Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Porter Goss, Re-thug-lican partisan

LINK Porter Goss, who Prances in Flightsuit has nominated to lead the CIA, had this to say about the outing of CIA secret agent Valerie Plame:

"Somebody sends me a blue dress and some DNA, I'll have an investigation,"
Goss said."

These thugs -- they're Republican first, American second.

Kerry in a landslide, so he can fire this jerk.

Monday, August 09, 2004

It's All About Oil

LINK William Rivers Pitt: 'The writing on the latrine walls'

Read this article & weep.


LINK Via Atrios, here's Juan Cole's summary of how disastrous the Bush Administration's premature identification of Khan, the Al Qaeda double agent, has been for British intelligence and the 13 terror suspects they were forced to arrest.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Bush Intelligence -- Ultimate Oxymoron

The Bush Administration, in its hysteria to justify the latest hysterical & unnecessary terror alert, named a confidential source who had INFILTRATED AL QAEDA. Just another unimportant secret government agent, like Valerie Plame, who was unimportant to the CIA -- her specialty was only WMD, right? Could these jamokes be any more incompetent?

LINK THE MOLE; TECH GENIUS OUTED FIENDS (from our friends, the ultra-liberal New York Post):

August 7, 2004 -- The Pakistani computer expert at the heart of al Qaeda's communications network has been cooperating with an anti-terror sting operation, it was disclosed yesterday.
But the revealing of Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan's name by U.S. officials may have jeopardized the effort to track down al Qaeda members through their e-mail exchanges with him, Pakistani officials said.

LINK Unmasking of Qaeda Mole a U.S. Security Blunder-Experts (from Reuters)

By Peter Graff

LONDON (Reuters) - The revelation that a mole within al Qaeda was exposed after Washington launched its "orange alert" this month has shocked security experts, who say the outing of the source may have set back the war on terror.

Reuters learned from Pakistani intelligence sources on Friday that computer expert Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan, arrested secretly in July, was working under cover to help the authorities track down al Qaeda militants in Britain and the United States when his name appeared in U.S. newspapers.

"After his capture he admitted being an al Qaeda member and agreed to send e-mails to his contacts," a Pakistani intelligence source told Reuters. "He sent encoded e-mails and received encoded replies. He's a great hacker and even the U.S. agents said he was a computer whiz."

Last Sunday, U.S. officials told reporters that someone held secretly by Pakistan was the source of the bulk of the information justifying the alert. The New York Times obtained Khan's name independently, and U.S. officials confirmed it when it appeared in the paper the next morning.

None of those reports mentioned at the time that Khan had been under cover helping the authorities catch al Qaeda suspects, and that his value in that regard was destroyed by making his name public.

A day later, Britain hastily rounded up terrorism suspects, some of whom are believed to have been in contact with Khan while he was under cover. Washington has portrayed those arrests as a major success, saying one of the suspects, named Abu Musa al-Hindi or Abu Eissa al-Hindi, was a senior al Qaeda figure.

But British police have acknowledged the raids were carried out in a rush. Suspects were dragged out of shops in daylight and caught in a high speed car chase, instead of the usual procedure of catching them at home in the early morning while they can offer less resistance.

Security experts contacted by Reuters said they were shocked by the revelations that the source whose information led to the alert was identified within days, and that U.S. officials had confirmed his name.

"The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse," said Tim Ripley, a security expert who writes for Jane's Defense publications. "You have to ask: what are they doing compromising a deep mole within al Qaeda, when it's so difficult to get these guys in there in the first place? "It goes against all the rules of counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, running agents and so forth. It's not exactly cloak and dagger undercover work if it's on the front pages every time there's a development, is it?"

OK, people, it's time to send the amateurs packing and bring in the professionals. Kerry in a landslide, anyone?

They Hate Us

LINK Deepening anti-U.S. rage casts doubt on Iraq leaders' ability to restore order

This Knight-Ridder report says the Iraqi security forces have melted away again. Therefore Allawi's Iraq government calls on the hated US military to restore order. And why do they hate us so?

