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Leak Spittle

The CIA goes too far. Who will pay? Plus: Paris illuminated. Unnatural gas shortages. Basra Brit replies. Plus much more.

11.8.05

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DEFEND YOURSELF
Re: Jed Babbin's The CIA Disinformation Campaign:

Mr. Babbin, in his usual excellent manner, has posted a wonderful analysis of the situation and synopsis of what needs to be done. His prescription has one perhaps fatal flaw, however. That flaw or obstacle is named George W. Bush. Bush consistently refuses to stand up for himself, his administration, or his appointees when faced with critics on the left and center/left of the political spectrum.

Bush kept George Tenet in place at CIA when he came into office. That was a crucial mistake. Then Bush continued to defend Tenant when conservatives and Republicans aired the various missteps of the CIA under Tenet's watch. Then, when Tenant does go, Bush awards him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Bush appoints Negroponte to be the new national intelligence Czar. That new fiefdom is being populated at the highest levels with dedicated critics of the President, the new reforming CIA, the President's foreign policy, etc. In addition, Porter Goss is no longer responsible for the President's daily intel briefing, Negroponte's shop is.

Bush refuses to issue the orders to the right people to clean up this Wilson/Plame mess. Bush refuses to issue the orders to the right people to clean up the mess that is the Able Danger/911 affair and to protect the officers being thrown overboard to affect the cover-up. Bush refused to issue the orders to prosecute to the fullest Sandy Berger for his attempt to steal and destroy classified government documents.

If Bush will not stand up for himself, it is difficult to get others to go out on a limb to protect Bush and his administration. It starts at the top. But hey, Bush is too busy trying to set a new record for aggravating as many on the conservative side of the spectrum as possible. After all the Minutemen are vigilantes, Harriet Miers critics are sexist and elitist, and he doesn't like anyone that criticizes Alberto Gonzales.
-- Ken Shreve
New Hampshire

The press's emotional complaint that the cover of a "CIA operative" was blown is laughable, given the eagerness with which they compromise ongoing operations.

Linked here are two pieces from the NY Times. The first is the one that reveals the details of Aero Contractors, Ltd., the air transport service used by the CIA. It is titled "C.I.A. Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights," May 31, 2005.

The second is an article by the Public Editor responding to the angry complaints from readers. It contains passages from the letters as well as responses from the writers. It is titled "The Thinking Behind a Close Look at a C.I.A. Operation," June 19, 2005.

The writers and the Public Editor said that the CIA had plenty of time to object to the story before it was published. I think that the Agency was confronted with the probability that the Times would not only print the story but also say that the CIA tried to cover it up. Therefore they neither granted nor denied their approval. The safety of the personnel at this air service company has been put in jeopardy.

It reminds me of an article in the L.A. Times by Paul Watson titled Silent Men Speak to a U.S. Presence in Afghanistan, dated November 5, 2001. We were alerted to it on Hugh Hewitt's show, and readers raised the roof. The Times' response was lame. The foreign editor, Simon Li put the word 'enemy' in scare quotes when referring to the Taliban. This was at a time when the outcome was in doubt. Abdul Haq had just been hanged, as I recall. The story mentioned the tail number of an aircraft and serial numbers of munitions offloaded from the plane, both of which could have compromised the security of that and future operations. The story is no longer available at the L.A. Times website.

The press doesn't care about security. The press wants this administration to fail.
-- Bill West
Los Angeles, California

Let's pray Jed Babbin's plea for a Senate investigation into the Wilson/Plame scandal bears fruit. And let's stop pussy-footing: Aren't we talking about treason?
-- Sarsfield Matthews
Bellport, New York

IS PARIS BURNING?
Re: Christopher Orlet's From Watts to Paris:

I noticed that the Europe's scrutiny of Iran's nuclear program has stopped since the rioting. Could it be that Iran is coordinating the riots?
-- David Govett
Davis, California

We are forbidden in this politically correct milieu of ours from drawing irresponsibly superficial cultural parallels. The Islamic fundamentalists who are today torching cars in the suburbs of France supposedly have no connection, ideological or otherwise, to the Islamic fundamentalists killing Jews in Palestine, funding al Qaeda in Afghanistan, slaughtering school children in Chechnya, or blowing up cars in Iraq. But one recurring theme does seem to emerge doesn't it?

Yet by blindly adhering to the faulty premise of the brotherhood of all nations Mr. Chirac failed to learn a valuable lesson from his own country's history of Arab-European relations, which is that the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns upon a fundamentally foreign culture has seldom been known to override the native religious fervor of the individuals who compose it. And therein lies his problem, which is by extension France's problem, and hardly a problem to be fixed by simply lifting the ban on the wearing of Muslim head scarves in French schools.
-- Miguel A. Guanipa
Whitinsville, Massachusetts

Although Orlet's article was mildly informative, he got the first paragraph totally wrong. These riots are about Islamic militancy. One tactic that is used with astonishing success is burning a car, calling the fire department, then having the cite pelt the firemen with stones, shoot at them, etc.

The firemen call the police in to cover them so that they can put out the fire. Then the cite takes to the streets saying that the police are brutal, etc. The result is that the police and the fire departments no longer venture into those places. Sharia law is then put into practice. One time the police chased a car thief into a cite, the Muslim teen drove into the water and died because of it. The cite took to the streets, the media followed, the police were castigated publicly for brutality, and so it goes. No more police in that cite, Sharia law instituted by the elders of Islam. I could go on and on. Dr. Daniel Pipes is the one to listen to if you want to understand what is happening in Europe.

What I found most disturbing about Orlet's article was how he can say that most Americans hate the French. I hope this not true, and I'm surprised how casually he writes those words. Would he say the same thing about Canadians, who are on the same page as Chirac on many issues? I don't think so. George Neumayr would have been a better choice to give insight into what is happening in Paris. He always surprises me by his uncanny reading of the French mind and never falls into cliches or cheap shots.

I pray that even Chirac is able to bring calm back to France, a country that I've lived in and still have strong ties to. She is very sick, but she is worth saving, as is the rest of Europe.
-- Unsigned

Christopher Orlet replies:
"Unsigned" must reside in Berkeley or Greenwich Village for him to believe that most Americans do not despise the French. I don't say it to be flippant; I say it because it is fact. And trust me, Americans have every right to feel that way (perhaps another article). A recent French TNS-Sofres survey published in Le Monde showed that only 35 percent of Americans like the French (and I'll bet those were Canadian tourists), a drop from 50 percent in 2002. Believe me, it goes both ways. As for the riots being about Islamic militancy, the riotous teenagers are nihilistic, drug dealers and hip hop gangstas, not fundamentalist Muslims. Though that could change.

CONSTITUTIONALLY EXHAUSTED
Re: John Haskins' No More Striking Down Constitutions:

John Haskins is right. He has hit the nail on the head, so to speak, and I stand corrected myself, since I'm one of those conservatives he has spoken about. Good points but like everything else, what he has said requires both the President and the Congress to act within their legal responsibilities. During the debate about the Baker ruling (homosexual "marriage") which led to the Civil Union law, I asked a state senator why we were even debating an illegal ruling. His answer was right to the point. He said it was all collusion on the part of the judiciary, the administration, and the legislature. They wanted to impose gay rights but it was politically risky, so in conjunction with the court, they set up this case. The court would rule, the legislature would throw up their hands and say we're bound by law now, and the Governor, after hemming and hawing would sign the Act. That is what is happening in Washington also. This is called collusion and is just as illegal an act as looking toward European Law for American precedent. Now, all of this is impeachable but who's going to do it? The Courts will not convict nor will Congress bring charges, nor will the administration be concerned over it. Like the state senator said, when all the parties are in cahoots, who's going to convict any of them? So that brings us back to first base. While Mr. Haskins has spoken truth, the reality of the situation requires us to continue in the vein we are in now. The only recourse we actually have is to elect strict constitutionalists to Congress and the Presidency. I figure the odds for that are about the same for winning Powerball, or getting struck by lightening.
-- Pete Chagnon

All that you have said is great, but how do we go about impeaching some of these "judges." What is the first step? Who do we have to write to? I am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.
-- Elaine Kyle

Hooray for John Haskins!!!
-- Bob Jentges
North Mankato, Minnesota

GRUMPY, OR GREAT?
Re: Jed Babbin's Keep the GOGs in Charge:

Thank goodness for GOGs running the country. What would we do without them? I shudder to think.
-- Jean Sherrill
Huntingdon, Tennessee

May God bless the grumpy old guys, folks. Were it not for them, New York, Boston and many other cities in America would be burning the same way as in Paris this very night. And may God bless President Bush for having the guts and stamina to take on the terrorists and not listen to the French and Germans and lefty democratic senators.

Mr. President, America does not deserve you. You have stood your ground like a man while the world in unison, including those left wing hysterical democrats here in America attacked your every move. You are rock solid, sir, and history will record you as such.

France is a living, breathing example as to why this country cannot place its national defense in the hands of left wing peace nut radical socialist Democrats (a la, Senators Teddy, Harry, Dick, Patrick, Hillary, John of Jane fame, et al).
-- Jim L.
East Sandwich, Massachusetts

Superbly written article.
-- Charles Culp
Baytown, Texas

Democrats obsessed with abortion and the War in Iraq! Conservatives are only mildly interested in either topic, right?
-- Michael Roush

UNDER CONSIDERATION
Re: The Prowler's A Seditious Leak:

"Weigh this leak against the one Democrats are all hopped up about and there is no comparison," says a Republican staffer for a Senator considering making a formal request for the investigation."

There's the Senate Republican's problem right there: "considering." What's to "consider"?

Whether to keep up their traditional role as punch bag for Democrats, or to do something that actually thumps Democrats right on the nose, four times as hard?

And why doesn't President Bush immediately, as in TODAY, appoint a special prosecutor to unmask those who deliberately outed a covert CIA operation?

You have to wonder whether anyone in the Bush administration has the vaguest idea about playing hardball politics.
-- Dave Smith
London, England

QUARTER MORTAR
Re: William Tucker's Let's Have an Energy Crisis!:

William Tucker missed the "primary" reason oil prices quadrupled in the early- to mid-'70s. The oil companies were in the delivery chain, and I am not sure if they had (overseas) divisions of their corporation that had to sell the product to corporate (stateside) in order for those profits to be realized, but the driving factor to all of this market distortion was the turmoil that Richard Nixon caused when he set the U.S. currency adrift by separating it from the gold standard (Bretton Woods Agreement). As a result of this detachment, our currency instantly became worth 25% what it was worth under the gold standard. When the Middle Eastern oil suppliers got paid with U.S. dollars that were worth 25% of the previous value, they quadrupled the price of the oil. This was a proper market reaction. The problem wasn't that they raised their prices, but that we had a massive supply of liquidity in our economy and then let the value of the dollar seek equilibrium. That surely begs other questions but I am only addressing this one issue.
-- Michael Geer
Ladera Ranch, California

Way back some 40 years ago I worked for a company that was part of a consortium to design and build a gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope, across Canada and tie into the U.S. system in Minnesota. Currently the gas pumped up along with the crude is reinjected into the ground. Of course the environmentalists objected and the gutless congressmen afraid of losing votes and being smeared by the media allowed the project to wither and die. Now the nation faces a natural gas shortage while millions of cubic feet of gas are unavailable.
-- Thomas Bullock
West Covina, California

If the politicians are so worried about profits, why don't they cut the tax we pay to the government for each gallon of gasoline we buy? Let them cut their profits instead of that belonging to the companies making the gas.
-- Elaine Kyle
Cut & Shoot, Texas

Once again, a soulmate at The American Spectator is the voice of wisdom in a nation of well-intentioned people who think that just because something should be reality, then it will be reality.

In the real world of shortages, not all energy sources are clean and convenient like natural gas. And natural gas is not available in an unlimited supply. Instead of using precious resources and brainpower trying to send a manned space flight to Mars, we should work on something of a more pressing practical need. We must determine how to create electricity in a clean manner using cheap and abundant fuels: coal, used tires, used motor oil, household garbage, and clean commercial waste, such as scrap lumber. High tech, low-polluting burning of "trash" will stop the consumption of valuable country real estate to be used for land fills. The burning of home heating oil should be replaced with electric heat generated from the above listed sources. Home heating oil should be converted to highway use. Recycling is not manpower efficient and is only a short term solution: non-recyclable trash still accumulates in land fills. Natural gas should be reserved for industries that desperately need it and for point source uses, where its clean burning characteristics are critical, like the kitchens in our homes.

We need a national energy policy, not wishful thinking.
-- SPC Snuffy Smith
Operation Iraqi Freedom

BAD FOR BUSINESS
Re: Pia de Solenni's The Silent Scream:

"Perhaps the day will dawn when Planned Parenthood provides the whole truth."

If Planned Parenthood ever provided the whole truth, they would be out of business.
-- GP
Arizona

WOOF, HISS
Re: Jed Babbin's White House Halloween:

"If the president speaks against them, by name -- clearly and directly to the
American people -- he can not only re-establish support for the war, he can lay the groundwork for another conservative to take up the fight in 2008."

Asking President Bush to speak clearly and directly is like asking a dog to meow or a cat to bark. It is not possible.
-- Robert N Fenili
Fairfax, Virginia

LAW-DE-DA
Re: George Neumayr's The Law of Lawlessness

Nice piece by Mr. Neumayr on the Senate's selective preferences. The left wants a one-way ratchet -- stare decisis, but only when they've gotten their way. Otherwise, they call shamelessly for "everto decisis."
-- Robert Arvanitis
Westport, Connecticut

OUR MICHAEL
Re: Michael Tomlinson's letter (under "Our Ron"> in Reader Mail's Solid Silver in response to Paul Beston's Reagan's Silver glow:

TAS needs to offer its reader Michael Tomlinson a blog of his own. Mr. Tomlinson's side by side comparison of the Reagan/Bush presidencies was precise and full of historical realities. Despite my current concern with the timidity of the Bush White House, the Bush agenda stands up quite well to that of President Reagan's great legacy. Mr. Tomlinson is quite right. We conservatives, in keeping the Reagan legacy alive, must not fall prey to murky historical revisionism because of any perceived anger we may have with the current foibles of the Bush agenda.
-- A. DiPentima

NO HELP FOR BASRA BRITS
Re: Patrick Devenny & Robert McLean's The Battle for Basra:

The article by Patrick Devenny (1 Nov 2005) is one of the most one-sided articles I have ever seen, and so far from the truth. Can you remind Devenny that we the British are pleased to be helping out in Iraq, however his article if given the right airing would help those who want our troops home? Tell him to get his arse into Basra and see first hand what the Brits are about and how they perform in an urban environment; you can also tell him half the British dead were killed by the American forces, but you do not hear us complaining. We do not need articles like this, we are meant to be in a military partnership in Iraq and elsewhere.
-- Maj. Mike Owsley, MBE

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