The Consistency of Hobgoblin Stew Now Playing: it meant something a while ago
The Gateway Pundit reports on Michael Scheuer's recent remarks to the German magazine Die Zeit concerning the practice of rendition (emphases in the linked post):
Michael Scheuer, a 22-year veteran of the CIA who resigned from the agency in 2004, told Thursday's issue of the newsweekly Die Zeit that the US administration had been looking in the mid-1990s for a way to combat the terrorist threat and circumvent the cumbersome US legal system.
"President Clinton, his national security advisor Sandy Berger and his terrorism advisor Richard Clark ordered the CIA in the autumn of 1995 to destroy al-Qaeda," Scheuer said, in comments published in German.
"We asked the president what we should do with the people we capture. Clinton said 'That's up to you'."
Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit that tracked al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden from 1996 to 1999, said that he developed and led the "renditions" program, which he said included moving prisoners without due legal process to countries without strict human rights protections.
At the time, he said, the CIA did not arrest or imprison anyone itself.
"That was done by the local police or secret services," he said, adding that the prisoners were never taken to US soil. "President Clinton did not want that."
I'm sure there must be some sort of hierarchy of argumentation in which pointing out that Clinton was the author of a program for which Bush the Younger is being pilloried is considered rather low-grade, but what shouldn't be is rejecting hypocrisy, however weak it is to argue for mitigation. Which is my intoxicatedly convoluted way of saying that it would save the various factions in political society valuable time if they would simply stop accusing this President of crimes for which his immediate predecessor essentially laid the rationale ---if not incurred the necessity itself through negligence--- of pursuing extraordinary measures against these savages. Nothing is more embarrassing to me than to see how quick to emulate Monica Lewinsky the anti-war Left are when Bill Clinton makes his peacenik rumblings heard. Don't they have some obligation to recognize Clinton's culpability in the al-Qaedist threat? Why not? Because when he lied, no one died? Because he didn't prosecute an elective war? You warm and squishy little diaper-fillers with your childish nonsense! Only ignorance of History can explain your stupidity. What the fuck else does Bill Clinton have to do right now except to play good cop/bad cop with the Democratic Party's next Presidential nominee?
You know why Clinton's crimes are so petty in retrospect? Because they barely had to outclass their perpetrator.
Sacco and Vanzetti Were Guilty Mood:
surprised Now Playing: holy frijoles
Check out this story in the Los Angeles Times about a newly-disclosed letter written by Upton Sinclair in which the guilt of the famous anarchist-bank robbers Niccola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti was confirmed to him by their lawyer, Fred Moore.
Prosecutors characterized the anarchists as ruthless killers who had used the money to bankroll antigovernment bombings and deserved to die. Sinclair thought the pair were innocent and being railroaded because of their political views.
Soon Sinclair would learn something that filled him with doubt. During his research for "Boston," Sinclair met with Fred Moore, the men's attorney, in a Denver motel room. Moore "sent me into a panic," Sinclair wrote in the typed letter that [Paul] Hegness found at the auction a decade ago.
"Alone in a hotel room with Fred, I begged him to tell me the full truth," Sinclair wrote. " … He then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them."
That's amazing enough, but get a load of what Sinclair's reasons were for never publicly acknowledging what he knew. From another letter found in the same cache:
"My wife is absolutely certain that if I tell what I believe, I will be called a traitor to the movement and may not live to finish the book," Sinclair wrote Robert Minor, a confidant at the Socialist Daily Worker in New York, in 1927.
"The movement"? What does Sinclair mean?
"It is much better copy as a naive defense of Sacco and Vanzetti because this is what all my foreign readers expect, and they are 90% of my public," he wrote to Minor.
Man. What a remarkable thing to say. Socialist, anti-establishmentarian propaganda written for Eurowankers and intended to undermine American jurisprudence and national security. Why does that sound so fucking familiar?
All My Mexican Neighbors Mood:
All my Mexican neighbors are outside shooting off fireworks and playing that weird Germanesque music of theirs. The lady of the house next door ---a sweet grandmother named Maria--- came over to me as I leaned against my car and wished me un feliz a?o nuevo. I repeated her phrase and then wished her a happy new year. I gave her a hug and we exchanged our other mutually unintelligible remarks and then she went back to her house.
No fuegos in my yard, I told her. I am still watching for some.
celebratory Now Playing:blessed are the listmakers, for they shall bequeathe their neuroses
I decided to stay home tonight because I had absolutely no other plans. Most of my small circles of friends are very much caught up right now in the realization that they are parents and expectant parents and that that is something to celebrate with quiet joy and sacred reflection as a family. But, for all I know, some of them could be out right now getting their load on and dancing and smoking cigars and pissing in alleyways and yelling like maniacs ---all without having invited me. Yet, I do doubt that.
