Friday, July 30, 2004

John Kerry -- not qualified to be commander in chief

John Kerry disqualified himself from the presidency today. He stated that he wants Osama bin Laden tried in one of the three states where the 19 murderers landed the 9-11 airplanes: Virginia, Pennsylvania, or New York. This is the stupidest suggestion by a presidential candidate since Walter Mondale promised higher taxes in 1984.

Here is why Kerry's statement is inexcusable:

1. Precedent: By holding a trial of OBL in the United States with a full jury and the protections of the United States legal system, Kerry would be rewarding the most notorious illegal enemy combatant of the last 25 years. The Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions on the law of war are designed to protect LAWFUL combatants who: have uniforms or identifiable insignia, have responsible officers, fight in declared wars against other armed forces (not civilians), fight for or under the auspices of a nation, fight openly as soldiers and do not seek to hide within civilian populations. OBL and his sycophants adhere to none of those principles, yet Kerry would allow them the full rights of criminal defendants in the US.

2. The Geneva Conventions -- the requirements of the Geneva Conventions apply only to lawful combatants; therefore, extending their procedural/substantive protections and supplying protection above the level required by the Conventions to unlawful combatants such as OBL and al-Qaeda defeats the purpose of the Geneva Conventions to bring war into the open, protect civilians and hold states responsible for their military's actions. Unlawful combatants can be shot on sight. Bush should call for that as the remedy to bin Laden's presence.

3. U.S. Security -- OBL would be able to confront every witness against him under the Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause, therefore he could force the government to reveal information and intelligence it has kept (and wishes to keep) secret.

Andy McCarthy adds to the list. From his column excoriating Dean when the screaming midget suggested a trial of OBL in January:

Assuming we have not already annihilated [bin Laden], Americans . . . know and expect that his fate, should he emerge from the catacombs, is death, either in battle or by execution at the conclusion of the most summary of military tribunals — the just dessert of unlawful combatants who commit crimes against humanity.

Are the Democrats so deeply in the thrall of a fringe that they would nominate, to be president and the face of their party, a person who does not get that? Are they telling Americans that their return to power will mark the end of — and a surrender in — the war on terror? Are they advertising a return to the proven national-suicide approach of cherry-picking a handful of the thousands of terrorists committed to our destruction, bringing these non-Americans whose only connection to our country is to make war on it to the United States, granting them the benefits enumerated in our Bill of Rights, providing them lavish discovery that will be used by their confederates to decipher our intelligence methods and sources, and rolling the dice with jury trials that take years to begin and go on for months after that?

And for problems with the trial-by-jury approach, just look at the idiocies in the trial of the mastermind of the 1998 embassy bombings, as McCarthy notes:

. . . in 2001, a federal judge in Manhattan initially suppressed the embassy bombing confession of al Qaeda terrorist Mohamed Daoud al-Owhali (directly responsible for over 200 murders) upon reasoning that American agents had not given him technically proper Miranda warnings. In fact, al-Owhali was not in the custody of the Americans but of the government of Kenya, which does not provide for counsel at public expense during custodial interrogation. Had the U.S. agents advised al-Owhali that he had the full run of Miranda rights, they'd have been lying to him. Eventually, the judge eventually reversed himself, but only after issuing an opinion holding that foreign terrorists held overseas by foreign sovereigns enjoy many American constitutional rights. The jury, rendering a verdict fully three years after the bombings, ultimately convicted the terrorists but declined to impose the death penalty.

That is no way to run a war against terrorists. John Kerry should know better; because he does not, he is unqualified to be commander in chief.

More Kerry speech reaction

Real Clear Politics links to major pundits and media outlets and their reactions to Kerry's speech. Here are the notable liberals who criticized it or conservatives who praised it (all comments are linked to in the Real Clear Politics rundown):

Thomas Oliphant of the Boston Globe said he blew a huge opportunity with a rushed speech.

Robert Kuttner of the BoGlo also said the delivery overran the content.

Chris Suellentrop of Slate said 8 losers helped write it.

Lawrence Kaplan of The New Republic said the speech harkened back to McGovern's acceptance in 1972 -- but didn't say this outright. Here's Kaplan's conclusion:

Finally, and without saying precisely what it is, Kerry said he knows "what we have to do in Iraq." He has a plan, you see. Just like a candidate from long ago claimed to have a plan to end a war--the war that put Kerry on the stage last night and which, for him at least, wasn't so long ago at all.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Washington Post said that Kerry failed to demonstrate "the kind of leadership the nation needs."

As for a thorough comparison between Kerry's rhetoric and his record, that won't be found in the various opinion pieces that merely grade Kerry on his performance and the bare-bones content he provided. Instead, look at McQ's reaction at QandO.

Live blogging also at Captain's Quarters and at PoliBlog

Year of the Girlie Men

We've had the Year of the Woman, the Year of the Angry White Male and the Year of the Soccer Mom in recent elections. This year, Mark Steyn says it's the Year of the Girlie Men -- as in, those who would be wimps and those who would be strong in the face of Islamofascism.

John Kerry gave every impression that he would be weak: he promised only to go to war when a threat to the US is imminent and that he would strike back if the US is attacked. Those messages are manna from heaven for the terrorists because Kerry will not stop them until there is a near-certain attack on the US about to occur (and that standard is loaded with wiggle room). The "respond to terrorists" concept is carte blanche for any terrorists who want to strike first -- they don't care about their own lives as long as they can take some of us with them; and he also signals that he will not actively PREVENT the attacks, just sit back and hope his counterpunch will hurt someone if he's not already knocked out.

Steyn was on this line of thought before Kerry's convention speech. Here's his analysis from the article linked above:

If we revert to Arnie’s terms, Bush is a terminator: he terminated Saddam and he terminated the Taleban, and if he’s re-elected there’ll likely be a couple more before he’s through. John F. Kerry, on the other hand, is a girlie man. I don’t mean because his extraordinarily luxurious lifestyle is funded by the gazillions his missus inherited from her first husband, nor because of that limp-wristed ceremonial first pitch he threw out at the Red Sox-Yankees game in Boston on Sunday. No, I think Kerry is a girlie man because of his two-decade aversion to the projection of American military power, and his total lack of interest in formulating any alternative approach. On Monday night at the convention, Bill Clinton remarked that ‘strength and wisdom are not opposing values’ . . . But the reality is that Kerry shows few signs of either strength or wisdom. His foreign policy is passive and reactive, and notable for its finger-in-the-windiness. He says George Bush ‘didn’t do Iraq right’, but he never says what he’d have done differently. Those snotty intellectuals who say that Bush is ‘uncurious’ ought to display a little more curiosity about Kerry’s enervated approach to these issues.

. . . Had President Kerry been in office on 9/11, I’ve no doubt there would have been far more UN resolutions, and joint declarations, and beaming faces announcing great progress at Nato summits, and G8, and EU and Apec. But Saddam would still be in power, and so would the Taleban, and no doubt in the latter case, under an agreement brokered by Kerry special envoy Jimmy Carter, Washington would be bankrolling the regime in return for ‘pledges’ to ‘phase out’ the terrorist training camps. The senator gives no indication that he’s up to the challenges of the age.

But according to Andrew Sullivan, embracing Kerry in the Sunday Times, that’s precisely the appeal of Senator Nuance: ‘His basic message to Americans is: let’s return to normalcy. The radicalism of the past four years needs tempering. We need to consolidate the nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, before any new adventures against, say, Iran....’

You could make that argument in any war: we need to consolidate nation-building in the Solomon Islands before any new adventures on, say, the beaches of Normandy. But, honestly, the idea that you can take a four-year intermission from the jihad because everyone’s feeling a bit stressed out is delusional. Do Sullivan and the other moulting hawks believe Iran is going to be sporting enough to go along with it? ‘Right-ho, old chap, we’ll see you back here in 2008 for full-scale Armageddon. Enjoy the break.’

* * *
. . . With every month, nuclear knowhow gets dissipated a little further into the murkier corners of the world. With every year, the demographic changes in Europe render America’s old alliances more and more obsolescent. Even if Kerry’s in the White House, French troops aren’t going to be fighting shoulder to shoulder with the Yanks in any major Muslim country: Kerry wouldn’t either, if he had Chirac’s Muslim population.

Sloth favours the Islamists. Readers may recall that I wanted Bush to invade Iraq before the first anniversary of 9/11. If he had done, he’d have saved himself a whole lot of trouble, and we might even be rid of the mullahs or Boy Assad by now. The President has to be a terminator: he has to terminate regimes and structures that support Islamist terrorism. And, if every bigshot associated with the cause winds up like Uday and Qusay, the ideology will become a lot less fashionable. All these girlie-man options sound so reasonable, but they’re a fool’s evasion, an excuse to put off indefinitely the fights that have to be fought — in Iran, North Korea and elsewhere.

. . . As I wrote back in 2001, the Islamists have made a bet — that we’re too soft and decadent to see this through to the finish. This November, one way or another, they’ll get their answer.

For links to reactions, see Outside the Beltway. The Monk notes that Kerry supporter wannabe Andrew Sullivan hated it and Slate's Chris Suellentrop said eight losers (i.e., the other Democratic hopefuls) helped Kerry write the speech.

Kerry is so very . . . empty

Mark Steyn hammers Kerry today in the Daily Telegraph as a stuffed shirt that no one could say nice things about -- including his wife.

