Friday, June 30, 2006

Eight Cows On The Altar

1 Now it came about after these things, that (A) God tested Abraham, and said to him, "(B) Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

2 He said, "Take now (C) your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of (D) Moriah, and offer him there as a (E) burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."

3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.

4 On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.

5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you."

6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and (F) laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.

7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the (G) lamb for the burnt offering?"

8 Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.

9 Then they came to (H) the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built (I) the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and (J) laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

10 Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But (K) the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."

12 He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now (L) I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld (M) your son, your only son, from Me."

-Genesis 22:1-12

Supreme Coup d'etat

Before I begin a frantic, forlorn attempt to catch up in the SCOTUS' Hamden ruling, I can't help but make an offbeat observation I haven't seen made anyplace else: How did a devout Muslim end up with the name HAMden? Isn't that like an Amish woman being named "Nudeden"?

Never mind….

RCP had the first, and most comprehensive yet summarized, roundup on the lowlights of this ruling. Basically it amounts to the following:

***The SCOTUS ruled 5-3 (Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer in favor, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito in dissent, Roberts recused because he ruled on the case while still on the D.C. Circuit) that the Bush Administration does not have the authority to try illegal combatants via military tribunals;

***The majority unilaterally decided out of the thin Olympian ether that the Geneva Convention applies to al Qaeda;

***They also reckoned, by Allah knows what reasoning, that their ruling doesn't apply to the currently held prisoners at Gitmo.

Since everybody and their brother have had at this decision, that just means that I need to jump on the pile as well. And if you ever saw me, you would realize what a harrowing declaration that is.

First, the President's authority. By the SCOTUS' own precedent, to say nothing of the Constitution itself under Article II, the Executive already has the authority to institute military tribunals for captured terrorists as part of his enumerated powers as Commander-in-Chief, and this High Court simply ignored it:

To begin with, there was a unanimous Court decision, In Re Quirin in 1942, which upheld the military trials, convictions and in two cases executions, of eight German saboteurs who sneaked into the US from German submarines with plans and preparation to bomb various facilities... The majority Opinion by Justice Stevens, joined by Justices Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, avoids that prior decision.

The majority magnanimously tossed off that the President was entirely free to go to Congress and have them give him this power that he already possesses under the Constitution. Which brings up another thing that the oligarchist wing overlooked - Congress already addressed that:

In last December’s Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), Congress — acting on its constitutional prerogative — rescinded the unprecedented jurisdiction that the Supreme Court, in the 2004 Rasul case, had tried to claim over alien enemy combatants captured in wartime and held outside the U.S. (that is, outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts). This Court, however, acknowledges no limits on its powers — whether imposed by Congress or by the English language, which it had to torture in order to construe the DTA’s unambiguous limitation of its jurisdiction as an invitation to meddle.

And meddle it did. It rewrote legislation that clearly authorized the military commissions for captured terrorists that President Bush ordered in late 2001.

It did this in the usual fashion of shyster justice - word-parsing, between-lines-reading, and just plain making bleep up that would have made Eddie Haskell proud:

For Justice Stevens, the law didn’t really mean what it said because Congress did not, in this section of the act, go out of its way to say that it applied to cases already pending, and interpreting the statute as plainly written would, in his view, raise serious constitutional concerns. The lawlessness of the Court’s action is manifest.

El Rushbo elaborates:

"On grounds of statutory construction, the majority of the Supreme Court yesterday decided that Congress didn't mean what it said in its 2005 law, and they refused to follow the withdrawal of jurisdiction and denied the government's motion to dismiss." Now, you could say that they just threw this law out. Technically that's not what happened. They just refused to give it retroactive effect, which is the same thing as throwing it out because all of these military commissions were started before the act was passed. It would be funny if it weren't so outrageous here. If you go to page seven and eight of the opinion from Justice Thomas, his dissent, you will find that he points out that the majority claims that the war started for legal purposes when the congressional act, the AUMF, was enacted on September 17th of 2001.

Meaning: that according to the majority, Kennedy and Souter, Stephens, Ginsburg, and Breyer, the 9/11 attacks are not part of the war on terror because the war on terror didn't start, for these justices, until September 17th of 2001. [emphasis added]

So let's stop for a minute to take stock. The President of the United States, under his Article II powers as Commander-in-Chief, which the SCOTUS of 1942 precedentally affirmed, established military tribunals to try captured jihadists. The SCOTUS of 2004 tried to usurp that power away from the President, and in response the Congress of 2005 statutorily reiterated it and, under its own powers under Article III, Section II, specifically and unambiguously told the SCOTUS and all other federal courts other than the D.C. Circuit to kindly butt out. And now the SCOTUS of 2006 in essence has replied, "Bleep you, we're usurping that power anyway, and you can't stop us."

Senate Republicans have already set the legislative machinery in motion to reiterate the President's Article II powers for a third time. But it's difficult for me not to wonder what the point of doing so is when our robed overlords don't feel bound by the limitations the Constitution places upon them. The imperious authoritarianism of the Hamden decision in flipping the bird to both the President AND Congress tells me that they're going to keep right on ignoring, re-writing, and otherwise running roughshod over the laws and portions of the Constitution that they don't like, even if it kills thousands more American civilians in the process.

It cannot be repeated enough: This ruling was not grounded in the law. It was grounded in the ideological extremist whims of five unelected, unaccountable, uncontrollable justices who "somehow [found] that the military commissions are unauthorized under federal law and unfair under international law."

Still, while outrageous, what we've covered so far is still par for the course, SOP, business as usual for the Imperial Judiciary. Which is its own commentary on how dangerously out of control the Judicial Branch has become. But what is truly despicable, utterly infuriating, is its re-writing of the Geneva Convention.

It has long been established under the GC that illegal combatants are not entitled to ANYTHING by the "detaining power," except perhaps summary execution.

First, we must distinguish between illegal combatants and prisoners of war:

Adopted on 12 August 1949 by the Diplomatic Conference for the Establishment of International Conventions for the Protection of Victims of War, held in Geneva from 21 April to 12 August, 1949. Entry into force 21 October 1950


Article 4

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfill the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

al Qaeda might conceivably be shoehorned into A.2.(a), but (b) through (d) simply do not apply. Thus, by definition captured terrorists DO NOT QUALIFY AS PRISONERS OF WAR and are not entitled to any Geneva Convention protections afforded POWs.

As Andy McCarthy predicted the day before the ruling, the lib majority got around that self-evident obstacle by distorting GC Common Article 3 into alternate parallel dimensions:

It is likely that such a theory will not rest on a claim that terrorists qualify as honorable prisoners of war under the conventions. It is too obvious that this is not the case. Rather, it would be premised on the theory that Common Article 3 applies. Article 3 (which is "common" because it applies to all of the Geneva Conventions) prohibits "the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples." (Emphasis added, and explained below.)

The President, properly, has indicated that Common Article 3 does not apply to our war with al Qaeda because it applies, as relevant here, only to an "armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties." POTUS reasons that our conflict is international because al Qaeda is an international terrorist organization and the war is not limited to Afghanistan. However, some claim the war is limited to Afghanistan (notwithstanding, for example, the Twin Towers used to stand in Manhattan, not Kabul), and that a conflict with al Qaeda cannot be "international" because al Qaeda is not a nation.

Nevertheless, even granting that the President is right, internationalist activists (law professors, UN and Euro-bureaucrats, and self-styled human rights organizations) argue that Common Article 3 applies anyway, despite the literal limitations on it in the Geneva Conventions themselves, because it has somehow transmogrified into binding "customary international law."

And we all know how fond the High Court's oligarchists are of citing, and applying, foreign and international law over the top of the American law and Constitution that they have taken an oath to uphold. That is precisely what they did in Hamden:

[T]he appeals court agreed with the Government that the [Geneva] Conventions do not apply because Hamdan was captured during the war with al Qaeda, which is not a Convention signa-tory, and that conflict is distinct from the war with signatory Afghanistan. The Court need not decide the merits of this argument [italics added] because there is at least one provision of the Geneva Conventions that applies here even if the relevant conflict is not between signatories.

Common Article 3, which appears in all four Conventions, provides that, in a "conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties [i.e., signatories], each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum," certain provisions protecting "[p]ersons . . . placed hors de combat by . . . detention," including a prohibition on "the passing of sentences . . . without previous judgment . . . by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees . . . recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples."

The D. C. Circuit ruled Common Article 3 inapplicable to Hamdan because the conflict with al Qaeda is international in scope and thus not a "conflict not of an international character."