And, anyway, I, too, have a few things to reflect on in solitude. My employment. My age. My desire to have sex again. My expectations are fairly high for 2006. I am proud that I went and did something brave for a man in my socioeconomic condition by buying my first house.
Which is part of why I would like to be here tonight in my temenos ---hoping that my very dry and leaf-filled yards do not fuel any fires that might be started by these people around me firing bottle rockets or Roman candles or whatever it is that the kids are into these days.
Here, quickly: goodbye to 2005. You were one hell of a year, man. Probably in my personal Top Ten.
Reviewing Brokeback Mountain Mood:
a-ok Now Playing: "...if you can't fix it, jack, you gotta stand it..."
Just got back from seeing Brokeback Mountain. I didn't really want to see it, but the person I was with really did, so in we went.
And it's a good movie. Maybe even important. Sorta sad, though. Definitely beautiful to look at with all the mountain scenery and all the beautiful faces and everything, but it goes on for too long. That's really my only complaint.
Otherwise, it's a bittersweet journey through the lives of two young gay men lived out in a cultural and temporal milieu that simply would not have it. As I watched, I thought back to all the rough old country boys I've known from my own life ---which is not all that far removed from that very same milieu--- and it made me sad to realize that I've probably known ---without knowing it--- quite a few homosexuals who knew better than to allow themselves to be hurt as these characters did. I regret, for their sakes, what they had to sacrifice to keep the peace.
Human beings have been gay since human beings have been. I can't remember a time now when I thought otherwise. It must be in our code and it cannot be deleterious, else it would have already faded from the race. I am as sure of this as I am of any other natural phenomenon.
Do we have closetedness to thank for Michelangelo and Shakespeare and all the other great artists and thinkers from our pantheon? If so, that pain and tension are the only good things I can think of to take from the homophobic insanity that has too often possessed the great heterosexual masses.
People should be free to love each other as they feel and consent. It is a loss to humanity to crush that spirit.
The Better Part of Valor Now Playing: not so much
A certain person has exited my life today ---and I hope I will never have to see or hear from her again. I resent her deeply. She has done me real harm ---but I insist that it is reparable.
This woman is a moody liar who brings out the worst in everyone around her. She poisons people with her manipulations and paranoia. She is vindictive because that is her only compensation for being ignorant and incompetent. Her essential hatefulness knows no bounds of family or so-called friends. I am ashamed of our relationship.
Wherever this hysterical user goes next, she will do the same things she did to me, if given the chance. I wish I could warn someone ---all of them, really. But, for now, I will have to content myself with the knowledge that she is gone from my life. I must reclaim my time and psyche from such a wretched black hole or I will have given her even more of what she feeds on, which is unhappiness.
Bitchdump Now Playing: getting banned by duncan black because he knows i own his sorry groupies' asses anytime i come around
Okay, real fast now: We need some rain. Eight-dollar salad?! Traffic jammed on 35. Gotta make the donuts. Dissent is patriotic, Duncan. We need some rain. No more fucking Natalee Holloway nonsense on my TV. My TV is dying. Roadside solicitors and proselytizers. Lousy customer service. It's too warm for late December. Small women driving large vehicles. Hippies who became yuppies. All this fucking construction in places that looked different when I was younger. We need some rain. Really. It's very dry and warm and I have no idea what season this is supposed to be.
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 11:13 PM CST
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Updated: Thursday, 29 December 2005 11:15 PM CST
Tuesday, 27 December 2005
Tuesday Is $2.50 Bottled Import Day at the Austin Java Company on Lamar Mood:
Spent some quality time hanging out with my old friend from New York this afternoon. He and his beautiful wife are expecting a baby this coming spring, but that's not what's important.
Turns out that any fact I bring up in arguing with him is simply a Republican talking point, whereas his information emerges from his piehole as pearls of irrefutable progressive wisdom, fully researched and bearing the imprimatur of justifiable arrogance.
Another fact you may not have known is that military families and their loved ones fighting overseas are less educated than [progressives]. That's what makes them so easily led into disaster by the Chimperor.
A Stupid Policy
For our armed forces and intelligence services, torture may be a tactic. For our Muslim enemies, it is a strategy. That is a big difference ---and one that's ignored by the craphounds in Big Media.
The problem with John McCain or anybody else trying to recodify the various techniques our military and intelligence personnel use against our enemies is that it appears to take even the threat of torture off our table. But you can't tell your enemies what you won't do. That's a stupid policy.