Meanwhile, The Corner is pounding the Democrats and Kerry into powder.

But even from a nominally moderate perspective, Kerry struck out last night -- check out the comment threads at

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Arabs hate Israel

Haaretz Daily (click title to this post) reports that:

At a closed meeting held recently in New York, UN ambassadors from Arab and EU countries met and the Arabs made clear that they do not accept the initiative for the UN General Assembly to condemn anti-Semitism.

But the crux of the article is the Europeans' reaction:

The blunt language used by the Arabs describing their opposition, and their plans to use diplomatic means to prevent the resolution from reaching a vote, shocked the Europeans, said a UN source.

Essentially, the Europeans are congenitally stupid or willfully ignorant. In 1975, the Arab League sponsored the Zionism is Racism resolution in the General Assembly that was designed to delegitimize Israel. Indeed, the vote by the GA in ratifying that resolution, and the political cover it gave European elites, did more damage to Israel than any of the four wars to destroy it that the Arabs embarked upon from 1948-1973. The Arab press constantly equates Israelis with Nazis, reprints Nazi propaganda as fact, claims the Holocaust is a Zionist fraud, reprints the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as fact and opines that the Nazis should have succeeded in their Final Solution.

Now, the Europeans are surprised that Arabs are anti-Semitic and would prevent a resolution against anti-Semitism because (from the Haaretz article) "Arab League Ambassador Mahamas Hani warned that a UN resolution condemning anti-Semitism would have a negative impact on the Middle East." The Europeans are in fantasyland and need to wake up to reality.

Hat-tips: Allahpundit; and Say Anything

Rhetorical hypothesis

A rhetorical question is one where the answer is obvious from the question itself ("don't you think it'd be stupid to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge if you're not suicidal?"). A rhetorical hypothesis, conceptually, is one where the theorist seeks support for the premise that he already knows is true.

That premise: Arabs in America are treated worse post-9/11 than pre-9/11. Here is the article on the results of a University of Michigan survey indicating that 60% of Arabs are more fearful for their families.

Of course, 99% of rational Americans are more fearful for THEIR families in the wake of 19 ARAB suicide jihadists flying four airplanes into the World Trade Center, Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania (only thanks to heroic passengers for the last) about three years ago. So Monkish sympathy shant pour forth. Moreover, only 3% of the respondents ever faced any serious negative experience (whatever that meant). So the survey shows only the FEAR of reprisal and DISPROVES a climate of anti-Arab feeling.

Most telling is this result:

Only 38 percent of 508 members of the general population surveyed by researchers said they believe Arab Americans are doing all they can to stop terrorist attacks, the report said. The percentage of Arabs and Chaldeans who said so was 73.

Got that? The Arabs in America believe they're doing everything they can to help. That will come as a surprise to all of us stunned by the silence of CAIR in the face of Arab brutality to their own citizens in the Middle East and to American soldiers who have fought bravely for the freedom of Iraqis.

Hat-tip: Michelle Malkin.

Further comment from Captain Ed:

In terms of respect for their religion, it would help if groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and other such organizations would worry less about namecalling and more about urging American Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement. Instead, we mostly hear how our foreign policy led to 9/11 and our need to listen to the terrorists rather than hunt them down and kill them.

And now we have this ridiculous study that claims 15% have received serious harrassment, only to find out that tasteless jokes count in the survey. Gee, can I start a survey among Irish-Americans that count every alcohol-related wisecrack I ever heard? How about having the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League ask their members if they've ever been asked, "What do you hear from the mob these days?" (On second thought, let's not. They'd actually take that suggestion seriously.)

You want our respect? Suck it up, buttercup, and quit whining when people dislike you. Idiots existed before 9/11, and they'll be around after we beat the Islamofascists, too. You're alive and overwhelmingly unharmed, which is more than I can say for 3,000 people in New York who made the mistake of going to work on 9/11.

2004 Dems = 1992 Repubs

Perhaps the most brutal reaction to a convention that I've noticed (and I hadn't even begun to gestate in 1968) was the press' uniform treatment of the 1992 Republican National Convention. The press treated the Republicans as dour, doctrinaire, insular, narrow-minded, elitist, separatist and generally disdainful of non-Republicans. The press especially noted the gloomy and admittedly ugly speech by (paleocon) commentator Pat Buchanan and elided any discussion of the excellent speech that President Reagan gave in his last major public appearance.

Today, the 2004 Democratic convention is a parallel of the 1992 Republican convention. The Democratic delegates are doctrinaire, elitist, disdainful of non-Democrats, and showering a wartime president with denunciations based on Democrats' lies, misrepresentations, half-truths and willful distortions of reality. This rundown doesn't even mention the libels (Al Sharpton calling Pres. Bush -- the only president with more than one black in his Cabinet -- a segregationist; Theresa Kerrry calling Republicans unpatriotic, the whole BUSH LIED line of attack that is now proven completely false).

Moreover, the Democrats, as usual, seem to have forgotten that 9-11 happened (listen to their hagiographical memories of the Clinton economy and denunciations of Bush's economy that completely ignore how extraordinarily fast the economy rebounded after 9-11), that Saddam was a mass murderer and terrorist-aider and that there is a danger to this country that is far greater than whether deranged redneck MPs failed to adhere to the Geneva Conventions in treating Abu Ghraib prisoners and whether we've squandered such irrelevancies as the amity of the French and Germans.

Just don't expect the press to ever question the Democrats' talking points.

Joined the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Andy McCarthy updates the War against Terrorists

For those of you too steeped in the arcana of Democratic Convention gossip, or drawn so deeply into the news coverage of the Democrats to worry about anything else, or drinking the Liberal Kool-Aid such that you think George W. Bush is a greater threat to America than Iran's mullahcracy or Islamofascist terrorism, it is time to WAKE UP and remember what's going on in the world -- sometimes even at our own doorstep.

And that's why you need your dose of Andrew McCarthy (click title). Here is your excerpt from today's editorial discussing the Holy Land Foundation, its ties to Hamas and its fundraising for terrorists under the guise of a "charity":

Because of our national chariness about critically examining anything that touches on how Islam is interpreted and practiced in the United States, the abettors of terrorism, witting and unwitting, are thus given a capacious license for mischief. The Islamists simply assert that they are "practicing their religion" by "contributing to charity"; the mainstream media, academia, and even swaths of government take these assertions at face value, as though they were consonant with Western notions; and anyone who dares question the arrangement is immediately scalded by an alphabet soup of Muslim interest groups as a baleful Islamophobe.

It's a suicidal mindset. As Tuesday's indictment demonstrates, "charitable giving" includes paying for the afore-described indoctrination in madrassas, mosques and summer camps — schooling the people who will one day kill us that they should be killing us. More importantly, these "alms" subsidize the families of suicide bombers (encouraging ever more shaheeds) and go to direct purchases of military arsenals and equipment — or, because money is fungible, free up funds that are then available for belligerent purposes.

Strength in the South Pacific

The Wall Street Journal Asia (link for subscribers only) salutes Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for doing something few politicians ever do: speaking the truth plainly and directly. Downer told a talk show in Australia that the Aussies would not pull their troops from Iraq just because a group threatened to murder a captured Aussie. In doing so, Downer said that Spain and the Philippines had empowered the terrorists and put coalition members still in Iraq at risk. Better yet, after the Spaniards and Filipinos complained, Downer said "government isn't about always easy decisions or being a marshmallow."

The US should be saluting Downer and the Aussies, and certainly not undercut his sentiments, as the State Department seemed to do. Diplomats try to hard to keep the tenuous friends of the US happy because they know that the stalwart ones can take mild diplomatic insults. The real question is why our diplomats try so hard to coddle the weak allies -- we should be steadfastly supporting our strong ones.

Funny stuff

For those who cannot take the Democratic Convention seriously (and there should be more of you than there are), see Celluloid Wisdom's ongoing blogging from Boston. Here's a riff on Carter's malaise speech from 1979:

Up close, Jimmy Carter looks very much like an old and weathered Garry Shandling. And if I heard him correctly, he thinks the best way to fight terrorism is to have Americans “throw on an extra sweater in the chilly, chilly winter time.” Which hardly seems like an effective war strategy to me.

Proliferation Security Initiative

Bryan Preston has a very interesting article on this. Basically the PSI is a joint effort of the US, UK, Australia, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands and 7 other nations (Spain was one, The Monk unsure if it still is) that are WORKING TOGETHER to halt the proliferation of WMDs. One feature is that "[a]s an organization set up to perform a mission that the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency have jointly failed, halting the spread of nuclear weapons, it has the potential of becoming an alternative to the UN itself in coming decades. Notably, all of its members to date are democracies."

Who started the PSI? The Bush Administration. Whose brainchild is it? Undersecretary of State John Bolton's -- the same man that North Korea went apoplectic over when the Kim Regime thought Bolton would be the US representative at the multilateral negotiations between the US, China, Japan, So. Korea and No. Korea.

Successes of the PSI: (1) unmasking A.Q. Khan's nuclear smuggling network; (2) disarming Libya; (3) boxing in No. Korea.

And like a successful TV show, the PSI has a spinoff: the Caspian Guard. Its goal is to put Iran in a box surrounded by not-friendly states who will benefit from working with the US. As Preston explains: "Caspian Guard gives member states access to US training and tactical knowledge and the assurance of friendly relations with the world's sole superpower in exchange for assistance in dealing with some of the axis of evil's charter members."