LINK Abu Ghraib Victims Speak: Alleged Victim Calls U.S. Jailer ‘Disgrace to All Civilized and Democratic Values’

Maybe because, as in this quote from the ABC News article linked above:

"Most recent polls show between 80 percent and 90 percent of Iraqis call
Americans not liberators, but occupiers. And by a clear majority, Iraqis
want Americans to leave the country as soon as possible.

How did America lose the Iraqis' support? For many Iraqis, the answer
is Abu Ghraib."

Or maybe it's because we've killed over 10,000 Iraqis and the killing continues?

LINK Fighting spreads as U.S. troops kill 350 Iraqis

"The fighting in Najaf has included American F-15 fighter jets dropping
bombs, U.S. Apache helicopters shooting missiles and American tanks letting
loose with barrages of fire. "

LINK Clashes and Churches

A must-read post by River at Baghdad Burning. Here are the first two paragraphs:

"300+ dead in a matter of days in Najaf and Al Sadir City. Of course, they
are all being called 'insurgents'. The woman on TV wrapped in the abaya, lying
sprawled in the middle of the street must have been one of them too. Several
explosions rocked Baghdad today- some government employees were told not to go
to work tomorrow.

So is this a part of the reconstruction effort promised to the Shi'a in the
south of the country? Najaf is considered the holiest city in Iraq. It is
visited by Shi'a from all over the world, and yet, during the last two days, it
has seen a rain of bombs and shells from none other than the 'saviors' of the
oppressed Shi'a- the Americans. So is this the 'Sunni Triangle' too? It's deja
vu- corpses in the streets, people mourning their dead and dying and buildings
up in flames. The images flash by on the television screen and it's Falluja all
over again. Twenty years from now who will be blamed for the mass graves being
dug today?"

So, here's the big question: Why has the SCLM stopped covering the war in Iraq? More Americans were killed in July than in June, yet the war virtually disappeared from the television screens. We will hit the 1000 American death mark sometime in September yet those deaths are not marked or solemnized by the mainstream media.

We Closed Saddam's Torture Rooms & Opened Allawi's


Great, our soldiers find Iraqis torturing Iraqi prisoners & are ordered -- ORDERED, by their superior officers -- to let them alone. Let the torture continue, it's not our concern, it's their government now.

Think about this next time you hear Bush touting freedom, given to us all by god.

Kerry in a landslide.

Curse of the Bambino

Not exactly news, but farewell to Nomar Garciaparra, my favorite player on the Red Sox. Nomar always played the game the way it should be played. Plus he married Mia Hamm confirming his good taste in my book. (Real men marry athletes.) The writing was on the wall ever since his dumb agent Arn Tellem advised him to turn down the $60 million/4 year offer last year. And it was pretty much all she wrote when dumbf*** "I ate a bucket of steroids & now I think I'm a ballplayer" Kevin Millar went on Sportscenter during the A-Rod talks last year and said, I'd rather have A-Rod than Nomar. You know Nomar would never forget that. He never would have done that to one of his teammates, either. He had too much class for that.

But Theo? You just traded a first ballot Hall of Famer for two guys who are going to have to buy bus tickets to get to Cooperstown? Dude, get ready to be looking for another job in a few years. This one's gonna hurt us for a long time. Not that we thought you were a fine judge of horseflesh after you traded Shea Hillenbrand, .300 career hitter, for Byung Hyun Kim, pitcher & head case. Why would you trade for a pitcher who melted down against the Yankees in the World Serious? Ah, the eternal mystery & pain of being a Sox fan.

Good luck Nomar. If the Red Sox aren't going to win the World Series this year (they may not even get the wild card) I'll be rooting for the Cubbies.

LINK This was a bad deal: How could the Sox deal Nomar without getting a pitcher in return?

LINK (From El Guapo's Ghost blog) NOMAH FIVE IS NO MORE

LINK Jim Fennell:Don’t blame Nomar for this one, Sox fans

LINK (registration required) Trashing of Garciaparra continues in Boston

OK, this article is so good I will put it in in its entirety:

By RICK MORRISSEYChicago Tribune
CHICAGO - Day 4 of the attempted demolition of Nomar Garciaparra included an assertion by Red Sox owner John Henry that his former shortstop recently had to be talked out of demanding a trade.

