July 29, 2010

Report: Sherrod To Sue Breitbart
— DrewM

No, her 15 minutes aren't up.

Ousted Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod said Thursday she will sue a conservative blogger who posted an edited video of her making racially tinged remarks last week.

Sherrod made the announcement in San Diego at the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention.

A couple of thoughts...

I'd love to see video of this. Did the assembled journalists applaud or react negatively to the idea of suing someone for trafficking in news?

As for the suit itself (all the usual qualifiers...I'm not a lawyer, add salt to suit your taste), she's likely got no chance. As a political appointee she's clearly a public figure so the standard for defamation is pretty high and damn near unreachable in this country.

(Added: I'm assuming it's defamation. As Gabe emailed to me, we don't know the cause of action yet so keep that in mind going through this.)

She'd have to prove that Breitbart maliciously went after her with a report he knew to be false or acted with a reckless disregard for the truth. Again, that's an almost insurmountable bar for her to prove against him.

Where I think she might have a better, though still tough, case is against the person who did the edit and sent it to Breitbart. It might be possible to make a case that the story was taken so out of context and the text setting it up was so erroneous and misleading that it constituted a reckless disregard for the truth.

Of course, Sherrod isn't suing who ever that is because there's no publicity in that.

If she were serious about this, wouldn't she also be suing the Department of Agriculture for forcing her to resign? The problem there is she was a political appointee and therefore getting rid of those is only actionable if a Republican does it. And even then, not really.

On one level this will suck for Breitbart. It's going to cost time, money and effort.

On another level...jackpot!

Breitbart is on a mission to bring attention to this and to other acts of maleficence by Obama and the left. Sherrod is doing her part to ensure that he keeps getting booked on cable shows and talked about on both sides of the political divide. (Just to be clear, that's not a shot at him. Far from it. If you are fighting a battle for public opinion and support you need to have the public paying attention to you.)

My guess is he's salivating at the chance to get her under oath during a deposition.

Thanks to John Noonan for the heads up on the story.

Posted by: DrewM at 07:14 AM | Comments (313)
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WikiLeaks Founder On Release Of Names Of Afghans: Eggs, Omelets And All Of That
— DrewM

Oh and by the way, the Afghans that help the coalition are probably criminals anyway, so if the Taliban kill them, well, whatever.

Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website, told The Times he would "deeply regret" any harm caused by the disclosures. But in an extensive interview yesterday he defended his actions.

He claimed many informers in Afghanistan were "acting in a criminal way" by sharing false information with NATO authorities and said the White House knew informants' names could be exposed but did nothing to help WikiLeaks vet the data.

Mr Assange insisted any risk to informants' lives was outweighed by the overall importance of publishing the information.

"No one has been harmed, but should anyone come to harm of course that would be a matter of deep regret -- our goal is justice to innocents, not to harm them," he said. "That said, if we were forced into a position of publishing all of the archives or none of the archives we would publish all . . . because it's extremely important to the history of this war."

...Mr Assange told The Times many Afghan informants, including those whose details had been potentially disclosed, were "telling soldiers false stories . . . creating victims themselves".

Asked if that justified releasing their identities, the former computer hacker replied: "It doesn't mean it's OK for their identities not to be revealed."

And yet, he did. Assange is a despicable excuse of a human being who either already has or likely will soon, have blood on his han

Those on the left who cheered this release really need to be held to account for what they supported. Andrew Sullivan, the various members of the Glenn Greenwald Collective, members of the MFM and the like need to be held accountable for what they are supporting...the exposure of those fighting against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

I know they will demure and say that there should have been some controls in place and that Assange should have exercised more caution and they are sure he will in the future but we need the information and on and on.

Bull.

This is what you get when activists who aim to hurt this country take it upon themselves to substitute their judgment for those charged with making these decisions. Own it guys...blood and all.

Related: Since the CIA isn't going to 'take care' of Assange, Iowahawk is trying to bring Assange to the attention of people who will by releasing a number of interesting items including this...