This work by the Bush Administration is hugely important and receives no publicity from the press, and naturally no credit from the Democrats for whom every coalition Bush knits together is fraudulent (although the PSI includes France and Germany so presumably it should suffice). And the upshot of all this, as Preston explains:

For all the abuse that the Bush administration receives for its conduct of the war on terrorism, the Proliferation Security Initiative and Caspian Guard stand as examples of the other side of the war as conducted by a serious administration that knows we are all in for a long twilight struggle. Only by removing or intimidating terror-sponsoring states into renouncing terrorism, and only by stopping the spread of nuclear and other mass killing technology in its tracks, can the free world hope to win this war without incredible loss of life. Bush administration critics and the media -- often one and the same -- consistently fail to take the existence of the PSI and its start-up sister Caspian Guard into account when assessing how we are doing in the war. The existence of these organizations indicate that for all the squabbling over Iraq, most of the world's major powers do regard terrorism and weapons proliferation as serious conjoined threats, and are willing to band together to do something about it. And they are willing to be led by the unilateral cowboy from Texas who defied several of them to topple Saddam Hussein.

Making Aliyah

A small group of 200 Jews left France and arrived to live in Israel yesterday. They were met by Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Opposition leader Shimon Peres at Ben Gurion Airport. The reaction:
"'Welcome to Israel,' Sharon said, 'welcome home.'"

And one of the emigres' main reasons for leaving: "As one émigré told CBS News Correspondent Mark Philips: 'You wear something to say you are Jewish and you have difficulty. We are afraid. It's simply that we are afraid.'"

Features on The Key Monk

There are some new features on this site that may be relevant to you. First, on occasion I will link the article I'm discussing in the title of the post. In that case, you will see the three dots of my site template (the blue, red and green dots) next to the title of the post, and if you click the title, you will open the article or news piece I am discussing.

Second, there is a neat little terror alert watch icon on the left. It's a bit of gallows humor, but what the heck.

Third, I've posted the site feed for this site. I don't really know what it does for me, but it may allow others to use material I post here. If so, I just want some publicity and an acknowledgement like a sports highlight ESPN takes from the CBS feed, etc.

Fourth, you can contact me at thekeymonkathotmaildotcom. I don't want solicitations, so you'll have to rework the address yourself.

Fifth, in answer to an all-too-frequently asked question, there are three types of content (not links) on this site: my comments, the comments I'm quoting as an excerpt and isolated quotes from an article. My comments are in the base type color -- white; the isolated quotations from an article are also in white, but the quotations are attributed and denoted with quotation marks. I was a journalist of sorts for three years so I know how to properly attribute sources.

Finally, the excerpts from someone else's work is in a color, usually coral,lime,yellow,cyan or a variant of those colors. The colors are chosen so that they stand out against the background and I try to rotate them so you can tell the different entries apart.

Thanks for reading and, if you enjoy the site, please tell your friends or enemies -- my Sitemeter count won't distinguish the two.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Smart Iowa Trooper arrests sniper

This is frightening: Michael Wagner is a convicted paedophile who was driving a bit stupidly on I-80 in Iowa. Trooper Kenneth Haas stopped Wagner, who lied about his name and was evasive. The trooper searched Wagner's vehicle and found:

a gun, three bulletproof vests, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a flight simulator and a bag of flight manuals dating to 2001 . . . a 5-foot telescope hooked to camera equipment, night-vision goggles and a night-vision rifle scope.

What good is all that? According to the report (click title above) "The materials, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Rothrock, were 'all of the equipment necessary for sniper attacks.'"

Why would Wagner need that? Because "In the interview [with police], he talked about a man in San Diego who he said wanted him to shoot at trolleys there . . . Wagner also told the agent 'he knew of activities and people involved in al-Qaida and Taliban.'"

And how would Wagner know such people? "Wagner and his wife . . . are both Muslim converts."

Naturally, his attorney claims Wagner was targeted for being a Muslim, even though Wagner is not a popular name in Arabia so the trooper could only learn Wagner is a Muslim AFTER Wagner acted suspiciously and gave reasonable suspicion to search the vehicle.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

John Kerry = flip, flop, here are the goods

Click the title to this post and enjoy the show. The link is to the transcript of the RNC video on Kerry's various positions on Iraq and the transcript page has links to the video itself.

Here's the Kerry history viz. the two Iraq wars: the first, he voted against; the second, he voted for; in the interbellum, he was the most hawkish member of Congress calling for regime change (1998); and the post-war where he says it was a mistake (2004).

The video is 12 minutes long and could easily be cut down. It is also slow developing. But when all is said and done: (1) it nails Kerry for his flip-flops; (2) it indicts Kerry's on his fecklessness with his own words.

Britain, Poland, Italy, Australia = irrelevant

So says Jimmy Carter as he rubbishes the Special Relationship between the US and UK, derides the most stalwart democracy in the Pacific and backhands two of the five biggest continental European countries -- all of whom are supporting the US in Iraq.

Here's the statement from Carter's interview session with CNN's Judy Woodruff:

We've had such a confused foreign policy with demands on other nations. We've alienated almost everyone who offered their support after 9/11, and now we have just a handful of little tiny countries supposedly helping us in Iraq. We need to marginally combine the effort of major allies and minor countries as well in combating terrorism around the world.

Carter thinks these are little tiny countries. Kerry thinks Poland, Italy, Australia, Britain, Japan, and Aznar's Spain were co-conspirators in a fraudulent coalition. And it's BUSH who's arrogant?

Hat-tip Harry's Place.

Yahya Hendi = Islamist sympathizer?

Hendi is a chaplain in the US Army. He also testified as a character witness FOR Sami al-Arian, leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (a Hamas front) in the US.

Yesterday, Hendi gave the closing invocation at the Democratic National Convention. Choose more wisely, donkeymen.

Jonah Goldberg on USA Today

Jonah Goldberg is a more effective writer than Ann Coulter because he is funnier, less abrasive, and more accurate. Thus, USA Today upgraded its "Republican from Boston" feature more than it expected when Coulter ditched McPaper and Goldberg replaced her.

Today's column from Goldberg is a mini-classic. And here is your excerpt:

They [Democrats] insisted that Bush was some sort of criminal mastermind and buffoon who could orchestrate a war for oil while not being smart enough to work as a spellchecker at an M&M factory. Countless anti-Bush canards contradicted each other, but consistency was a luxury the Democrats could not afford.

The problem for them is that not even the now decidedly anti-Bush press can conceal the fact that virtually none of the[ir] allegations were true. The Senate Intelligence Committee report, the British Butler Report and the 9/11 Commission report undermine every key allegation of the anti-Bush flat-earthers. The 9/11 Commission, which was being hailed as an oracular council of truth and light when it made Bush look bad, has essentially said the Patriot Act does not go far enough (and Ashcroft, by the way, never even poked his nose in a library); that Bush never lied and that several of Bush's more famous accusers did — including those who, knowing otherwise, insisted that Bush's "16 words" about Saddam Hussein's pursuit of uranium were lies.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, it's too late to revise the anti-Bush narrative. Speaker after speaker made references to Bush's failings and "crimes" as though everyone's on the same page of the script. Indeed, one of the chief authors of that script — filmmaker Michael Moore — sat with Jimmy Carter in his presidential box Monday night.

* * *
The Boston Democrats are running on the fumes of a Bush-record-that-never-was. They gripe about how he's cut education spending, when he's increased it by more than 35%. They claim he lied about WMDs when he didn't. They say he's violated civil liberties when he's been fighting for the survival of liberty. They're betting everything that they can cross the finish line before the American public realizes that the Democrats are coasting on an empty tank.

Did Clintonism really work?

The theme in the Democratic convention seems to be that under Clinton, America was better off and that Kerry is a Clinton heir. And if you stick to only the years 1995-2000, the Clinton claim will stand up . . . on the surface. Ultimately, upon any examination of the Clinton record, the state of the country during the Clinton presidency was akin to an embalmed corpse -- it looked decent on the surface, but the inside was empty, useless and noxious.

From 1993-95, Clinton made one misstep after another from HillaryCare to gays in the military to Middle East peace to avoiding doing anything about welfare or frivolous securities lawsuits. He barely got his budget passed, and had it stripped of its worst taxes by Congress. Never mind the Waco attack by the ATF.

In 1995, Clinton got just what he needed -- a Republican Congress to demonize. And he did that very well, especially during budget showdowns. More importantly, however, the Republicans carried the day FOR Clinton, and gave him political cover, on welfare reform and NAFTA -- the two best legacies of Clinton's presidency. And the Republicans cut some taxes (capital gains) that helped the economy.

In addition, the Republican hatred of Clinton, and knee-jerk opposition to Clinton, gave Clinton cover for doing nothing in Bosnia or Rwanda. Seldom has the US reputation fallen farther than when Jacques Chirac said the position of leader of the free world is vacant -- a comment that ultimately prompted Clinton to act in Kosovo.

And I'm not even going to cover the Clintonite sell-outs of US interests by signing the Kyoto Treaty and the International Criminal Court Treaty.

