As they say, the best defense is a good offense.
"If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, “Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.""
I know Crazy Al's a smart guy; after all, he invented the internet. But really, what does he know about how an atmosphere functions?
I used to argue with my science teachers when they said that all living things on earth recieved their energy from the sun, starting with photosynthesis. I would ask them how they could possibly know that, given how much of the world lay unexplored.
And I was right, once again.
Holding up so much Leftist overhead cover, this AP reporter refuses to let the Plamegame column crumble.
Plame believes the Bush administration leaked her name to reporters as retribution for her husband's criticism of prewar intelligence on Iraq.
Uh, I guess that Plame could believe that, despite all the proof of that not being the case, including the confession of the person who actually leaked her name to reporters. But more important is that millions of Leftist BDS sufferers also believe that her name was leaked by the Bush administration, including, obviously, this reporter.
And these folks say Bush is a moron.
The (paraphrased) saying goes. "one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
The bruhaha over the Lancet study sure proves that saying. A bunch of eggheads arguing with each other over how to properly extrapolate numbers from data points.
My guess is that not a single one of these statisticians, pro or con, have been over here on the ground. And if they haven't been over here, it's unlikely they know anything about the level of confidence they should have in any of the numbers.
Be it 60,000 or 600,000 deaths, let's not forget that these are people, not numbers. Lives, not statistics. Families, not data points.
October 24, 2006
To the Editor:
The New York Times has once again repeated a popular myth to mislead its readers about Secretary Rumsfeld. We ask for an immediate correction.
Today's editorial claims: "There have never been enough troops, the result of Mr. Rumsfeld’s negligent decision to use Iraq as a proving ground for his pet military theories, rather than listen to his generals." Whether or not the Times believes there were enough troops in Iraq, the claim that any troop level in Iraq is the result of Secretary Rumsfeld "not listening to his generals" is demonstrably untrue.
Generals involved in troop level decisions have been abundantly clear on this matter:
*General Tommy Franks, Commander, U.S. Central Command during the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom: "Don Rumsfeld was a hard task master -- but he never tried to control the tactics of our war-fight [Franks, "American Soldier, " pg 313]
Rather than advancing Secretary Rumsfeld's alleged "pet theories," General Franks wrote that he based his troop level recommendations on the following: "Building up a Desert Storm-size force in Kuwait would have taken months of effort - very visible effort - and would have sacrificed the crucial element of operational surprise we now enjoyed. . . . And if operational surprise had been sacrificed, I suspected that the Iraqis would have repositioned their Republican Guard and regular army units, making for an attrition slugfest that would cost thousands of lives.”
On page 333 of his memoirs, General Franks added: "As I concluded my summary of the existing 1003 plan, I noted that we’d trimmed planned force levels from 500,000 troops to around 400,000. But even that was still way too large, I told the Secretary." General Franks also notes on a number of occasions that rather than “rejecting” military advice, Secretary Rumsfeld repeatedly listened to commanders’ advice in designing a plan for Iraq.
*General George Casey, Commander of Multi-National Force - Iraq: "I just want to assure you and the American people that if we need more troops we'll ask for them. Right now, we don't." [CBS News, June 27, 2005]
*General John Abizaid, Commander, U.S. Central Command: "... this notion that troop levels are static is not true, never has been true, and it won't be true. We’ll ask for what we need when we need them.” [CNN, September 18, 2006]
*Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Pete Pace: “We have done more than honor the request of the commanders. . . . As Joint Chiefs, we have validated that; we have looked at that; we have analyzed it. We decided for ourselves, and I as an individual have agreed with the size force that's there. So we should take on the responsibility that we own." [Pace Confirmation Hearings, Transcript, July 10, 2005]
*Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers: "But in the plan going in there, the best military judgment, the judgment we got from academia, from anybody that wanted to make inputs to include the National Security Council was that we had the right number of troops. And so you can always look back and say, should we had something different? I personally don't believe - we didn't want to turn Iraq into a police state." [ABC News, April 16, 2006]
These statements are not new, nor difficult to find in public sources. So the implication is that either the New York Times believes these generals are not being truthful, or that they are too intimidated to tell the truth. If the Times feels this way, way not say so? For our part, we vigorously dispute either assertion about these distinguished military leaders.
