The Spectacle Blog

Kappes Back?

By on 5.9.06 | 8:21AM

It appears, as Prowler said yesterday, that Stephen Kappes, former CIA deputy director of operations, may return to Langley as deputy director if Gen. Mike Hayden is confirmed as DCI. This will be an (expletive deleted) disaster.

Let us remember that Kappes is not just a symbol of CIA failure, he's been an increasingly important party to it. Kappes was with the CIA from 1981 to 2004. He rose through the CIA bureaucracy during the era of its greatest failures. On his watch, the CIA failed to predict the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the downfall of the Soviet Union, the terrorist attacks beginning in 1986 and up through 9-11. And while he was in very important positions - though we know not his involvement - the CIA created the Wilson/Plame sham scandal and leaked incessantly in the manner political to damage the president and thwart his policy. Kappes is a dedicated part of of the failed CIA bureaucracy that will resume prominence and control under Hayden.

Moussaoui’s Mess

By on 5.8.06 | 8:50PM

Not sure that Zacarias Moussaoui has actually seen where he will be staying, but we imagine that if he has, that was probably was drove him to think twice about his admissions.

We would imagine that life behind a SuperMax prison's steel doors is far less appealing than the comparative comfort of, say, San Quentin or even Guantanamo Bay.

Moussaoui’s Emily Litella Moment

By on 5.8.06 | 6:17PM

CIA Rumblings

By on 5.8.06 | 6:04PM

We're hearing what others are hearing: that almost certainly if Gen. Michael Hayden survives confirmation that his deputy will be former CIA deputy director Stephen Kappes.

Kappes resigned rather than deal with the Porter Goss's deputies, particularly Dusty Foggo, who resigned earlier today.

If not Kappes, then the White House will turn to other longstanding CIA hands who have left recently. You get the picture. Why is Kappes high on the list? His ties to the human intelligence networks the CIA had been building up over the past four years.

BTW: This Foggo story will not be going away any time soon, but Democrats should be very careful where they tread. This one may be the story that turns the public opinion tide on them.

Bubble-vision

By on 5.8.06 | 4:32PM

Reader Fa'ul bin Qatiq, a.k.a. Paul Kotik, writes that our TV coverage is a little thin:

After all that chatter about the President living in a bubble, I'm surprised TAS is missing the opportunity to, uh, comment upon an actual man living in a bubble. He's been in a  transparent bubble filled with water for the last week, on the public plaza at Lincoln/> Center/>/>, NYC. The lunatic magician David Blaine. UBL's sister and numerous A-List Hollywood celebs have come to worship. Seems the Left admires some people who live in bubbles. It's a huge media event -- buzz is it killed Tom Cruise's opening of MI  III here in Manhattan/>/>.

At Last

By on 5.8.06 | 4:06PM

Another bird-flu-pandemic skeptic besides our own brilliant Tom Bethell. (Okay, I'm sure there are a few more out there, but they are rare.)

Catholic Censorship Envy?

By on 5.8.06 | 3:54PM

Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Ilya Somin, George Mason law prof, claims that Catholic cardinals have censorship envy over the Da Vinci Code:

As senior Conspirator Eugene Volokh has warned, one of the dangers of censoring "offensive" speech is "censorship envy." If one group is given the power to suppress speech offensive to it, others are likely to press harder to get the same privilege for themselves. As Eugene points out in the post linked above, many of the European Muslims who sought to suppress the Mohammed cartoons were partly motivated by the fact that many European countries ban Holocaust denial and other anti-Semitic speech.

Fund On Target, GOP Out?

By on 5.8.06 | 2:49PM

John Fund's column this morning at OpinionJournal is right on target: Republicans are at serious risk right now of losing their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, but they may, just perhaps, be saved by the obnoxiousness of the Democrats who would replace them. The American people may have tired of Republican rule in Congress, but that doesn't mean they are eager for rule by the Democrats.

The following paragraph from John, repeating a widely reported story, sets the scene for why the Democrats may yet bail out the GOP:

Babbin on Kudlow

By on 5.8.06 | 12:13PM

Our very own Jed Babbin will be on Kudlow and Company on CNBC at approximately 5:30 p.m. today to discuss the General Hayden appointment.

Hayden

By on 5.8.06 | 12:05PM

The Hayden nomination is interesting on a couple of different levels.

First, assuming that Negroponte and the President firmly believe that the CIA should be a "provider of services" to the broader intelligence community, then a Negroponte deputy should do a good job of keeping the CIA blowhards in career middle management in check.

Second, folks seem to forget that if anyone understands CIA culture its new chief of staff Josh Bolten, whose father was a career CIA employee. No doubt Bolten understands what is happening out in Langley better than most in this White House.

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