Even tho I'm an atheist, I'm deeply troubled by Julian Assange's continual insults of Islam, his own former religion.

More at Iowahawk's Twitter feed.


Added: Spencer Ackerman is comfortable with false claims of racism against conservatives and throwing them through glass windows. What he's not all that comfy with is the idea of legal action against Assange.

I'm tempermentally uncomfortable with prosecuting leakers or leak-recipients. Not sure how far to take it

Behold liberals and their priorities.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:33 AM | Comments (149)
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Top Headline Comments 7-29-10
— Gabriel Malor

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:22 AM | Comments (278)
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July 28, 2010

Over-nite Opun Thred
— Maetenloch

Happy H-Day all.

Redneck Landscaping

Here Steve McGranahan who calls himself the World's Strongest Redneck shows how he trims his hedges using his lawnmower on a stick. Probably not recommended for those with weak arms or a need for all 10 fingers.

And lest you think Steve is a one trick pony, he's also developed his own style of martial arts. But do not confuse him with the original Redneck Ninja.
(thanks to CDR M) more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:45 PM | Comments (892)
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BP: Tax Write Off Nets Them $10 Billion Of The $20 Billion Compensation Fund
— DrewM

ArthurK, who does a bang up job in the headlines, has this in the sidebar but it's too fun to ignore.

Seems the most competent administration ever, let BP set up the compensation fund in a way that they can write about half of it off.

But the issue may raise red flags among federal officials, particularly in light of recent efforts by various other entities that have settled with the U.S.

One notable example is Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which agreed last month not to seek deductions for $535 million in penalties as part of its settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC had sued Goldman Sachs, alleging that it hid critical information from investors in mortgage securities.

SEC officials had come under fire from Congress for previously allowing tax deductions from penalties in other cases.

Another wrinkle, though, is that it appears no other entity in hot water with the U.S. has incurred costs on the scale that BP has. The company has agreed to put $20 billion in an escrow account to pay claims for oil-spill damages.

A goof?

But half of that may now come out of government coffers, and it could prove to be embarrassing for the Obama administration, presuming the president and Hayward did not discuss the issue at their recent meeting, says David Desser, managing director of Juris Capital, which invests in corporate litigation. It was after that meeting that Hayward announced the $20 billion escrow fund.

“You would have thought in advance of that meeting, they would have thought of all of those issues,” Desser said. “How do you un-ring that bell?”

"It looks to me like maybe the administration goofed here," he added.

By going on The View of course.

How connected do you have to be to get better treatment than Goldman Sachs, which is after all the company that runs the country or something?

I'm sure there's a distinction to be made between settlements where the party admits guilt and the BP case where they are setting aside money ahead of formal charges but the politics of it look awful for Team Obama.

Bestest Administration EVER!

Posted by: DrewM at 12:00 PM | Comments (344)
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And Now, For Something Completely Different... (tmi3rd)
— Open Blogger

I swiped this from Hot Air's headlines last night and posted it on my Facebook page, where it got a few choice comments, particularly from some female Morons. With that in mind, I thought I'd throw this out for your consumption.

Over at PoliticsDaily, Andrew Cohen (a legal commentator for CBS News) pens a love letter to an ex... and prints it on the day of her wedding.

My initial reaction to this was to be impressed by the real emotion behind it- thinking that this was one he didn't move on and regretted it later- but after a second read of the piece, noted as well that he'd already asked her to marry him and she shot him down.

I encourage you to give this a read- I couldn't help but come away from it with the impression that Cohen bathes daily in Massengill, and then washes down his bitter wimpiness with a bubbling pint of Summer's Eve. I can't quite bring teh crushing funneh that Ace- or many of you creative morons- can, so please, leave your remarks.

No word as yet as to whether or not Cohen has a warrant out for immediate surrender of his man-card, but updates will be made available ASAP. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 11:18 AM | Comments (363)
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Humpday Open Thread
— DrewM

Other than the Arizona ruling, it's a pretty slow day, so tawk amongst yerselves.

