Monday, April 24, 2006

Waffling on Leaking

Senator Kerry presents yet another challenge to those who strive to understand where he stands on things:

'THIS WEEK' HOST GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: On another -- on another front, excuse me, CIA official Mary McCarthy lost her job this week for disclosing classified information according to the CIA probably about a WASHINGTON POST story which reveal revealed the existence of secret prisons in Europe. A lot of different views. Senator Pat Roberts praised action but some former CIA officers described Mary McCarthy as a sacrificial lamb acting in the finest American tradition by revealing human rights violations. What's your view?

SEN. KERRY: Well, I read that. I don't know whether she did it or not so it's hard to have a view on it. Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie. That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's one issue of hypocrisy but should a CIA officer be able to make decisions on his or her --

KERRY: ... Of course not. Of course, not. A CIA agent has the obligation to uphold the law and clearly leaking is against the law, and nobody should leak. I don't like leaking. But if you're leaking to tell the truth, Americans are going to look at that, at least mitigate or think about what are the consequences that you, you know, put on that person. Obviously they're not going to keep their job, but there are other larger issues here. You know, classification in Washington is a tool that is used to hide the truth from the American people. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was eloquent and forceful in always talking about how we needed to, you know, end this endless declassification that takes place in this city, and it has become a tool to hide the truth from Americans.

....So I'm glad she told the truth but she's going to obviously -- if she did it, if she did it, suffer the consequences of breaking the law.

So. A United States Senator is glad that an employee of the government, who signed a contract promising not to divulge secrets of state, did exactly that. An unauthorized leak by a CIA employee is legally and ethically comparable, in Kerry's judgment, to an authorized leak by an agent of the president of the United States. She shouldn't have broken the law, but she should have. I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it.

The senator maintains that leaking to tell the truth is different from leaking to tell a lie. No kidding. I wonder whether he'd use that same rationale if members of his campaign staff were leaking to the press some uncomfortable truth about him during the last election. The question is not whether what the agent leaked is true or not, but rather whether a trusted agent of the government should be taking it upon herself to make those kinds of decisions, especially when those decisions may well be politically motivated.

Allahu Akbar, Etc.

Presumably, the demonstration outside the Israeli consulate in New York over the weekend was carried out by American Muslims. It's all pretty discouraging. Here's the summary from Counterterrorism Blog:

The Queens-based Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS) held a rally yesterday outside of the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan. Members of the Islamic Thinkers Society are easily identified by their Khilafah flags and provocative signs as well as rhetoric against homosexuals, Jews, Christians, Danes and others, depending on the hot button issue at the moment. Yesterday's rally was held in response to Monday's Tel Aviv bombing that killed 9 and injured scores. While carrying signs including "Islam will Dominate" with a picture of an Islamic flag over the White House, the small but loud group of men chanted threatening slogans:

Leader (in Arabic): With our blood and our lives we will liberate al Aqsa!

[The rest also respond in Arabic:] With our blood and our lives we will liberate al Aqsa!

Leader: Israeli Zionists What do you say? The real Holocaust is on its way. Takbeer!

Response: Allahu Akbar!

Leader: Israeli Zionists, What do you say? How many women have you raped today? Israeli Zionists, What do you say? How many children have you killed today?

Zionists, Zionists You will pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way! Israeli Zionists You shall pay! The Wrath of Allah is on its way! The mushroom cloud is on its way! The real Holocaust is on its way!

We are not your average Muslims, We are the Muslims of Was al Sunnah.

We will not accept the United Nations, they are the criminals themselves. They get paid by the Israeli and the US government to do their job. We don't recognize United Nations as a body. We only recognize Allah.

Israel won't last long... Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel. Takbeer!

Response: Allahu Akbar!

Leader: No wonder they call you [the Jews]sons of apes and pigs because that's what you are.

We know many government services are watching us. Such as the FBI...CIA...Mossad, Homeland Security... We know we are getting on their nerves, And so are you.... So we say the hell with you! May the FBI burn in hell. CIA burn in hell. Mossad burn in hell. Homeland Security burn in hell!!

