The President of the United States (POTUS) takes an oath of office which says...
I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
When enlisting, military personnel take a similar oath...
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Along with the responsibility to defend the Constitution comes authority. The Constitution appoints the POTUS as Commander-in-Chief (C-i-C) of the military. As C-i-C, the POTUS is empowered to "defend the Constitution" implicitly... "against all enemies foreign and domestic".
So what is this Constitution that the POTUS and the military are to defend? A document? A piece of paper? Clearly not. The Constitution is more than a document, it is an idea. It is an organizing principle. It is a basis for governing. It is a blueprint for a nation. It is a way of life. It is in fact, that which "constitutes" America itself.
The Preamble to the Constitution reads...
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
When a foreign terrorist organization like Al-Qaeda upsets the "domestic Tranquility" by hi-jacking airplanes and flying them into buildings killing thousands of Americans, the Constitution provides "for the common defence" by authorizing the POTUS to act as C-i-C to direct military forces as required to eliminate the threat. When a foreign power is suspected of harboring terrorists and weapons of mass destruction, which might reasonably be used against Americans, the Constitution fairly cries out that steps be taken to "INSURE domestic Tranquility".
Of course, the entire government in all of its branches must work in unison to "insure domestic Tranquility". Congress must pass laws like the Patriot Act, that allow our enemies to be discovered and thwarted. The Judiciary must uphold those laws which the Congress passes, as well as the constitutional authority granted to the President. To do less, in my opinion, is an act of treason.
The POTUS however, plays a unique role as C-i-C during a time of war. He can conduct surveillance (including warrantless surveillance) on foreign powers and terrorists. This constitutional authority has been accepted as a matter of course by every President since George Washington. Robert Turner, in an excellent article on this subject Here, reminds us that the three branches of government are separate and co-equal, and that no law passed by Congress (including FISA) can limit the constitutional authority of another branch...
Every court of appeals that has considered the issue has upheld an inherent presidential power to conduct warrantless foreign intelligence searches; and in 2002 the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, created by the FISA statute, accepted that "the president does have that authority" and noted "FISA could not encroach on the president's constitutional power.
The President's constitutional authority to conduct warrantless surveillance on foreign powers and terrorists is not limited to electronic data-gathering (i.e., wire-taps), but extends to all forms of information including aerial reconnaissance, satellite imagery, human intelligence, interrogation of prisoners, and physical searches and seizures.
Does this mean that we should practice torture on prisoners to extract vital information? Absolutely not. And the stated policy of the U.S. military excludes torture from its interrogation procedures. But we must recognize that discomfort, hazing or psychological tactics does not constitute torture.
In a time of war, obtaining intelligence about the enemy is crucial to victory. Those who would try to deny our C-i-C the constitutional authority to do so, are at best on shaky legal ground, and at worst... border on treason.
UPDATE: For an excellent analysis which completely supports my point of view, go Here.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- John Dickerson has written an article for "Slate" entitled "All the President's Dodges". In it, Dickerson describes George Bush as "a quick wit", noting his snappy one-liners. Yet, many of his critics continue to portray him as a bumbling idiot.
Dickerson then expresses his disappointment that Bush is not as snappy when it comes to answering questions about serious issues.
"Dealing with delicate issues on camera, Bush's mind may work just as quickly, but he keeps his mouth shut. The pause to think gives him away."
So what's the problem? Sounds like a wise thing to do with delicate issues...
Proverbs 13:3 - He who guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Proverbs 15:28 - The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 - Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word...
But Dickerson does not view the pauses of Bush as a sign of wisdom. Instead, he accuses the President of being deceptive...
When he doesn't punch out a response, he's not puzzling out the answer. He's puzzling out the spin.
Frankly, I'm rather glad that a President of the United States, with all the power at his command and representing nearly 300,000,000 Americans and whose words are listened to by friends and foes alike around the globe, takes time to weigh those words.
Dickerson then goes on to describe the various "spin" techniques that George Bush has apparently mastered. When Bush expresses some optimism that free elections are being held in Palestine, he says Bush is putting "a happy face" on a bad situation. When Bush says that revealing details of the NSA surveillance program would aid and abet our enemies, Dickerson says Bush is using a "trump card that shuts off further discussion". When Bush says he's had his picture taken with lots of people, Dickerson says Bush is "distracting" us from the real issues of an alleged Abramoff--White House scandal.