Posted by: DrewM at 10:33 AM | Comments (133)
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Breaking: Judge Blocks Parts Of AZ Immigration Law
— DrewM

flaming_skull2a.gif


It's not overturned but an injunction against the most important parts of the bill until a full trial takes place.

A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona's immigration law from taking effect, delivering a last-minute victory to opponents of the crackdown.

The overall law will still take effect Thursday, but without the provisions that angered opponents — including sections that required officers to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws.

The judge also put on hold parts of the law that required immigrants to carry their papers at all times, and made it illegal for undocumented workers to solicit employment in public places.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that those sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues. Other provisions of the law, many of them procedural and slight revisions to existing Arizona immigration statute, will go into effect at 12:01 a.m.

..."There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law)," Bolton ruled. "By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a 'distinct, unusual and extraordinary' burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose."

Legal Insurrection has the decision.

Possibly Related: Obama's Hispanic support has been dropping lately. Will they be happy with this or will it seem like table scraps compared to Obama's inability/disinterest in passing immigration amnesty?

Meanwhile, the Arizona law enjoys 55% support nationally, which is probably better than any politician in the country. Well, we always knew Obama was bad at math.

As for the ruling itself, not being a lawyer I don't want to get too in the weeds but given that the standard for an injunction in this situation is the plaintiff (in this case, the US Government), "must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits [i.e. win at trial], that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” it doesn't sound good.

AZ Governor Jan Brewer can appeal the injunction but Arizona is part of the 9th Circuit, so, good luck with that.

Lesson reiterated...never read too much into what questions a judge asks at a hearing for clues about how they will rule.

If you'd like to get into the legal weeds, Andy McCarthy has you covered.

Posted by: DrewM at 08:34 AM | Comments (566)
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Damn: NV Senate Race Moved From "Toss Up" To "Leans Democratic" By...Hitler's Own Pollster
— DrewM

I suppose something the keeps Chuck Shumer or Dick Durbin out the majority leader's spot isn't all bad. Hey, I'm trying to find the pony in the pile of crap here.

While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is barely ahead of challenger Sharron Angle, the fact that he has the advantages of incumbency and that Barack Obama won the state by twelve percentage points helps tip the balance towards the incumbent.

With three months to go, Rasmussen Reports polling shows that Republicans are poised to pick up Democratic-held Senate seats in three states— Arkansas, Indiana and North Dakota. Two others are leaning that way--Delaware and Pennsylvania. Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln is the only incumbent senator currently projected to lose a seat. The others are open-seat races following retirements by Democratic incumbents.

At the moment, no Republican-held seats appear headed for the Democratic column.

Currently, there are just six states in the Toss-Up category. Outside of the Toss-Ups, projections indicate that Democrats can probably count on having 50 Senate seats after Election Day, while Republicans will hold 44.

This will of course ignite a chorus of 'the tea party is killing the Republicans!' stories in the MFM and the leftysphere.

I think it's pretty clear that Angle is not the ideal candidate for Nevada.

What’s hurting the Republican? For starters, an astounding 58 percent find Angle’s positions “extreme.”

Yeah, that's not good.

There's no need to indict the whole tea party movement as 'too extreme' or on balance bad for Republicans but like any mass movement, it's going to come with some baggage and what appeals to the base isn't going to appeal to everyone. Also, let's not kid ourselves, Sue Lowden didn't turn out to be the greatest candidate ever either. Still, she was the safer choice and probably wouldn't suffer from 58% of Nevadans saying she was too extreme.

Before we start killing Republican primary voters, let's remember that the professionals in Washington are the folks that were touting the likes of Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist right up until the moment they bailed on the party.

Still, there is no denying that Reid is/was in a desperately weak position and the Republican's choice of candidates may cost them not only a pick up in a purple state but a nice trophy scalp as well.

BTW- His son Rory, who doesn't appear to have a last name, is still getting killed in the race for Governor.