I know what the anti-war/anti-Bush Left is thinking. They're thinking that this President has stolen two elections ---and is now intent upon stealing the average American's privacy on the pretext of his powers as Commander-in-Chief.
But what sort of a dictator fails to get his way? Bush often fails to get his way. He couldn't get Social Security reforms enacted. He couldn't get his personal attorney onto the Supreme Court. He could keep neither the Republican Majority Leader of the House nor his own Vice President's chief of staff from indictment. He cannot keep his critics inside or out of the government from leaking and harping and doing their worst to undermine him.
This is a dictator?
But let us imagine that all of these things are just part of the kabuki theater of national politics. All these failures are just window dressing for a far vaster operation just below the surface. It's there where we are all being duped and spied upon by an enormous apparatus of Halliburton-like super-corporations. Bush and his controllers (or are they minions?) are stealing our civil liberties in the name of national security. Bush is committing impeachable crimes under the cover of "war time measures."
The war must be made permanent to preserve Bush's extraordinary powers.
I recall that Michael Moore, who is a traitor, said that the atrocities of 11 September 2001 only affected a few thousand people. It was, in other words, not so big a deal as to require that we assume the posture of a nation at war. But making the argument that 3,000 dead is proportionately very small relative to the rest of the country is to say that those atrocities were just a pop in the face and that we are too big to let that bother us so much. Of course, this attitude is the limit of disrespect and stupidity.
The events of that day did change everything. A lot of people whose opinions I read make light of that notion, but that's their fault. If there is to be permanent war between us and Islamofascism, then I say we keep on winning it. And the evidence of that victory, despite the degeneracy of those who resist it, will continue to manifest itself in the cultural changes in the Muslim Middle East. It will be George W. Bush who claims credit for those achievements.
That is where his interests lie, not in spying on Americans.
Who Are They?
This Administration's opponents are very obviously indifferent to the recklessness in reporting leaked information from supposedly secret agencies. It's such a rash of this tattling lately, it has to be the product of collusion between Big Media and some very strange political interests.
More than four years out from the atrocities of 11 September 2001 and it's nothing at all to forget what put us there: our ignorance of what our enemies are capable of.
I am now long-lived and matured enough to recognize something in the pattern of American society's attitudes and collective recollection of its own history that cannot be appreciated by the young: the recurrence of hypocrisies on such an enormous scale that they are almost entirely clean of responsibility.
But we do know that individuals are responsible.
We know that the fifth column is in its place and holding things up.
A Good Kind of Envy
I wish I were a fraction as funny as Scott Ott of Scrappleface. He reports:
Frist Links ANWR Oil to NY Times Immunity Bill by Scott Ott
(2005-12-21) — After failing to block a Democrat filibuster of a Senate defense bill which carried a provision to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said he would employ a rare parliamentary maneuver to finally achieve passage for the ANWR measure.
“Today, we’ll introduce a bill to grant pre-emptive immunity from prosecution for treason to The New York Times and any government official who leaked classified information to the Times about the NSA anti-terrorist eavesdropping program,” said Sen. Frist. “The immunity bill will carry the ANWR drilling measure as an amendment. With support from the full Democrat caucus and our progressive Republican friends, it’s a slam dunk.”
Dr. Frist said Democrats will be so eager to approve the measure, “they won’t even read the amendments.”
Robert Mayer at Publius Pundit has a very valuable post about the protests against the elections in Iraq. Something obviously needs to be done in a hurry to address the charges of fraud and malfeasance.
The January 30 elections saw promises of revolt but nothing materialized. This time, however, there is much more support behind the cause. The ruling religious Shia UIA is defiant toward the demands, saying that they are simply sore losers and should respect the demands of the majority.
Well, that would be fine and dandy if there weren’t something seriously fishy about the results, as no polling or analysis before the election showed the UIA doing as well as it did, or the Sunni and secular parties doing as poorly as they did. In fact, the UIA was supposed to drop by nearly half, while Allawi was supposed to do as well as double. What gives?
It's one thing to have an election with such great turnout; it's another to have it marred by horseshit and shenanigans.
Read the whole post. There's tens of thousands of people marching in the streets of Baghdad, people.
Truly a Ten-Cow Woman Now Playing: that great line from the high school health class film johnny lingo
Charles Johnson knows where to go for hot pix of Osama bin Laden's niece. A sexy young lady, certainly. Looks like she needs a good seeing to from Uncle Tobe.
(Photo credit to Jeff Riedel for GQ.)
Posted by Toby Petzold
at 2:24 PM CST
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Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005 2:26 PM CST
Thursday, 22 December 2005
The 4,000 Year-Old Zoroastrian Cypress Tree