The Times claims to correct "all errors of fact." Please correct this at once or provide us with demonstrable facts that support your assertion.
Dorrance Smith, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs
Editor's Note: The New York Times has refused a DoD request for a correction.
Letter To The New York Times
Shortly after I got an email from Stephen King, I got an email from Al Gore. King wanted me to host a party of sorts, even though he has a mansion and I live in a hootch. And Gore wanted money, even though he makes like a million times as much as I do . It’s like having two loser friends from college show up on your doorstep on the same day.
Anyway, Gore’s boring email had this: “To those who say that the problems we face are too big for us, I say that we have accepted and successfully met such challenges in the past.
We declared our liberty, and then won it. We designed a country that respected and safeguarded the freedom of individuals. We freed the slaves. We gave women the right to vote. We took on Jim Crow and segregation. We have won two wars in the Pacific and the Atlantic simultaneously.”
Other than the weird idea that we won World War Two twice (Al, the “Two” means “second” in this case, not that there were two wars going on simultaneously), Al is making the point that what…Democrats can win this election because they freed the slaves? Sorry Al, Lincoln was a Republican. Or that Democrats won the Revolutionary War? Hardly, they weren’t even in existence back then. How about the women’s right to vote? Not really…82% of Republicans senators (36 out of 44) voted for the 19th Amendment, and only 54% of the Democratic senators (20 out of 37) voted for the amendment, so I’d have to say that it was the Republicans who got that one through. Jim Crow and Segregation? Though they try to pass it off as a fluke, enough words have been written about the southern Democrats’ opposition to civil rights to make mockery of another southern Democrat saying that Democrats ended segregation. Now about this claim that the US has twice won a two-ocean war simultaneously, well, that’s just stupid. There’s no need to even comment on someone who can’t remember how many times we have fought World War Two.
Does Al even realize that of the six efforts he mentions above, four of them were won through the use of arms; and all of them were won only with a huge amount of time, effort, blood, sweat and tears on the part of American men and women? Not one of those things he mentions was achieved by running away. So what's your point, Al?
However, I'll say thanks to Al anyway. I appreciate the tremendous effort he must have made, bothering to approve such a poorly written, and even more poorly researched, piece of drivel.
Anything to keep him out of office, I say.
I recieved an email yesterday from Move.On.org yesterday, featuring a message from Stephen King. I am a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoy reading his novels, especially since they tend to focus geographically on areas that I am very familiar with; the New England states and the Rocky Mountains states. I asked his agent if I could interview him, and he said that Stephen would be quite happy to be interviewed by a soldier currently in Baghdad. The following interview was conducted over the phone:
4MC: First off, I want to tell you that I have enjoyed all of your books that I’ve read. Salem's Lot is the only vampire story I've ever read that scared me.
SK: Thank you. How are things in Baghdad?
4MC: Um...okay, really. Thanks for asking. The reason I’ve asked to talk with you today is because of this email I received from you, via MoveOn.org. In it, you say that you know scary, and that you are terrified of the current President and Congress. What exactly about them is terrifying you?
SK: Well, there is the illegal war in Iraq, the loss of freedoms here at home, the neocon cabal. It’s all quite terrifying.
4MC: Okay, let’s hit each one of those points and get to the root of your terror. About the illegal war in Iraq, what makes you the most scared?
SK: Well, I’d say that the President’s abuse of his power, taking the country to war simply on his own whim.
4MC: In October of 2002, Congress specifically stated, in Section 3 of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, that, quote, The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq. Unquote. The congressional resolution lists those UNSC resolutions that Iraq had violated as resoluions 678, 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677. What part of the current war in Iraq appears to you to be taken up by the President on a whim?
SK: Well, those resolutions…how many did you say there were?
4MC: I quoted 12 UN Security Council resolutions, but also there is the Congressional resolution, so that’s 13 resolutions altogether.
SK: Okay, thirteen then. Heh, unlucky 13, eh? Where was I? Oh yes, those thirteen resolutions authorized force against Iraq, but I’m guessing that none of those resolutions authorized the US to stay in Iraq and become an occupying force. That’s got to be illegal, and I am sure that it is only because the President, and Rumsfeld, screwed things up so badly that we are still there, over three years later.