The notion that the Clinton tax increases led to balancing the budget and a better economy is pure fiction. In late 1991, the economy had turned upward and was rebounding from the 1989-91 recession. The military cuts Clinton imposed were a primary engine of budget-balancing. The press never questioned Clinton's claim in 1992 that George H.W. Bush had presided over the worst economy since the Depression -- a lie easily disproven by any reference to the Carter Administration. Note that under Bush, the yearly economic growth rates for the US have been much higher than the 2.2-2.6% Clinton had -- more than 3.5% in 2002 and 2003.

Moreover, Clinton's legacy in foreign affairs is absolutely awful. He failed to act in Rwanda when the UN representative said all he needed was 5000 troops to prevent the Hutu massacre of Tutsis that claimed more than 800,000 Tutsi lives. Then he toured Africa and apologized to the Rwandans. Tell that to the 1,000,000-plus lives that never existed thanks to the Hutus killing Tutsi women. His most frequent guest in the White House is a terrorist, Yassir Arafat, who has the blood of thousands of Israelis, thousands more Palestinians and even an American ambassador to Sudan on his hands. He also let Carter roam free in North Korea and pledge US materials and aid to the Kim regime in exchange for the Agreed Framework that allowed the Communists to build nuclear weapons whilst the US slept.

Coddling terrorists and failure to act against terrorism is a constant theme of the Clinton Administration. In 1993, the US discovered a plot by Saddam to have George H.W. Bush assassinated on his visit to Kuwait. A proper response to a plot to kill a former US president where the plot is traceable to a country and a leader is to eradicate that leader. Clinton ordered some missiles fired at an Iraqi intelligence outpost.

In 1993, the first World Trade Center bombing occurred. Despite the unquestioned reality that this was a terrorist attack, Clinton treated this as an FBI law-enforcement matter. Ditto the Khobar Towers attack in 1996, when Clinton allowed the FBI to be stonewalled by the Saudis. Ditto the Nairobi and Dar es-Salaam embassy bombings of 1998 and the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.

Each of the Clinton reactions to these attacks on Americans abroad sent two messages: (1) we will not actively prevent future attacks, just seek the actors after the events; (2) we will not hold governments and groups responsible for these actions accountable. And in investigating the attacks and potential future attacks, the FBI and CIA could not coordinate information thanks to Jamie Gorelick's information Wall preventing counterespionage information from being used in criminal investigations, and vice versa. A wall she proudly stated went beyond what the law required.

Clinton also had at least 2 chances to capture bin Laden, courtesy Mansoor Ijaz's contacts with the Sudanese government; which Clinton declined. He also had 3 or more chances to kill bin Laden at the latter's terrorist base in Afghanistan, but Sandy Berger denied the military and CIA the authority to act.

Worst of all was Clinton's reaction to the Black Hawk Down incident in Mogadishu. Despite the tremendous heroism and bravery shown by the US forces, who were in a firefight outnumbered by 100-1 or more, did not get sufficient backup support, and fought through while killing 1000 Aideed supporters for the one US serviceman killed, the Mogadishu fiasco gave comfort to the enemies of the US as Clinton withdrew the Marines and put his tail between his legs.

Thus, Clinton left the US weak in the face of terrorism. He portrayed a lack of will, a complete lack of seriousness, and an inability to take preventive action. The repercussions from Clinton's failures were never, or were barely, felt during his term. Thus, we had an eight-year long holiday from history that came crashing to an end early on the morning of September 11, 2001. That attack, and more importantly the mindset amongst the terrorists that such an attack could succeed and would not have repercussions, is the Clinton Legacy. The studious avoidance of finger-pointing, also known as assigning blame where it is due, by the press and the Republicans has served no one well.

Ultimately, President Bush was right and has done exactly what he said he would do four years ago. His constant refrain in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention was "They've had their chance, they have not led, we will." For four years, on the matters most important in this country -- protecting it and defending it -- Bush has kept that promise. Clinton's Legacy is failure. If you want four to eight years of more failure, fecklessness and terrorist-coddling, vote Kerry. I don't, and I won't.

Submitted to Beltway Traffic Jam.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Outsourcing bogeyman

Click the title to this post, it's a link to a fine piece in Foreign Affairs by Daniel Drezner that eviscerates the Democrats' arguments about outsourcing and explains why it's not a threat to American workers.

Democrats love Pravda -- Kerry at NASA

The DNC is up in arms over the Kerry pictures from his NASA visit. See Drudge here. They're claiming the release of the photos is a smear job because Kerry looks like a dope (my phrase) and there was supposed to be no press or photos in the visit.

Look at the pics for yourself. KERRY POSED IN A GROUP SHOT. In other words, he freely consented to being photographed in the NASA-issued suit.

Kerry's people: What a bunch of whiners. Seems the Dems want to tightly control the press. That would constitute CENSORSHIP if the RNC was trying it.

UPDATE (via Instapundit): The pics are posted at the Kennedy Space Center's own website and it is certainly not an RNC outpost.

The Kerry operatives are really preposterous little people.

See also Blogs for Bush here.

Media bias and Joe Wilson

Investors' Business Daily rips the mainstream media, based on the Howard Kurtz analysis of TV network and newspaper reports where Kurtz compared stories trumpeting Wilson's claim that BUSH LIED with stories PROVING that WILSON LIED.

Read it all.

More proof of Yankees greatness

See here.

It's a disclosure from Bush-Cheney, Inc. of a contribution from Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez.

That individual is also known as the third baseman for the Yankees, A-Rod.

Time for Osirak Assault II

The Daily Telegraph reports that Iran "has broken the seals on nuclear equipment monitored by United Nations inspectors and is once again building and testing machines that could make fissile material for nuclear weapons." This violates the EU's unenforceable/unverifiable/unrealistic "deal" with Iran that Iran would play nice with the Euroweenies.

More info from the Telegraph:

. . . diplomats said senior officials from the "EU-3" - Britain, France and Germany - would try to coax Teheran back to the path of co-operation at a secret meeting in Paris on Thursday.

Their chances of success seem slim, however, because Teheran now appears to have calculated that America is paralysed by the presidential election campaign and that Europe is too divided to exert real pressure.

And here's the real upshot of this situation: the Europeans want to box in the Iranians, the Iranians want to string along the Europeans until Iran can announce it has gone nuclear. Once that happens, all bets are off and Iran would have the ability to threaten Israel, Europe and potentially the US. Thus, neither the US nor Israel can sit still while Europe plays footsie with the mullahs. If either the US or Israel fails to STOP the Iranians, then the US and Israel would have committed criminal negligence against the world community. Israel needs to plan for an attack on Iran and carry it out by the end of the year. Period.

More from the Telegraph:

British officials say they have no illusions about Iran's intentions, but have hitherto advocated patient diplomacy. They want to allow inspectors to keep working to "box in" the Iranians to the point where they either give up nuclear weapons ambitions or commit such a blatant violation that the West can win international support for sanctions.

"Iran has resumed research and testing, and every day that passes means it gets closer to mastering the technology," said one western source.

"If the Europeans think they can outfox the Iranians in the carpet bazaar, they are deeply mistaken."

The British strategy is a pile of multinational manure -- nothing will stop the Iranians other than actual force. It was the only way to stop Saddam and Iran is stronger than Iraq was.

The US and/or Israel must act now or the world will be so dangerous that the 1970s will seem placid.

More comments at: Captain's Quarters.

Two Trillion Dollars

That looks like this: $2,000,000,000,000.

That's how much the national deficit could increase under John Kerry according to a WSJ piece (paid subscription only) by Kevin Haslett. A quote from Haslett: "If we put the spending and tax sides together, the first budget that Mr. Kerry will submit would increase the deficit over 10 years by a minimum of about $1.2 trillion and, more likely, by well over $2 trillion. While a few smaller proposals from Mr. Kerry raise a little more revenue, they do not go anywhere near the level necessary to close the enormous gap between spending and taxes."

Yipes! And Kerry is supposed to be a deficit hawk that appeals to the economically clueless like Andrew Sullivan? Again, yipes.

Washington Post -- honest reporting?

Except for noted Bush-basher Dana Milbank, the Washington Post has recently been very straight in its reporting. For instance, the Post first noted the Senate Intelligence Committee report that completely exposed Joseph Wilson as a serial fabricator.

It's revelation du jour: Democratic candidates in contested elections in states that Bush will likely win are avoiding John Kerry like plague. Here's an excerpt:

The top Democratic candidates from seven of the eight most competitive Senate races will be back home, as will dozens of House candidates.

Publicly, these candidates say they need to spend every possible minute campaigning at home. Privately, some acknowledge they do not want to hand their Republican opponents a ready-made campaign ad linking them to the Democratic Party's more liberal figures, such as Massachusetts Sens. Kerry and Edward M. Kennedy, who will loom large here.

Hey, no laughing about how Ted Kennedy will loom large!

So much for a unifying Democratic ticket with national coattails.

Bad taste on the Internet

From this LA Times story is a quote from the elder Kerry daughter regarding how her sheer dress at the Cannes Film Festival became soft-porn due to the flashbulbs popping on the red carpet:

"Because of the dark world of the Internet, I'm told there are now entire Web pages dedicated to my breasts," the 30-year-old actress and filmmaker is quoted as saying. "You gotta love the Internet."

Uh, The Monk will put this as nicely as he can because he knows the (unfortunately narrow) limits of his own pulchritude: The Monk has seen the picture of Alexandra Kerry that initiated the whole AK-dress kerfuffle and if she was not Alexandra KERRY, the dress would have been notable only because it exposed a wannabe playing dress-up with the stars who was attempting to be glamourous but did not have the goods for it.