Islam will dominate the world. Islam is the only solution. Islam will dominate the world. Islam is the only solution. Takbeer!

Another mushroom cloud, right in the midst of Israel! Takbeer!! Allahu Akbar!

Sadly, the only problem for which Islam offers a solution is the problem of overpopulation. There is no other difficulty facing civilization today for which Islam is even remotely useful.

We are relieved that there didn't seem to be too many of these psychopaths in the demonstration (see video), and those who were there looked pretty buffoonish, as you might expect. Even so, people who justify suicide murders and nuclear attacks on Israel should be taken seriously and treated with the public contempt and scorn they so deeply deserve.

Don't expect such treatment from the media, however. Even had they the courage, they'd lack the resources to carry it out. They're focussing all their efforts on heaping their quota of contempt on the real enemy of human civilization, the Bush administration.

Stand Firm

The president's opponents never tire of declaring Iraq a lost cause and using this alleged failure as a club with which to beat Donald Rumsfeld, and through him, President Bush over the head.

Nevertheless, one must be an inveterate pessimist to see our Iraq policy as a failure. There is much cause for optimism for one who is inclined to see it and willing to look for it beyond the pages of the Old Media.

Take the information dispensed in a recent briefing by General Rick Lynch, for example. His entire briefing is here, but this part, excerpted by John Dwyer at The American Thinker, is especially interesting. General Lynch says this:

I want to talk about four specific indicators on operations here in Iraq, and I don't want to talk about what happened yesterday. I want to talk over a period of time to give you a sense of the trend lines that we see. And these are four that I've talked to you about before, but allow me to give you an update.

We believe that 90 percent of the suicide attacks in Iraq are conducted by foreign fighters-al Qaeda, Zarqawi commissioning foreign fighters to conduct these suicide attacks. Last year this time, across Iraq, we were averaging about 75 suicide attacks a day. Now we're averaging about 24 a day.

One of the reasons for that drawdown is not that Zarqawi and al Qaeda doesn't want to do it anymore, but effective border operations have been capturing foreign nationals at the border. And I talked you through last week in great detail what's happened on the Iraqi border. Last November the Iraqi government declared initial control of the borders, and over time they've placed Department of Border Enforcement personnel-20,000 people, on the borders, 258 border camps-to stop this flow of foreign nationals into Iraq, some of which are coming in to be used as suicide bombers.

So if you look closely at what's happened, just before the first of the year, we were averaging about 44 captured foreign nationals per month, and now we're down to less than half of that. The effect of that is reduction in the number of suicide attacks in Iraq: over 70 a year ago, 24 now.

I talked about IEDs and IEDs that are found and cleared. We have reached the point where almost 50 percent of the IEDs are found and cleared before they detonate. And people say, "Well, why is that?" A reason why that is, is the number of sophisticated bomb-makers we've been able to take off the battlefield here in Iraq.

There are indeed people with talent and capability that can build a reliable IED, one that will function as designed. What we've been doing is a conscious effort with the Iraqi security forces to take those guys off the battlefield and either kill or capture them. And you can see that we took out 115 in the year 2005. And since the first of the year, we've taken out an additional 26.

The effect of that is, IEDs are produced that are less effective. And in many cases, we're finding the people that are emplacing the IEDs are killed by their own IEDs, or the IEDs that are emplaced don't go off as detonated. And that's because of the conscious decision to kill or capture bomb-makers.

I talk every Thursday about the weapons caches and weapons finds. And if you looked over the years 2005, we came across 2,880 weapons caches and since the first of the year almost 900 weapons caches.

Again, this goes to the effectiveness of the insurgents. In order to be able to create effective IEDs, he's got to have technical expertise, and he's got to have the proper munitions. A lot of these weapons caches we found had old munitions, but a lot of them had relatively new munitions that could build an effective bomb.

So as we look for bomb-makers and as we look for weapons caches to this level of effect, we are reducing the effectiveness of IEDs, VBIEDs and suicide car bombs, suicide vest packs, and also by taking out foreign nationals as they come across.