4MC: Would you be surprised to find out that in a letter dated June 9th of this year, Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshiyar Zebari, formally asked the UN Security Council to extend the Coalition Force’s mandate to stay in Iraq? That by staying in Iraq, the Coalition forces are actually carrying out a mandate of the UN and the wishes of the democratically elected government of Iraq?
SK: Um, yes, actually, that would surprise me.
4MC: Surprise! But let’s move on to the other terrifying aspects to the President and Congress. You mentioned the “loss of freedoms” here in the US. What freedoms have been lost? Excuse the leading question, but perhaps you are referring to the new restrictions signed into law by the President limiting the length of fictional novels to no more than 52 pages, because after that he loses interest?
SK: What! That’s ridiculous! I hadn’t heard that at all! When did that pass?
4MC: Just kidding! No really, what freedoms have you lost?
SK: Well, not me per se. There are, however, forces out there, directed by the Republicans, that are placing a fear in the hearts of many reporters and writers. A kind of fascist atmosphere that keeps them from expressing what they want, when they want.
4MC: Are you able to cite any specifics? Given that your novels and short stories are almost all based on the idea that fear is internal, something more in the mind than in the air, isn’t it a little bit disingenuous to say that writers and reporters are not able to express themselves in ways that they want, simply because of the "atmosphere" created by Republicans? Your email to me was pretty critical of the President and Congress; do you think you will face government reprisals because of it?
SK: Well, no, of course not. But if one single writer or reporter is silenced, the world is a poorer place.
4MC: But who is silencing the writers? If one writer or reporter is silenced because of fear, and not actual laws, wouldn’t that be more like self-censorship?
SK: Self-censorship is still censorship.
4MC: Okay. So what would you say is the difference between self-censorship and cowardice?
SK: This interview is over. (click)
On July 24th of this year, in direct response to the NYT's desire to help the jihadists who are trying to kill me daily, I wrote down my thoughts on what might be a fair turnabout. This was all based on the idea that the NYTs understood how dangerous it was to write about the SWIFT program, and how much it helped the jihadists. But at least back then they held to the line that it needed to be exposed, even at the cost of innocent American lives, because it was such a dire threat to American liberties and because it was a blatantly illegal program run by the Bush Administration.
Now we find, via the NYT's, that even though the publishers understood that it was sure to help the jihadists, they decided to publish the story anyway because they though it might be illegal, and it might be a threat to civil liberties.
"My (BYRON CALAME) July 2 column strongly supported The Times’s decision to publish its June 23 article on a once-secret banking-data surveillance program. After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base...I haven’t found any evidence in the intervening months that the surveillance program was illegal under United States laws... Also, there still haven’t been any abuses of private data linked to the program, which apparently has continued to function. That, plus the legality issue, has left me wondering what harm actually was avoided when The Times and two other newspapers disclosed the program. The lack of appropriate oversight — to catch any abuses in the absence of media attention — was a key reason I originally supported publication. I think, however, that I gave it too much weight.
Hey Dickhead, how about wondering about what harm was actually done when you disclosed the program in your newspaper! You knew what would happen, and you were taking a very biased guess at what "harm" might happen. The fact that your newspaper's hatred of the Bush Administration moved you towards letting it publish knowing it would endanger fellow Americans makes your newspaper incapable of ever again being trusted as to what should and shouldn't be published. Your newspaper just dropped down a few rungs underneath CNN in trustworthyness. CNN was willing to self-censor news coming out of Iraq in order to keep access, and you are willing to disclose fully legal intelligence operations in order to maintain pressure on an administration you disagree with.
Sleep well tonight. There's no reason to believe that your disclosure was at all responsible for the jihadis having more money over the last few months. That would be a coincidence. Maybe there is no connection between that increase in money available to the jihadists and the increase in the number of American servicemember deaths in Iraq since you published that article. Just keep telling yourself it was all because of something else. Something the Bush Administration had done, nothing you did. You are, after all, a patriot. You must be, right? Dissent is the highest form....and all that?