Posted by: DrewM at 08:07 AM | Comments (194)
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WikiLeaks Afghanistan Dump Not So Harmless After All
— DrewM

My first reaction to the reports on the Afghan war logs was pretty much the same as most people...not much new here. My second thought was, if we all are having the same reaction, there's a good chance we are wrong.

Turns out the documents could be quite harmful if you are an Afghan who provided information to US forces.

In just two hours of searching the WikiLeaks archive, The Times of London found the names of dozens of Afghans credited with providing detailed intelligence to U.S. forces. Their villages are given for identification and also, in many cases, their fathers' names.

U.S. officers recorded detailed logs of the information fed to them by named local informants, particularly tribal elders.

...

A senior official at the Afghan Foreign Ministry, who declined to be named, said: "The leaks certainly have put in real risk and danger the lives and integrity of many Afghans. The U.S. is both morally and legally responsible for any harm that the leaks might cause to the individuals, particularly those who have been named. It will further limit the U.S./international access to the uncensored views of Afghans."

If, really when, one or more of these people turns up dead should* Afghanistan charge WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange with complicity in their murder? I say yes. The same goes for Army Private Bradley Manning if it turns out he's the leaker.

There's always a tension in a free society between the need to keep secrets and the need to have an informed citizenry. There is never a need for the release of the names of people who risk their lives not only to help us but their own country fight terrorists.

Anyone celebrating and reveling in the release of all these documents is simply cheering the death of people fighting to live free from the tyranny of the Taliban. We shouldn't let the likes of the Greenwald collective and St. Andrew of the Heartache weasel out of what they have supported here.

The war in Afghanistan is a fight for the people. The first battle in that war is for their trust, trust we won't abandon them and trust that they can support us by providing information. Assange and possibly Manning are simply fighting on the terrorist's side. We should act accordingly.


* I changed "will" to "should" because I was thinking about the propriety of it not the likelihood of it. I doubt they will.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:46 AM | Comments (167)
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Where Has All The Oil Gone?
— DrewM

Perhaps some good news from the Deepwater Horizon spill...the oil seems to have dispersed on the surface faster than people thought it would.

The dissolution of the slick should reduce the risk of oil killing more animals or hitting shorelines. But it does not end the many problems and scientific uncertainties associated with the spill, and federal leaders emphasized this week that they had no intention of walking away from those problems any time soon.

...

Scientists said the rapid dissipation of the surface oil was probably due to a combination of factors. The gulf has an immense natural capacity to break down oil, which leaks into it at a steady rate from thousands of natural seeps. Though none of the seeps is anywhere near the size of the Deepwater Horizon leak, they do mean that the gulf is swarming with bacteria that can eat oil.

The winds from two storms that blew through the gulf in recent weeks, including a storm over the weekend that disintegrated before making landfall, also appear to have contributed to a rapid dispersion of the oil. Then there was the response mounted by BP and the government, the largest in history, involving more than 4,000 boats attacking the oil with skimming equipment, controlled surface burns and other tactics.

Some of the compounds in the oil evaporate, reducing their impact on the environment. Jeffrey W. Short, a former government scientist who studied oil spills and now works for the environmental advocacy group Oceana, said that as much as 40 percent of the oil in the gulf might have simply evaporated once it reached the surface.

One of the things the story speculates on is that since oil has been leaking naturally into the Gulf more or less forever, there's a pre-existing supply of bacteria in the water which feeds on oil and breaks it up naturally.

While this is clearly good news, there are still concerns about the effect of the oil at depth.

It's almost as if the Earth and it's various ecosystems are large and complex things we don't fully understand. One might think that would lead scientists and policy makers to exercise a degree of humility when it comes to sweeping pronouncements and economy killing edicts of various kinds.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:36 AM | Comments (235)
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Top Headline Comments 7-28-10
— Gabriel Malor

Poor, overshadowed Preston. He stayed at his post. When the trainees ran, he stayed.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 04:04 AM | Comments (199)
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July 27, 2010

Open Overnight Thread
— Maetenloch

Welcome to the boringest night of the week.