If Alexandra Kerry ever sees The Monk in a tux, he would be perfectly ready to hear that a similarly dressed chimp would be distinguishable only by height. But be REAL, whole internet sites devoted to AK's chest? Waste of bandwidth.

Submitted to Outside the Beltway.

Big yawns

Drudge reports on the Democratic Convention's all-time low TV rating for the opening night of a presidential nominating convention. Go figure: between the mendacious, pompous and criminally stupid Jimmy Carter; the bitter, saturnine Al Gore; the unerringly insipid Hillary Clinton; and the self-important but diminished Bill Clinton, there's no substance. But the Fleet Center AC is on full-blast to counteract all the hot-air.

Another yawner -- THK's comment from 1976 that the Democrats are putrid and she did not trust Ted Kennedy. Naturally Mrs. Kerry doesn't feel that way today, Ted Kennedy is a great friend, blah, blah, blah. Who cares? Of course both her sentiments were correct in 1976 and are correct today, but THK is 28 years older now and the mind begins to go when a woman reaches, say, 67 . . .

Oh yeah, that last comment doesn't include the MaMonk because she's repeatedly celebrating her 40th birthday . . . Love ya, Mom.

Yankee comments and two previews

I saw Rivera blow his second-straight save chance today and he looked weak. He threw a bunch of pitches at sub-90 mph, an un-Rivera performance, and gave up the lead on a two-out game-tying single. Location problems Saturday, velocity problems Monday . . . that means Rivera needs some rest. Ironically, if he had held the game Saturday, Torre would have had reason to keep him out tonight -- a 9.5-game lead instead of a 7.5 game lead heading into this series. But Torre has continually managed each game to WIN NOW and Rivera has historically had a minor hiccup here or there (last year he gave up two of the three homers he allowed all year on consecutive nights) before turning it on for the rest of the season -- most notably in 1999 when he blew three saves in four chances in July, then allowed one run in his next 44 innings (31.7 regular season, 1 ER; 12.3 postseason, 0 ER).

Bigger worries: the starters who couldn't get anyone out in Boston; Mike Moooooooooooosina's elbow; Javy Vazquez's recent struggles to keep his s't together. Javy looked excellent in his one inning in the All-Star game. Maybe he should be watching that tape.

And the two previews.

First, this Saturday or so I hope to post my analysis of a rather stupid comment Pres. Bush made and show why no matter what Presidents want to do, they don't have as much control over events as we or they would like.

Second, a proposal for baseball contracts. I think it's workable and could restore some near-term insanity to baseball contracts in exchange for some ownership security. I hope to post this later this week. It all depends upon my work schedule.

Mark Steyn on John Kerry

The Monk hopes he's the first American in the blogosphere to link this. An outstanding piece by Mark Steyn on John Kerry in the Daily Telegraph. National Review should have prohibited him from getting this published anywhere else (Steyn writes the Happy Warrior column for NR).

Here is a great excerpt:

If I were a mad scientist hired by Bush svengali Karl Rove to construct the most unelectable Democratic presidential candidate possible, I'd start with a load of big-government one-size-fits-all dependency-culture domestic policies. Next I'd throw in a consistent two-decade voting-record aversion to American military power. Then make him the kind of fellow whose stump speeches are always butt-numbingly ponderous and go on way too long because someone told him that if you intone a platitude slowly and sonorously enough it sounds like the Kennedy inaugural address.

He'd probably be a senator because, in a business that attracts pompous blowhards, senators are the crème de la crème. A senator from Massachusetts, because that's as near as you can get to running Jacques Chirac while still meeting the citizenship eligibility requirements. He'd have to be an aristocratic Massachusetts senator, because there don't seem to be any other kinds, but he wouldn't be glamorously high-class, like Jack and Camelot, just aloof and condescending and affected. And every time he tries to talk a little guy talk, a little hunting or baseball, it doesn't come out quite right. And he's so nuanced he's running not only as America's most famous war hero but also as America's most famous anti-war protester.

No, scrub that last bit. No one would believe it.

But Steyn is completely on his game in this one. His comment about the US press is priceless:

My ne plus ultra of unelectability was chosen by Democratic primary voters this spring mainly because he was perceived to be "electable". I don't know where they got that idea from. Probably from the American media, who seem barely to recognise Kerry's principal defect – his boring self-righteousness – perhaps because it's also theirs.

Nonetheless, there are serious challenges facing the US in the next four years and voting for Kerry would have negative consequences, to say the least. After noting that the electorate is likely tired from the war footing of the past three years, Steyn notes: The notion that you can take a four-year intermission from the war is appealing, but a fantasy. Both Iran and North Korea are likely to come to the boil during the next presidential term, and nothing in either John Kerry's record or temperament suggests he's up to settling either of those crises in America's favour. So our hopes of avoiding Armageddon may rest on how effectively Kerry bores his candidacy into the ground.

There's more. Read it.

Monday, July 26, 2004

What did you think you'd get with Ann Coulter?

USA Today spiked its Ann Coulter column. McPaper was going to have conservative nutter Ann Coulter pen a daily column from Boston where the MoveOn-niks, International ANSWER members and Loony Left are trying to mask the liberal nature of John Kerry at the Democratic Convention; then in August USA Today will have Michael Moore write an insane screed daily from NYC at the Republican Convention. Both columns are supposed to be wry, cutting and humorous. Personally, I think Lewis Black or Bill Maher from the Republican Convention and Dennis Miller from the Democrats' shindig would be better because those folks are funnier and less bilious than Coulter and Moore.

Here's Coulter's column that was supposed to run and got spiked by USA Today. It's basically typical Coulter with a couple of good lines and some overthetop screeches that set the teeth on edge.

But here is a look into the mind of Coulter's editor at USA Today: some of the comments she received as feedback as they tried to have her re-work her column. Personally, I thought her 7-Eleven concept was a complete stretch.

The best thing in this whole situation: Coulter is being replaced by Jonah Goldberg of National Review. Goldberg is MUCH funnier than Coulter and, tonally, a lot sunnier. Thus, a happy face on conservatism from Goldberg versus the bitter angry face of liberalism from Moore. I'll take the right-wing fat guy in that fight any day.

Andrew Sullivan, shark-jumper

The Monk was going to try to parse Andrew Sullivan's drivel in the Sunday Times about how John Kerry is the real choice for conservatives (stop laughing . . . I mean it, STOP laughing), and how Pres. Bush is actually a liberal. This is all based on Sullivan's narrow and tendentious definition of "conservative" and his deliberately misleading tagging of the president as a liberal (in actuality, the phrase "classic liberal" would be accurate).

But there's no point because blogress Melanie Phillips has dissected Sullivan's thesis, examined it, and thoroughly destroyed both its premises and conclusions. Therefore, The Monk defers to Ms. Phillips.

Read her whole entry.

hat-tip = Little Green Footballs.

Some stats just don't lie

You HAVE to see this: Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters Blog did the math on Joseph Wilson, taking his numbers from this Howard Kurtz media column.

The three major networks, and three major newspapers (NY Times, WaPo and LA Times) had 88 network pieces and 214 newspaper stories on the Wilson to Niger = Bush Lied story.

Since the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq that completely discredited Wilson, the networks have run two pieces on the report (none by CBS) mentioning the Wilson falsehood and the papers have run 5 (not counting Wilson's self-serving op-ed in the LA Times or his letter to the WaPo). That's a scorecard of 88-2 (networks) and 214-5 (newspapers) of stories in favor of perpetuating Wilson's lies and against undoing the damage he did to both Bush and the intelligence community's reputation.

As for CBS, Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie blasted CBS on its own show, Face the Nation, for burying the Wilson-is-a-dope story. CBS is allegedly "looking into it." What a crock -- CBS has all the run-sheets from its newsprograms in its computers and can learn it never mentioned Wilson being contradicted in a matter of minutes. Expect nothing from CBS, you won't be disappointed.

Submitted to the Beltway Traffic Jam.

Teresa Heinz Kerry's Charm Offensive

Or is that her offensive charm?


Speaking to the Pennsylvanian delegation at the statehouse in Boston, Heinz Kerry delivered an impassioned plea against hate politics:

"We need to turn back some of the creeping, un-Pennsylvanian and sometimes un-American traits that are coming into some of our politics."

"My prayers for you, for me, for the country, for the world, are that we keep this at a high level, with dignity, with respect and with a great idealism and courage that took our forefathers to build this great nation."

According to multiple sources who attended the event, Heinz Kerry upon finishing the speech pushed her way through the Secret Service to get to Pittsburgh Tribune Review reporter, Colin McNickle. Upon getting to Mcnickle, Heinz Kerry asks, 'Are you from the Tribune Review' Mcnickle says, 'Yes, I am.'

At this point and in an irritated fashion Heinz Kerry says, 'Of course, understandable. You said something I didnt say. Now Shove it!'

Tape of the incident is being edited to air on Pittsburgh's WTAE-TV, and, according to a media source, ABC NEWS is set to run with it thereafter.

A witness of the incident said reporters were "stunned" by Heinz Kerry's outburst, especially in light of the speech she had just given.

And for those of you who don't trust Drudge because you're too left-wing to believe anyone to the right of Peter Jennings, ABC's The Note has a transcript, and notes (sorry) that Hillary Clinton defended THK on CNN this morning.