But I believe that the most important indicator on these charts, on this quad chart, is this one. And that's the number of tips, actionable tips, that we are receiving from the people of Iraq. They have indeed reached the point where they're tired of the insurgency, and they realize that they are indeed the target of attacks by the insurgency. The numbers of attacks against civilians, as I told you before, has doubled in the last four months, is up by 86 percent just in the last nine weeks.

So the people of Iraq are tired of the insurgency, and what they're doing is calling in actionable tips or providing tips to the 250,000 members of the Iraqi security force that are patrolling the streets of Iraq.

Of course, none of these positive trends in Iraq matter to liberal opinion molders. Their agenda, unfortunately, is not to inform the American people, but rather to discredit Bush and defeat the Republicans. Consequently, the sort of news Gen. Lynch gives us will never make it onto our televisions or into our newspapers. Nevertheless, it appears to be the case that Iraq is slowly but steadily developing into a democratic state able to stand on its own feet against the insurgency. There are sure to be further stumbles along the way, more mistakes will be made, but the absolutely worst thing we could do at this point is to lose heart and give up.

To follow the advice of the Last Helicopter crowd at this stage of the game would be a blunder of world-shattering consequence. We must stand firm against those whose vision is so astigmatic that they cannot see America succeeding in any great enterprise. We must resist the defeatism of those like John Murtha and John Kerry who insist that we're losing and should quit the field.

What these gentlemen really mean is that we should guarantee that we lose in Iraq before Bush actually succeeds and garners the credit for an historic achievement. To have Bush succeed would be more than they could bear. We can be sure that if Bill Clinton were at the helm, and if he were doing things just as the Bush team has done them, mistakes and all, Murtha, Kerry, and the rest of the cut-and-runners in the Democrat party would be totally supportive of the effort.

Osama's Latest Missive

Counterterrorism Blog lists the ten points of Osama bin Laden's most recent audiotape. One of his aims, it appears, is to justify the murder of Western civilians by holding them ultimately responsible for what their governments do. This, he probably hopes, will encourage the public to rise up against their leaders and demand an end to the GWOT:

1. Hamas: Despite the fact that we (including Ayman Zawahiri) warned (Muslim Palestinians) not to take part in elections in general, the victory of Hamas shows that there is a "Crusader Zionist War against Islam." Cutting foreign aid to the Palestinians because of Hamas victory proves that war.

2. The public (in the West and the US), despite our warnings, continues to reelect these Governments, pay taxes to these Governments, and send their children to fight against us. They (civilians) are therefore part of the war against us. They are responsible for any harm that would be caused to them.

3. Sudan: The Bashir Government is failing in stopping the Crusader War in Sudan. The Crusaders (Britain) has pushed the southerners (Blacks) to separate. The US has armed them and is supporting them. And now, because of tribal tensions in Darfour, the Crusaders are planning on intervening there. We are calling on the Jihadists to fight them in Darfour and Southern Sudan.

4. Long War: We're calling on all Jihadists, particularly in Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula to prepare themselves for a long war.

5. Danish Cartoons: We are asking the Danish Government to remit the Cartoonists to al Qaida.

6. Saudis: We criticize the Saudi Monarch for refuting the idea of Clash of Civilizations. There is a clash led by the West against Islam.

7. Arab Liberals: Jihadists must silence the Arab and Muslim liberals. (A list has been established, but it wasn't aired).

8. Education: We warn [against] any change that would affect the educational curriculum in the Arab and Muslim world.

9. Arab TV: We warn against those TV stations airing into the region and propagating Crusader propaganda.

10: Truce: We offered a truce to the West (i.e. US and Europe) but their public refused to accept it. They will only blame themselves.

Number 4 is particularly interesting inasmuch as it suggests that bin Laden is no longer optimistic about the outcome of global jihad. He also seems to have written off Iraq and looks to Saudi Arabia and Africa as more promising.

Number 8 is also of interest because it supports the complaint of many observers that it is through the schools (madrassas) that the extremists are preparing future jihadis. These schools should be shut down in the U.S. and Europe, and it is astonishing to us that they haven't been already.