Hey Remember Valley Girls?

Well here's video of a Valley Girl contest that took place in Encino, CA in 1982. It's from an episode of Real People and is like a time capsule of a simpler time when ValSpeak wasn't like totally despised.

more...

Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:55 PM | Comments (806)
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Is Photography in Public Illegal?
— Maetenloch

Well a lot of police and security guards would like you to think so.

Here's a case out of Maryland where a man is facing 16 years in prison for violating Maryland's wiretapping laws. His crime - videotaping a MD State Trooper in plain clothes pulling a gun on him and giving him a ticket.

Back on March 5th Anthony Graber was riding his motorcycle with a videocamera attached to his helmet on I-95 and when he exited the interstate a car suddenly pulled in front of him and a man jumped out with his gun pulled. That man turned out to be an off-duty State Trooper in civilian clothes and in his personal vehicle. He identified himself and gave Graber a ticket (which he clearly deserved since he had reached speeds up to 127mph during his filming). Afterwards Graber posted the video on YouTube.

Ten days later when the officer found out about the video, the state police got an arrest warrant for Graber and raided his house early in the morning seizing all computers and video cameras. He's now facing up to 16 years in prison for taping the encounter. Apparently Maryland is one of the few states that requires approval of both parties being recorded and that's the basis for charging him with wiretapping.

Update: Progressoverpeace notes that it's the audio - not the video - that makes the state's wiretapping law apply.

Here's the video in question

So a couple of points -

1. He was clearly speeding and so deserved the ticket. It would be interesting to see what speed the officer wrote him up at.
2. The officer didn't identify himself until he was right up to the driver. I don't know what the standard police procedures are but if Graber had pulled his own weapon or fled, I would have considered that reasonable behavior under the circumstances. I'm guessing the trooper screwed up which is why he wanted the video removed.
3. It's hard to argue that the recording was surreptitious when the GoPro helmet camera was clearly visible and the officer approached the driver against his will in a public place. So the whole case seems to just be an example of police harassment.

And here's Glenn Reynolds' view on the case and harassment against public photography in general.

Posted by: Maetenloch at 03:21 PM | Comments (305)
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Open Blog
— Ace

Sorry I keep doing this. I am on a deadline to complete a written piece. I had hoped to finish this past weekend, but I was sick as a dog Friday and Saturday. Now I'm under the gun.

I'll be here tomorrow, too, but will hang the open blog sign again: I really do need to finish this thing.

Posted by: Ace at 01:38 PM | Comments (298)
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Australia Offers Cave Tour in Klingon; Ace, No One Else, Books Immediate Qantas Flight
— Jack M.

Well, you and I call it "Qantas". Ace calls it the "N.C.C 1701-F".

Currently a self-guided audio tour at the caves in the Blue Mountains is offered in eight languages, but staff came up with the idea of adding the fictional language Klingon as the caves did once feature in the popular TV series.

"In the Star Trek universe, Jenolan Caves was first immortalized in the Next Generation episode 'Relics,' through the naming of a 'Sydney Class' Starship — the USS Jenolan," the Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust said in a statement.

"Now, this relationship will be developed further, when Jenolan Caves adds the language of Star Trek's great warrior race to a tour of their most popular cave."

I didn't really have much to add to this nerdarific story. I just wanted to punk Ace in a headline.

But since I have led y'all down this geeky path, I suppose I should reward you for following.

So here's a photo of the red-headed hottie in the new Doctor Who series. Which isn't a bad show. If you watch it with the sound off, and only when she is on the screen.

Posted by: Jack M. at 09:25 AM | Comments (268)
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Like Pigfords At A Trough
— Ace

How, exactly, did a settlement originally thought to benefit a couple of thousand black farmers swell into a general $50,000-a-head handout to nearing a 100,000 people, most of whom weren't even farmers?