John Kerry has said his wife is off-limits to commentary by the press. Thus, it's easy for her to throw stones from behind his protection: saying Dick Cheney isn't a patriot, calling Bush's environmental policies (most of which are really Clinton Lite) a "sin", etc. See here for more.

Of course, what's really warped is that Kerry's two most prominent attack dogs are his "protected" wife and triple-amputee Max Cleland. Neither is in touch with reality, neither will be questioned by the sympathetic media.

Jimmy Carter, SOB

National Review interviewed Steve Hayward, author of The Real Jimmy Carter: How Our Worst Ex-President Undermines American Foreign Policy, Coddles Dictators, and Created the Party of Clinton and Kerry. Hayward says that Carter essentially killed the conservative wing of the Democratic Party:

[H]e won the 1976 election in part because a lot of Democratic-party voters and independent voters thought he represented a return to the older Harry Truman-John F. Kennedy-Scoop Jackson-style Cold War liberal realism. Carter ran to the right of Ford on foreign policy, attacking Henry Kissinger and detente for example. Instead, what we got was, in Bob Dole's memorable phrase, "southern-fried McGovern." And so Carter had the effect of killing off once and for all the Truman-Scoop Jackson wing of the party, which had been under attack since the 1960s by the new left. Most of those kind of Democrats became "Reagan Democrats" in the 1980s, and Republicans in the 1990s.

WSJ Update

Some interesting pieces in the Wall Street Journal today that are not on

First, Hillary Clinton has an editorial on "bestsourcing" -- programs and business issues she would like to tackle to eliminate outsourcing of labor to India and other countries. She does have some good points -- such as mere salary savings does not equal actual cost savings -- but ultimately her prescription ends up being a cure that is worse than the disease. What is it? Bigger government and more government involvement in industry: "we need a strategy that focuses on critical areas -- innovation, new job creation, workforce development, connectivity expansion, and collaboration between industry, academia, labor and government. We have to equip businesses and workers to become even more competitive, further develop the digital economy, and work to end trade and tax practices which undermine competitiveness."

Honestly, this type of thing sorts itself out because the types of jobs allegedly being lost to outsourcing are ones with workers who are eminently retrainable within their companies or can find other service-type jobs elsewhere.

NEXT, Zell Miller. The outgoing Georgia Senator, and one of the few old-line Democrats remaining in politics, blasts Democratic kowtowing to the various elites and interest groups that form the party. He also fires a nice shot at John-John: "when it comes to taxes and services, you'd be pressed to find anyone more opposed to the interests of middle-class Americans than John Kerry. Except maybe John Edwards. Both voted against tax relief for married couples, tax relief for families with children, and tax relief for small businesses. Now Mr. Kerry wants to raise taxes on hundreds of thousands of small-business owners and millions of individuals. He claims to be for working people, but I don't understand how small businesses can create jobs if they've got to send more money to Washington instead of keeping it to hire workers."

And finally, Prof. Ezra Suleiman of Princeton believes that Chirac and Schroeder will pay a price for their actions viz. the EU and the Iraq War -- less influence and much less trust from "allies."

Sunday, July 25, 2004

THIS is leadership?

Just One Minute notes that John Kerry doesn't think about the possibility of a terrorist attack in the midst of the presidential election. Why? He can't control whether one occurs.

Neither can anyone else. It's precisely Kerry's lack of concern that characterized the Clinton years. Under Clinton, all that Clinton did was designed to minimize the effect of world events on the Clinton domestic agenda. No leadership. Kerry has consistently indicated his willingness to defer leadership to the tyranny of the idiots that is the UN.

Vote Bush. Period.

Ricky Williams, athlete?

Ricky Williams retired from the Miami Dolphins. Williams was the sole highlight on an awful U Texas team as a junior; as a senior he won the Heisman Trophy (in a solid team season) and became the NCAA's all-time leading rusher. He then signed a ridiculous incentive-laden contract that completely worked against his interests, had a falling out with his New Orleans coach Jim Haslett and ultimately was traded to Miami where he ran for more than 3200 yards in two seasons, but the Dolphins still couldn't find a way to make the playoffs.

Williams has always been a bit odd. He's very soft-spoken and shy. His persona does not complement his enormous strength and running ability. He has often strained against the expectations that accompany tremendous athletic ability -- thus, his lengthy travels in offseasons, varying interests, etc. He is also much smarter than the usual "athlete" but that intelligence is totally unfocussed. Williams is also influenced by his Texas days in the lax and post-hippie culture of Austin, Texas. Williams previously failed a drug test and allegedly honked another one recently (which would result in a multi-game suspension, fine and more recriminations); rumors that he is a pot-head have been rampant throughout his NFL career.

Ultimately, Williams' NFL legacy will be one of unfulfilled expectations and missed opportunity. And given how he left the Dolphins in the lurch this offseason, he will not be remembered fondly by his teammates or coaches. But hopefully, he will be able to figure out who he is with the benefits of the money he made and the time he now has, instead of perpetually fighting the concept of what he was supposed to be.

Bill Clinton's liar insurance

In Britain, the burden of proof is on defendants in libel cases to prove that their assertions are true. In the US, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff (for public figures and public matters). Thus, the NY Times reports that former President Clinton is excising some and editing some of his nattering self-indulgence, My Life.

Who Knew -- The NY Times is liberal!

This is the admission from the Times' outgoing ombudsman, Daniel Okrent (whom the Times called a "Public Editor"). The title of his last real column: "Is the New York Times a Liberal Newspaper" is answered in his first sentence: "Of course it is."

No kidding?

But the real story is not just Okrent's public proclaimation that the Times is a liberal newspaper, it is the various bombshells that Okrent drops on the Times' own conceit as the nation's paper of record.

First, there's this comment:

[On] the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others . . . if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

But if you're examining the paper's coverage of these subjects from a perspective that is neither urban nor Northeastern nor culturally seen-it-all; if you are among the groups The Times treats as strange objects to be examined on a laboratory slide (devout Catholics, gun owners, Orthodox Jews, Texans); if your value system wouldn't wear well on a composite New York Times journalist, then a walk through this paper can make you feel you're traveling in a strange and forbidding world.

Okrent also excuses the Times for being a "product" of New York City -- urban, chic, ultraliberal. But this only reflects part of the city -- the elite, upwardly mobile or ultimately pretentious -- essentially the "Sex in the City" sensibility of NYC as Manhattan from Columbia University south; not the middle-class and blue-collar people who have lived in the city (and predominantly in the other four boroughs) for generations. Here is Okrent's comment:

The Times has chosen to be an unashamed product of the city whose name it bears, a condition magnified by the been-there-done-that irony afflicting too many journalists. Articles containing the word "postmodern" have appeared in The Times an average of four times a week this year - true fact! - and if that doesn't reflect a Manhattan sensibility, I'm Noam Chomsky.

But it's one thing to make the paper's pages a congenial home for editorial polemicists, conceptual artists, the fashion-forward or other like-minded souls (European papers, aligned with specific political parties, have been doing it for centuries), and quite another to tell only the side of the story your co-religionists wish to hear. I don't think it's intentional when The Times does this. But negligence doesn't have to be intentional.

Manhattan sensibility. Manhattan is home to less than 10% of the City's residents, and less than 5% of the NYC metro area. In other words, the Times is elitist and only matters to a small slice of the City that it serves.

To his credit, Okrent flames not only the Times' editorial leanings, but how its worldview slants coverage throughout the newspaper -- Sports, Lifestyle, Movies and Arts -- and most of all, News, by failing to give any weight to perspectives and information that could counter the Times' innate agenda. He says it more nicely than that, of course, but he says it nonetheless.

Read it all.

Yankees-RedSawx BFD file

Yeah, it sucked to watch the Yanks collapse Saturday in a game they should have won going away. It royally sucked when the Yanks had bases loaded and none out in the 7th and went force-play, strikeout, third out and couldn't extend a 10-8 lead. And it also blew chunks watching Rivera honk a save for only the second time all year. And yeah, it's annoying as f'k to hear the radio dorks on ESPN chirping about this win being the one that gets the RedStanx started, blah, blah, blah. The Monk says that if the RedSkunx couldn't get it going after winning 6 of 7 from the Yanks in April, and couldn't take advantage of an easy May-June schedule, Saturday's game isn't going to be their panacea.

Wongdoer remarked to The Monk that Rivera historically has had trouble with the RedSawx . . . in the regular season. The Monk does his research: Mo's 2-0, 4-4 in saves, 0.71 ERA in 7 games against Boston in the playoffs (and an MVP winner in the 2003 ALCS).

Then again, Mo was pitching yesterday on his third-straight day and the real culprit in this one was Quantrill -- 2/3 IP, 3 hits and two of two inherited runners scored.

Ultimately, remember this: the Red Sawx left Yankee Stadium 4.5 up in April with a vastly easier schedule until June 29 -- when the rivals met again. When they did meet, the Yanks were up 5.5; it's now 8.5 and the Yanks avoided the only outcome of this series that would REALLY have mattered -- a RedSux sweep -- by winning the first game.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

John Kerry, Communist historian

This is funny.

Not only does John Kerry's website no longer connect to Joe Wilson's website any longer, it doesn't even mention Wilson. On Patriot Paradox, the bloggers are discussing how running a search on Kerry's website for "Joe Wilson" returns no results.