This followed accusations in Boston that Garciaparra was a slacker, a malcontent, a clubhouse cancer, selfish, weird, an injury waiting to happen, a faker, a liar and anything else you can think of except a cheap tipper, although that's being nvestigated.

The way it's going, Day 6 will dawn with news that Garciaparra often wore lacy Yankees-logo undergarments and that close personal friend Osama bin Laden, though thinking the bra was a bit much, approved.

The Red Sox know they messed up. We know the Red Sox know they messed up because, ever since they dealt him to the Cubs, they have tried to tear him down. This is what you do to buildings that are dilapidated and lack character. You don't do it to one of the best players in team history.

But the Red Sox carry on, sledgehammer in hand, because they know they received the weaker part of the deal. They know their fans are upset about losing a Boston icon, a man with a career .323 batting average.

I'm not sure I can recall such a lengthy, all-out verbal assault on one player after he had been traded. Know this: The harsher the attacks, the more indignant the protests, the more likely it is that a team is doing the backstroke. The Red Sox have backstroked so much, they're halfway to Europe and spitting out saltwater.

Garciaparra is a Cub now, and although it's all that matters, he would need news conferences between innings to answer the onslaught of charges against him. Somehow he has managed to play well.

The most surprising thing is that his Achilles' tendon, the one that kept him out 57 games this year, hasn't turned into angel-hair pasta. The Red Sox seem to be waiting for that to happen. That, or they're waiting for his Pinocchio nose to take out about seven Cubs' kneecaps in the team clubhouse. They can't seem to decide whether he's delicate or disingenuous.

The Red Sox are getting heat for acquiring Doug Mientkiewicz and Orlando Cabrera in the four-team trade that sent Garciaparra to Chicago. You'd get blow-torched, too, if you made that deal. What they'd like everyone to know is: It's not our fault! That's what all this petulance is about.

The Red Sox weren't able to sign Nomar to a four-year, $60 million contract extension, presumably because Garciaparra didn't like the deferred money in the deal. The Red Sox didn't like their chances of signing him when he became a free agent after this season. So they traded him. Fine. But be adults and swallow it.

They aren't talking much about their role in the lead-up to the trade. They're the team that tried to acquire superstar Alex Rodriguez in the off-season. They're the team that would have traded Garciaparra if the Rangers had traded Rodriguez to Boston.

If you were trying to offend a man who considers himself one of the best shortstops in the game, the best way to go about it would be by trying to acquire Alex Rodriguez.

They expected a proud superstar to put it all behind him? To remember it's just business and to not take it personally? And yet, despite the slap in the face from the Red Sox, Garciaparra and his agent both have denied that he wanted out of Boston.

Trying to put the blame on Garciaparra for Saturday's trade is like blaming Hawaii for Pearl Harbor. This is about Red Sox officials Larry Lucchino and Boy Wonder Theo Epstein attempting to clean up their mess without getting dirty. The egg on their faces would seem to indicate they haven't succeeded.

So almost a week after the trade, Garciaparra is still defending himself against an extremely defensive franchise. Character witness Todd Walker, a former teammate in Boston and a current one in Chicago, said Garciaparra was well-liked in the Red Sox's clubhouse. That doesn't match up with the characterization in the Boston media of him as "cancer."

Wonder where that could have come from.

How the trade will be remembered will depend on how well Garciaparra plays and whether, perish the thought, he wins a World Series ring somewhere other than Boston. It won't be the curse of the Bambino, but it will feel like a close relative.

LINK From the ObeyPedro blog:

The best quote I've read so far concerning the Garciaparra trade has to be from Larry Mahnken:

Meanwhile the Red Sox pointed a shotgun at their face, pulled the trigger, and said, "I think we look better now." A lot of reports list the Red Sox as trade deadline winners, which is true only in the sense that everyone who participates in the Special Olympics is a winner.

I don't necessarily agree with him, especially now that Bellhorn is on the DL with a broken thumb, but it's funny nonetheless.