Well, one part you know -- instead of money being paid to black farmers, the settlement soon applied to... blacks who could allege they considered taking up farming but were dissuaded, supposedly, by rumors the USDA would deny them loans later should they get into financial difficulty.

So... Um, okay, any black person who can write down on a claim form that he once had an "intent to farm" is now eligible for free federal money.

What could go wrong?

We already paid just shy of one billion in damages for this nonsense and now Congress is supposed to authorize another $1.5 billion to, you know, make whole all those people who now say, "Oh yeah, I forgot, I wanted to buy a farm too but didn't because of racism."

(And gee! Who could have guessed there were so many until we started writing checks out to those who would claim they wanted passionately to farm!)

In related news, I'm black, and I have always felt a need for seed.

Posted by: Ace at 09:20 AM | Comments (156)
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Mike Pence: No, TurboTax Tim, The Country Cannot "Withstand" Tax Hikes
— Ace

Regarding Tim Geithner's damn-with-faint-praise statement that the country can withstand higher taxes:

"This administration defines 'good policy' as what the country can withstand? The country cannot withstand more spending more borrowing more bailouts or more taxes, and House Republicans will fight this tax increase with everything we've got."

Meanwhile, a PJM writer speculates that Democrats are pondering how to reverse their course without seeming like they're reversing course.

The Democrats must know $75 billion in new taxes next year (and $1.4 trillion over 10 years, according to Michael Boskin in the Wall Street Journal) could push the economy into a coma. It could certainly stifle job growth.

The Congressional Budget Office agrees. In fact, it nearly doubles down on the figures. It estimates $115 billion next year and $2.6 trillion by 2020.

Now, they may not read the bills they pass. But the Democrats must be aware that the CBO predicts big damage if they let the tax cuts expire.

They need the makeup and disguises in order to finesse what they must do. They must keep all or most of the Bush tax cuts or they must replace them with other tax cuts. They cannot afford to drug the economy with tax increases at this stage.

How do they pull this off?

...

They can hardly admit their opponents were right — the critics who called for tax cuts 18 months ago, not to mention those who months ago called for Congress and the president to announce they would extend the Bush cuts.

Also, there is a swig of castor oil you must take when you admit your opponent is right. You must concede you were wrong. If they extend tax cuts now, they concede their recovery plan was wrong. With it, they spent, rather than cut. They gave the back of their hand to small and mid-sized businesses. In this they were wrong and dumb and out of touch with the real world of job creation.

I linked a few weeks ago a piece by Keynesian liberal economist Brad DeLong making the case we needed a bigger stimulus, or a new one, but noting that he'd be happy with tax cuts -- which, he noted (as if it needed noting), also constitute Keynesian stimulus.

Sure would have been nice for Obama to have noticed that a year and a half ago.

Oh wait, he didn't write the bill; he let Nancy Pelosi write it for him.

Sure would have been nice for Nancy Pelosi to have noticed that a year and a half ago.


Posted by: Ace at 09:01 AM | Comments (95)
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Julian Assange Promises More Leaks, Jazz-Hands
— Ace


Information wants to be fierce!

I've been derelict in mentioning this. Via Hot Air, a summary by an Afghanistan vet who notes the leaks tell us little we didn't know about the war, but a little more about what we already suspected of International Intersex Investigator Julian Assange.

I myself first went to Afghanistan as a young Army officer in 2002 and returned two years later after having led a small special operations unit — what Mr. Assange calls an “assassination squad.”

...

The Guardian editorialized on Sunday that the documents released reveal “a very different landscape ... from the one with which we have become familiar.” But whoever wrote that has not been reading the reports of his own newspaper’s reporters in Afghanistan.

The news media have done a good job of showing the public that the Afghan war is a highly complex environment stretching beyond the borders of the fractured country. Often what appears to be a two-way conflict between the government and an insurgency is better described as intertribal rivalry. And often that intertribal rivalry is worsened or overshadowed by the violent trade in drugs.

...