The Monk tried this and confirmed the Patriot Paradox results. Then The Monk searched for "Joseph Wilson" and "Joseph C. Wilson" and both of those searches turned up no results (a search for just Joseph Wilson, without quotes keeping the names together, also does not return any hits that have former ambassador Joseph Wilson). In addition, the national security plan authored by Sandy Berger is no longer on the Kerry site, according to Instapundit and the Patriot Paradox.

Ion Mihai Pacepa knows all about this tactic. In 1978, Pacepa defected from Romania to the US. He was the Romanian spy chief and Ceausescu's right hand. In his memoir, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief (the hardback title), Pacepa has a picture of the Ceausescus, some Romanian-Americans and himself in the Ceausescus' hotel room on their trip to New York. After Pacepa defected, the same picture was published in a Romanian book . . . but Pacepa was not in it.

Joe Wilson just got the Pacepa Treatment . . .

This gets the Sandy Berger fiasco right

Veteran reporter turned columnist Colbert I. King, who is a moderate, had this column that pegs the Sandy Berger situation:

At issue is not Berger's sense of injustice or embarrassment, or the gotcha game that is being played out by Republicans, or the Democratic establishment's willingness to give Berger the benefit of the doubt because he's one of their own.

The question is, was Sandy Berger's violation due to negligence -- at best -- or was it deliberate -- at worst? And should he be held accountable for his actions? Or is he too important and well-connected to be treated like everyone else? What's the answer, Washington?

Louis Freeh reacts to the Commission report

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh said that the US missed its real opportunity to wipe out al-Qaeda six years ago.

Do you remember who was president six years ago? His wife is now a US Senator . . .

Friday, July 23, 2004

President Bush at the National Urban League

President Bush spoke today at the National Urban League. He touted the tax cuts and the rapidly growing economy. He also noted how tax cuts on individuals help small businesses because proprietorships and Subchapter S corporations pay taxes at the individual income tax rate, not the corporate rate (which can be much lower).

But the part of his lengthy speech that will, and should, get the most publicity is the portion near the end where he asks blacks if they are really well-served by the Democrats. Here is an excerpt (with applause notations excised):

Does the Democrat party take African American voters for granted? It's a fair question. I know plenty of politicians assume they have your vote. But do they earn it and do they deserve it? Is it a good thing for the African American community to be represented mainly by one political party? That's a legitimate question. How is it possible to gain political leverage if the party is never forced to compete? Have the traditional solutions of the Democrat party truly served the African American community?

* * *
Does blocking the faith-based initiative help neighborhoods where the only social service provider could be a church? Does the status quo in education really, really help the children of this country?

Does class warfare -- has class warfare or higher taxes ever created decent jobs in the inner city? Are you satisfied with the same answers on crime, excuses for drugs and blindness to the problem of the family?

Thus, the President wants blacks to examine their interests and see if his policies fit their needs. Here's more from the President:

I'm here to say that there is an alternative this year . . . If you dream of starting a small business and building a nest egg and passing something of value to your children, take a look at my agenda. If you believe schools should meet high standards instead of making excuses, take a look at my agenda. If you believe the institutions of marriage and family are worth defending and need defending today, take a look at my agenda.

If you believe in building a culture of life in America, take a look at my agenda. If you believe in a tireless fight against crime and drugs, take a look at this agenda. If you believe that our men and women in uniform should be respected and supported 100 percent of the time, take a look at my agenda.

If you're struggling to get into the middle class and you feel like you're paying plenty of taxes, take a look at my agenda. If you're a small business owner who is trying to expand your job base and are worried about excessive lawsuits, increasing taxes and over-regulation, take a look at this agenda.

And finally, if you believe in the power of faith and compassion to defeat violence and despair and hopelessness, I hope you take a look at where I stand.

Democrats hate free speech

Straight from The Drudge Report, and quoted in full below, this story on a fight over free speech rights in Boston (the most Democrat-heavy city in the country):

The 24-foot-long sign at Halftime Pizza across the street from Boston's FleetCenter isn't exactly welcoming to the Democratic National Convention: "Say!!!!! D.N.C. Thanks for Nothing!!! Go Bush."

Security measures and the availability of free food for delegates led Mark Pasquale, owner of Halftime, to shut his restaurant down for the week of the convention and erect the sign.


On Friday, WRKO-AM's Peter Blute and Scott Allen Miller reported how Pasquale has been confronted by city inspectors who have threatened to fine him unless he takes the anti-Dem sign down!

Pasquale told Blute and Scotto that while he doesn't want any trouble, he will continue to exercise his First Amendment rights by keeping the sign up in spite of any fines.


Here is the information for Halftime Pizza:

Halftime Pizza, 115 Causeway St Boston MA 02114
(617) 720-4578

Hey Mark! The Monk will contribute to help with the fines.

And for you NRO fans who will be in Boston this weekend and participating in NRO's happy hour gathering(s), go by the Fleet Center and help out Mark Pasquale.

Commission Report Roundup

I have not read and will not read the 9-11 Commission report -- I simply do not have the time.

The press reports have noted that the Commission neither blames Clinton nor blames Bush, but does put a lot of blame on Congress for failure of oversight and on the CIA/FBI for failure of imagination. This is a political result -- don't blame the President who knew of the terrorist threat for 7.5 years and who did nothing to stop it after the first World Trade Center attack, whose Justice Department fortified and extended the "wall" separating FBI criminal and counterterrorism investigations (and CIA information sharing) and whose Justice Department did not even brief the new Attorney General about the Millenium Bomb Plot After Action Review memo. (See here for a discussion).

Furthermore, there is no reason that the Congress should shoulder the bulk of the blame for 9-11 itself. Keeping the country safe, handling international relations and gathering intelligence are all executive branch functions. Of course the Church Committee, the defenestration of the intelligence services and the general hamstringing of the CIA are all attributable to Congressional meddling. But the creeping bureaucratism, risk-aversion and lack of imagination in the FBI, CIA and NSC are all changeable by the head of those organizations (Bill Casey did this to some degree in the face of Congressional opposition in the Reagan years).

Here is a round-up of some analysis by those who know more about the 9-11 Commission report than The Monk:

In the Wall Street Journal, Louis Freeh says we should have gone after Al-Qaeda six years ago.

Also in the Journal, Charles Hill derides the US reliance on commissions to provide the impossible -- near certainty. If the WSJ links don't work, don't blame me -- subscription only.

For free info, check out National Review Online:

Michael Ledeen says the report is incomplete.

Byron York challenges the Bush haters to correct their claims that Iraq and al-Qaeda had no connections.

Rich Lowry looks at how the Bush-haters fare in light of the report.

In the Daily Standard, Daniel McKivergan details how the Commission confirmed the Iraq ties to al-Qaeda.

On Slate, Joshua Foer gives a rundown of how the major newspapers are dealing with the Commission report and Fred Kaplan praises the report.

See also: James Joyner's articles on Tech Central Station and Strategic Insights on the Iraq link to al-Qaeda.

[sent to Outside the Beltway]

Cringe factor

The Monk saw the injury to Rangers pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez on replay yesterday and immediately had the Cringe Factor -- when the injury is so transparently nasty you flinch from the safety of your own home.

An Angel batter lined a pitch right back at Rodriguez in the fourth inning. Rodriguez had his right side and back to the plate in his pitch follow-through. The liner hit him square on his right elbow, breaking it. Rodriguez went down in a heap. He's out for the season.

This is easily one of the top three pitching injuries where The Monk has seen the injury take place. I still remember Bryce Florie's broken face after a shot from Ryan Thompson -- Thompson ripped the pitch and it went right off Florie's nose, he didn't even have time to flinch.

I also remember the (first) tragic injury to Dave Dravecky. He battled back from a cancerous embollism in his pitching arm and had two sterling starts. In his third start, he threw a pitch and his humerus just snapped. Dravecky crumpled and the players looked at him as if he'd been shot. Dravecky tried another comeback, same thing happened and he retired.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Say What?

John Kerry is basically incomprehensible. And to himself too. Read this and see for yourself if Jim Geraghty's assessment at the end is right.

El Duque and the Yanks

He was a Yankee hero in 1998-2000 with the high leg-kick, the funky delivery and the infectious enthusiasm. In 2001-02 he had spotty seasons and suffered various injuries; in 2003, he was out all year with arm problems. Now Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez is pitching again for the Yanks and getting some nice results: 7 IP, 4 H, 10K of scoreless baseball against the strangely punchless BlueJays. The Yanks got their first shutout since early May this afternoon. The pitching needed a lift and the return of El Duque has been a beaut so far. [The Monk didn't want to say it's been a real shot in the arm . . . oh well].

BTW, the Orioles won their sixth game in eight tries against the RedSux this afternoon, thereby begging the question why they can whack the RedSax and the Yanks have so much trouble (then again, the RedStanx wonder why the O's cannot do unto the Yanks [1-8] in similar fashion).

If the Yanks have six wins over the RedStiffs by the end of Sunday night's game, I'll be quite pleased.

Reality of a Kerry win

Uri Dan is a longtime Israeli journalist who is close to Sharon and who has covered the Middle East longer than The Monk's tenure on the planet. Dan knows whereof he speaks and today, he speaks thus:

Bush now personifies the offensive on terrorism and its leaders, from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein to Abu Mosab Al-Zarkawi. And, needless to say, in the non-democratic Muslim and Arab world, this symbolism takes on an entirely different meaning.

