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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

India Says Pakistani Intelligence Behind Mumbai Bombing

Little Green Footballs has the excerpts from the AP Wire report:

An Indian investigator on Saturday blamed Pakistan's spy agency of orchestrating the July train bombings that killed at least 207 people in Mumbai, an accusation that could threaten the already shaky peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

Pakistan's minister of state for information, Tariq Azim, immediately denied the allegation, calling it "irresponsible" and demanding that India provide evidence of the link.

India called a halt to the often-stumbling, two-year-old peace talks with Pakistan in the wake of the bombings, which ripped through a series of suburban commuter trains during evening rush hour on July 11, killing at least 207 people and wounding 700.

Negotiations resumed earlier this month when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf on the sidelines of a conference in Cuba. The two agreed to set up a joint mechanism to combat terrorism.

Mumbai Police Commissioner A.N. Roy, the lead investigator in the bombings, said Pakistan's Directorate of Inter Services Intelligence, or ISI, began planning the attacks in March and later provided funding and training for the bombers in the Pakistani town of Bahawalpur, a center of militant Islamic activity.

"The conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan," he said at a news conference.

Roy said the attacks were carried out by the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, with help from the Students Islamic Movement of India, a banned Muslim organization.

He said 15 people have been arrested so far, including 11 Pakistanis. Three Indians are still on the run, he added, and another Pakistani bomber was killed in the blasts.

First, if this was conceived and ordered by the Pakistani government, then it shows a significant shift in the political allegiences of Pakistan. These people were staunch supporters of the war, and this, coupled with the recent deal struck between tribal lords, the Taliban/al-Qaida remnants hiding out, and the Pakistani government starts to open a few more eyes, and great deal more scrutiny into this nation's buisiness. If this government is protecting terrorists, and carrying out terrorist operations, then we need to sever ties to the Musharraf regime.

On the flip side, if this was an independent operation conducted by a few rogues in the ISI, then Musharraf must come out and bring them to justice. Protecting these people, if he knows who they are, is only going to raise tensions in the region; a region that only a few short years ago looked like it was heading towards all-out war. The world held its breath then, and will probably do so now, if this report by Indian investigators turns out to be true, and not irresponsible supposition.

India claims they have the evidence. Then let the world see it, and let Pakistan be the judge. It was a heinous, cowardly attack, and the world can ill afford to be wrong about Pakistan. As a nuclear-armed nation, the possibility of those nukes falling into the wrong hands--especially by a government that is either complicit in terrorism, or has those in the upper echelons of the government who support it silently--is a very real possibility. Thomas posted about Jamaat-e-Islami at the beginning of the month. They're a radical Islamic group in Pakistan that has siad that if they come to power they will share nuclear technology with ALL Muslim nations.

Let's hope the Indian government is mistaken. If not, we could be looking at a serious problem in the region, and it will only be compounded should radicals seize control.

Sabrina McKinney

Friday, September 29, 2006

Time For The Torricelli Option in NJ?

Robert Menendez, who took over Jon Corzine's vacant Seante seat when he was elected governor, is in a political firestorm. It seems some allegations regarding corruption and now extortion. From the NJ Star Ledger, courtesy of Hugh Hewitt; the key paragraphs are below:

With the Democratic establishment standing firmly behind him, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday denied any involvement in the alleged shakedown of a Union City psychiatrist seven years ago.

Menendez, in a brief interview, said he did not know that his closest political adviser, Donald Scarinci, invoked his name in pressuring the psychiatrist to hire a Menendez acquaintance in 1999.

In a secretly recorded telephone call, Scarinci tells the psychiatrist, Oscar Sandoval, Menendez "would consider it a favor." On the same tape, Scarinci said the hire would offer Sandoval "protection" after the psychiatrist complained of trouble renewing his lucrative county contracts. ...

... Democrats accused the Kean campaign of engineering the tape's release, a claim flatly denied by Kean spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker. Yesterday, Sandoval backed the denial. He said he was approached for information about Menendez by Chris Lyon, an operative working for a Kean campaign consultant, but refused to speak with him.

The psychiatrist said he is speaking out about Menendez only now because he has been working on the lawsuit and transcribing audiotapes. ...

... Democratic Party chairman Joe Cryan said the tempest has made Democrats, who've won every U.S. Senate race in New Jersey since 1972, more resolved.

"The party understands we're not going to win this campaign by virtue of our previous successes," he said.

According to the latest polls, Tom Kean, Jr. leads Robert Menendez 44%-38%. This burdgeoning scandal is only going to add woes to his campaign, and the DNC in Jersey is going to need more than resolve to save Menendez's short Senate career. They're going to need a miracle. Of course there is always the Torricelli Option where tyhe Democrats removed Robert Torricelli from the ballot thirty-six days outside of the general election and replaced him with Frank Lautenberg. The replacement was challenged by the Jersey RNC, and the state supreme court upheld the switch despite the fact the law specifically states that no such switch could occur 51 days or later in the campaign.

If things continue to heat up for Robert Menendez, and it looks like it's about to, then I expect the DNC to either pull him (we're only 39 days away right now; Monday marks 36 days out of the election which is the bar set by the NJSC that last time around), or keep him in the race, and go after Sandoval like they're doing now. They're pulling out the stops to make Sandoval the bad guy--a liar trying to smear a US Senator. The Democrats always pull this sort of game when one of theirs gets his hand caught in the cookie jar. As it stands right now, Senator Menendez has some explaining to do, and we'd prefer it be done in front of a judge.

Either way you cut this, dear readers, Menendez is in trouble, and things are looking better for Tom Kean. Let's give him a helping hand, and dig up some contributions. A little goes a long way, and this could be a key seat the GOP might pick up this year.

Sabrina McKinney

America Isn't Stupid: The Democrats Will Not Win In November

It is the 29th of September, and we sit just a little over a month outside of the midterm elections. And recent actions committed by the Democrat Party should have their base thoroughly worried. Thomas and Marcie have been hammering a solid point, and it's one shared by many amongst the center/right of the blogosphere: The Democrats are showing the nation that they don't stand for making sure this nation isn't hit again by terrorists.

This debate has been going on since 2003 when Democrats voted in favor of a war they didn't really believe in. The vote, which was held on October 16, 2002, supported going into Iraq, but as soon as the 2002 elections were over, the Democrats quickly changed their statements; many announced that they had a change of heart, and looked at their votes as a mistake. The whole chorus erupted with similar sentiments by the time we invaded Iraq, and within days of the invasion, Democrats were adopting the media talking points of a quagmire there.

They have been highly critical of the administration. In 2004, John Kerry announced that the Democrats wanted a new strategy for the war on terror, and campaigned on that strategy (though to this day no one really knows what that strategy was as Kerry failed to clue anyone in on it). This effort failed miserably as America realized that his ideas would lead us down the same failed road as the Clinton Administration did.

A side note here: I know that the liberals are constantly whining that our side brings up Bill Clinton. It's regrettable that we have to, but his ideas regarding how to address the issue of terrorism was completely foolish. Subpoena them? Indict them? Try them in abstentia? And they thought such tactics would frighten our enemies, which just goes to show America that these people weren't serious about dealing with the issue. Terrorists care little for laws that they don't believe in. Shari'a is the only law these people believe in, and under it they're justified in their actions. But that administration didn't get the concept of killing an enemy. And we know that there is some blame the current administration has to share in September 11th. It is not nearly as much as the previous one, but for that tragic day, there is plenty of blame to go around.