Mr. Assange says he is a journalist, but he is not. He is an activist, and to what end it is not clear. This week — as when he released a video in April showing American helicopter gunships killing Iraqi civilians in 2007 — he has been throwing around the term “war crimes,” but offers no context for the events he is judging. It seems that the death of any civilian in war, an unavoidable occurrence, is a “crime.”

If his desire is to promote peace, Mr. Assange and his brand of activism are not as helpful as he imagines. By muddying the waters between journalism and activism, and by throwing his organization into the debate on Afghanistan with little apparent regard for the hard moral choices and dearth of good policy options facing decision-makers, he is being as reckless and destructive as the contemptible soldier or soldiers who leaked the documents in the first place.

I don't think his first desire is to promote peace. I think he shares the same Internet Disease many of us have -- his first desire is to promote himself, to make himself a star.

Apparently he got sick of being an ugly-duckling Club Kid and decided to try his hand at international intersex investigation.

Guy's Got One Source? Pfc Bradley Manning was already charged with leaking the so-lied "Collateral Murder" video. The Pentagon suspects he also leaked this stack of minor documents.

This guy should be in jail for the rest of his life.

If this Julian Assange's one big source -- well, I think his fifteen minutes are up, even if he does look like Andy Warhol's scheduling secretary.

Oh: One of the big "gets" here, supposedly, is the revelation that helicopters are being brought down by anti-aircraft missiles, similar to the Stingers we armed the anti-Soviet forces with in the eighties.

The leap made immediately by the left is that these are in fact Stingers, because the left loves that Narrative, We Armed Them And Now The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost.

But the documents don't say that, at least not that I've seen.

You know, a lot of people now make these missiles. What was advanced tech 25 years ago is now easily knocked-off by the Chinese, Russians, or other similar reverse-engineer techo-parasites.

Could a Stinger even be functional after over 25 years?

Could it be functional after 25 years of being lugged around a rocky environment and secreted in caves that likely get very hot and very cold?

Could it functional after 25 years of being maintained by... well, as Ash would say, primitive screwheads?

The Pashtuns are not Arabs, but as they say of the Arabs: Arabs don't do maintenance. I doubt the Pashtuns are bears about it, either.

Encore for Jazz-Hands: The Glenn Beck goof on Adam Gadahn is below.
more...

Posted by: Ace at 08:06 AM | Comments (225)
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Al Franken Warns Gravely: Darryl Issa of the Oversight Committee Is Planning On Doubling His Staff Should His Party Win In November
— Ace

Kind of minor, but funny.

"They'll implement a truly dangerous agenda," Franken said Saturday. "Everything is on the table, from repealing health care reform to privatizing Social Security." Not only will GOP lawmakers "punch loopholes in our regulations," they will also "shred the social safety net," while their "corporate backers" work to enact "an even more dangerous agenda."

Bad as all that might be, Franken suggested that a little-known Republican congressman from California is plotting something even worse. "Darrell Issa is planning to double his staff," Franken said, referring to the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, "and embark on a witch hunt in hopes of bringing down the Obama administration."

A lot of Republicans chuckled when they heard that. Issa planning to double his staff? Well yes, that's what happens when a party takes over the House. Since 1995, the practice of the oversight committee has been to have a two-to-one ratio of majority to minority staff. When Democrats took control after winning the House in 2006, they doubled their staff, while the losing Republicans cut theirs in half. If Republicans win in 2010, they will double their staff and Democrats will cut theirs in half. That's the way it works.

Perhaps Franken, who has only been a senator for a year, and always with a big Democratic majority, doesn't know that. He has never experienced the dislocation a change in party control brings to Capitol Hill. Of course, if Democrats lose the Senate in November, he'll learn quickly.

In related news, if Republicans win in November, they're planning on "packing the committees" with members of their party, and "slashing" the number of Democrats on them.

Also: Franken warns that Issa and Boehner are actually planning to bestow themselves with "new titles" implying some kind of "heirarchical, top-down leadership structure."

Jazz-hands!

Posted by: Ace at 07:16 AM | Comments (119)
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