Thursday, August 24, 2006


Lieberman is now officially endangering Democratic chances of taking over the House:
Joseph Lieberman, who is seeking to return to the US Senate as an independent after losing his bid for re-nomination by the Democratic Party in Connecticut, will campaign today with two Republicans for office in the state, RAW STORY has learned.

A message was posted last night at the blog of Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, who bested Lieberman in the August 8 Democratic primary, indicating that Lieberman would campaign today with Republican Governor Jodi Rell and Republican Congressman Rob Simmons, both of whom are up for re-election. Jane Hamsher at the blog Fire Dog Lake added that the campaign event would occur at a submarine base in the city of Groton.

Coverage by the Associated Press refers to the event as a "strategy session" to keep the base off the list of military facilities facing closure.

Republican Congressman Rob Simmons's seat is seen to be up for grabs, as recent polls show that approval of President Bush in his district is very low. Democrats have worked to tar him as a cheerleader for the president. He is challenged in the state's second district by Joe Courtney, a former state legislator who is currently a private practice attorney.

Additionally, a recent poll by Qunnipiac shows that Connecticut's Governor Rell has a high approval rating, and that only 28% of voters said they would pick her challenger John DeStefano to be governor.
He might say he'll caucus with the Democrats if he's re-elected, but the way he'll stab them in the back is to take the Sec. of Defense position, and allow the GOP Conn. Governor to appoint his Senate successor...a Republican.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

UK Terror Plot Questions 

Sullivan asks all the right questions, and I'm afraid we may already know the answers:
So far, no one has been charged in the alleged terror plot to blow up several airplanes across the Atlantic. No evidence has been produced supporting the contention that such a plot was indeed imminent. Forgive me if my skepticism just ratcheted up a little notch. Under a law that the Tories helped weaken, the suspects can be held without charges for up to 28 days. Those days are ticking by. Remember: the British authorities had all these people under surveillance; they did not want to act last week; there was no imminent threat of anything but a possible "dummy-run," whatever deranged guest-bloggers at Malkin say. (Correction, please.) Bush and Blair discussed whether to throw Britain's airports into chaos over the weekend before the crackdown occurred.

Then we have the following comment from Craig Murray. Craig Murray was Tony Blair's ambassador to Uzbekistan whose internal memo complaining about evidence procured by out-sourced torture created a flap a while back. He is skeptical. Money quote:

None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports, which given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency would mean they couldn't be a plane bomber for quite some time.

In the absence of bombs and airline tickets, and in many cases passports, it could be pretty difficult to convince a jury beyond reasonable doubt that individuals intended to go through with suicide bombings, whatever rash stuff they may have bragged in internet chat rooms.

What is more, many of those arrested had been under surveillance for over a year - like thousands of other British Muslims. And not just Muslims. Like me. Nothing from that surveillance had indicated the need for early arrests.

Then an interrogation in Pakistan revealed the details of this amazing plot to blow up multiple planes - which, rather extraordinarily, had not turned up in a year of surveillance. Of course, the interrogators of the Pakistani dictator have their ways of making people sing like canaries. As I witnessed in Uzbekistan, you can get the most extraordinary information this way. Trouble is it always tends to give the interrogators all they might want, and more, in a desperate effort to stop or avert torture. What it doesn't give is the truth ...

We then have the extraordinary question of Bush and Blair discussing the possible arrests over the weekend. Why?

I'd be interested in the number of plotters who had passports. How could they even stage a dummy-run with no passports? And what bomb-making materials did they actually have? These seem like legitimate questions to me; the British authorities have produced no evidence so far. If the only evidence they have was from torturing someone in Pakistan, then they have nothing that can stand up in anything like a court. I wonder if this story is going to get more interesting. I wonder if Lieberman's defeat, the resilience of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the emergence of a Hezbollah-style government in Iraq had any bearing on the decision by Bush and Blair to pre-empt the British police and order this alleged plot disabled. I wish I didn't find these questions popping into my head. But the alternative is to trust the Bush administration.

Been there. Done that. Learned my lesson.
Sad but True.



Lamont doesn't sound like a crazy left-wing radical to me:
In the past week, my victory in the Connecticut Senate primary has been labeled everything from the death knell of the Democratic Party to the signal of our party's rebirth. Beneath all of this punditry is a question that I want to face directly: how the experience I will bring to the U.S. Senate will help Connecticut and the Democratic Party during this time of testing for our country.