Talk about spin. John Dickerson is spinning so fast he's apparently become dizzy.
George W. Bush: A Man Of His Word
In the defense of our nation, a president must be a clear-eyed realist. There are limits to the smiles and scowls of diplomacy. Armies and missiles are not stopped by stiff notes of condemnation. They are held in check by strength and purpose and the promise of swift punishment.
American foreign policy must be more than the management of crisis. It must have a great and guiding goal: to turn this time of American influence into generations of democratic peace.
-- George W. Bush, speech, November 19, 1999
Photo: September 20, 2001
Great men say what they mean, and do what they say. They do not quibble or obfuscate. They do not play with the meaning of words. Great men are honest and forthright. They stand for great ideals like freedom and justice. They acknowledge the Lord God. They do not seek power for gratification or personal enrichment. They serve God and country in humility, for the sake of service itself.
Reid Demands Janitorial Upgrade
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday urged President Bush to issue an Executive Order during his upcoming State of the Union Address which would improve the janitorial services on Capitol Hill. "This place is a pig-sty", declared Reid. "We've got Congressman wallowing in 'pork', Senators getting their 'palms greased'. There's all sorts of filth and 'corruption' here".
Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) joined Reid at the press conference saying, "It's (hic) Republicans that control the House, Senate and White House... So this is clearly 'a Republican problem'... and they better (urp) do someshing(sic) about it".
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wanted to speak but was overcome by fumes. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) just watched from the sidelines apparently absorbed or catatonic.
Reid closed the press conference saying, "President Bush can't relate to what's going on over here. He sits in his 'White House' all day. He should 'come clean' over here once in awhile for us low-lifes".
Kerry Speaks Out
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator John F. Kerry, who almost did not lose the Presidential election in 2004, spoke out on Sunday, labeling the Bush administration as 'incompetent'. Kerry's remarks came in response to a speech last week by Karl Rove, in which Rove told Republican strategists that they should repeat the message that Democrats are weak on terror in the lead-up to the 2006 elections.
Mr. Kerry responded to Rove's comments by saying that the Bush administration was 'incompetent' in the way it handled Hurricane Katrina. When asked how his statement in any way addressed whether or not Democrats are weak on terror, Kerry said, "I'm not worried in the least, and I welcome the debate. I want to have that debate, and I want to have that debate every single day."
Somewhat confused, the interviewer then asked Kerry if he felt that Democratic opposition to the NSA wiretapping program suggested Democrats are weak on terror. Kerry replied, "We're prepared to eavesdrop wherever and whenever necessary in order to make America safer... In fact, I have no problem with warrantless searches when Democrats are in the White House, I'm only against it when Republicans do it."
When asked if that approach might cause some to label Kerry a "flip-flopper", he responded by saying, "That's another one of their 'Swift Boat'-style tactics where they try to throw up the mud and stick it." Kerry then called for a special counsel to investigate Republicans, calling the issue "really typical of the way they've been managing this city".
Again confused, the interviewer then asked what John Kerry's plan would be in the war on terror. "Osama bin Laden is going to die of kidney failure," said Kerry, "and then we'll get our buddies in France to help out... After all, this is a Global War on Terror".
Don't Underestimate Osama bin Laden
An audio tape purported to be the voice of Osama bin Laden was broadcast yesterday by Al-Jazeera, the most watched Arabic TV station in the Middle East. American authorities contend that the tape is authentic, the voice is indeed Osama bin Laden's, and they suggest that it was probably made some time in December 2005. The transcript of the tape can be read Here.
Most of bin Laden's comments are the typical tripe of an anti-Administration blowhard, and carry about as much weight as that of an ordinary Looney Left-Wing Liberal in the U.S. Senate. On more than one occasion, bin Laden refers to "public opinion polls", suggesting that he believes in them more than the average American. He says that the Bush administration is "targeting the news media, which carry some facts about the real situation." Can you imagine? OBL defending the good name of the Lamestream Media? Gimme a break!