And the Democrats have simply continued to push the failed policies of that administration. But they've also taken it one several steps further. They have opposed any measures he has tried to take to make it easier and more efficient to protect the nation. They opposed the nomination of John Bolton to the UN, despite the fact that his presence has been a Godsend to the nation there. (And they still oppose him today.) They have attacked the president over his NSA surveillance program, over the SWIFT program, over secret prisons and CIA rendition flights. They have attacked him for the lack of "body armor" and "vehicle armor" for the troops. (The former a complete lie as all of our soldiers are outfitted with armored tactical vests.) Many of the Democrat leadership has taken up the talking points of the antiwar movement int he nation; a movement that may have it's roots in the Vietnam era, and that's where their last "victory" lies in that respect.

John Kerry, John Murtha, Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer; they've all taken the stance that we need to withdraw from Iraq. (Murtha calls it "redeployment," which is a term that John Kerry has latched onto, as well.) Redeployment isn't the answer to the so-called problems in Iraq. And those problems, it should be noted, aren't shared by the commanders on the ground, like General John Abizaid. The following is from an interview the general had recently with Hugh Hewitt:

HH: General Abizaid, are you confident as well that victory is possible in Iraq? And what will that look like?

JA: Yeah, no, I'm very confident that victory's possible, not only in Iraq, but in the broader Middle East, if you consider victory being a Middle East where extremism is not tolerated, and doesn't have a chance of going mainstream in the region. I certainly think that in Iraq, there'll be violence after the time that American forces depart. I think that the sectarian issues are deep, but they don't need to be fatal. I believe that over time, as you build institutional capacity and the Iraqi government, and especially in the Iraqi armed forces, that Iraqis will be able to do more and more of the day to day security work. And as that happens, we'll be able to bring our forces down. A lot of people...

HH: Do you have enough troops, General, to do the mission, to achieve that stability and victory?

JA: Yeah, Hugh. We have over 200,000 American troops in the Middle East. That's down from a high of 375,000 back in '03. But more importantly, there's over 275,000 Iraqi troops, 70,000 Afghan troops that are fighting directly with us, and then you go to places like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, where they're fighting against the extremists with quite a few troops as well, and througout the region as well. So if it was my opinion that the people in the region weren't willing to fight against the extremists on their own, then I would have a different conclusion than what I just gave you. But all indications are that the people out here are not interested in having their countries turn into Taliban-like states. But on the other hand, Shiia extremism and Sunni extremism in the region are very strong, and we need to help the states help themselves against this. And at the same time, we've got to keep the flow of natural resources moving through the Straits of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Babel Mandeb, which take an awful lot of air and naval power.

The general admits that there are some problems, but believes that vicotry can be achieved in the overall sense. The Democrats don't. And to prove this, we need only look to the past three or four days. They have grabbed ahold of the National Intelligence Estimate leaked to the New York Times, and are waving it like a banner. According to them, we are the source of increased terrorism. The more we fight, the more radical Islamicists will join the fight. We are, according to their estimates, creating more problems than we're solving over there. Yet that isn't what the report states. It acknowledge the uptick in violence, but it states that if we beat them in Iraq--a theater of operations where the terrorists have virtually put all their eggs in one basket--then the possibility of more radical Islamicists joining the fight is greatly reduced. It also acknowledges that killing the main leadership of al-Qaida in "rapid succession" would be enough to splinter the group thereby making al-Qaida less of a threat to the nation. The Democrats fail to grasp how this could occur.

Simply put, a fractured organization would have to rely on themselves, and those people--if they're not used to dealing with the internal situations of a cell--financing, supplying, sanctuary--they can be easily tracked down, captured, or killed. For evidence of this we only need to reference recent history. Namely, the recent plane plot broken up by British authorities. While they did have financial help from other cells, which would be the ones nailed in a worldwide sting. These arrests were made in Britain and in Pakistan. In addition to this we can look at the recent plot foiled in Canada where radical Islamicists were plotting to attack several government buildings. Both plots were able to be foiled with the help of the NSA surveillance program.

But the Democrats don't seem to care. When this subjkect is broached, they whine about the 'loss of civil liberties' for Americans when Americans aren;t the ones being targeted by these measures. Al-Qaida is being targeted. Radical Islam is in the crosshairs. They seem to miss this point. And on the issue of civil liberites, what has been revoked? If I were to stand accused of aiding and abetting terrorism, I'm still entitled to my Constitutional rights. So is Thomas, Marcie, Hugh Hewitt, and any other American citizen. We still do live in a land where we are innocent until proven guilty. Until that guilt is proven, we maintain our rights.

And despite their whines to the contrary, this program is perfectly legal. So was the SWIFT program. But they despise both because they're targeting our enemies. The democrats don't seem to like that word much, and many refuse to even acknowledge that the enemy we fight has no legitimate gripe. Their gripe--al-Qaida's and Osama bin Laden's--went away the day we left Saudi Arabia. But that wasn't good enough for them. Now there are other reasons why they hate us, and the Democrats refuse to even recognize those reasons. They hate us for our freedom, our liberties, and even our tolerance. After all, we tolerate everyone. (If we didn;t, would today's Democrat Party even have the right to speak?) They hate us, in short, because we are America; land of the free and home of the brave, and we stand for freedom around the world.

Democrats definitely dislike being painted in a bad light. They are still clinging to the lost ideals they once held onto. Being for the little man, and standing strong for America. Unfortunately for the nation, that dream died during the Vietnam War--a war they started with the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident hyped by then-President Lyndon Johnson. The radicals int he party came to the forefront, and they haven't gone back into the shadows since then. And now they play this game of brinkmanship for keeps. They want their power back so they can make the current administration pay for some imagined slight.

The Florida recounts? They'll make Bush pay. The midterms of 2002, which threw the Senate under GOP control? Oh, they';ll come back. John Kerry's failed 2004 presidential bid? STOLEN in Ohio, dammit! These people no longer live in reality. Today was the most glaring example of the "land of make believe" these people live in. When three senior Democrats take to the floor of the Senate to argue IN FAVOR OF habeas corpus protections of terrorists, something is seriously wrong with the party.

habeas corpus is the name of a legal instrument or writ by means of which detainees can seek release from unlawful imprisonment. A writ of habeas corpus is a court order addressed to a prison official (or other custodian) ordering that a detainee be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he or she should be released from custody. However, it applies only to United States citizens. Under the Constitution, it can't be suspended, according to Article I, Section 9, clause 2. Again, it applies to citizens only, and the current elected leaders are whining about it not being extended to our enemies. Our enemies are foreign-born illegal combatants, not US citizens; ligical assumptions dictate that by this reasoning, they don't have the right to begin with.

What can be said of a party that seems to be more intent on protecting those trying to kill us than protecting the people who trusted them enought o put them in office? That is what this year is all about. It's imperative that we remember we have an enemy willing to go to great lengths to hurt us. September 11th wasn't easy, nor was it cheap. If they hae the means by which to pull off another September 11th, and we have another breakdown, it's going to harm us in ways we can only imagine. This isn't 'fear-mongering' as the democrats proclaim. This is about protecting the nation. If we fail in that respect, then I have a list of things you can forget about, too.

These people are as clueless as a newborn babe in the woods. They are concerned with eight principle things:

*Withdraw the troops from Iraq.

*Begin proceedings for the impeachment of the president, and possibly the vice-president.

*Capitulate to world opinion regarding radical Islamofascism.

*Remove all the protocols put in place to protect the nation, including the NSA surveillance program.

*Repeal the Patriot Act.

*Grant terrorists the same Constitutional protections reserved for citizens.

*Release of all prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, and elswhere abroad.

*A possible withdrawal from Afghanistan.

These eight items are at the top of their laundry list should they regain power. Notice that none of it stems from a need to protect the nation. It is more about tearing down a president than anything else. And while I'll grant them a teeny bit of anger about how the Republicans went about impeaching President Clinton, that quickly dies the moment I remember that the man was impeached because he lied.

He lied to a federal grand jury. He suborned the perjury of Monica Lewinsky. (To define it for those that don't understand the word "suborn," the president tried to coax someone into lying on his behalf.) And he submitted a false affidavit to the judge of the proceedings. for a party with little morality left in it, it was the last straw when the Republicans held President Clinton accountable for his crimes. These people lie all the time. And yes, I include the little white lies and the politically-motivated ones in that indictment. Yet they can't come up with a single lie the president has uttered. They attack him over the "lies" surrounding WMDs in Iraq while ignoring the fact that we have found them over them, and President Clinton cited the same thing in 1998, 1999, and 2000. They didn't magically disappear in three years; not based on the list of WMDs then Secretary of State Powell gave to the UN Security Council.

They will lie if they have to to get their power back. they will sell out anyone who disagrees with them over any politically-charged issue. Representatives Wynn and Rush can attest to this, as can Senator Joe Lieberman. But the party is about to get a rude awakening come November. As the title implies, America isn't stupid. Mainsstream America understands the gravity of national security. It isn't to be a political football, and that's what they're seeing from the Democrats. Everything to them is a political opportunity, or they look for them just so they can continue kicking the administration. Another thing they seem to have forgotten is America isn;t happy when one side attacks a sitting president. They reacted in a nasty way towards the Republicans when President Clinton was impeached, and they're none too happy with the ones that are daily assailing the administration for some slight--new or old.

When America heads to polls, they will send a message to the Democrats that they don't trust them. And while the single-issue voters might be able to rally and take down a Republican or two, the Republicans won't lose control of either House. (And if the single-issue people are that determined to remove a Republican, hopefully they have the God's honest sense not to vote for the Democrat.) This year is extremely important to the nation. It will set the agenda for the remaining two years of President Bush's last term. Are we going to play the silly game of being angry enough to stay hime and "punish" the party, abandining the nation to the Democrats so they can make it vulnerable again? Or are we going to stand up, and cast a vote that continues to keep this nation protected?

I for one know which way I'm going. And if you'd like to contribute, head over to Hugh's site and follow the links to those who need your support. The base is needed this year more than ever. Every little bit counts, and whether you donate money or time, these candidates will be grateful that you chose the chance of victory over a strategy that has been tried, and has failed.

Sabrina McKinney

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Loopy Leahy's Lame Lunacy

Patrick Leahy has completely lost his mind. Below is a portion of his floor debate today over the detainee bill. All emphasis is mine. This transcript is courtesy of Hugh Hewitt

"This is not just a bad bill. This is truly a dangerous bill..I have been asking Secretary Rumsfeld for the last several weeks whether our actions are eliminating more of our enemies than are being created. But now we understand. We are creating more enemies than we are eliminating. Our intelligence agencies agree the global jihadist movement is spreading and adapting, and is increasing in both numbers and geographic dispersions. We aren't making ourselves safer. We're putting us more at risk. Intelligence agencies go on to note the new jihadist networks and cells with anti-American agendas are increasingly likely to emerge and the operational threat will grow not only abroad but in the homeland. This is truly chilling.

Nicely paraphrased from the New York Times arguments. And it also shows that Senator Leahy has not read enough of the National Intelligence Estimate. While it acknowledges that right now there seems to be an uptick in "sectarian violence" in Iraq, more successes on our side of the coin will deter more radical Islamicists from joining the jihad. In the end, the NIE states that we must win, and right now we're doing all right with that, but there is room for improvement.

The Bush Cheney Adminstration not only failed to stop 9/11 from happening, but for five years failed to bring Osama bin Laden to justice even though they had him cornered at Tora Bora --they yanked our special forces out of there to send them into Iraq. We witnessed the growth of additional enemies.

Who is writing this man's words? MoveOn.org? Going back to blaming the president for September 11th is ludicrous. President Bush, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, shares the blame with the Clinton Administration. But for people like Senator Leahy, history apparently began in January of 2001, and every little thing the president has done has contributed to us being attacked. Someone get this guy a straight-jacket. But wait, there's more of this craziness.

When America can be seen abandoning its basic American Democratic values, its checks and balances and its great and wonderful legal tradition, and is seen as becoming more autocratic and less accountable, how's that going to help foster democratic reforms elsewhere? Do as I say and not as I do is a model that has never successfully inspired peoples around the world, and it doesn't inspire me.

Lord, save my sanity because his is completely gone. It flew the coop obviously before this debate started. We're abandoning our 'basic American Democratic values,' with just a little over a month to go before we engage in a general election. We're abandoning those values when we say that terrorists can't be granted raights reserved for American CITIZENS only. This man is making an argument to extend American rights to its most loathsome and threatening enemies trying to kill us. That is like trying to treat a rattlesnake like it's a human being. Does he intend to prosecute the rattlesnake after it bites him?

The Administration has yet to come clean to the Congress or the Amerian people in connection with the secret legal justifications it has generated, the secret practices it has employed in detaining and interrogating hundreds if not thousands of people. Even they cannot dismiss the practices at Guantanamo as the actions of a few bad people.

Ahem. If the practices he is referring to include the six specific things that the CIA has asked for, then why isn't he asking Sens. McCain, Graham, and Warner. They did, after all, hammer the bill out, and approved of those measures. The administration has been perfectly transparent on things that America needs to know about. That which we don't need to know about is kept quiet. Sen. Leahy appears to be living back in an era where the government classified things so a story wouldn't get out. This is a time where they keep things to themselves so our enemies don't find out. He has a near-conspiratorial edge to his diatribe, like the Administration is some sinister regime.

And the Administration is now obtaining license. Before they just did it quietly, and against the law, on their own say so, but now they are obtaining license to engage in additional harsh techniques that the rest of the world will see as abusive, as cruel, as degrading and even as torture. Unfortunately, a growing number of our own people see it that way too..

Well, I hate to drop this bombshell on him, bnut what will happen to the detainees is no different than what happened before. The interrogation techniques stay. It's not torture. Were it torture, it would be banned. It might be like we're being abuisive, but it's not even that. Water-boarding? Navy SEALs are subjected to water-boarding as part of their training. Cold rooms? The military makes its soldiers work in the worst possible environments in the worst possible conditions during training. It it weren't for the panty-waists in the world, the world might recognize the effectiveness of such measures, and not amateurishly proclaim this to be torture. John McCain endured torture at the hands of his Vietnamese captors. Our soldiers in World War II were subjected to far worse at the hands of the Japanese and the Germans. We are doing nothing like what those countries did. By comparison, this is mild.

Secrecy for all time is to be the Republican rule of the day. Congressional oversight is no more. Checks and balances are no more. The fundamental check that was last provided by the Supreme Court is now to be taken away. This is wrong. This should be unconstitutional. It is certainly unconscionable, and it is certainly not the action of any Senate in which I have served. It is not worthy of the United States of America. What we are saying is one person will make all the rules. There will be no checks and balances. There will be no dissent. There will be nobody else's view. And we will remove piece by piece by piece every single law that might have allowed checks and balances. We are rushing through legislation that will have a devastating effect on our security and our values, and I implore senators, step back from the brink, and think about what we are doing.

That had to hurt for him to admit that this isn't unconstitutional. Furthermore with the beginning of this little rant, one would think that there's a provision in the bill that dissolves Congress. No more oversight and no more checks and balances? This isn't a Constitutional Amendment outlawing Congress or removing any of it's powers. It is defining what the president can and can't do. It defines a legal and illegal combatant. What it isn't is a blnak check for our enemies to traipse through their procedures with ALL the protections of a United States citizen.

We should be doing, focusing on getting the terrorists, securing the nuclear material, doing the things that Senator Kerry has talked about, others have, win the peace in Afghamistan, where the Taliban has regrouped.

'Getting the terrorists?' I suppose he missed the news that we killed al-Zarqawi back in June. 'Securing nuclear material?' We did when we first entered Iraq, and we're doing it now with trying to get Iran to end it's uranium enrichment program. 'Doing the things that Senator Kerry has talked about?' Thank God we're not doing that! If we were, the UN would have voted to ask us to leave Iraq by now. And just think, with his inability to understand the law, if the Democrats win back the Senate, this is the schmuck who will chair the Judiciary Committee.

But instead the president and the Republican Senate leaders call for rubber stamping more flawed White House proposals, just in time, just in time for the run up to another election, and for the fund raising appeals to go out. And I'd hope that this time for the first time, even though the United States Senate is controlled by the presidents party that we could act as an independent branch of the government, finally serve as a check on this administration.

(Read: Shame on the Republicans.) Sen. Leahy would prefer that they roll over for the Democrats the same way the Democrats would roll over for the terrorists. This man stood on the floor of the Senate, in this same rambling, bumbling, stumbling diatribe, and proclaimed he was upset that habeas corpus was being revoked from the terrorists. Revoked? They never even had it. They can't, leagally speaking. It's not open to them. The Constitution provides American citizens with certain rights. The Fourteenth Amendment clearly--empiracally--defines a United States citizen. These people--these terrorists--don't have those rights. They can't be granted it, and should the Democrats truly make a fuss about this, and get it challenged to the Supreme Court, the high court will rule that they're wrong, the legislation and the Administration are right.

And after this debate and the rejection of all amendments intended to improve this measure, I see that that day is long past. I will continue to speak out, that's my privilege as a United States Senator. But I weep for our country and our American values and the principles on which I was raised and which I took a solemn opath to uphold. I applaud those senators who stood several times on the flor today and who have voted to uphold the best of American values. Remember we are giving a blank check to a government whose incompetence was demonstrated in historic dimensions in the lack of preparations in response to Hurricane Katrina. This is the same government in its fight against terrorism had Senator kennedy and Congressman Lewis on terrorist watch lists and then couldn't get them off. This is a government that repeatedly releases confidential family information about our armed forces and veterans. It is a government that just refuses to admit any mistakes or make any corrections and regards all of its representatives from Donald Rumsfeld to Michael Brown as doing a heck of a job.

Katrina, 9/11, terrorist watch lists, and torture. I've never had so much fun laughing than if I were at the circus. Unfortunately for us today, Sen. Leahy didn't wear his clown suit a make-up. I have to question the 'release' of 'confidential' information about veterans and active-duty military. If they are referring to the laptops that have recently gone missing, and subsequently been recovered, VA officials stated that neither were accessed. Besides, you can't blame the administration for things they have no control over, and that is one thing they didn't have control over.

This is Patrick Leahy, dear readers, and he is showing the nation that the Democrats have gone lemming; they're off the deep-end, and they just keep driving themselves further to, and over, the edge of sanity and reasoned thought. Like I said, this is amusing, but it's also sad. We can no longer have an honest debate with these people. They reach into realmns that even JRR Tolkien never envisioned, and slap it out across the media, spinning as they go, just like Michael Moore. This goes beyond unhinged. It goes waaaay beyond Bush Derangement Syndrome. These people are watching far too many X-Files repeats, and see this nation as something it isn't; they see their government as doing something it hasn't done, but is constantly assailed for doing.

The arguments today (Senator John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein joined the habeas corpus chorus, along with Senator Patrick Leahy) should show America where the Democrats stand. This was not one simpleton amongst the Democrats. They mobilized today, and they spoke out. And they spoke out in volumes that the country should recognize from the days of future past. This chorus is old and overused. And it's not going to work. Everytime these people open up their mouths, the political noose gets tighter. On November 7th, they'll go to the polls with the illusion that they'll win. On November 8th, maybe the shock will be enough to wake them up and make them realize that their ideas aren't being accepted. Of course a few are liable to find themselves unemployed. When that happens, expect this party to be certifiable.

Sabrina McKinney

The Democrats Continue To Tighten Their Own Noose

***Updated and Bumped to the top of the page***

Early this morning (after a wonderful reception last night) I reintroduced myself to the readers of The Asylum. It's beenb a long time since I've done some writing, and despite being away fro some time, it's nioce to see that I still have the ability to write effectively. It's a lot like riding a bike; you'll never forget how to do it.

However what Democrats seem to have forgotten is that we are at war and Hugh Hewitt observes this in a striking fashion today. H.R. 6166 is the new detainee bill that authorizes the military tribunals for the detainees we capture in this war. There are 201 Democrats in the House, and 160 of them voted AGAINST this bill. According to Dennis Kucinich this bill "is everything we don't believe in." Rep. John Murtha, whom the extremem fringe is pushing to be the majority leader should the Democrats retake the House, jumped into the mix, and the NY Sun quotes him:

"It gives too much leeway to the president," Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat of Pennsylvania, said. "And I think when you tamper with the Geneva Conventions ... you hurt our ability to protect the troops."

That fails logic on every level. The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, and the leader of the united States. His powers are explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. He has the ability to prosecute this war any way he sees fit, provided it doesn't violate the law. The Supreme Court ruled that because Congress hadn't, in fact, authorized the tribunals that they had to tackle that. (That is also within the Constitution: Article I, Section 8, to be exact where it states that they have the power "To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.")

That what this bill was to do, but 160 Democrats in the House disagreed that we shouldn't be creating tribunals to prosecute these detainees. We're talking about our enemies here. These people want to kill us. And the Democrats--a good majority of them--disagree with this approach. Their logic boggles the mind. And in this election season the more they pull stunts like this, the tighter the noose they're wearing is going to get.

In short, dear readers, I don't buy the polls. I don't trust them (most of them), and I disagree with the assessemnt the DNC is making that they can and will retake both Houses. The kids have pointed out that the races coming up this november, while they are tight for some, they are not unwinnable by the GOP. In fact, a few of them are well within the margin of error, or within striking distance with a strong finish. It falls to us, the base, to ensure they return.

I know that a lot of people in the GOP base are unhappy with the dawdling the party has been engaged in for a couple of years, and the simple fact that they don't seem to have the stomach or spine for a good, old-fashioned, knock-down, drag-out political fight. But they had better locate it soon, otherwise the Democrats will put their noose around the nation, and hang us all. This vote shows that these people can't handle the idea of holding our enemies accountable for their actions.

Their talking points regarding a withdrawal from Iraq, and possibly Afghanistan, are purely nuts. Our enemies are in those two nations, so does a withdrawal mean the Democrats would rather have them over here? To top that off, we see their response to the president's programs to track these people down. They're against them. They'd like to extend any and all Constitutional protections to these people, and put them through the criminal justice system. Our criminal justice system wasn't created to handle such things. In a war, the prisoners have always gone through the military justice system. President Clinton opted to run the '93 WTC bombers through the criminal justice system, and we see how well that worked out. Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman (the blind Sheik) who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, used Lynne Stewart, a member of his legal team, to facilitate communications between himself and Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya--a radical terrorist group from Egypt. She was convicted in 2005 for doing this. But it shows that our system can't handle people like this. Another example is, of course, the recent verdict in the Moussaoui trial.

The tribunals are absolutely necessary for our enemies. We can't allow civilians to preside over the justice deserved for these individuals. We're too lenient on heinous offenders in our nation--our own citizens--and the moral relevance that attorneys will draw on for their clients could prove disastrous. A threat that we face, should we put these people through the criminal justice system, is recruitment in prisons. Do we really want to see homegrown radical jihadists coming out of our prisons? I wouldn't like it, and I doubt a fair majority of the nation wouldn't like it either. They're simply too dangerous to go through our criminal system.

Let this vote, and the actions of the Democrat Party, be a notice for the nation. They are weak on the issue of the war. I don't like the idea that the war has been politicized, but the Democrats started this right after their votes. They voted for this, but immediately started giving the president heck over over how he was conducting it, how our troops were acting, and immediately branded the whole thing a failure. And that was just in the first week of fighting.

The Democrats are completely weak on this front. They may have the odd and occasional good idea but when it comes to the war, they can't handle what is necessary to make this nation safe. If these people are given power back this November, this nation is in a great deal of trouble. And it goes beyond who the new Majority Leaders will be in either House. It goes beyond Rep. Rangel being the ranking member on the House Ways and Means committee. It goes beyond Sen. Leahy being in control of the Senate Judiciary Committee or Sen. Rockefeller being the chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committe.

The kids are right, and they have been pushing this since Hugh Hewitt unveiled the platform for the GOP. If we do not stand strong on the war, and hold the line, nothing else in the nation matters. Forget tax cuts or hikes. Forget who will be the next nominee on the Supreme Court. If the GOP loses in November, we will be fighting this war from the worst position of weakness we have ever had to endure. Our hands will be tied. Our intelligence agencies will have their fangs ripped away. And our military will go back to where it was under President Clinton--emascualted because we don't want to "offend" anyone, and completely at the mercy of the United Nations. In short the Democrats will have achieved explicitly what John Kerry wanted in 2004.

A United States that only does what the world allows it to do. That's not how we defend this nation, and the Democrats are 100% wrong in their assertions that this sort of strategy will help America. It won't. It's going to hurt us, and at a time when we really can't afford that. We not only have our enemies to deal with, but Iran and North Korea as well. Appeasement in the face of these regimes may be the Democrat's plan to "secure" this nation, but it's not a sound policy that will grant us the security we have now. And a Democrat victory in November turns President Bush into exactly what we don't need right now: A lame duck that will face obstruction in Congress every minute of every day. He's the leader of the nation, and he's fighting a war. The Democrats don't want us fighting this war any longer, and they're making that clear for everyone.

So, for those in the GOP, please contribute to the people up for reelection this year, and support those running for a seat tfor the first time. Support: Mike DeWine, Rick Santorum, Conrad Burns, Michael Steele, Bob Corker. Mark Kennedy, and John Kyl for the Senate.

Support those in the GOP for the House, including those that are fighting against the likes of John Murtha and the other "nutroots" candidates that are calling for appeasement and surrender in the face of an enemy that is intent on destroying this nation.

Sabrina McKinney

UPDATE: Patrick Leahy has stated oin the floor of the Senate that he will vote against this bill. He cites Habeas Corpus several times in one sentence, proclaiming that the bill is stripping this from the detainees. Habeas Corpus legally doesn't apply to foreign-born people. It applies to American citizens, not our foreign terrorist enemies. These doddering old fools are out to get us killed with this sort of thought process.

This is the fever swamp, dear readers. These people believe the garbage they read and hear from the fringe elements of the party. IF THEY CONTINUE down this path, with this sort of twisted, uneducated logic, they will lose in November in ways worse than they are predicting for the GOP. And IF this is their final leg platform--stating that they are against programs to protect this nation, and tribunals to prosecute our enemeis--then they are in for a very, very rude awakening on November 8th.

I'd also like to point out that his statement sounds like it has either been paraphrased by the recent New York Times arguments regarding the National Intelligence Estimate report, or it's been written by a "journalist" from that a paper. It's full of the same talking points and the same stupid logic. I'm also reemphasizing the support for people like Conrad Burns, whose opponent--Jon Tester--stated yesterday that the Patriot Act needed to be revoked. THIS IS THE DEMOCRATS this year, dear readers, and they're just bound and determined to get us killed.

UPDATE: Sens. John Kerry and Dianne Feinstein want Habeas Corpus for terrorists. Thomas is flabbergasted, and he was just on Hugh's show stating he wants to avoid "whatever law school these guys attended." As a lawyer myself, I fail to comprehend how idiotic these people sound. Oh yes, and Sen. Kennedy is worried about water being thrown on any detainees. No, we're sorry, Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.

Hat Tip: The Hugh Hewitt Show

Rarely do I touch on regional issues, even in my own state of Illinois. However the kids have been grousing about the Sept. 11th Memorial here in Arizona. I've seen the pictures of the memorial, and you can, too here (including photos of the inscriptions) and here (which includes a photo of what it looks like from the outside). Needless to say I can understand why they're a little ticked. I would be, as well, if Illinois decided to erect such an abhorrant mockery to remember that day, those who died, and the survivors who walked from the rubble.

On the 26th, Ace of Spades posted phtos of what a memorial to that day should look like. It's in Broomfield, Colorado; the images alone will have tears welling up in your eyes. It was done tastefully, with plaques that focused on each plane attack, and a sculpture of three people. Two on either side of another helping her to safety. This is how a memorial of that deadly day should be. Those that settled on the plans for the memorial here in Arizona clearly had ulterior motives, and those ideas were obviously driven by the necessity to make a political statement. And speaking of political statements, check this out from Flopping Aces:

A reader at Hot Air found this curriculum for K-12 students visiting the site:

Ask students to think about how they would answer these questions: What does the word “tolerance” mean? What do you do and how do you react when a person is different from you? Share that today they will be learning more about tolerance and diversity.

Describe how key political, social, environmental, and economic events of the late 20th century and early 21st century (e.g., Watergate, OPEC/oil crisis, Central American wars/Iran-Contra, End of Cold War, first Gulf War, September 11) affected, and continue to affect, the United States.

Ask students what a world-wide memorial to victims of terrorism might look like. Have students design/draw their idea of a memorial. Have them write a paragraph or two explaining how their design shows a world affected by terrorism in the 21st century.Inform students that today they will look at any effects 9-11 has had on our civil liberties.

Enactment: Discussion: Ask students: What has our government done to prevent a terrorist attack from happening again? (i.e., enacted the Patriot Act, increased security at airports and other locations, monitored some overseas phone conversations, etc.) What are some of the negative and positive aspects of these changes? Do students feel the changes are helping to prevent terrorism? What else do students feel the government could or should do to prevent a similar event from happening?

While I applaud teachers for wanting to teach about Sept. 11th, I would prefer they stick to the facts. Nineteen Middle-Eastern men, affiliated with the terrorist group al-Qaida, hijacked four jet liners, and turned them into cruise missiles. In that attack, 2,996 innocent civilians were killed. And since then, we have gone to war to destroy this enemy and protect this nation. Talk about the days events, discuss what they heard/saw on TV or radio that day. FORGET tolerance and diversity. The reasons why these terrorists chose to do this is irrelevant; they targeted innocent civilians in a surprise attack, and that should be condemned and deemed unacceptable by ANY civilized nation. And can someone tell me what two events--Watergate and Ira/Contra--have to do with Sept. 11th? The last time I checked, neither one of them were connected to the attack by the 9/11 Commission's report. Personally, I think the teachers would be better off sticking to facts and history rather than talking points that have no relevant place in the discussion at all.

Let the pundits hash out the "why" of the act of war. Let the president and the military fight the darn war. Learning to love and forgive our enemy is nice and sweet, but it doesn't help us protect this nation. The nation will be safe once our enemy is destroyed, or at least their capacity to fight is. Group hugs aren't going to help us. Learning about their culture isn't going to help us. And sitting in a circle, holding hands, and singing Kumbaya won't help us either. Killing our enemy will.

And the latest coming out of this flap is amusing. The governor of the State of Arizona has issued a statement that she never saw the inscriptions and that all questions or criticisms should be directed to the people that put the memorial together. Excuse me, Madam Governor but as the elected leader of the State of Arizona, it falls to you to review what might be seen as a mistake when it comes to spending taxpayer monies. That's right, dear readers, this disgusting memorial was constructed with taxpayer dollars, and private contributions. And is it any wonder why the citizens of Arizona are hot under the collar about this? Mr. Allah Pundit at Hot Air believes the governor to be "bullet-proof." That may be so, but as the kids point out, a couple more black eyes never looked better on such a pitiful, liberal governor.

This memorial craps all over the memory of those who died and those who responded to the attacks. I must concur with the kids, Espresso Pundit, and anyone else who has made this sort of call: TEAR it down, and rebuild it correctly. Yes, it is a waste of the taxpayers money, but I would rather see a memorial I can be proud of and remember that fateful day than one that has nothing but spit and vitriol for a nation that was attacked. The inclusion of non-Sept. 11th material in these inscriptions is completely and totally inappropriate. And if there was no oversight conducted by the governor's office--as she claims--then this is a serious lapse on the part of the state government.

Now the commission in charge of placing memorials in Wesley Bolin Plaza has decided to review the Sept. 11th memorial, after embarressingly admitting that no one paid attention to the inscriptions at all. Now they have decided that this warrants an investigation, and changes if they deem them necessary. (Here's a hint for them: CHANGE IT!) But what is most telling is the quote that Mr. Allah Pundit highlighted in his post:

Smith said Wednesday it never occurred to him during the February meeting to check on details of the inscriptions’ wording.

“We never thought anything would be inappropriate,” he said. “It didn’t sound like there would be anything controversial.”

Smith also said he didn’t think his commission was misled. “No, I think we could have been naive.”

Naive, indeed. As a matter of fact, he goes onto add his thoughts, and I'm sure they're shared by a great deal of Arizona citizens:

These morons commissioned a monument to September 11th and never thought to check what would actually be on it?

And I thought we had a team of brain-dead monkeys running the show in Illinois. I guess this sort of stupidty isn't exclusive anywhere, but is prevalent in places where public servants seem to be lax on the job.

Sabrina McKinney

Some Things Never Change: The New York Times Is Still Wrong

Good morning, and welcome to a new day at the Asylum. For longtime readers, you'll remember that I was a guest-blogger on this site some months ago. I'm still continuing my fight against breast cancer, and I'm winning it. But the kids are away for a little R & R, and they asked me for a "return performance" on the site. So, for the next ten days or so, I'll be the one doing the writing. My name is Sabrina, and It's a pleasure to make the acquaintance of the newers readers; for the older ones, long time no see.

Onto business. When I left the site I had been dealing with a number of issues and events. One thing I see still hasn't changed is the New York Times and their idiotic portrayal of events. They totally screwed up the National Intelligence Estimate, and then offered up a a mockery of a defense of their amateurish interpretation of the report. Today, they presented another editorial--a gripe to Congress and the administration--for the recently passed anti-terror bill dealing with detainees.

The Times has several gripes in this piece, and I'd like to take them a step at a time. First, their lead-in to their list:

Last week, the White House and three Republican senators announced a terrible deal on this legislation that gave Mr. Bush most of what he wanted, including a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies. Then Vice President Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

Point of order, your honor? The kids are right. nothing has changed. This bill does nothing but reinforce the laws that are currently on the books that deal with these sorts of prisoners. And the whining about the Geneva Convention is a bit on the melodramatic side. The Convention doesn't address fighters like these people. There are no Convention guidelines for an illegal combatant. For the record (and the benefit of the team of monkeys at the Times that NEVER went to law school) an illegal combatnat is some that:

--Wears no regular uniform with a sigil or flag on that uniform identifying their army.

--Bears no banner, sigil or flag in battle to identify themselves.

--Is not recognized or accepted by the nation they were caught in, and no other nation has stepped forward to claim them.

--They have no clearly defined commander or command structure in the field.

In every aspect of Convention interpretations, these people are illegal combatants. They are technically allowed no protections under the Convention, but the president has stated that these people will be treated under the Geneva Convention rules pertaining to POWs. There, the liberals should be happy now, right? Not even close. Allow me to continue:

Enemy Combatants: A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted.

Earth to the Times, have we met? A terrorist who operates inside the United States is, in fact, an "illegal combatant." We don't know who thery are, where they reside, who their theater commander is, etc. So if we catch one here, in America, you bet your bottom dollar that he isn't going to get the cozy cell next to Moussaoui's. And summary arrest is a strong charge. We usually ask the government in question first, unless they already have them in custody (as is the case with the recent investigation by MI-5 in the plane terror plot). The detention is indefinite for a reason. If they were caught with the intention of committing an act, then I'm sorry but they're "ghosting" for awhile until we glean what we can from them.

The Geneva Conventions: The bill would repudiate a half-century of international precedent by allowing Mr. Bush to decide on his own what abusive interrogation methods he considered permissible. And his decision could stay secret — there’s no requirement that this list be published.

We just went down this road above. On the heels of the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan President Bush ordered that all detainees be given the same treatment due POWs under the Convention. As for his decisions as president regarding their interrogations, he has nothing to do with that. That goes to the individual interrogators, and those methods have been approved. Thomas posted about this last week when the deal was reached, and he made an interesting note:

And then there is this from AllahPundit:

The Blotter says Hayden’s pleased with the deal and that all six techniques the CIA had requested have been approved. To refresh your memory:

The first — the attention grab, involving the rough shaking of a prisoner.

Second — the attention slap, an open-handed slap to the face.

Third — belly slap, meant to cause temporary pain, but no internal injuries.

Fourth — long-term standing and sleep deprivation, 40 hours at least, described as the most effective technique.

Fifth — the cold room. Prisoners left naked in cells kept in the 50s and frequently doused with cold water.

The CIA sources say the sixth, and harshest, technique was called “water boarding,” in which a prisoner’s face was covered with cellophane, and water is poured over it — meant to trigger an unbearable gag reflex.

These techniques have been used for quite some time. Waterboarding, for example, is a method used to train soldiers. It is an excellent interrogation tool, and we teach our soldiers how to resist the panic that comes with the feeling the method provokes. All of these techniques were approved by the DoD, our intelligence agencies, etc. There is nothing wrong with them. This is not abuse, and it sure as heck isn't torture. No one is being "permanently damaged."

The Times go on further in it's hysterics, and it just continues to sputter downhill from here:

Habeas Corpus: Detainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment. These cases do not clog the courts, nor coddle terrorists. They simply give wrongly imprisoned people a chance to prove their innocence.

Are these idiots for real? Basic Constitutional Law here guys: US rights apply to US citizens ONLY. They don't apply to the foreign-born who aren't citizens. Any detainees being held in a military prison is subject to other provisions of the law. Military law and civilian law aren't mutually exclusive; they can't operate within each other's realms. That's stupid. The detainees, as they were captured during hostilities, is subject to the UCMJ, not the Constitution.

Judicial Review: The courts would have no power to review any aspect of this new system, except verdicts by military tribunals. The bill would limit appeals and bar legal actions based on the Geneva Conventions, directly or indirectly. All Mr. Bush would have to do to lock anyone up forever is to declare him an illegal combatant and not have a trial.

Is anyone else hearing the "Twilight Zone" theme in their heads right now? Not only is the final sentence a swipe at the president--some veiled allusion to Hitler's actions during his tenure as Chancellor--and of course the bill is going to bar civilian legal intervention int he process. The detainees don't have a right to it. When are news outlets like the Times going to realize that the Constitution doesn't apply to every Tom, Debra, and Hamid around the globe. It applies only to us. Besides, I'd question Congress if they included a provision where the civilian legal system could get involved. I think Moussaoui's trial proved that civilians can't handle the gravity of such a case.

Coerced Evidence: Coerced evidence would be permissible if a judge considered it reliable — already a contradiction in terms — and relevant. Coercion is defined in a way that exempts anything done before the passage of the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act, and anything else Mr. Bush chooses.

Okay, at this point I have to ask if intelligence has just left the building. Since when would a law in 2004 be accepted when a law in 2005 trumps it? And if this is to be their logic then why don;t they recognize the precedents leading up to Sealed Case as authorization for the president's NSA surveillance program? These people can't keep their logic straight. Add that plus the fact that these people we have captured aren't like any enemy we've taken prisoner before. These are people who have told their captors, lawyers and judges that if they get loose, they're going to kill them. The Islamic radicals take their war seriously. When will the Times?

Secret Evidence: American standards of justice prohibit evidence and testimony that is kept secret from the defendant, whether the accused is a corporate executive or a mass murderer. But the bill as redrafted by Mr. Cheney seems to weaken protections against such evidence.

Ah, but Ken Lay wasn't threatening to launch a terror attack on the US, and neither was that mass murderer. These are matters of national security, and the government must have the opportunity to protect its security interests. These people have visits from their families when permitted. What prevents them from getting a message out about a possible mole in a cell, or the fact that a house they once believed was "safe" here isn't any longer? It kills any sort of case the government can build if every time they turn around, they're being hindered--purposefully--by enablers that believe the sort of nutty nonsense the Times espouses. Also, it should be noted that Thomas covered this in his post about the agreement that Lindsey Graham made a big deal about this in an interview with Hugh Hewitt back on the 14th. In that interview, he alluded that this was the most important aspect of the bill, yet it wasn't even addressed.

Offenses: The definition of torture is unacceptably narrow, a virtual reprise of the deeply cynical memos the administration produced after 9/11. Rape and sexual assault are defined in a retrograde way that covers only forced or coerced activity, and not other forms of nonconsensual sex. The bill would effectively eliminate the idea of rape as torture.

If memory serves me correctly from law school, but rape and sexual assault are already defined as "nonconsensual," so why redefine them again? Is not the original definition good enough? And what other forms of "nonconsensual sex" are they referring to? If someone is sodomized, then they are raped anally. Notice the word "rape" in the previous sentence? Hey, at least the readers catch onto this logic. And rape is already defined as a crime, so why include it in torture provisions. The law is clear from the start on this subject. Only its interpretation by the Times is foggy.

There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it.

We don’t blame the Democrats for being frightened. The Republicans have made it clear that they’ll use any opportunity to brand anyone who votes against this bill as a terrorist enabler. But Americans of the future won’t remember the pragmatic arguments for caving in to the administration.

The moderates have been "whipped into line?" Since when? Three of them just finished wasting time and money on a soapbox trip to score political points. Senator John McCain from Arizona led the charge on his hearty white steed (also known as Lindsey Graham), and they brought along their faithful squire John Warner in this little charade. But nothing changed within the law. The detainees will be treated as they always have been, not worse than before, and probably a helluva lot better.

And the Times gets is wrong with believing the Democrats are frightened because they're afraid the Republicans are going to hurl accusations at them. They're frightened because they know that the public is aware of their inability to handle issues of defense and national security. Their track record of allowing the threat to foment virtually unhindered, coupled with their incessant tirades demanding the retreat of our troops from the field of battle, only shows the voters what they already knew.

This piece, more than anything, almost sounds like a talking point straight out of the DNC. They're spinning this legislation as if it's something it's not. It's nothing. It's repetitive, and that's the damnable thing about this. We're in a war, and all they did was give the president what the Supreme Court requested: The tribunals. The detainee treatment doesn't change. We're still abiding by the Geneva Convention. And we can still use techniques that we've used for quite some time, like water-boarding. And I can only conclude by this pitiful editorial that the Times clearly knows nothing about what it purports to understand. They have no clue about the legislation they're opining about, and they have even less smarts in regard to the law. Now I know why Marcie keeps imploring them to have a lawyer fact-check them before these things go to print.

Nutty columns like this, with little rhyme or reason, defying logic in the process, is embarrassing. No wonder why their numbers keep shrinking.

Sabrina McKinney

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Times' Response To The Declassified NIE

Call it an impossibility to settle down. That is why I am up at this hour. And what do I see? I see a response by the New York Times to the declassification of the NIE yesterday. The entire "brief" has not been fully declassified, but key areas of it were so they could combat the spin the Times put on the estimate in the first place. The entire piece is cited below, as a subscription is required to access it. And, of course, what sort of an analysis would this be without my interjections smashing their fooilish little ideas:

It’s hard to think of a president and an administration more devoted to secrecy than President Bush and his team. Except, that is, when it suits Mr. Bush politically to give the public a glimpse of the secrets. And so, yesterday, he ordered the declassification of a fraction of a report by United States intelligence agencies on the global terrorist threat.

When it suits him? We bloggers could say the same thing about the Times and their blatant release of classified material from government leakers, but not the president. Never mind that the president, along with the vice president, have the ability to declassify ANYTHING. But the Times is disgusted with this, and we know why. They already blew the analysis, and as readers will see, this is a feeble attemtpt to save face with a "nanny-nanny boo-boo" defense. So, let us get this out of the way now. Yes the estimate did state all that the Times said was in there, however they took these items out of context within the report, and there is a need to set the record straight.