I ran at a time when people said "you can't beat a three-term incumbent," because I believed that President Bush, enabled by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, had weakened our country at home and abroad. We're weaker economically, because we're more dependent on foreign energy and foreign capital. Our national security has also been weakened, because we stopped fighting a real war on terror when we made the costly and counterproductive decision to go to war in Iraq...

Good judgment is an essential part of good governance. But we're bogged down in Iraq, and hamstrung in the war against terror, by leaders who lacked judgment, historical perspective, openness to other cultures and plain old common sense. We offer something different.

But in the final analysis, the results of this election say less about me, and more about the people of Connecticut. They turned out in record numbers; they spoke every day with a simple eloquence and urgency about the country we love. They oppose the war and the fiscal nightmare crafted by President Bush and his allies. But their vote, finally, was one based on pragmatism and reality, on optimism and hope. And it is to these ideals and values that we plan to address my campaign in the months until November.
Let's not forget he was a very successful businessman.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

With Friends Like These... 

Sailor caught spying for Israel:
A US Navy sailor, Ariel J. Weinmann, is suspected of spying for Israel and has been held in prison for four months, according to an article published Monday in the Saudi daily Al-Watan. It reported that Weinmann is being held at a military base in Virginia on suspicion of espionage and desertion.

According to the navy, Weinmann was apprehended on March 26 "after it was learned that he had been listed as a deserter by his command." Though initial information released by the navy makes no mention of it, Al-Watan reported that he was returning from an undisclosed "foreign country." American sources close to the Defense Department told Al-Watan that Israel was the country in question.

The US Navy concluded Article 32 proceedings [a pretrial investigation] in the case of Fire Control Technician Third Class Ariel J. Weinmann on July 26, 2006," Ted Brown, a media relations officer at the US Fleet Forces Command, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. The US Fleet Forces Command is the "convening authority of the case... and will make the decision with respect to what charges, if any, will be referred to a general court-martial."

The veracity of Al-Watan's claim that Weinmann is suspected of spying for Israel remains in question, and military and Pentagon spokesmen are remaining tightlipped. A public affairs officer at the Office of Naval Intelligence told the Post that he was unaware of the allegations against Weinmann.

Al-Watan speculated that if Weinmann spied on behalf of the Mossad, it would be the biggest espionage case since Jonathan Pollard's arrest. Pollard, who worked as a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, was caught in 1985 and convicted of spying for Israel. He is currently serving a life sentence in the US.
We already give Israel a ton of information and military equipment, what is it that they're really after?

Update 8/9 9:02 PM EST: Israel's off the hook. It's Russia.



Sore Loserman is back (via Atrios):
LAUER: Let me go back to that line in your speech last night. I'll paraphrase it if you don't mind. You said, for the sake of your state, your country and my party, you will not let these results stand. It's a nice line in the speech, but the fact of the matter is there are a lot of Democrats who think that now going forward you are putting your own personal ambitions above the good of the party.

How do you respond to that?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I think it's time for somebody to break through the dominance of both parties by the margins of the parties, which happens in primaries. I think it's time for somebody to break through and say, Hey, let's cut out the partisan nonsense.
Yes, I'm a proud Democrat, but I'm more devoted to my state and my country than I am to my party. And the parties today are getting in the way of our government doing for our people what they need their government to do.

So in the end, Matt -- the great thing about America is that the people will have the last word.


LAUER: Senator, is there any phone call you could receive? Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?

LIEBERMAN: Respectfully, no. I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters to the mainstream, and for doing something for the people of Connecticut. That's what this is all about: which one of us, Lamont or me, can do more for the future of our people here in Connecticut. And on that basis, I'm going forward with confidence, purpose and some real optimism.

He's become such an embarrasment. Where was this fire in 2000?


Sunday, August 06, 2006


Great quote in bold:
Col. Pat Lang (US Army, Ret.) has one of the most interesting national security/military policy blogs around. It's tough-minded and unsentimental.

This morning, he sent some of his friends a roster of four issues and questions to consider when debating the so-called US-French agreement on and Israel-Hezbollah ceasefire.

They were:

1. France and the United States are not at war with each other. They cannot agree to end the fighting.

2. Hizbullah thinks it is winning both tactically and strategically. Why will it agree to anything other than a cease-fire in place?

3. Such a cease-fire will be a victory for Hizbullah.

4. Who will disarm Hizbullah if it accepts such a cease-fire?

These are good questions -- but the first resonates with me most. It's not clear that the US and France are willing to use their leverage to wrestle the warring parties down.
News organizations kept repeating "US and France agree to a peace deal" regarding the Isareal-Hezbollah situation. The only deal that would matter is an Israeli and Hezbollah a peace deal.


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