He blasts "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz"... just like the New York Times. He refers to "atrocities and crimes in the prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo"... just like the New York Times. He equates "the repressive measures of the US army" with the crimes of Saddam Hussein... just like the New York Times. He alleges torture measures by US military such as the use of "chemical acids" and "electric drills... on their heads until death" (which is pure fantasy and even goes beyond anything the NYT would suggest). He says that Bush "has no plan to achieve victory"... just like the New York Times. He mocks Bush for his "announcement from an aircraft carrier on the end of major operations"... just like the New York Times. OK, so now we know that OBL has a subscription to the New York Times. The NYT should just check all of the addresses of their subscribers (especially in Pakistan) and give them to the CIA for follow-up.
Then, out of nowhere, bin Laden offers a truce. "In this truce, both parties will enjoy security and stability and we will build Iraq and Afghanistan, which were destroyed by the war." Yeah right! We just go away and they will fix everything. Sure! What an idiot. Why don't you just turn yourself in OBL, and WE will fix everything.
Then he says the obvious... (paraphrased) 'either we will win this war or you will win'. Like... DUH! He then goes on, "If we win it, it means your defeat and disgrace forever. If you win it, you should read the history. We are a nation that does not tolerate injustice and seek revenge forever." He then goes on to say that (if we win), they will seek revenge until "your minds are exhausted and your lives become miserable". In other words, we win and you lose... OR... we lose temporarily, but we will win in the end. Yada, yada, yada. Big talk from a guy in a cave!
But then, he says something that scares the heck out of me. He says, "The swimmer in the sea does not fear rain." In the context of the paragraph, this sentence seems to fit right in. But if you look at this sentence in relation to everything else bin Laden says, it sounds almost like a code phrase right out of WWII. During WWII, the British used to send out similar code phrases over the radio to Allied spies and the resistance movements in Europe. There were examples of this in the movie "The Longest Day".
In the past, Osama bin Laden has used video tapes and audio tapes to signal an attack to his "sleeper cells" around the world. I just pray that I am reading way too much into this one phrase and that nothing will come of it. Nevertheless, I can only say one thing... Don't underestimate Osama bin Laden. He is a scorpion that still may have some sting left in him.
UPDATE: On 'Special Report with Brit Hume' last night (21 Jan 2006), Mort Kondracke said nearly the same thing I have here. He said the bulk of bin Laden's tape sounded like a Maureen Dowd column in the NYT.
Ode To America
The following article was written by Mr. Cornel Nistorescu and published under the title "Cîntarea Americii" on September 24, 2001 (just days after the tragic events of 9/11) in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentul zilei ("The Daily Event" or "News of the Day"). The article has been circulating on the Internet for 4 years now, so I apologize if you have already seen it. It just recently came to my attention and felt moved to share it. I checked with Snopes.com to verify its authenticity Here.
Editorial from a Romanian newspaper
Why are Americans so united? They don't resemble one another even if you paint them! They speak all the languages of the world and form an astonishing mixture of civilizations. Some of them are nearly extinct, others are incompatible with one another, and in matters of religious beliefs, not even God can count how many they are. Still, the American tragedy turned three hundred million people into a hand put on the heart. Nobody rushed to accuse the White House, the army, the secret services that they are only a bunch of losers. Nobody rushed to empty their bank accounts. Nobody rushed on the streets nearby to gape about. The Americans volunteered to donate blood and to give a helping hand. After the first moments of panic, they raised the flag on the smoking ruins, putting on T-shirts, caps and ties in the colours of the national flag. They placed flags on buildings and cars as if in every place and on every car a minister or the president was passing. On every occasion they started singing their traditional song: "God Bless America!".
Silent as a rock, I watched the charity concert broadcast on Saturday once, twice, three times, on different tv channels. There were Clint Eastwood, Willie Nelson, Robert de Niro, Julia Roberts, Cassius Clay, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Springsteen, Silvester Stalone, James Wood, and many others whom no film or producers could ever bring together. The American's solidarity spirit turned them into a choir. Actually, choir is not the word. What you could hear was the heavy artillery of the American soul. What neither George W. Bush, nor Bill Clinton, nor Colin Powell could say without facing the risk of stumbling over words and sounds, was being heard in a great and unmistakable way in this charity concert. I don't know how it happened that all this obsessive singing of America didn't sound croaky, nationalist, or ostentatious! It made you green with envy because you weren't able to sing for your country without running the risk of being considered chauvinist, ridiculous, or suspected of who-knows-what mean interests. I watched the live broadcast and the rerun of its rerun for hours listening to the story of the guy who went down one hundred floors with a woman in a wheelchair without knowing who she was, or of the Californian hockey player, who fought with the terrorists and prevented the plane from hitting a target that would have killed other hundreds of thousands of people. How on earth were they able to bow before a fellow human? Imperceptibly, with every word and musical note, the memory of some turned into a modern myth of tragic heroes. And with every phone call, millions and millions of dollars were put in a collection aimed at rewarding not a man or a family, but a spirit which nothing can buy.
What on earth can unite the Americans in such a way? Their land? Their galloping history? Their economic power? Money? I tried for hours to find an answer, humming songs and murmuring phrases which risk of sounding like commonplaces. I thought things over, but I reached only one conclusion.
Only freedom can work such miracles!
As I absorbed the words of this article, I was transported back in time to those eventful days of 2001, and was reminded of the awesome unity which Americans exhibited in that moment of shared catastrophe. AMERICA was attacked. AMERICA was threatened by unknown assailants. AMERICA went on the defensive against AMERICAN enemies. AMERICANS pulled together to mourn the loss of their fellow citizens. AMERICANS started saying things like... "AMERICA - Land of the Free and Home of the Brave". Flags became ubiquitous. Bumper stickers started showing up like... "Proud to be an American", "God Bless America", "United We Stand", and "Red White and Blue - These Colors Don't Run".
It was truly a moment of American unity that may never be repeated in my lifetime. And where did it all go? Why has is it been forgotten after only 4 short years? How is it that my parents' generation could go to war on December 7, 1941 and remain utterly committed to that battle against fascism until September 2, 1945 despite losses of nearly 500,000 Americans? And why is it that today, after nearly an equivalent amount of time but suffering hardly more than 2500 casualties, and having liberated more than 50 million Afghanis and Iraqis, that Americans are now beginning to question their resolve in the current Global War on Terrorism? (...which, by the way, is no less important than WWII)
Sad to say, but I believe that it is the "fast food" syndrome at work. We want to be served NOW! We want our burgers and fries in less than 5 minutes. We want our wars to be over in ten days without any casualties... no if, ands or buts! Unfortunately, that's not real world thinking. President Bush warned us that the war on terrorism would not be a quick war, and that we would not always see results, even though successes might be occurring without our noticing it.
With the help of our allies, hundreds (if not thousands) of would-be terrorists have been captured or killed. Plots have been foiled. Plans have been disrupted. Lives have been saved. Attacks have been thwarted. We have been unbelievably successful in the War on Terror. Yet, you wouldn't know it from reading the liberally-biased media. What a shame. The left-wing media outlets attack Bush incessantly without a word of thanks for preventing another terrorist attack. But, God forbid that an attack should occur, and then they would attack him for failing to protect America!
In the days after September 11, 2001, President Bush told the country what he planned for the Global War on Terror. Everyone applauded. In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush was interrupted by applause no less than 76 times. Bush outlined what his intentions were... and everyone applauded. President Bush has not done anything other than what he promised to do. George Bush has not changed... his political opponents have changed. Those who once applauded, have now turned to stab him in the back.
Ahmadinejad's Divine Mission?
LONDON, U.K. -- According to an article in the News.Telegraph by Anton La Guardia dated 14 January 2006, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may be motivated more by a sense of divine mission than by sheer recklessness or diplomatic naivete. La Guardia suggests that Ahmadinejad's speeches and statements indicate a religious messianism. La Guardia first gives two examples which are less than convincing. But then the story really starts to get interesting...
The most remarkable aspect of Mr Ahmadinejad's piety is his devotion to the Hidden Imam, the Messiah-like figure of Shia Islam, and the president's belief that his government must prepare the country for his return.
One of the first acts of Mr Ahmadinejad's government was to donate about £10 million to the Jamkaran mosque, a popular pilgrimage site where the pious come to drop messages to the Hidden Imam into a holy well.
All streams of Islam believe in a divine saviour, known as the Mahdi, who will appear at the End of Days. A common rumour - denied by the government but widely believed - is that Mr Ahmadinejad and his cabinet have signed a "contract" pledging themselves to work for the return of the Mahdi and sent it to Jamkaran.
Iran's dominant "Twelver" sect believes this will be Mohammed ibn Hasan, regarded as the 12th Imam, or righteous descendant of the Prophet Mohammad.
He is said to have gone into "occlusion" in the ninth century, at the age of five. His return will be preceded by cosmic chaos, war and bloodshed. After a cataclysmic confrontation with evil and darkness, the Mahdi will lead the world to an era of universal peace.
This is similar to the Christian vision of the Apocalypse. Indeed, the Hidden Imam is expected to return in the company of Jesus. (emphasis added)
Mr Ahmadinejad appears to believe that these events are close at hand and that ordinary mortals can influence the divine timetable.
Having never heard about these particular apocalyptic prophecies of Islam, I am now very interested in learning more. I intend to do further research on the subject and will perhaps report my findings at a later date.
For now however, I must say that these ideas are very troubling. The Bible of course does not speak of Christ's Second Coming as occurring along with any other human being "returned from occlusion" or otherwise. According to Christian prophecy, the return of Jesus will be a celestial event...
27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man... 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
-- Matthew 24:27-30
The prophecies about the Hidden Imam suggest that he is a human being who will return in an earthly form and in a somewhat less than celestial event as described in the New Testament. The implication of course, is that Muslims therefore envision the return of Jesus with the Hidden Imam in an earthly human body and without the celestial fireworks.
This sounds frighteningly more like a different Biblical prophecy...
23 Then if any one says to you, ‘Lo, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Lo, I have told you beforehand.
-- Matthew 24:23-25
5 And the beast (the False Christ or "Antichrist") was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months; 6 it opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints (Christians) and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain....
11 Then I saw another beast (the False Prophet) which rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb (Christ-like) and it spoke like a dragon (devilish). 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast... 13 It works great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of men; 14 and by the signs which it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast, it deceives those who dwell on earth.
-- Revelation 13:5-8, 11-14
The last thing we need is for some Islamic false prophet to start making fire come down from heaven, and for some Islamic false christ to start making war on Christians.
Alito Hearings: Missing Moments
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- You may have missed some of the following exchanges during the Alito hearings. In fact, I did too... but I wish I had caught them...
Senator Schumer: While every Supreme Court nominee has a great burden, yours, Judge Alito, is triply high. First, because you are not a woman; second, because you are a Republican conservative; and, third, because I don't like Republicans or conservatives. What say you?
Judge Alito: First, I don't think it is quite fair to suggest that I must meet a higher standard than any other nominee for Supreme Court justice and, although I haven't studied the matter, I believe your suggestion would be ruled unconstitutional. Second, I recognize that I am not a woman, but I think you should take that up with President Bush who nominated me. Third, I don't like Liberal Democrats, so... we're even. Finally, I think YOU are my greatest burden.
Senator Specter: We will now hear from Senator Kennedy.
Senator Kennedy: I have some grave concerns about Judge Alito. His membership in an organization called CAP while at Princeton University suggests that he may be a bigot and a racist. Judge Alito... did you read this article by a fellow member of CAP that said too many women and minorities were being admitted to Princeton?
Judge Alito: No Senator, I have never read that article, and I do not agree with what it says. I am however, troubled by the fact that you are STILL in the Senate, being the murderer, drunk and blowhard that you are. As I recall, you killed a woman, and while in college you belonged to the "Owl Club" which was largely dominated by white males.
Senator Kennedy: Why yes, that's correct. Thank you for reminding me. I will now keep my blowhole shut throughout the rest of these proceedings for fear of further embarassing myself.
Senator Specter: Thank God for that!
Senator Biden: I have some serious concerns about Judge Alito's comments regarding reapportionment under the Supreme Court when it was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren. I will start to ramble on as I try to formulate a question.... yada, yada, yada....
(One hour later)
Judge Alito: ZZZZZZZzzzzz.... Huh? Excuse me, I started to doze off. Was there a question at the end of that self-serving, self-centered monologue?
Senator Biden: I asked you if you liked my Princeton Tigers ball cap?
Judge Alito: Yes, I do.
Senator Specter: Well, at least someone around here is concise. And we certainly seem to have a lot of "concerns".
