's hard to see how a pure coup could work. China or another foreign power would surely have to occupy North Korea for some time, which necessarily means an invasion would have to take place either before or after the coup--the North Korean armed forces' reaction to a coup is impossible to guess, but China would have to go in expecting some level of resistance, perhaps even a great deal of resistance. China isn't warm to that prospect, but it isn't warm to the prospect of conditions deteriorating further while Kim continues to build nuclear weapons and export the technology to other rogue states.

So Beijing's hand may be forced by the slightly mad ruler of the world's last true Stalinist state.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


The 9-11 Commission's report, due for release Thursday, will apparently include data linking Iran and al Qaeda:

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran said Sunday some al-Qaida operatives blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States may have illegally passed through Iran from Afghanistan months before the terror strike, but Tehran dismissed as "fabrications" U.S. reports that Iran may have helped in the assault.

"It's normal that five or six people may have crossed the border within a couple of months without our knowledge. ... Our borders are long and it's not possible to fully control them," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told reporters.

Asefi was responding to a September 11 Commission report, expected out Thursday, that says Iran may have facilitated the 2001 attacks in the United States by providing eight to 10 al-Qaida hijackers with safe passage to and from terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

Leaving aside Iran's pique, I have a question here. The press will probably flog this report as some kind of proof that the Bush administration screwed up by deciding to invade Iraq, and the CIA's Anonymous will concur. But isn't this finding--that al Qaeda operatives involved in 9-11 crossed into Iran and may have used it as a safe haven--qualitatively the same as that found against Iraq, which was that at least one 9-11 hijacker and probably more spent some time in Iraq or in the company of Iraqi officials? If anything, isn't there less to this story as reported thus far than the fact that al Qaeda allied groups were working openly within Iraq borders prior to 9-11?

What am I missing here?

Oh yeah, the press is full of crap and just wants to damage the President.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 18, 2004


Former ambassador Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger in February 2002 by the CIA to perform a mission for which he was not qualified. From his days working in the US embassy in Gabon Wilson had contacts throughout Africa, but contacts do not a weapons of mass destruction expert make. And Wilson had no experience, at least none publicly acknowledged, in the area of weapons proliferation. Yet he was sent on a vital CIA mission, without undergoing the usual national security protocols, to determine whether Saddam Hussein had sought yellowcake from Niger.

His wife, Valerie Plame, did have such WMD experience, and when she recommended Wilson for the job of traveling to Niger and investigating the possibility that Iraq had sought to acquire yellowcake uranium, the CIA listened. Ambassador Wilson got the job.

Even though Wilson had no experience in investigating weapons proliferation issues. And even though Wilson's findings had the potential of leading America into war, or of letting Saddam Hussein off the hook again.

Not that his mission would have taken an expert, necessarily, though one would hope the CIA would have and would use experts on such a momentous mission. He was sent to Niger, after all, to assess one single question: Did Iraq seek yellowcake from Niger? So he went to Niger, all too eager to get himself inserted in the great game. And he sipped tea poolside, never really investigated a thing, and upon returning to the US, delivered a verbal briefing after the trip.

To whom? Well, the same people who sent him to Niger, naturally. Who are...?

We don't know. But we should. Because Wilson's mission appears to have been a sham from the start.

It wasn't handled seriously at all. He filed no after-action reports, left no paper trail other than expense reports, and obtained no hard evidence about anything. His own account of the trip has him never setting foot outside his hotel complex; he met local officials poolside and chatted them up. This is how you investigate the serious question of whether or not Saddam Hussein was attempting to re-start his nuclear programs? And apparently this kind of investigation satisfied whoever sent him to Niger in the first place? Only if they had a pre-determined outcome in mind, and Wilson's briefing more or less fit the bill.

Not long after the war, the CIA started to leak like a Russian submarine. Disinformation began to show up in the press via anonymous CIA sources last summer, as the hunt for Iraq's WMDs wore on.

Exhibit A:

The CIA warned the US Government that claims about Iraq's nuclear ambitions were not true months before President Bush used them to make his case for war, the BBC has learned.

Doubts about a claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from the African state of Niger were aired 10 months before Mr Bush included the allegation in his key State of the Union address this year, a CIA official has told the BBC.


But the CIA official has said that a former US diplomat had already established the claim was false in March 2002 - and that the information had been passed on to government departments, including the White House, well before Mr Bush mentioned it in the speech.

That diplomat would be our friend, Joseph Wilson, named later in the story. The anonymous CIA officer is mischaracterizing Wilson's report from Niger to smear the President of the United States. That story appeared on the BBC, July 9, 2003. Who is the anonymous CIA source?

Is the source the Anonymous, the CIA officer and author of Imperial Hubris, the book that alleges the US is fighting all the wrong wars to defeat the terrorists, and losing them? Was Anonymous involved in Wilson's mission in any way?

Or is the anonymous BBC source from last year Ms. Plame, seeking to push her husband's story at the appropriate time? Or is it someone else?

Whoever the source is, a couple of things are apparent. First, the source was probably involved in Wilson's trip at some level. At the very least, the source was familiar enough with Wilson's trip to take part in his press offensive, kicked off just a day or two before this story showed up on the BBC. Secondly, the source took the same deceptive line that Wilson took regarding his trip, namely, that his 8 days in Niger debunked the SOTU 16 words citing a UK intel report that Iraq had sought yellowcake from Africa. Wilson's trip to one African country did not and could not have debunked that UK claim; therefore the source was in on the talking points. The reality was that if anything, Wilson's meager findings from Niger actually bolstered the case that Iraq was seeking yellowcake. But his--and the anonyous source's--talking points say otherwise. This smacks of collusion. One other tip toward collusion: Nick Kristof's May 6 article on Wilson mentions Kristof having talked directly with the people who sent Wilson, and they told Kristof that Wilson's report had been sent up at least to the Vice President's office. According to the Senate Intel Committee's report, that wasn't true. The CIA didn't find Wilson's report substantial enough to alter its overall findings on Saddam's WMD pursuits in any way.

Who is the CIA source for the BBC story, and for Kristof's story? Who developed the after-trip talking points that Wilson and at least one CIA officer (and probably more than one) used to build their case against the 16 words?

Behind Joseph Wilson's many lies, we have a set of mysteries on our hands, and we may well have a mole or a small cell of moles working against the interests of the United States from inside the CIA in the midst of war.

(Chris Regan contributed to this report)

MORE: Tom Maguire wrote a wildly fantastical post last year, positing that ex-CIA agents could have been using still-active agents to use Wilson to discredit the White House. It seemed a bit crazy at the time, as Tom is the first to admit. But in light of all that has come out about Wilson in the past week, it seems much less crazy now.

Here's the post. Read for yourself and ponder. We'll have more on Wilson later.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:26 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack