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Tuesday March 30, 2004

I've been really busy on a big project at work (and home) and haven't had time to blog recently, so I have a lot of stuff bottled up about this whole Richard Clarke and 9/11 Commission story. So please allow me to vent...

The Iraqi's had "Baghdad Bob" the infamous information minister and we have "D.C. Dick". They both have equal credibility (infinitessimal), but the differences in which these two are regarded by the U.S. media is instructive. B.B. was generally regarded as a buffoon as his pronouncements were clearly shown to be at odds with reality. However, D.C. Dick is somehow regarded as serious, even though his pronouncements have been shown to be at odds with his pronouncements.

Today, on NPR, while they were castigating Condoleeza Rice for not appearing before the Commission in open session (note: open session), they stressed that testimony from Richard Clarke was at odds with testimony from the Bush Administration. They didn't even bother to mention that Clarke's testimony was also at odds with what Clarke has said in the past. No bother. He's saying what they want to hear, so inconsistencies don't count. Nevertheless, Ms. Rice has appeared before the Commission--in closed door sessions, as is appropriate. Nevertheless, this appeared on the NPR website:

The controversy continues around the Sept. 11 hearings on Capitol Hill. From Richard Clarke's book release and testimony, the Administration's efforts to discredit him and his work, to Condoleezza Rice's decision not to testify publicly. It's Clarke versus Rice in the court of public opinion.

They pretend that Clarke is actually credible when, in fact, he's a proven liar. Proven with his own words.

But look at Clarke's appearance. Forget about the bull$#@ fallacious testimony. Look at the intent. The pandering. The grandstanding. The intent of the Commission is should be to discern where the problems were and find out what we can do in the future to increase the chances that we will not be subject to terrorist attacks. (Unlike some Presidential Wannabees, we cannot absolutely guarantee that attacks will not occur.) The Commission is not there to be some sort of catharsis for the victims families, yet, D.C. Dick makes a big deal of apologizing to the victims families. Of course, all the media play up Clarke commiserating with the victims families and the VF's fawning all over him. This is not the intent of the hearings, but never mind, it makes good TV.

The Tallahassee Democrat got it about right on what the intent of the hearings should be:

The principle is that when government efforts to protect public safety are proved to be imperfect, we should be able to identify measures that could have and - this is not the same thing - should have been taken.

It is important to not the difference between "could have" and "should have". This being an election year, and the current Administration running largely on the War on Terror and security issues, the Democrats are salivating at any prospect that the Bush Administration didn't do everything it "could have" done. While many, if not all, of the "could have dones" would have been met with fierce opposition. What would the left (and, oh yeah, the "International Community" of with they're so fond) have said if we invaded Afghanistan in March of 2001. On one hand, many are complaining of the U.S. policy of preemption (in Iraq and, to a lesser extent in Afghanistan), while on the other hand implying that, perhaps we haven't been preemptive enough.

One last note, now the spin coming from the Democrats (and, of course, the media) is that the Administration has begun the Clarke onslaught by fiercely attacking his character. This loyal public servant who has worked tirelessly over the years making America a safer place is now being castigated (did I use that word twice in this post? Where are my editors) by Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Haliburton, Mel Gibson, Colonel Sanders and the VRWC. So what, exactly, are they doing? Are they digging up old DWI records? No. Are they providing pictures of Clarke engaging in "Monkey Business"? No. Are they claiming Clarke was AWOL? No. They are simply using Clarke's own words. If that's not fair play, then what is?

Check out Bob "Screech" Scheer's recent offering from the Los Angeles Fishwrap, ominously titled, "Bush puts a Cancer on the Presidency"

The dark side of the current White House was on full display last week when top officials of the Bush administration took to the airwaves to destroy the credibility of a man who had honorably served presidents Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes.

The character assassination of Richard Clarke, the former White House anti-terrorism chief, was far more worrisome than Nixon's smears of Dean because it concerned not petty crime in pursuit of partisan political ambition but rather the attempt to deceive the nation and the world as to the causes of the 9/11 assault upon our national security and to justify an unnecessary war in Iraq.