Senator Schumer: I am VERY concerned about a letter Judge Alito wrote in 1985 in which he said, “I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that... the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” What I want to know now Judge Alito, is... do you still feel that way today? I want you tell the world exactly how you would rule, if a case came before you today that would try to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Judge Alito: Yes, I did believe that in 1985. As you know, I cannot tell you what I believe today, because if I did, then I would have to recuse myself in any case concerning Roe that came before me. However, I CAN say that I would judge any case that came before me on the merits of the case. I would keep an open mind and evaluate any facts or evidence that was presented without prejudice, as I have done for the last 15 years.
Senator Schumer: Don't give me that "process" crap. I don't have an open mind. I'm prejudiced... so you must be prejudiced and close-minded too, right? I want more from you than that. I want you to blurt out something stupid so that you will INDEED have to recuse yourself!
Judge Alito: Senator, I want you to act more like an adult. I want you to get rid of that stupid grin, those annoying glasses, and that condescending, know-it-all inflection that reminds me of fingernails on a blackboard.
Senator Schumer: I'm not happy about your answers, but I will take your suggestions under advisement.
Senator Specter: Please do... for the good of civilization as we know it.
Senator Graham: Well, it looks like our fellow Senators from the other side of the aisle have been raking you over the coals, eh? I think they took lessons from "The Spanish Inquisition" (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition). I hope you and your family are holding up OK? ...Oh, sorry Mrs. Alito, I didn't mean to make you cry. Would someone give her a hanky? Anyway, let's be honest here Judge Alito. You don't consider yourself a bigot or a rascist do you?
Judge Alito: Actually Senator Graham, I must admit that I find myself beginning to hate white, wealthy, male, elitist Senators that are Liberal Democrats. So there. It's out. OK then. I guess I will have to recuse myself should the trial of any of these Senators come before the Supreme Court... So be it. I don't want to see any of these guys again anyway... for as long as I live.
Sponge Ed ?
I don't know... some people find this stuff really amusing. Do you?
Iran Calms World Jitters
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pronounced... "I'm-mad-&-an-idjot") continued to bolster the confidence of worldwide leaders with his announcement that Iran has broken the U.N. seals at a uranium enrichment plant on Tuesday. He said Iran was resuming nuclear "research" after a two-year freeze. Enriched uranium can be used as a fuel for both nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.
Although Iran has claimed only that it "may" use enriched uranium for the production of a nuclear weapon, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) has indicated that it completely trusts Iran. Even though Iran secretly pursued a nuclear energy program for many years until it was discovered by the IAEA, Iran was a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. "That's good enough for me", said Mohamed ElBaradei -- Director General of the IAEA. "Please ignore the fact that my name is Muslim. I would never exhibit any pro-Islamofascist favoritism... unless, of course, there's falafel on the menu. Mmmmm!"
Ahmadinejad further calmed world fears by declaring that, "Unfortunately, a group of (Western European) bullies allows itself to deprive nations (like Iran) of their legal and natural rights (to threaten the world with nuclear blackmail)." He continued saying, "The Iranian nation is not frightened by the (Western) powers and their noise... (inaudible mumbles)".
Former Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani took a much milder tone, merely denouncing the West's "colonial policy", and saying in a soothing manner... "If (the Western nations) cause any disturbance, they will ultimately REGRET it!"
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said it is no longer likely that the United States or the European Union will push to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, because of Ahmadinejad's most comforting words that.... "Israel should be wiped off the map."
President Bush said, "Ahhh! I feel so much better now that I think I will take Iran off the list of nations who are in the Axis of Weasels... err, Evil!"
Looney Liberal of the Year: Howard Dean
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Well, the polls are closed and the results are in! Howard Dean has been acclaimed The Looney Liberal of the Year by loyal "Viewers" such as yourself. See the results in the sidebar. Thanks for doing your civic duty and taking the time to vote. YEEEEAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!
Poll: Al-Qaeda Needs Terror Approvals
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- According to a new IpsoFacto poll, a majority of Americans believe that al-Qaeda should get approvals before conducting a terrorist attack. Approximately 56% of the poll respondents said terrorist leaders should be required to first apply for and then obtain a series of permits and licenses prior to any future attacks.
The type of permits or licenses terrorists should obtain would vary depending on the type of attack envisioned. Such permits could include, but are not limited to: 1) authorization to use explosives, 2) burning permit, 3) demolition permit, 4) meat slaughtering license, 5) dangerous goods permit, 6) firearm registration, 7) temporary road closure permit, 8) air pollution permit, 9) water pollution permit, 10) importation license, 11) motor vehicle license, 12) transporter license, 13) pilot license, 14) hazardous waste generator permit, 15) public gathering permit, 16) visa, and 17) work permit.
