John: Excellent point about renditions, but I'm not sure it will increase them all that much. With the WaPo's revelations about the secret facilities these guys have been flown around to, there are fewer of them available to us, and fewer allies willing to take bad guys. As to waterboarding, there's a dirty little secret: it works. Former al-Q #3 Khalid Sheik Mohammed was a very hard case for the first days he was in captivity. He was, I've heard, waterboarded by experts. Since that time he's been giving up a lot of solid information.
The Spectacle Blog
"My personal opinion is it was a shameful act for someone to disclose this very important program in a time of war." President Bush said that this morning in discussing last week's NYT plant about the NSA monitoring al Qaeda operatives and al Qaeda sympathizers by way of Presidential order. But he might as well have been speaking about any number of "strategic" leaks by Senate, CIA and other operatives interested in making political hay and embarrassing the United States.
Over the weekend, the media noted that Sen. Harry Reid had been strangely silent about the latest revelations, and we're hearing there was good reason for this: he was attempting to find out if the leak had come from within offices that he had oversight of control over. "We got the impression that he wanted to jump onto this things early on Friday, but he held us all back from talking. We were hearing that he wanted to make sure there wasn't going to be any blowback on him," says a Senate Democratic leadership aide.
Maybe someone at the Grey Lady ought to start reading their NewsMax -- Clinton had been "misusing" intelligence far more than Bush did, and he did not have the excuse of 9-11. Here's a snippet:
...Still, the Times repeatedly insisted on Friday that NSA surveillance under Bush had been unprecedented, at one point citing anonymously an alleged former national security official who claimed: "This is really a sea change. It's almost a mainstay of this country that the NSA only does foreign searches."
Today's Telegraph has a superb editorial on Tony Blair's sellout of the British rebate to the EU and France. Without any gains against the French agricultural subsidy, Blair gave up most of the Thatcher-negotiated rebate that now amounts to about 10 billion pounds annually. As the Telegraph points out, Blair's internationalism has never been based on Britain's interests. Here's the money quote:
"Make no mistake: the sums of money involved are immense - £7 billion, the amount Mr Blair has handed away, is roughly the entire police budget for England and Wales. At the last election, Mr Blair claimed Tory plans for a £4 billion tax reduction would mean savage cuts in public services. Never again will he be able to level such an accusation...From now on, every time they are asked where they would find the money for tax cuts, the Tories can reasonably reply: from Brussels."
Peter: Thanks for the kind words. If anyone missed the segment, they can see it here. The media - again leading the Dems by the nose - wants the NSA intelligence program to blow the good news from Iraq off the front pages, which it has done. The president, in his speech tonight, will try to refocus on the astonishing accomplishment of the Iraqi people. But nothing will divert the media from this story.
The Sunday morning talk shows later today will be full of it. The NSA story, I mean.