Mr. Bush said he wanted to release the document so voters would not be confused about terrorism or the war when they voted for Congressional candidates in November. But the three declassified pages from what is certainly a voluminous report told us what any American with a newspaper, television or Internet connection should already know. The invasion of Iraq was a cataclysmic disaster. The current situation will get worse if American forces leave. Unfortunately, neither the report nor the president provide even a glimmer of a suggestion about how to avoid that inevitable disaster.

Technically that is not what the estimate is about. It tells the readers what is going on with certain aspects of the world. The points in question within the released pages deal primarily with al-Qaeda, and briefly, at the end, with Iran and Syria. (I cited the document and gave analysis here.) The "glimmer" of hope that the Times is so desperately searching for is right here:

The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

The ray of hope is for America to win this, and we cannot do that while mainstream media outlets continue to hinder our progress in the war. The Times, with the story releasing information about the NIE has single-handily blown two classifed programs designed to disrupt our enemies, and then released information regarding an intelligence report. Thank you New York Times in aiding our enemies again by allowing them to know things that we know about them. And we have fulkl intention of sending these poor little jihadists back home defeated. That is how we will protect ourselves.

Despite what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and John Negroponte, the director of national intelligence, have tried to make everyone believe, one of the key findings of the National Intelligence Estimate, which represents the consensus of the 16 intelligence agencies, was indeed that the war in Iraq has greatly increased the threat from terrorism by “shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives.”

Again, the context, please? It also states that if they leave Iraq feeling defeated, it will kill the jihadist movement. All we have to do is hold true the course. Yes there will be successes and defeats. It is a war, after all. But to eternally proclaim the mission a failure--which the Times has done with nauseating incessancy--is a bit much. These people were screaming fromt he rooftops "QUAGMIRE" a week into the war, and they just will not come down off of that horse.

It said Iraq has become “the cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.” It listed the war in Iraq as the second most important factor in the spread of terrorism — after “entrenched grievances such as corruption, injustice and fear of Western domination.” And that was before April, when the report was completed. Since then, things have got much worse. (The report was written before the killing in June of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. The authors thought such an event would diminish the danger in Iraq. It has not.)

The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements. We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qaida.

Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.

The above two parts are the only spots where al-Zarqawi is even discussed. It does not say that his death or removal from the Iraq theater would result in a decrease in violence. It says that the death of all three men in "rapid succession" would splinter al-Qaeda into tiny little groups. And that they would pose less of a threat to the nation. This is never more evident than in Iraq. The terrorists will not engage our troops. They are falling back on their old tactics of terrorism to force peopel to abide by their "rule." We see them come and go all the time in Iraq, and they do not last long once we sweep in. The second part is technically moot because he did not "escape" Iraq. Those in Iraq right now are strained already. They cannot compete against coalition and Iraqi forces. We recently captured al-Qaeda's number two man in Iraq, but I am sure the Times agrees that that is not a great achievement either.

Mr. Bush decided to release this small, selected chunk of the report in reaction to an article on the intelligence assessment that appeared in the Times over the weekend. As a defense of his policies, it serves only to highlight the maddening circular logic that passes for a White House rationale. It goes like this: The invasion of Iraq has created an entire new army of terrorists who will be emboldened by an American withdrawal. Therefore, the United States has to stay indefinitely and keep fighting those terrorists.

No, it goes more like this. On 9/11 we were attacked by al-Qaeda. They launched a team from afghanistan, and we demanded the Taliban hand over bin Laden and other key emembers of the organization. They refused. We invaded. In the course of the invasion we came across information that showed that al-Qaeda had been working with Saddam Hussein. Saddam bucked yet another United Nations resolution (1441), and we invaded. (We believe that "serious consequences" needs to go a bit beyond a harshly worded letter.) When we did invade, and remove him, the terrorists that had been there--some al-Qaeda, and a few others from the ranks of Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, et al--fought against us. Once Saddam's military ended its fight, we dealt with a native insurgency fueld by people like al-Sadr, in addition to the outside terrorist forces.

The native insurgents, for the most part, surrendered to the new government after the final vote--the constitution vote--in December of 2005. Since then we have been dealing with more foreign terrorists than native ones. And we will not abandon that nation to those animals. We will stay until they are ready to stand on their own. Pulling out would be the equivalent to pulling their chair out from underneath them. We will leave when the job is done. The jihadists decided to throw all their eggs in one basket; quite possibly an excuse for their failures around the world on terrorist plots. When our enemy went to ground, we left none for it to go to.

By that logic, the more the United States fights, the longer the war stretches on.

It’s obvious why Mr. Bush did not want this report out, and why it is taking so long for the intelligence agencies to complete another report, solely on Iraq, that was requested by Congress in late July. It’s not credible that more time is needed to do the job. In 2002, the intelligence agencies completed a report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction in less time. Mr. Bush also made selected passages of that report public to buttress his arguments for war with Iraq, most of which proved to be based on fairy tales.

He released these portions of the estimate to counter the Times' faulty assessment of what the report entails. Complaining about the time spent on these reports is absolutely nuts. It is the federal government, and it moves at the pace it sets for itself. Stamping your feet about it is not going to speed up the process. And as for the "fairy tales" the Times speaks of, need we remind them of of the casus belli?

--Alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction.

--Alleged ties to Al Qaeda and to international terrorism in general.

--Iraqi repression and brutalization of its civilian population. --Iraqi hostility toward the United States.

--Iraqi hostility toward UN sanctioned operations such as Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch.

--Perceived Iraqi failure to cooperate with UN weapons inspections and disarmament procedures.

--Iraqi possession of Kuwaiti POW's, Iraqi violation of cease fire agreement.

--Attempted plot to kill former US president George H.W. Bush by Iraqi special service.

Then, Mr. Bush wanted Americans to focus on how dangerous Saddam Hussein was, and not on the obvious consequences of starting a war in the Middle East. Now, he wants voters to focus on how dangerous the world is, and not on his utter lack of ideas for what to do about it.

Idea Number One: Kill our enemy, or destroy their capacity to fight. See, we would still be doing that if it were not for the defeatist efforts of the Times. Blowing the cover on the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, which helps us keep tabs on our enemies here, has been useful not only to us, but other nations, too. The Canadians made their raids based partly on information gleaned from the NSA TSP. The same goes for Britain in their recent arrests of a number of jihadists determined to commit an act equal in atrocity to 9/11; possibly even surpassing it.

When they released the story about the SWIFT program, the Times tipped our enemies off to what was being used to track their finances around the world. They knew, obviously, that we would be working to follow their money so we could put a stranglehold on their operations, but they likely did not know to what extent we had gone to. The revelation by the Times let them know that. Numerous intelligence analysts have stated that the release of these stories has damaged our efforts to stop our enemies here in the nation.

The Times does a nice rinse-and-spin of the NIE release, but it does not measure up to what the declassified sections really say. It does not paint a rosy picture, at all. But the underlying points made are that as long as they go home unhappy, the chances of more jihadists joining their ranks are greatly reduced, and that the worries of the future lie in the region, with an ending emphasis placed on Syria and Iran; the two nations feeding the terrorists in Iraq.

The Times, simply put, is incorrect in their assesssments, and in their defense. It is utterly ridiculous to buy their Sunday assessment of the NIE after reading this today. Their view is utterly defeatist. The president's remains true to the task of finishing the job. They seem to miss the point that to run in the face of these animals is a slow death sentence on the nation, and on the world.

Whew. I needed that venting today. With all that is about to happen, I needed to blow off some steam. NOW, I think I can fall asleep.


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