Experts confirm that this approach will significantly delay any future attacks, and the fees generated will help offset attack clean-up efforts.
School Board Rescinds "Intelligent Decisions"
DOVER, PA -- The newly elected Dover Area School Board voted Tuesday night to overturn the previous board's policy allowing "Intelligent Decisions". The previous board had hoped that their new policy would allow students to make decisions based on rational thought and evaluation. However, a group of parents who were against the policy sued the school board. "We don't want our children to think for themselves", said one parent. "We want teachers to tell our children what to think... even if it's wrong." Two weeks ago, a judge ruled that the board's policy was unconstitutional.
The judiciary in recent years has often ruled against decisions that are made on the basis of intelligence. Many of their rulings are perfect examples of decisions made in a complete intellectual vacuum.
But this was not always the case. Rational thought and intelligent decisions were held in very high regard just a few centuries ago. Many so-called "thinkers" were popular during what some call the "Age of Enlightenment". Since that time however, intelligent decisions have become less popular as we have "evolved" into our modern irrational society.
Justice Dept. Seeks Name of CIA-Leaker
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department announced that it has begun an investigation into the name (or names) of the CIA personnel who leaked classified information to the New York Times regarding a top secret wire-tapping program. The wire-tapping has been conducted by the National Security Agency since 9/11 and has been aimed solely at suspected terrorists.
While the Justice Department did not specifically say it suspects personnel at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), it seems likely that the Agency will come under intense scrutiny. Since 2003, there have been blatant covert attempts by some at the CIA to undermine the Bush administration, and they have repeatedly used the media to accomplish their subterfuge.
The CIA has been in an uproar since 2001. The agency came under attack first, for its inability to "connect-the-dots" prior to the tragic events of 9/11. Some at the CIA then apparently adopted a "bunker mentality" and became very self-defensive. They have sought to throw the blame back at the Bush administration ever since.
Then, there's "Plamegate", where Valery Plame (a CIA analyst) sent her husband (Joe Wilson) to Niger in February of 2002 to follow up on rumors that Iraq was seeking uranium there. Joe Wilson, who spent little time investigating and lots of time schmoozing, found no evidence of the rumor... and submitted a report to that effect.
In his 2003 State of the Union message, Bush announced that British Intelligence did indeed have evidence of attempted uranium purchases. This of course put Wilson and Plame in an awkward position. The implication was that British Intelligence found something that the CIA didn't find, and Wilson-Plame were primarily to blame. So Wilson-Plame retaliated with their own story that Bush had "twisted" the intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. Wilson wrote a famous Op-Ed article dated July 6, 2003 that was published in the NY Times.
When no major stockpiles of WMDs were found in Iraq, the CIA again took a beating. In April, 2004 author Bob Woodward published a book called "Plan of Attack" about the lead-up to the war. In it, Woodward revealed that CIA Director George Tenet had told Bush that finding WMDs in Iraq would be "a slam dunk". The CIA had obviously embarassed itself and the administration. Although Bush said he supported Tenet, George Tenet resigned as Director of the CIA in June, 2004 under a cloud.
George Bush appointed Porter Goss to take Tenet's place, and he was confirmed by the Senate in September, 2004. Goss has sought to "clean house" at the CIA, which has resulted in more blowback from the rank-and-file CIA bureaucrats who are apparently more interested in their own jobs than in the security of the United States.
It was no doubt CIA personnel themselves who revealed to the press, that the CIA has been holding terror suspects in secret prisons. If you read this Washington Post article, you will notice that there is an awful lot of info revealed about the CIA. Then, at the end of the article, an unnamed "intelligence official" is quoted whining and moaning. In fact, the article suggests it is a "CIA officer".
Why would I not be surprised if this investigation by the Justice Department leads straight to Langely? Go to page 2 of this article to read the following...
According to Goss' supporters, the agency has been out of control, recently leaking negative stories to the press to undermine the White House.
"The CIA has got to be kept out of partisan politics," said Stansfield Turner, who was CIA director under President Carter. "And it appears that they were leaking information to influence the (2004 Presidential) election. Porter Goss has now got a difficult problem."