Again, when you can "destroy the credibility of a man" simply by using the man's own words, his credibility must not be very durable

Schreech's next target:

First, Bush's aides suggested that Clarke had invented the meeting in which Clarke said the president pressured him to find a link between the 9/11 attack and Iraq, ignoring Clarke's insistence that intelligence agencies had concluded that no such link existed. But on Sunday, national security advisor Condoleezza Rice was forced to admit that Bush had pressed Clarke on an Iraq connection. This backed up earlier assertions by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill as to Bush's obsession with Iraq from the very first days of his administration at the expense of focusing on Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

I love that, forced to admit. Well, I've been told not to say this, but since I'm on TV and all....

Ok, so you've just been victim to the largest terrorist attack in history on American soil. Who done it? Could it be a well-known sponsor of terrorism who has been your adversary for more than a decade? Don't know. Would it be prudent to check it out? Maybe. Wouldn't you press your counterterrorism guru to see if there's a link? Haven't we been admonished to "connect the dots"?

Yes, I did subscribe to the La La Times a while back, but ain't it fun to rip read "The Screech".

Thank you for letting me vent. That one's for you Jim. We love you and we'll miss you.

CNN has finally figured it out for all of us. I'm so glad that we have them to impart knowledge to the World Community. CNN's Cairo Bureau Chief, Ben Wedeman, is the one to thank for explaining the reason why Palestinian kids are willing to blow themselves up to kill Israelis:

Wedeman accomplished this by interviewing only one "expert" on the subject, Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad Sarraj, who has made a specialty of claiming that Palestinian suicide bombers had been "traumatized" by Israeli occupation. According to Sarraj, who never mentions Palestinian hate indoctrination, the primary reason that children are drawn into suicide bombings is that:
"... some of the children are so defiant of their own family because the father figure as a symbol of power, has been destroyed over the last few years, because he could not protect his children."

This is so clearly false as to be absurd. Absurd that anyone would actually believe it. Absurd that CNN would air it. Completely lacking any merit whatsoever. debunks it quite easily:

This, of course, makes it seem that Palestinian parents oppose suicide bombings, and that the bombers defy their parents. But the opposite is often true. For example, the mother of one teenage terrorist was recorded on film personally urging her son to "wage Jihad and come back only as a martyr." (MEMRI, Special Dispatch No. 673, Mar. 4, 2004)

And, as the The New York Times reported in covering the Abdo story, this is not an unusual sentiment: "Many Palestinian parents have praised their sons and daughters for carrying out suicide attacks, hailing them as heroes and martyrs." ( Mar. 25, 2004)

In addition, Sarraj and CNN also ignore the fact that the prime "father figure" in Palestinian society, Yasir Arafat, extols "shahids," and that the Palestinian media and schools that he directly controls places such terrorists on a pedestal, as the ones "closest to Allah." In an interview on Palestinian television, for example, Arafat glorified child martyrs:
... this child who is grasping the stone, facing the tank, is it not the greatest message to the world when that hero becomes a shahid? We are proud of them ... (PATV, Jan. 15, 2002 cited in Ask for Death, Palestinian Media Watch.)

Rather than examining why and how the Palestinian Authority has succeeded in brainwashing parents and kids to hate Jews and Israelis, and to revel in a cult of death, CNN instead fed its viewers Palestinian propaganda, such as Carol Lin's claim that "There is a backlash going on now ... the family of this ... boy are coming out and telling the terrorists to let our children alone."

Well, not quite. The boy's mother actually said that he was slightly too young; had those who sent him just waited a few years, everything would have been OK:
Mrs. Abdo, in a view echoed by many others, made clear that she opposed only those suicide attacks carried out by under age bombers. "Maybe if he is 20, then perhaps I could understand," she said of her own son. "At that age, they know what they are doing, they are fighting for their homeland." (New York Times, Mar. 26, 2004)