That reasoning is erroneous. That the quoted phrase bears its literal meaning and is used here in contradistinction to a conflict between nations is demonstrated by Common Article 2, which limits its own application to any armed conflict between signatories and provides that signatories must abide by all terms of the Conventions even if another party to the conflict is a non-signatory, so long as the non-signatory "accepts and applies" those terms. Common Article 3, by contrast, affords some minimal protection, falling short of full protection under the Conventions, to
individuals associated with neither a signatory nor even a non-signatory who are involved in a conflict "in the territory of" a signatory. The latter kind of conflict does not involve a clash between nations (whether signatories or not).

While Common Article 3 does not define its "regularly constituted court" phrase, other sources define the words to mean an "ordinary military cour[t]" that is "established and organized in accordance with the laws and procedures already in force in a country." The regular military courts in our system are the courts-martial established by congressional statute. At a minimum, a military commission can be "regularly constituted" only if some practical need explains deviations from court-martial practice. No such need has been demonstrated here. [emphases added]
To the extent that the above excerpt from Justice Stevens' opinion isn't pure gibberish, what it distills down to is this:

[T]he Supreme Court [has] dictated that we now have a treaty with al Qaeda — which no President, no Senate, and no vote of the American people would ever [and has never] countenance(d).
To the prophet Andrew, the future implications are day-glo florescent:

[W]ho knows what combatant trials will look like?…It will be the courts, ultimately, which decide what is "a regularly constituted court," and what "judicial guarantees" are "indispensible" according to "civilized people."

Anyone want to bet against me that this won't come to mean criminal trials with virtually all the protections required to be given to U.S. citizens under the Constitution?

And that, in turn, will mean…:

[T]he Supreme Court has effectively negated the ability for us to detain terrorists. Instead, we will likely see more of them die, since the notion of having the servicemen who captured these prisoners forced to appear to testify to their "arrest" is not only ridiculous but would require us to retire combat units as a whole whenever their prisoners appear for trial.

As well as reveal military and intelligence secrets (those that the New York Times hasn't gotten around to exposing yet, anyway) as part of the "defendants'" discovery process. And put those uniformed "witnesses" and their families in greater jeopardy of terrorist retaliation. And, of course, with the focus of our armed forces more on eradicating enemy jihadis in lieu of capturing them, you can take to the bank that there will be more Hadithas, more smears of U.S. soldiers, further erosion of their morale, and an overall draining of national will to continue this struggle against an enemy that spares us no quarter, plays by no rules, and must be filling their caves with roaring laughter at the soft-headed, idiotic foolishness of the infidels who, to them, must look all the more ripe for the taking.

Mark Levin punctuated his cathartic rant thusly:

Today the Supreme Court's majority trashed the Geneva Conventions, trashed Supreme Court precedent, and trashed the Constitution. But it did succeed in expanding its own authority and the ability of the enemy to conduct its war against us.
I would just add that they have also created something that science said was impossible: a functioning time machine. Because they have taken us back to September 10th, 2001, whether we like it or not.

The Oligarchist Bill Of Rights

[posted by TC]

The Ten Original Amendments to the Constitution of the United States

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789

Ratified December 15, 1791

Amendment I 1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; [unless you are a Christian] or abridging the freedom of speech, [not withstanding McCain-Feingold] or of the press [to expose all the nation's national security secrets]; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances [especially if they are illegal aliens]

Amendment II 1791

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. [Unless your intention is to use them as needed in defense of that state... Weapons suitable for military use are generally prohibited or, at least, ownership is very much infringed unpon by forcing law abiding citizens to register their posessions while criminals flout these laws]

Amendment III 1791

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. [It amazes me that we've almost completely obeyed this Amendment.]

Amendment IV 1791

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not beviolated, [unless it's for the officer's safety, in which case he or she can lay hands on a citizen and examine their pocket's contents before they write a speeding ticket] and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. [Once upon a time it was the witness or informant who had to be credible, now it merely takes a police officer with a good story to go before a magestrate and get a warrant sworn]

Amendment V 1791-->-->

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, [We excised this section yesterday... Hooray for the SCOTUS, the UCMJ is now obsolete] or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put injeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; [Unless someone complains about a "domestic disturbance" in which case they can lose property and rights without anything more than a misdemeanour conviction] nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. [unless the local authorities are assured that some OTHER private citizen will devlop the property in such a manner as to increase the tax base.]

Amendment VI 1791

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to aspeedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. [Nothing in here about fifty appeals, the government paying for counsel or an awful lot of the stuff that accused criminals get... including having signed confessions tossed out.]

Amendment VII 1791

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. [But the juries are no longer told their responsiblity is also to try the law, finding for justice in the case of an unjust law... and some judges have jailed people who disturbed their courtroom by providing that information.]

Amendment VIII 1791

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. [Cruel and unusual having one definition during the Founders' time... but now consisting of air-conditioned quarters if the thermostat is set too high.... and other terrible conditions.]

Amendment IX 1791

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. [Unless a liberal justice decides that only the ones written down count!]

Amendment X 1791

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. [Just try enacting a law, with 80% of the state voting "aye" the people who know what's best for the rest of us will tie it up in federal court forever.]

When The Stupid Party Fails To Cooperate

Democrats are evidently becoming unable to contain their frustration at the Republican majority's belated unwillingness to commit "open borders" political suicide. As you might expect, their ire is overflowing into the usual race-baiting gutter.

DNC Chairman Howard Dean accused the GOP of "immigrant-bashing":

The head of the Democratic Party told the nation's oldest Hispanic rights group on Wednesday that Democrats will not use immigration to divide the country and win in the upcoming midterm elections.

"Immigrant bashing and scapegoating is wrong in order to win elections and we're not going to do it," Howard Dean said at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention in Milwaukee.

Of course, nobody is bashing "immigrants." Nobody is saying anything about immigrants - as long as they come here legally. It's the illegal variety that most Americans have a problem with, and the Republicans, being the majority, have to pay attention to that. As should the Dems, if they're actually interested in getting their power back.

And, of course, "immigration" is about the only thing Democrats haven't used to "divide the country." Remember "50/50 nation"? Remember Florida 2000? The past five and a half years of Bush Derangement Syndrome? Donks don't know how to do anything but divide. But let one of their own slide in with 43% of the popular vote [*ahem*] and suddenly America has "united" and "the era of gridlock is over".

But then, in a larger sense, America has always been "divided." If that were not so, why would there even be two national parties? The difference between past and present is that "back in the day" there were areas of common agreement, which is to say issues that lay outside the realm of partisan politics. What are now called "cultural issues" mainly, but also foreign policy to a large extent ("Politics stops at the water's edge."). Now politics is ubiquitous; everything is dragged into the political arena and flensed with a vitriolic ferocity that has rarely, if ever, been seen before in American history.

And ladies and gents, that trend was not initiated from the Right. Republicans as a breed wouldn't know how to "bash" or "divide" even if they had the inclination to do so. And even if they did they'd be way too cowed by the Extreme Media to dare try it. That's what makes the outspokeness of a Tom DeLay or a Tom Tancredo stand out so much.

The alternative possibility that Dean is practically begging the GOP to do just that on the premise that loudly affirming the loudly expressed desires of two-thirds of the electorate to control the borders first before any amnesty is even considered will harm their electoral chances in November. Never underestimate the power of liberal self-delusion.

Chucky Schumer is another case study in this area:

Democrats leading their party's midterm election effort argued on Thursday that any Republican attempt to use immigration as a central campaign issue would backfire.

They cited Republican plans to hold hearings on illegal immigration around the country this summer, rather than passing immigration legislation in Congress, as a sign of the GOP strategy to motivate conservative voters.

"Republicans want to use this like Willie Horton in 1988 and gay marriage in 2004," said Senator Charles Schumer, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "It's no secret they want to use immigration as a political cudgel."
Leaving aside the accuracy, much less the veracity, of Schumer's read of Republican strategic motivations, weren't Willie Horton in 1988 and sodomarriage in 2004 hugely winning issues for them? How is giving the people what they want on illegal immigration possibly going to "backfire"? Or is this reverse psychology again?

What's that old saying? "Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we endeavor to deceive." Small wonder, then, that the ensnarees have ultimately proven to be the Democrats themselves. Far be it from their opponents to chop them out.

How Kids Are Born Today

A little boy goes to his father and asks "Daddy, how was I born?" The father answers: "Well son, I guess one day you will need to find out anyway!"

Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later a little Pop-Up appeared that said....

[Oh, you're kidding. This can't be serious...You really want me to say this? C'mon, this is the lamest...I can't say this. I won't say this. It's dumb. Forget it, I'm....What? If I don't, I'll be taking all these cans, boxing 'em and shipping 'em? You'll demote me to the f'ing warehouse? You can' can? It says so in my contract? In the fine print? But I never read anything that said...Trust you, it's there? How can I trust you if you want me to utter embarrassingly unfunny punchlines like...I can take it up with the legal department or the clerk at the unempoyment line? Any questions?, I guess not. *AHEM*]

....You've got male.

[Whaddaya mean you want another take? I couldn't help it; I always grit my teeth when you make me spew trite, cutsey-pie drivel like that....]

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Warnings In The Word

1 A (A) wise son accepts his father's discipline, but a (B) scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

2 From the fruit of a man's mouth he (C) enjoys good, but the desire of the treacherous is (D) violence.

3 The one who (E) guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who (F) opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the soul of the diligent is made fat.

5 A righteous man (G) hates falsehood, but a wicked man (H) acts disgustingly and shamefully.

6 Righteousness (I) guards the one whose way is blameless, but wickedness subverts the sinner.
7 There is one who (J) pretends to be rich, but has nothing; another pretends to be (K) poor, but has great wealth.

8 The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, but the poor hears no rebuke.

9 The (L) light of the righteous [a] rejoices, but the (M) lamp of the wicked goes out.

10 Through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel.

11 Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

13 The one who (N) despises the word will be in debt to it, but the one who fears the commandment will be (O) rewarded.

14 The teaching of the wise is a (P) fountain of life, to turn aside from the (Q) snares of death.

-Proverbs 13:1-14

Perpetual Aquarias

Take a look at this Newsmax lede. It. Is. Priceless:

Al Gore charges that President George Bush has "broken the law” and implies that Congress should have initiated impeachment proceedings against Bush for unspecified crimes. [emphasis added]

Such as what? Being a Republican? Winning two elections? Breathing? In al Donka's world, they're all illegal.

But there's more!

"In my view, a president who breaks the law poses a threat to the very foundation of our democracy," Gore said, noting the seriousness of his allegation.

Also note he said this with a straight face, if also with a not-quite entirely repressed eye tick.

"As Americans with a stake in the future of our country, we must act quickly and decisively. We have less than five months to win the six seats we need to control the Senate – and pull our country back from the brink of a constitutional crisis.” [emphasis added]

This from the man who dragged the country to that very precipice in 2000 because he wouldn't accept his defeat at the hands of the same president he wants impeached out of puerile, malevolent spite. Yeah, he's "moved on"....

But the unwitting fount of sardonic irony had one more morsel to spew:

"I have never seen leaders that act with the contempt for the truth that I have witnessed in George Bush’s administration.”
Sure you have, Al. You look at him in the mirror every morning.

~ ~ ~

From the prince of darkness to the court jester, we join DNC Chairman How-tse-tung as he prepares to tip-toe through the tulips on his way to a guest appearance on Laugh-In:

America is about to revisit one of the most turbulent decades in its history, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean told a religious conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. "We're about to enter the '60s again," Dean said, but he was not referring to the Vietnam War or racial tensions.

Dean said he is looking for "the age of enlightenment led by religious figures who want to greet Americans with a moral, uplifting vision."

"The problem is when we hit that '60s spot again, which I am optimistic we're about to hit, we have to make sure that we don't make the same mistakes," Dean added.

Hmmm; if Dr. Demented didn't mean the Vietnam War or racial tensions - which is crap because his party's trying to turn Iraq into Vietnam and is endlessly trying to stir up race hatreds - then what the devil is he talking about?

"Religious figures"? Howard Dean hates "religious figures." He's the ultimate secularist's secularist. He denounces moral, uplifting visions as "bigoted, intolerant, right-wing extremism." And what could he possibly consider "the same mistakes"? The essence of what the American Left became in the '60s, and their congenital inability to abandon it and grow up, is part & parcel of why they've been out of power for a dozen years. Ameriphobia is a mistake; Big Government is a mistake; racial hucksterism is a mistake; counter-culturalism is a mistake. But these are the things that define the modern Democrat Party.

Only other thing I can think of as a "mistake" is al Donka's raucous absence of Clintonoid discretion ever since they lost their minds in the Florida 2K insurrection. But Howard "YEEEAAARRRGGGHHH!!!" Dean is the personification of the "let it all hang out" ethic. If triangulation and nuance were clothing, Howie would be a nudist even if he were an adopted Eskimo.

Then again I'm probably approaching this question the wrong way - logically and rationally. Chairman How approached it the way he approaches everything - with hamfisted dishonesty:

"If you look at how we did public housing, we essentially created ghettoes for poor people" instead of using today's method of mixed-income housing....We did give things away for free, and that's a huge mistake because that does create a culture of dependence, and that's not good for anybody, either."

Except Democrats. I translate the above as pretty much what Stan Greenburg was pushing back in 1992 during the (first) rise of Bill Clinton: "We've already got the poor, now let's enslave the middle class." It's not the abandonment of the welfare/entitlement paradigm, but simply its extension up the income scale.

At any rate, it's difficult to believe that even Dean's audience wasn't cynically snickering before he even finished squeezing that sentence out his foam-flecked lips. The dead, well, "give-away" was when he said, "We know that no one person can succeed unless everybody else succeeds." You know what that means: No one person should be ALLOWED to succeed until everybody else does. And not everybody will succeed. So nobody will. 'Tis the essence of liberalism.

One other thought: if we're currently in the equivalent of the 1950s, wouldn't that make President Bush the counterpart to President Dwight Eisenhower? Didn't everybody like Ike? And wouldn't that make Hillary Clinton the next JFK?

Where is Lloyd Bentsen when you really needed him....?

Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom

The Bush tax cut-fueled prosperity that none dare acknowledge soars ever higher:

The economy sprang out of a year-end rut and zipped ahead in the opening quarter of this year at a 5.6% pace, the fastest in 2 1/2 years and even stronger than previously thought.

The new snapshot of gross domestic product for the January-to-March period exceeded the 5.3% growth rate estimated a month ago, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The upgraded reading — based on more complete information — matched economists' forecasts.

The stronger GDP figure mostly reflected an improvement in the country's trade deficit, which was much less of a drag than previously estimated.

When I think of how Bill Clinton macarenaed to a second term in 1996 on an economy growing not even half this robustly, and how presidential approval numbers are supposed to be welded to the GDP rate, and how George Bush's approval numbers would suggest the economic conditions of the late Hoover Administration (precisely what the Dems continue to claim, of course), I have one stock reaction: Why can't this man EVER toot his own horn for his own good? Why can't Dubya EVER get out there and take credit for an economy that is booming due almost entirely, quite unlike that of his predecessor, to his economic policies?

And for God's sake, why can't this President ever appoint a Treasury Secretary who actually believes in his economic policies? Was Steve Forbes out with the nervous complaint or something?

[h/t: CQ]

SCOTUS Doesn't Mess With Texas

Isn't it amazing how no matter how badly and how many times the Democrats lose, they always insist they've won?

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld most of the Texas congressional map engineered by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay but threw out part, saying some of the new boundaries failed to protect minority voting rights. ...

At issue was the shifting of 100,000 Hispanics out of a district represented by a Republican incumbent and into a new, oddly shaped district. Foes of the plan had argued that that was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander under the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights.

On a different issue, the court ruled that state legislators may draw new maps as often as they like - not just once a decade as Texas Democrats claimed. That means Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can push through new maps anytime there is a power shift at a state capital.

This is the decision that al-Timesa called "a small victory for Democratic and minority groups." A "victory" in the sense that Drillbit Tech scores a late touchdown to lose to Nebraska 77-7 instead of being shut out. In terms of what the plaintiffs were seeking to do - overturn the entire Texas redistricting after the 2002 elections and revert back to the Dem-orchestrated gerrymander from 1991 - it was a blowout defeat.

Here's what the "gods" wrote:

Under Plan 1151C, the 2002 congressional elections resulted in a 17-to-15 Democratic majority in the Texas delegation, compared to a 59% to 40% Republican majority in votes for statewide office in 2000, thus leaving the 1991 Democratic gerrymander largely in place. [emphasis added]

As Dudley Dawson said after he and his Lambda Lambda Lambda brothers got screwed over by the Greek Council yet again, "This is bullshit." That the League of United Latin American Citizens tried to justify the restoration of this ballot box robbery via the race card makes it even more despicable.

It should also be pointed out that the Texas legislature, then controlled by Democrats, failed to redistrict after the 2000 census, letting (does this sound familiar?) the courts do it instead. And, naturally, the courts left Plan 1151C intact. Only problem was the Texas constitution specifically stipulates redistricting as the purview of the legislature. And the legislature that convened to do that remedial redistricting no longer had a Democrat majority, but a Republican one, and they simply unstacked the deck and restored a level playing field reflective of the Texas electorate. So of course it cost House Dems half a dozen seats, and of course they were livid about it, and of course they called it a Tom DeLay "power grab," and of course they went right back to the courts to get it overturned.

And they got a single sop: the twenty-third district, represented by Republican (and Hispanic) Henry Bonilla, on the grounds that it "excluded Hispanics and did not allow them an equal opportunity for representation." Um, whatever, senor.

You realize, of course, that this was al Donka's last chance of retaking the House this November.

So, let's tally this up: Tom DeLay's "power grab" has been confirmed, and Ronnie Earle's abusive partisan persecution never went anyplace. So tell me again why the Hammer is no longer in Congress?

[h/t CQ]

Republican Resurgence Reloaded

John Miller follows up my analysis of the recent Battleground Survey of competitive Senate races at NRO today (in a matter of speaking). Here's his bare-boned synopsis (with my lean on his toss-ups).


John Kyl (AZ)
John Ensign (NV)
George Allen (VA)


Conrad Burns (MT)
Mike DeWine (OH)
Bill Frist (TN - open seat)


Mark Dayton (MN - open seat) - [Mark Kennedy - GOP pickup]
Jim Talent (MO) - [Talent squeaks out another one - GOP retention]
Bob Menendez (NJ) - [Tom Kean rides Jon Korzine's negative coattails to victory - GOP pickup]
Rick Santorum (PA) - [RS has to catch Bob Casey before I'll be convinced - Dem pickup]
Lincoln Chafee (RI) - [If Chafee wins GOP primary, he wins; if Steve Laffey wins GOP primary, Sheldon Whitehouse wins; either way, the GOP loses - Dem pickup]


Paul Sarbanes (MD - open seat)
Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Maria Cantwell (WA)


Joe Lieberman (CT)
Bill Nelson (FL)
Ben Nelson (NE)
Hillary (NY)
Jim Jeffords (VT - open seat)
Bob Byrd (WV)

End result per (mostly) Miller? Same as mine - a wash. The Republicans pick up Minnesota and New Jersey, and the Dems pick up Pennsylvania and Rhode Island (no matter who wins the GOP primary). Republican net gains are thwarted by their failure to recruit better candidates in North Dakota, Nebraska, Florida, Washington, and Wisconsin, and Dem net gains are thwarted by the fact that the whole lot of 'em are loonier than a parapalegic Ethiopian watching a doughnut roll down a hill.

That's a whole lot of commotion for a stalemate. But I doubt Ken Mehlman and Liddy Dole will be complaining on November 9th.

Class Versus Crass

Absolutely great article by Seth Swirsky regarding the stark difference between Bush and his critics. It is entitled Bush's Decency Highlights Democrats' Incivility. In it he details the kindness and class Bush has extended towards the likes of Ted Kennedy and the Clintons, and how they returned his gestures. An example:

On June 14, 2004, President and Mrs. Bush invited Bill and Hillary Clinton to the unveiling of their portraits in the East Room of the White House. A few excerpts of the president's welcoming address once again show Bush to be a man with a warm heart and generous spirit:

"President Clinton and Senator Clinton, welcome home. It's great to see Chelsea. The fact that you survived your teenage years in the White House... speaks to the fact you had a great mom and dad. Thank you all for coming back...We're really glad you're here. As you might know, my father and I have decided to call each other by numbers. He's 41, I'm 43. It's a great pleasure to honor number 42. We're glad you're here, 42...Mr. Rodham did have the joy of seeing his only daughter become America's First Lady. And I know he would not be surprised to see her as she is today, an elected United States Senator, and a woman greatly admired in our country."

Since that evening, Senator Clinton has repaid the President's kindness towards her and her family by saying, among other mean-spirited things: "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington" and "I predict to you that this Administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country." (The last said on Martin Luther King's birthday, a day that should symbolize a coming together of parties and people of diverse viewpoints).

There are many more examples in the article. Read it.

JASmius adds: At what point, though, does "class" decompose into a debilitating lack of self-respect? Is there not a difference between not sinking to your enemies' level and obsequiously prostrating yourself before them for the faint chance of currying their passing goodwill?

That's always been the problem with the "New Tone" gimmick - it was always a pre-emptive one-way street. The alternative isn't to "play chicken" with opposing "traffic," but simply to take another route. Maddeningly, this president will hear nothing of it.

After getting repeatedly run over for five and a half years, I have to question what George Bush would have to lose by becoming, for once, a "major league asshole." Especially as turning the other cheek has not only failed miserably, but is putting national security at escalating risk.

Jennifer replies: I don't agree that GWB has any lack of self-respect whatsoever. He's a good, decent man, in sharp contrast to the liberals surrounding him. I'm sure he'd love to tell Ted Kennedy where to shove his comments, but he's too much of a gentleman to do least within earshot. :-)

Ann Agrees

In keeping with Jim's thoughts on the New York Times and its war against the war on terror, here are some thoughts from Ann Coulter:

Coulter was writing about what she called "the latest of a long list of formerly top-secret government antiterrorism operations that have been revealed by the Times," noting that "last week the paper printed the details of a government program tracking terrorists' financial transactions that has already led to the capture of major terrorists and their handmaidens in the U.S."

To Coulter, a lawyer, that amounted to nothing less than treason, and she wants the newspaper punished for betraying a vital antiterrorism operation meant to prevent future 9/11s.

"Maybe treason ended during the Vietnam War when Jane Fonda sat laughing and clapping on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down American pilots," Ann recalled. "She came home and resumed her work as a big movie star without the slightest fear of facing any sort of legal sanction.

"Fast forward to today, when New York Times publisher 'Pinch' Sulzberger has just been named al-Qaida's 'Employee of the Month' for the 12th straight month.

Coulter agrees that what the Times has done fits the definition for treason.

"The federal statute on treason, 18 USC 2381, provides in relevant part: 'Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States ... adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000.'"

Seems pretty clear to me, too.

Liberals, she wrote, invoke 'freedom of the press' like some talismanic formulation that requires us all to fall prostrate in religious ecstasy. On liberals' theory of the First Amendment, the safest place for Osama bin Laden isn't in Afghanistan or Pakistan; it's in the New York Times building."

Freedom of them press, she explained "does not mean the government cannot prosecute reporters and editors for treason - or for any other crime. The First Amendment does not mean Times editor Bill Keller could kidnap a child and issue his ransom demands from the New York Times editorial page. He could not order a contract killing on the op-ed page. Nor can he take out a contract killing on Americans with a Page One story on a secret government program being used to track terrorists who are trying to kill Americans ...

Yes, the old "Freedom of the Press" defense. It doesn't really take much intelligence to figure out what Coulter says above..."Freedom of the Press" does not excuse revealing top secret programs which put the country's security in jeopardy. I agree with the Editors of National Review as noted in Jim's post...the New York Times needs to pay a price for this outrage. Revoking their press credentials is only the start. There needs to be an investigation and the leakers need to be found. Subpeona the reporters responsible for this and make them reveal their sources. If they won't, throw them in jail.


Some tokens of esteem from former New York Times readers.

Leading off, Lieutenant Tom Cotton (via Powerline):

Dear Messrs. Keller, Lichtblau & Risen:

Congratulations on disclosing our government's highly classified anti-terrorist-financing program (June 23). I apologize for not writing sooner. But I am a lieutenant in the United States Army and I spent the last four days patrolling one of the more dangerous areas in Iraq. (Alas, operational security and common sense prevent me from even revealing this unclassified location in a private medium like email.)

Unfortunately, as I supervised my soldiers late one night, I heard a booming explosion several miles away. I learned a few hours later that a powerful roadside bomb killed one soldier and severely injured another from my 130-man company. I deeply hope that we can find and kill or capture the terrorists responsible for that bomb. But, of course, these terrorists do not spring from the soil like Plato's guardians. No, they require financing to obtain mortars and artillery shells, priming explosives, wiring and circuitry, not to mention for training and payments to locals willing to emplace bombs in exchange for a few months' salary. As your story states, the program was legal, briefed to Congress, supported in the government and financial industry, and very successful.

Not anymore. You may think you have done a public service, but you have gravely endangered the lives of my soldiers and all other soldiers and innocent Iraqis here. Next time I hear that familiar explosion - or next time I feel it - I will wonder whether we could have stopped that bomb had you not instructed terrorists how to evade our financial surveillance.

And, by the way, having graduated from Harvard Law and practiced with a federal appellate judge and two Washington law firms before becoming an infantry officer, I am well-versed in the espionage laws relevant to this story and others - laws you have plainly violated. I hope that my colleagues at the Department of Justice match the courage of my soldiers here and prosecute you and your newspaper to the fullest extent of the law. By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.

Michelle Malkin brings up the heart of the order with everyman pitches to Oh, Boy, Alberto:

John A.:

To Whom it may concern:

You must prosecute the traitors who are responsible for giving our national defense secrets to the enemy. This has been going on for years. What have you done? Nothing! By your inaction, you are just as responsible as the traitors at the New York Times, the LA Times and the Washington Post.

If your hands are tied, resign in protest. Do something. My children are in danger because of your inaction. I blame you!

Arron Barringer:

Men and women fight everyday in the god forsaken wastelands of Iraq and Afghanistan. The LEAST you could do would be to enforce the law in regards to security leaks. At some point we are going to have to STOP being sensitive, STOP being politically correct, and STOP pandering to public opinion. If you don't do it for the fighting American, do it for your country. Thirty years ago people would have been tried for treason. Freedom of press can not be allowed to violate the security of our country. The American people DO NOT have a right to know everything that goes on in their government.

JP Myers:


As a citizen of the U.S., I am writing to express my outrage (if even that word is sufficient) over the latest round of leaks of classified information reported in the NY and LA Times concerning a program for tracking financial information which may be terrorism related.

I hope I do not have to explain how much this kind of unauthorized disclosure helps the enemy we are fighting. And if memory serves, knowingly helping the enemy is by definition an act of treason. I find it in no small sense ironic that the very organizations which loudly questioned for political reasons why we couldn't "connect the dots" before 9/11 are making damn sure that we can't connect them after 9/11. If there is some better way to sabotage our national security, then please enlighten me because I can't come up with anything. This has happened far too many times now, and it can NOT be allowed to stand.

What do you suppose would have happened to a person or persons in WWII who had knowingly published details of the latest Allied techniques for detecting and destroying enemy submarines in 1942? What the NY and LA Times and their source(s) have done in this case is exactly the same thing, and should be dealt with as such. The Germans could have saved a lot of money and manpower on intelligence by just reading the NY Times, the same way Osama and his kind do now. The U-boats would have adapted using this information and been far more effective for far longer than they were. And whoever leaked that information and published it would have been directly responsible for untold numbers of ships being sunk that otherwise would not have been.

And so it will be with this case when AQ finally manages to hit us again. The people responsible for disclosing and publishing this information will be directly liable. They have aided the enemy for no other purpose than to aid the enemy. There is no difference - treason is treason, or else there is no such thing.

First, I request in the strongest terms possible that the source(s) of this leak be found and tried for every applicable violation of law pertaining to the intentional, unauthorized disclosure of sensitive classified information to the media, who then was kind enough to share it with the rest of the planet.

As I recall, anyone granted access to classfied information must first sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Whoever leaked this clearly did so intentionally with the full knowledge that they were breaking the terms of their NDA, and should be punished to the maximum extent allowable by law. It then follows that this person or persons willfully and knowingly divulged classified information to the media, and therefore willfully and knowingly caused grave damage to the national security of the United States. Having access to classified information and making it available to your enemies would reasonably be defined as espionage. It's just that in this case the conduit for that information was the news media, and the news media will attack any attempt to prosecute this because of their ideology and role as accomplices to this act.

Let that not deter you.

Second, I request in the strongest terms possible that the full chain of persons responsible for getting this classified information to print in both the NY and LA Times be tried for every applicable violation of law pertaining to the intentional, unauthorized disclosure of sensitive classified information, but especially for the charge of treason. I'm sure an investigation will turn up information not available to the general public, but should it turn out that this terrorist finance tracking program was fully legal and effective (as I'm sure it was), then there could have been no other purpose for publishing the information other than to cause grave damage to the government's efforts at shutting down these terrorist organizations. If there is some better example of treason, then I don't know of it.

In fact, the reluctance of anyone to call treasonous acts for what they are and try them over the last several decades is probably why this kind of thing happens so frequently today. If the DoJ lacks the fortitude to pursue a charge of treason in time of war when the case is so clear, then that word will be rendered absolutely meaningless (or remain so) and these offences will continue to occur. The stakes are too high to allow this to go unpunished.

Christopher R. Whittaker:

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

I write today to ask why the editors of the above-referenced papers are continually allowed to disclose national security programs and information with absolutely no consequences of any kind. The lack of punishment for this potentially criminal activity stands in stark contrast to the consequences for a person working for the government stealing or even mishandling classified information. Such people will likely receive massive fines and jail time, and rightfully so.

While I am as big a supporter of free speech as the next person, the disclosure NYT and LAT of the SWIFT program run by the U.S. Treasury Dept., used to track terrorist money worldwide AND which they admitted in their own stories to be a lawful program, is simply the last straw for me. It is one thing for anti-administration forces (mostly on the left/Democrat side of the aisle...see for instance, the State Dept and CIA in this Administration) within the diplomatic and intelligence community to wage a clandestine war via press leaks against policies with which they disagree.

That has been going on for years, and that behavior is properly punishable by jail time as well. Had actual enfocement of said punishments occurred on the front end, maybe we as a nation would not be where we are now. These newspapers and their editors have graduated from leaks and borderline questionable journalistic practices to brazen lawbreaking, without the slightest hint of any consequence for doing so. In the process, they are giving aid and comfort to the enemy, as well as jeopardizing the ability of intelligence and law enforcement officials to do their jobs, thereby endangering the lives of every single American by making another terrorist attack more likely.

Although I expect no action whatsoever against these organizations and their bosses, given that this particular administration has demonstrated, at best, a limited willingness to clamp down on leakers and saboteurs of our nation's intelligence services' operations. Just the same, I am writing in the hopes that this wrongheaded policy might change. As an attorney myself, I am sure there are laws under which these organizations could be prosecuted. Please do make an example of them, if only to prevent a future attack that makes 9/11 look like a soft terrorist love tap by comparison.

It is your job to help protect this country and its citizens from attack, and I believe that taking strong action against leakers who harm national security interests in this manner would go a long way toward achieving that goal.

Frank Sacca:

Dear Sir:

The reporting by the NY Times and the LA Times of the financial surveillance that the US has been conducting on potential financing of terrorists cells has once again awaken my disdain toward the Media in our country. It is not enough that the Media is always ready to condemn the members of the Military and thrash the President, but it continues to undermine the efforts of the country to combat the scourge of Islamic terrorism. When does treason apply? How many lives are going to be lost for the sake of political correctness? Is the Media excuse of "the public's right to know" more important of the lives of the American people? Personally, I would not exchange the life of a single American service person for the whole lot of so-called reporters. I deeply believe that the agenda of the Liberal Media has gone one more step out of bound (they have been in "left" field for a while now) and I strongly feel
that You should do something about it. As US Attorney General it is your job to make sure that those who conspire in the defeat and destruction of our country are brought up to face the consequences of their actions.

I am begging you to do something about the situation. The American people deserve it and are demanding it, so that "freedom of the press" is not the only constitutional right being enforced, but our right of "the pursuit of happiness," free of the scourge of terrorism by any mean, is also protected.

Brian Brauner:

Dear Honorable Attorney General Gonzales:

I am forwarding you a copy of a letter I wrote today to the NY and LA Times regarding their serial intransigence. I also apprised them that the Bush Administration has been far too timid and accomodating with these treasonous acts, and that myself, along with my like-minded associates, are intent on pressing the Administration to enforce the laws against espionage and disclosure of classified information. Firm and resolute action in this vein is long over-due. Indeed, one might say that the Bush Administration has failed to execute its executive, and wartime, duties, by sending endless delegations begging these malefactors to relent, but taking no action when their all-too genteel pleas go unheard.

Please, please, recognize that this situation requires and demands prompt, aggressive, and non-nuanced prosecution. There is a war being waged, within the US, by US citizens, against the legitimate and vital war effort against Jihadism.

History will not remember you kindly should you yet again fail to rectify this completely unacceptable situation. Do not let this pass! Act. Perform your duty and ensure that the vaunted Fourth "Branch of Government" recognize that our Constitution and body of laws places limits on them and that they must learn to abide by them; even if it must be by sore experience. I charge you with providing them with that experience.

John B.:

To the Attorney General:

I want to know when I can expect to see Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Bill Keller, and the publisher of the New York Times, being led in handcuffs into a federal court building by your FBI agents or U.S. Marshalls? I fought for this nation in Vietnam and I'll be goddamned if I am going to stand silently by and see this country go down the drain because the Bush Administration does not have the balls to enforce the laws it has sworn to uphold to protect this country. Kindly step up to your responsibilities while there is still a country left to protect. A reply is expected.

Michael Hullinger:

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

Article III, section 3 of the Constitution states: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Individual citizens, Eric Lichtblau and James Risen who work as reporters for the New York Times discovered a secret (and legal) program of the United States Government to protect its citizens from attack by Islamic terrorists who have declared war on the United States. Through the vehicle of the New York Times, these individuals communicated to our sworn enemies the existence of this secret legal program to protect citizens. Islamic terrorist organizations have declared and levied war against the United States. Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and the New York Times have knowingly and intentionally given support and aid to our enemy by discovering and disclosing top secret information about a program that is an instrumental part of our nations defensive strategy and tactics.

Amendment IX of the Constitution provides that, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." As a citizen, I have a right under Article III, section 3 to a government that will take action against those who engage in treason as defined by the Constitution. The enumeration in Amendment I of the right of press from laws that would abridge its freedom should not be construed to deny me constitutional protection against an act of treason by individuals who would use the press the accomplish a clearly treasonous act.

Were I to discover the existence of a top secret program and communicate it to the enemy via a personal add in the newspaper, I would be guilty of treason. This same action by an employee of a newspaper and disclosing it under the reuse of a news story published in the newspaper is no different.

I respectfully and urgently request that you investigate this act of treason by Lichtblau, Risen, and the New York Times and ensure steps are taken to protect the citizens of the United State from further treasonous acts by these same parties.

John T.:

Dear Attorney General Gonzales:

Please do everything in your power to put an end to the traitorous leaking of classified information to such swill as the east and west coast versions of the "Treason Times". Despite the anti-American actions of such free-market fools, you and President Bush will rightfully be held accountable both here and in eternity if your tolerance of such actions allows another 9/11. Good Lord man, we at war! Now be a man and do your duty or else resign! Jail every reporter refusing to disclose their traitorous sources. Once found, prosecute these vermin, seeking the death penalty, as I hope is allowed for treason during time of war.

Eric A.:

To the Attorney General:

As a citizen of the United States I am deeply disturbed and frustrated that the NY Times and LA Times newspapers have released classified intelligence information about the SWIFT program. They should be investigated and/or prosecuted for these actions, which are, unwise and folly and best, and treasonous at worst.

The lives of our fellow citizens and others around the world are once again gravely endangered by the free warning which these newspapers have given to al Qaeda. This is beyond ridiculous. It is outrageous.

Furthermore, it is severely dangerous that it become custom for major forms of media to continue to encourage leaks within the intelligence community and release highly sensitive classified information to the public and thus the enemy. This is not healthy for our nation and if it is not addressed we will allow American citizens to contribute to the deterioration of our nation.

Please act on this as you see prudent and in the interest of national defense and homeland security.


Dear Mr. Attorney General:

I'm no expert, not even a lawyer, but over the past year, in the face of repeated instances of media outlets publishing classified information and other sensitive material important to waging the war on terror, I have read any number of analyses which in my opinion make a pretty persuasive case that such actions are prosecutable under the Espionage Act. I have also read, repeatedly, the sections of the Act pertaining to the publication of classified information, state secrets, etc. - i.e., the publication of which ends up causing serious damage to the interests of the U.S. - and I must say that both the language and the intent of the Act seem quite clear, and that the actions of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post seem quite clearly to qualify as violations of the Act. So with all due respect, Mr. Attorney General, what are you waiting for? Did or did not the parties involved knowingly publish information harmful to the national security interests of the United States? Yes or no. If yes, then they must be prosecuted. If not, then you should explain why not.

Whew! That's quite a stream of piss & vinegar from Peoria and all points in-between. And every last bit of it understandable.

I commented when this first broke that while justice demands the frog-marching of Messrs. Keller, Risen, and Lichtblau out of the Times offices in handcuffs (for starters), the perception of an administration that's been under constant, withering fire from the press for five and a half years finally "snapping" and using its police powers against one of the most prominent media outlets would be such unimaginably bad public relations (think: alienating swing voters) that the Bushies would never think of going after the Times, even if they were tempermentally prone to do so.

However, the above outpouring of mass public indignation at the Extreme Media's wholesale violations of the Espionage Act points to another political risk for the Bush White House: alienating the base. If all those emails are indictative of a Howard Bealesque mood in "red"-state America, GOP leaders may not have the luxury of sitting back passively and letting the political benefits roll in. We are, it appears, "mad as hell, we're not gonna take it anymore," and we want figurative blood. And if A-G Gonzales doesn't deliver....

Well, these pictures tell the tale. Wouldn't take much to add the GOP to that fusillade of outraged ire.

More on that after lunch.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


12 So, as those who have been (A) chosen of God, holy and beloved, (B) put on a (C) heart of compassion, kindness, (D) humility, gentleness and (E) patience; 13 (F) bearing with one another, and (G) forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; (H) just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you.

14Beyond all these things put on love, which is (I) the perfect bond of (J) unity.

15 Let (K) the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in (L) one body; and be thankful.

16 Let (M) the word of [a] Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom (N) teaching and admonishing one another (O) with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, (P) singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

17 (Q) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD Jesus, (R) giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

-Colossians 3:12-17

Back? So Soon?

I gotta admit, I'm surprised to see that the Israelis have returned to Gaza. Not that it wasn't always an eventual necessity, but after the retreat sounded by the late Ariel Shraon almost a year ago, it's a wonder they still had the national will to retake the Strip:

Israeli planes attacked a bridge in central Gaza late Tuesday, Israel Radio reported, and Israeli tanks were said to be on the move, possibly signaling the start of a military operation.

Palestinian security forces said Israeli tanks were moving near the Israeli village of Nahal Oz, a main Israeli staging area just outside Gaza, but that they had not yet entered Gaza.

In the Shajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, not far from the border fence, armed militants took up positions across from the blaring headlights of Israeli vehicles, and Israeli attack helicopters hovered overhead. The militants told residents to leave the area.

Israeli military officials said a limited operation has been authorized for southern Gaza, aimed at "terrorist infrastructure."

Limited, my tochus. The kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers was just the final straw. There wouldn't be any need for an "invasion" if the Israelis hadn't abandoned Gaza to Hamas last August. That's the fiasco that allowed "terrorist infrastructure" to be constructed in the first place, complete now with daily rocket attacks and underground terrorist incursions. If they don't want it to come back, the IDF has got to be there to stay. Maybe they don't bring back Jewish settlements right away, but only a reoccupation can keep the terrorists out. That's the direction this "exercise" is heading, mark my words.

As you might expect in a contest between a modern, professional, experienced military machine and a despicable pack of cowardly yIntagh, the IDF is meeting little resistance:

The incursion began shortly before midnight, when IAF aircraft blew up three main bridges, located along the main route connecting between the northern and southern parts of the Strip.

The army said that the operation was intended to keep Hamas from taking kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit out of the Gaza Strip.

Ground forces then began entering the southeastern part of the Gaza Strip and the troops gained control of two key sites near Dahaniya. At the same time, artillery units were shelling areas from where Kassam rockets were often launched at Israel.

The Air Force also struck an electrical transformer station south of Gaza City, cutting the power supply from portions of the region. Palestinian sources said that the IDF shot at least nine missiles at the electric station. A large fire erupted and the turbines and fuel supplies were burned. Still, some of the power was restored by wires connected to an Israeli power supply, Israel Radio reported.

An IDF spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post that there was little Palestinian resistance to the incursion. He denied a report claiming that the Erez crossing had been opened in preparation for entry of troops into the northern Gaza Strip.

The Pals responded as nobody has any reason not to expect: they kidnapped an Israeli civilian, a teenager named Eliyahu Asheri, and threatened to (and promptly did) kill him if the IDF didn't immediately withdraw. The Israelis told the Pals to go schtup themselves, and their tanks rolled on:

Earlier in the day, the IDF took control of the abandoned airport in Dahaniyeh and the town of Shuka in southern Gaza in a move to cement their foothold in areas east of Rafah, a city on the Egyptian border.

The area of Dahaniyeh represents a strategic control and observation point over the area of Rafah and the southern Gaza Strip. So far there has been one incident of gunfire and anti-tank missile fire at the forces, but no injuries or damage were reported. ...

Armored personnel carriers were stationed outside northern Gaza, and were expected to move in later in the day.

Cap'n Ed Morrissey, who has consistently considered the Jews' flight from Gaza to be a sound strategic move, expresses an amusing naïvete at the IDF's operation being "much larger than first thought." Although he is inadvertently incisive when he writes:

The Israelis appear serious this time about delivering the war for which the Palestinians voted when they elected Hamas to govern them. [emphasis added]

I remember when the Jews were ALWAYS "serious" about defending themselves. That they have grown so unserious in recent times makes it wholly unremarkable that even supporters of last year's cut & run from Gaza aren't quite convinced that the IDF is playing for keeps.

Removing such doubts may be why Israeli warplanes dropped by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's vacation abode to pay him a high-speed visit:

Israeli warplanes buzzed the summer residence of Syrian President Bashar Assad early Wednesday, military officials said, in a message aimed at pressuring the Syrian leader to win the release of a captured Israeli soldier.

The officials said on condition of anonymity that the fighter jets flew over Assad's palace in a low-altitude overnight raid near the Mediterranean port city of Latakia in northwestern Syria. Israeli television reports said four planes were involved, and Assad was home at the time.

The flight caused "noise" on the ground, the military officials said on condition of anonymity, according to military guidelines.

And soiled trousers too, I'd wager. Though this isn't the first time that the IAF has sent this message, which kind of dilutes its effectiveness. Had the jets bombed Assad's villa, Zarqawi-style, instead of putting on a glorified Blue Angels show, I would be more impressed. (Don't gasp; if Damascus is supplying Palestinian "militants" with chemical weapons, perhaps from the stockpiles smuggled out of Iraq before Operation Iraqi Freedom, that ought to perk up our own interest in settling matters with the murderous opthamologist permanently.)

In the meantime, Operation "We're Baaaaaaaaack" continues to pick up steam:

Less than 24 hours after the IDF entered Gaza in the biggest operation since disengagement last summer, Defense Minister Amir Peretz gave the green light on Wednesday evening for the second part of the IDF Gaza incursion. The IDF was poised to enter northern Gaza.

IAF planes will distribute flyers on Wednesday night in the Beit Lahia and Beit Hanoun areas in the northern Gaza Strip, warning local residents that they are endangering their lives by being in the vicinity of Kassam launch sites....

The Hamas-led Palestinian government called for a prisoner swap with Israel, saying the Gaza offensive would not secure the soldier's release. Hamas-affiliated militants holding the hostage previously made that demand, but this was the first time the government did. Israeli has ruled out a deal.

Earlier, IAF aircraft struck a Hamas training camp in the Gaza Strip town of Rafah on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses said.

The Cap'n speculates that retaking Gaza is using up such resources that Israel may have to call up reserves in order to avoid leaving themselves vulnerable to a Syrian attack (I guess Assad doesn't like Blue Angels shows). I'd like to think that bulldozing a bunch of ragtag terrorist taHqeq wouldn't so tax the IDF's martial inventories. But this just goes back to the folly of the Israeli's abandoning Gaza to Hamas & friends in the first place.

This move, though, may be the one that truly gets the Pals' full attention, and gets across to them that their "leaders"' rabid, relentless, over-the-top, impossible-to-rationalize hostility has finally pushed even a cowed foe too far:

Israeli forces arrested the Palestinian deputy prime minister and dozens of other Hamas officials early Thursday and pressed their incursion into Gaza, responding to the abduction of one of its soldiers.

Adding to the tension, a Palestinian militant group said it killed an 18-year-old Jewish settler kidnapped in the West Bank. Israeli security officials said Eliahu Asheri's body was found buried near Ramallah. They said he was shot in the head, apparently soon after he was abducted on Sunday. ...

Army Radio said the arrested Hamas leaders might be used to trade for the captured soldier. Israel had refused earlier to trade prisoners for the soldier's release.

More than 30 lawmakers were detained, according to Palestinian security officials. Among them were Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister Nasser Shaer, Labor Minister Mohammed Barghouti and two other ministers in the West Bank.

The Pals expected the Israelis to do a prisoner swap? I'd say the latter just upped the ante one helluva lot. It also sends a message even the Hamasites can't mistake: "We can take any one of you any time we want." Indeed, it shows just how easily Israel could crush them, Fatah, and Islamic Jihad and the thirteen year terrorist war inside its borders once and for all - if they only had the will.

And it is Israeli will that will determine whether this Gaza "incursion" actually attains the goal they should be setting for it - nothing less than the eradication of Palestinian terrorism - or settles for half-measures and eventual withdrawal to the status quo ante that render the whole "exercise" a waste of time, resources, and the dishonoring of the Jewish deaths that served as its raison d'etere.


Some days you get the bear, and other days the bear gets you.

So the saying goes. Today the "bear" got me, and I haven't been able to get a word in here fingerwise. But in line with keeping a promise for a change, here is my first bite at the most recent in an apparently intended long line of illegal breaches of U.S. national security by the gilded, self-annointed arbiters of secrecy at the New York Times.

Which I can see from my twenty-six linked stories in the initial batch, is probably way too big a bite. But what could possibly happen? It's not like the consumption metaphor can become scatalogical, although I could end up face-down drooling on my keyboard.

Here might be a short-cut, though: How do you know when the Extreme Media has rampaged beyond the pale of even vile, partisan excess? When Michael Barone, the dean of political analysis and the king of understatement, accuses them of being at war with their own country:

Why do they hate us? No, I'm not talking about Islamofascist terrorists. We know why they hate us: because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion, because we refuse to treat women as second-class citizens, because we do not kill homosexuals, because we are a free society.

No, the "they" I'm referring to are the editors of the New York Times. And do they hate us? Well, that may be stretching it. But at the least they have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety....

Last Friday, the Times did it again, printing a story revealing the existence of U.S. government monitoring of financial transactions routed through the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which routes about $6 trillion a day in electronic money transfers around the world. The monitoring is conducted by the CIA and supervised by the Treasury Department. An independent auditing firm has been hired to make sure only terrorist-related transactions are targeted.

Members of Congress were briefed on the program, and it does not seem to violate any law, at least any that the Times could identify. And it has been effective. As the Times reporters admit, it helped to locate the mastermind of the 2002 Bali bombing in Thailand and a Brooklyn man convicted on charges of laundering a $200,000 payment to al-Qaida operatives in Pakistan.

Once again, Bush Administration officials asked the Times not to publish the story. Once again, the Times went ahead anyway. "We have listened closely to the Administration's arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration," Bill Keller is quoted as saying. It's interesting to note that he feels obliged to report he and his colleagues weren't smirking or cracking jokes. "We remain convinced that the Administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest."

I'd better stop there before I impregnate the fair usage standard with double-triplets. But I felt it necessary to re-establish the baseline of this issue. There is no question of illegality or questionable constitutional propriety with the Swift project, and unlike in their exposure of the NSA terrorist surveillance program, the Times didn't raise any. So what could possibly have motivated them to print this story anyway? And what made them think they had the right to do so? Given that the tool they exposed was instrumental in the government's prosecution of the war, wasn't it more in the public interest to keep it undisclosed?

Rhetorical questions all, 'tis true. I'll answer them myself below (WAY DOWN below), but first, here's a sampling of the reaction outside the Bushophobia asylum, which can be fairly described as uniformly and deservedly sulfuric.

Congressman Peter King (R-NY) (via RCP):

To me, the real question here is the conduct of the New York Times. By disclosing this in time of war, they have compromised America's antiterrorist policies. This is a very effective policy. They have compromised it. This is the second time the New York Times has done this.

And to me, nobody elected the New York Times to do anything. And the New York Times is putting its own arrogant, elitist, left-wing agenda before the interests of the American people. And I'm calling on the attorney general to begin a criminal investigation and prosecution of the New York Times, its reporters, the editors that worked on this, and the publisher. We're in time of war, Chris, and what they've done here is absolutely disgraceful. I believe they violated the Espionage Act, the Comint (ph) Act.

This is absolutely disgraceful. The time has come for the American people to realize and the New York Times to realize we're at war and they can't be just on their own deciding what to declassify, what to release.

If Congress wants to work on this privately, that's one thing. But for them to, on their own - for them to decide - for the editor of the New York Times to say that he decides it's in the national interest - no one elected them to anything.

Michael Ledeen:

Keller et al have confirmed yet again that they don’t care about national security, at least in this war (sorry, the current circumstances; they don’t think we’re at war). What they really want is the defeat of George W Bush, and the devil take the consequences.

They have forgotten that the terrorists love to behead journalists. But Daniel Pearl, well, it’s such a long time ago, you know...

Andrew McCarthy:

Appealing to the patriotism of these newspapers proved about as promising as appealing to the humanity of the terrorists they so insouciantly edify — the same monsters who, as we saw again only a few days ago with the torture murder of two American soldiers, continue to define depravity down.

The newspapers, of course, said no. Why? What could outweigh the need to protect a valid effort to shield Americans from additional, barbarous attacks? Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, smugly decreed that the Bush Administration’s “access to this vast repository of international financial data” was, in his singularly impeccable judgment, “a matter of public interest.”

And you probably thought George Bush was the imperious one. And that the public’s principal interest was in remaining alive. Wrong again.

The blunt reality here is that there is a war against the war. It is the jihad of privacy fetishists whose self-absorption knows no bounds. Pleas rooted in the well-being of our community hold no sway.

Brother Trunk:

[Abraham] Lincoln feared the "mobocratic spirit" at large across the country in the hands of ignorant men who took justice into their own hands and committed violent outrages. Today the same "mobocratic spirit" can be seen in the hands of the smug sophisticates at the Times and elsewhere who share this in common with the mobs of Lincoln's day: "the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice."


Success in defeating the terrorists at war with us is dependent on good intelligence. Without obtaining it and keeping it secret, the government can’t even find the dots, much less connect them. If the compromising of our national-security secrets continues, terrorists will thrive and Americans will die. It has to be stopped.

The New York Times is a recidivist offender in what has become a relentless effort to undermine the intelligence-gathering without which a war against embedded terrorists cannot be won. And it is an unrepentant offender. In a letter published over the weekend, Keller once again defended the newspaper’s editorial decision to run its TFTP story. Without any trace of perceiving the danger inherent in public officials’ compromising of national-security information (a matter that the Times frothed over when it came to the comparative trifle of Valerie Plame’s status as a CIA employee), Keller indicated that the Times would continue revealing such matters whenever it unilaterally decided that doing so was in the public interest.

The President should match [his] tough talk with concrete action. Publications such as the Times, which act irresponsibly when given access to secrets on which national security depends, should have their access to government reduced. Their press credentials should be withdrawn. Reporting is surely a right, but press credentials are a privilege. This kind of conduct ought not be rewarded with privileged access.

Heather MacDonald:

The New York Times is a national security threat. So drunk is it on its own power and so antagonistic to the Bush Administration that it will expose every classified antiterror program it finds out about, no matter how legal the program, how carefully crafted to safeguard civil liberties, or how vital to protecting American lives....The bottom line is this: No classified secret necessary to fight terrorism is safe once the Times hears of it, at least as long as the Bush Administration is in Qaeda has long worked to manipulate the media in its favor. It can disband that operation now, knowing that, unbidden, America's most powerful newspaper is looking out for its interests.

Jed Babbin:

What, then, shall we do with "Punch" Sulzberger, Bill Keller, Jill Abramson and the rest of the ideologues who control the New York Times? They are the new war profiteers. When they learned of the NSA terrorist surveillance program they kept the secret for a year for which the NSA was grateful. But in that year, James Risen wrote his book on the story and it was released on the same day the Times published a front-page story on the NSA program after the President had personally asked that it not be published. The Sulzbergers, Kellers and Abramsons are a new and vastly worse breed of war profiteers. Arms manufacturers may make bigger profits than some think is due them, but they deliver products essential to winning a war. The products of the N.Y. Times and its ilk are not only unnecessary, they materially assist the enemy.

Former Attorney-General Ed Meese:

Former Attorney General Ed Meese accused the New York Times of "giving aid and comfort to the enemy" a term that fits the definition of treason.

Interviewed Monday on Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Meese said the Times' outing of the CIA and Treasury Department's tracking of financial transactions by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups was its "the third offense," Pipeline News reported.

According to Meese, the Times' exposure of of the existence of the NSA program to track al-Qaida communications, their outing of the logging of phone records and now the publishing of the details of the financial tracking operation were cases of newspaper "putting the enemy on notice." That, he said was giving "aid and comfort to the enemy."
Rich Lowry:

Who made Bill Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times, the nation’s classification czar? By running the nation’s foremost newspaper, Keller gets to decide which secrets of the U.S. government are maintained and which aren’t — and his default position is to expose them all. This amounts to an extraordinary accretion of public power in the hands of an individual, and a self-interested individual at that....

On the one hand, the implicit contention of the Times is that the public almost never has an interest in secrecy, in having classified matters kept that way. On the other, it jealously guards the identity of its secret sources and wants its ability to do so in defiance of governmental investigations written into law. Here is the ultimate arrogation of public power — the Times demanding legal protection for its own secrets so it can better expose the government’s.

Mark Levin:

The Times is a serial offender, having previously published leaks about the NSA intercept program and the data-mining program. It is the current Times management that's damaging a free press (not to mention our ability to defend ourselves) by irresponsibly regurgitating key national secrets leaked by individuals within our government who are using their positions to assist the enemy. Even when asked by the White House to withhold publication, this handful of self-anointed arbiters of the "public interest" willfully defied it....At long last, Pinch, have you no decency?

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS):

"There was no public interest served by disclosing an effective and highly classified intelligence program that is legal and properly overseen by Congress and the executive branch. The New York Times knew that and printed the story anyway," Roberts said in a statement released with his letter to Negroponte.

"I understand newspapers want to sell papers and authors want to sell books, but some things shouldn't be for sale."

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY):

Senator Jim Bunning, R-KY, has added his voice to those charging that the New York Times committed treason by revealing details of a government program that tracks financial transactions by al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.

"That the press wouldn’t have better sense than to leak critical information on terrorists so that they know what we’re doing – that scares the devil out of me,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters.

Bunning said Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should empanel a grand jury to decide if the Times’ publisher, editors and writers who were involved in the story should be indicted for treason, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

"In my opinion, that is giving aid and comfort to the enemy; therefore it is an act of treason,” Bunning said. "What you write in a war and what is legal to do for the federal government, or state government, whoever it is, is very important in winning the war on terror.”

Jonah Goldberg:

A glimpse into the thinking behind Times executive editor Bill Keller’s decision to green-light the story can be gleaned by noting his tactic of referring to this as a program of the Bush “Administration” rather than a government program. It seems the Times has simply concluded that a president who won’t use the war on terror to unify the country on terms the newspaper finds favorable isn’t justified in fighting that war at all.

More Mark Levin:

The media claim to be representing "the public interest." But that's not a defense to willful, serial criminal activity. I suppose the moles in our government who leak the information to the likes of the New York Times can claim the same thing. Indeed, Bill Keller said as much when he wrote that some officials question the legality of the financial-tracking system. Who cares if they violate not only the law, put their sworn oath to uphold the law and the trust of their colleagues and fellow citizens. And the mere assertion by Keller that his lawlessness is in the public interest doesn't make it so. This is a self-serving claim and nothing more.

The media wrap themselves in the First Amendment's free-speech and free-press clauses — which are apparently the only parts of the Constitution they believe to be written in stone. But this isn't about prior restraint.

Indeed, the judiciary — the media's favorite branch of government because its members are unelected and are least representative of the public, much like the media themselves — has said that editors and reporters are, in essence, free to betray their country, but they are not immune from the consequences of their behavior. And that's what Keller is really demanding, i.e., not the right to publish our secrets, but the right to be legally protected from the laws that apply to all other citizens....

Keller and others have said that there are no checks on the authority exercised by this president. This reveals Keller's true motivation. He does, in fact, seek to weaken the commander-in-chief....

The New York Times:

"If America is going to wage a new kind of war against terrorism, it must act on all fronts, including the financial one," a newspaper editorialized on September 24, 2001 - just 13 days after the terrorist strikes of 9/11....

"[The] cost of these plots suggests that putting Osama bin Laden and other international terrorists out of business will require more than diplomatic coalitions and military action. Washington and its allies must also disable the financial networks used by terrorists....

"[Much more is needed], including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities.... [There] must also be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies."
The Bush Administration agreed and did precisely as the Times urged. And there have been no more Islamist attacks inside the U.S. since then. Evidently the "Grey Lady" has decided that it's time for al Qaeda's unfettered operations to resume, no matter that that decision isn't theirs to make. Almost makes you wonder what the Times editorialists would have penned about themselves five years hence.

Just to close the loop on my rhetorical questions above (WAY UP above), Extreme Media outlets like the NYT are systematically rototilling our national security secrets into public view because...they can. In their minds THEY run the country, not that drooling, hillbilly, blue-blood, snake-handling mongoloid. That he was actually twice elected to do so, unlike them, makes no difference; their moral supremacy entitles them to rule, and supercedes the whims of the unwashed masses who stubbornly refuse to learn from what the press sees as their serial, biennial "mistakes." It also supercedes the Constitution, which they consider to be their property anyway, to deface, redact, and otherwise vandalize to their extremist preferences.

Understand this if nothing else: Liberals are mercenaries. Like good orthodox lefties they are unmoored from any loyalty to "king and country"; and like good self-centered solopsists, if they can't be the king, the country can burn as far as they're concerned.

This makes the Times' serial treasons tantamount to blackmail of the entire American populace. The message seems abundantly clear:

Either let a Democrat into the White House, or we will continue to sabotage American security and, in effect, kill Americans. We will keep secrets when a Democrat is in office, but not a Republican. So we offer the American people a choice: Let the politicians we favor run the country, or we will help Al Qaeda murder you.

After I get home and have some dinner, the grassroots get their turn at a little additional amplification.