If Bush loses the election, the fanatics will celebrate his loss as a victory in their war against the greatest power in the world. It doesn't matter that John Kerry may be forced to continue Bush's global war against terrorism or that Kerry may retract conciliatory-sounding election promises.

The very fact of a Bush defeat will be interpreted in the fevered, fanatical minds of millions of jihadists and their supporters to mean that their path of sowing terror and death is the right one.

In other words, don't get Spanish wimpiness; vote for Bush.

EU to Israel: get screwed

Highly recommended editorial today from the Jerusalem Post relating the Zionism is racism UN resolution of 1975 to the Tear Down the Fence resolution of 2004.

Here's an excerpt:

In 1975, Uganda, under the dictatorial leadership of Idi Amin, sponsored the Zionism is Racism resolution . . . in 1975 the European countries opposed Zionism is Racism. This time, the EU voted as a 25-member bloc in favor of the anti-fence resolution. So much for the diplomatic boost Israel was supposed to get in Europe once the eastern states were on board.

What is the difference between the 1975 resolution and this one? On the surface, they couldn't be more different. Zionism is Racism forthrightly stated that Israel had no right to exist; that among the world's many nation-states and national movements the Jewish one was uniquely illegitimate.

The 2004 resolution says nothing of the kind . . .

Yet the real difference between the two resolutions really comes down to degrees of baldness. The 1975 resolution said Israel has no right to exist. The 2004 resolution says Israel has no right to defend itself, except on terms agreeable to the international community generally and the Palestinians particularly, which is tantamount to no defense at all.

What the European Union – Germany incredibly and inexcusably included – voted for this week, then, was this: Not the dismantling of the security fence, which they know perfectly well isn't going to happen, but for the right to decide on Israel's behalf how its citizens are legitimately to be defended. We are told that lethal incursions into the West Bank and Gaza Strip to stop the terrorism at its source are forbidden.

Now the non-lethal security fence is forbidden, too. What Israel can do, apparently, is capitulate to the Palestinians politically, retreat to the 1949 armistice lines, and defend itself as best it can within – and only within – those narrow borders.

* * *
[For the EU nations] championing the Palestinians at Israel's expense is easy as long as it's cheap, and as long as they know the US will come to Israel's diplomatic defense. In the meantime, we can only concur with Israel's able and eloquent UN ambassador, Danny Gillerman.

"Thank God," he said, "that the fate of Israel and of the Jewish people is not decided in this hall."

Submitted to Beltway Traffic Jam.

Credit and demerit re: Berger reporting

Today's Reality Check on discusses how the media is reporting and questioning what Sandy Berg(l)er puts in his pants.

Some excerpts:

CBS anchor Dan Rather insisted “this was triggered by a carefully orchestrated leak about Berger, and the timing of it appears to be no coincidence.”

ABC also portrayed the controversy last night as a “political firestorm between Republicans and Democrats,” but Pierre Thomas noted what CBS ignored: “some of the information [removed] was apparently critical of Clinton’s anti-terror efforts.”

NBC reporter Pete Williams noted Berger’s defenses, then balanced them: “Government officials tell NBC News that Archives employees say it wasn’t so innocent, that they noticed documents were missing after day one” and that the purloined pages suggest the Clinton team “was not paying enough attention to terrorism.” {But] No Berger critics have been interviewed [on Today, the Katie Couric bonanza].

But kudos to Wolf Blitzer: CNN also had a tough Wolf Blitzer Reports interview with Berger’s lawyer, with Blitzer insisting “Sandy Berger doesn’t do things inadvertently,” and asking: “How is it possible that this document so sensitive, which he took home, took to his office at his home, presumably, disappeared?”

More reasons to vote for Bush

If the President is ticking off the euro-appeasers in Brussels, The Monk says that's a good thing, and not (as John Edwards believes) a reason to vote against the President. Good to know that Edwards names as many foreign leaders who want Kerry elected as Kerry does -- ZERO.

Edwards says there are complaints of a lack of respect. Really? No country that has supported and helped the US complains of lack of respect -- you don't hear that from Italy, Poland, Spain (Aznar Administration, not that socialist idiot Zapatero), Hungary, Czech Republic, Latvia, Great Britain, Turkey.

Only the ingrates who lived under the protection of the US military umbrella from 1945-1989 and who have attempted to stymie the US at every turn viz. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. (Belgium, France, Germany) complain of a lack of respect. Considering what those three have done, their complaints are irrelevant.

Darfur and the UN

This whole editorial on the genocide in Sudan is worthwhile but note both the key fact and the key moral concept.

First, the key fact:

France is well-placed to lead such [a relief] effort: It has a military base in Chad, Sudan's western neighbor, and another in Djibouti to the east; it could offer airlift and other logistical support for delivery of relief. So far, however, France has offered only to help pay for one contract aircraft; it has offered no helicopters, even though the United Nations relief team appealed for six in March and has so far received none. The United Nations is short of food and other supplies also: It has appealed for $349 million worth of materials, but donors have come forward with a pitiful $145 million or so. Tightfistedness from France, Japan, Italy, Spain and Germany is the main reason for the shortfall. For example, France has donated just over $6 million to Darfur, according to the United Nations, whereas the United States has given $130 million and committed to an additional $170 million.

And here's the key moral concept:

It is as though, in the wake of the West's failure to prevent Rwanda's genocide, the gods of history are asking, okay, if we give you a second chance and months of warning, will you do better?

Thus far, the answer is a disgusting no.

Tom Daschle, special interest stooge

The Wall Street Journal today lists a number of bills that have died thanks to Tom Daschle's obstructionism in the Senate. The editorial is here. It's subscriber only, so if the link doesn't work, sorry. If Opinion Journal posts the edit this weekend, I'll update.

Here are the bills that the WSJ cited as good legislation passed by the House of Representatives that have wallowed in the Senate and their dates of passage in the House:

Welfare Reform -- the most successful Clinton/Gingrich policy (Feb. 13, 2003)

Human Cloning Prohibition Act (Feb. 27, 2003)

Medical Malpractice -- a reform that would cap noneconomic damages and alleviate the medical crises in numerous states; Texas and Mississippi passed similar measures and insurance rates dropped in both states (March 3, 2003)

Bankruptcy Reform -- designed to cut bankruptcy abuse by limiting who can file (people with incomes > $72k prohibited) and limiting certain exemptions (March 17, 2003)

Pension Security Act -- intended to protect pensions and defined benefit plans in the wake of the Enron collapse (May 14, 2003)

Flag Burning and Desecration -- The Monk disagrees with this one (Jun 3, 2003)

Class Action Fairness Act (H.R. 1115)-- Here's the Bill's own description "An Act To amend the procedures that apply to consideration of interstate class actions to assure fairer outcomes for class members and defendants, to outlaw certain practices that provide inadequate settlements for class members, to assure that attorneys do not receive a disproportionate amount of settlements at the expense of class members, to provide for clearer and simpler information in class action settlement notices, to assure prompt consideration of interstate class actions, to amend title 28, United States Code, to allow the application of the principles of Federal diversity jurisdiction to interstate class actions, and for other purposes" (June 12, 2003)

Death Tax Repeal -- would eliminate estate taxes, a boon for small business owners and family farmers whose "wealth" is locked in to non-liquid assets (June 18, 2003)

Head Start Reform -- sets standards for Head Start program teachers, requires programs to ensure English-language proficiency (July 25, 2003)

Energy Bill (Nov. 21, 2003)

Marriage Penalty Repeal -- eliminates the "marriage penalty" in the Tax Code (April 28, 2004)

Make 10% Tax Bracket Permanent -- lowers the lowest income tax rate from 15% to 10% on a permanent basis, had 344 supporters in the House (May 13, 2004)

Hey South Dakotans: Vote Thune!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Israel and the Fence

The UN voted in its General Assembly (of self-important know-nothings from totalitarian regimes and a couple of democracies) to demand Israel comply with the ICJ ruling, tear down the Fence, and let Palestinian terorists murder its citizens. The vote was 150-6. The EU, and even Great Britain, voted in favor. Here's who voted against:

United States
Marshall Islands

Israel should just withdraw from the UN and end this farcical idiocy. The "community of nations" will never accept it so Israel should just reject the "community of nations" itself and deal only with those countries that will treat it as a nation with the full rights of every other country on earth.

Submitted to Beltway Traffic Jam.

WMD search update = I told you so

Three weeks ago I lambasted the Senate for "concluding" that intelligence that led to the deposing of Saddam was faulty. Here's an excerpt of my post:

The Senate Intelligence Committee has proven itself an oxymoron. Today, it issued a statement decreeing that a global intelligence failure led to the conclusion that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nice timing. This brilliant conclusion is issued one day after the Polish army detachment in Iraq found sarin-tipped warheads and just days after intelligence backed-up the claim that Iraq sought to purchase uranium from Niger.

* * *
The politicians, 9-11 Commission and commentators need to stop saying that the negative has been proven before all the evidence has been examined.

Today, Fox News reports that "An upcoming report will contain 'a good deal of new information' backing up the Bush administration's contention that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass destruction, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., said."

And there's hope that more information will be forthcoming. Here's more from the Fox story: "The intelligence community, meanwhile, hopes the trials and interrogations of 'high-level detainees' by the new Iraqi government could yield more information about Saddam's weapons programs, Warner said."