Wednesday, December 27, 2006

ABOVE HIS PAY GRADE: "General" Joe Biden Opposes Increasing Troop Levels in IRAQ

Senator Joe Biden (D) has made it known that he will vigorously oppose any increase in military committment to Iraq.

I have a few words to Sen. Biden, and I'm sure that he won't mind me plagarizing his past comments from an old Senate hearing: "Isn't that a little above your pay grade?"

THEY HAPPEN IN THREES: URI DAN DIES AT 71

With James Brown and Gerald Ford's deaths dominating the headlines, I want to mention Uri Dan, who passed away Sunday in Tel Aviv (NY Times obit.). He was a reporter, and a great one. Eric Fettman has a column about him in the NY POST, which deserves to be mentioned here. I was just a fan, who read his columns every time the Post published them. I had no idea he was sick, because I still would see a column occasionally. He also just published a biography of his longtime freind, Ariel Sharon.

The whole "they come in threes" idea about "famous" deaths is subjective, of course. However, after reading Mr. Fettmans's NY Post column about Uri Dan, I know why I hung on every word of those columns. He was a giant in Israeli journalism. I feel privileged to have read as much of his work as I have over the time he was with the NY Post. He qualifies as a "famous" person to me, personally.

I was struck by the loss I feel over this man whose only image I saw was a tiny b&w photo in my local paper. I feel robbed of a great source of info on the inside workings of the situation in Israel. The NY Post will get another Israel correspondent, but there will never be another Uri Dan.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Palestinian Civil War: Who Does Al Queda Support?

For those who think that Iraq is not part of the war on terror, this post will not mention Iraq. Many of those same people think that our involvement in the war on terror stems from our support of Israel. They usually say that "Hamas is the elected government," and that we should support them. President Mahmoud Abbas is from Fatah, and was also elected. We are supporting him, as Israel is doing as well. However, the Palestinians haven't mastered the "divided government" concept yet. More precisely, they haven't mastered the "civil government" part yet. This is excerpted from the NY POST:

December 20, 2006 -- JERUSALEM - Rival Palestinian factions raised the ante
in their bloody power struggle yesterday, firing rocket-propelled grenades and
mortars at one another and triggering a shootout at a hospital.

At least six people were killed and 19 wounded - including five
schoolchildren hit by gunfire as they took cover, witnesses said.

"It's a real war," said Suleiman Tuman, a 53-year-old shopkeeper trapped in
his Gaza City grocery store by the fighting. "Both sides used to fight the
Israelis together. Now they are directing their weapons toward each other and
we're in the middle," he said.

"This is madness," said taxi driver Adel Mohammad-Ali, 40. "The streets are
divided between Hamas and Fatah gunmen. You never know who is who."

...Also yesterday:

* Two Fatah security officers were executed by a Hamas-led police unit
after they were kidnapped, Fatah said.
* The violence appeared to be
spreading to the West Bank, where four armed men shot and wounded a Hamas judge
in the city of Nablus.
* At day's end yesterday, security chiefs of the rival
factions claimed they had agreed on a cease-fire. But there was no assurance it
wouldn't collapse as quickly as the truce negotiated by Egyptian officials
Sunday. (It's collapsed by the time I'm posting this-Chris)


So there is a civil war in the P.A. Whose side is Al Queda on? Al Queda's number two, Ayaman Al Zawahiri, released a tape today, as reported on CNN:


DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Al Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri
released a new videotaped statement Wednesday in which he sided with Hamas'
opposition to early Palestinian elections.

Al-Zawahiri warned Palestinian leaders that "holding elections won't lead
to Palestine's liberation."

"Those who try to liberate Muslim land through elections ... will not
liberate one grain of sand of Palestine," al-Zawahiri said. "Their efforts will
only result in creating a reversion to jihad and will negatively affect the
[current] struggle of mujahedeen," al-Zawahiri said.

Al-Zawahiri also had some words for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas, calling the Fatah party leader "America's man in Palestine." And he
obliquely criticized Hamas leaders, asking: "Why didn't they ask for an Islamic
constitution for Palestine?"


It looks like Al Queda doesn't support either of the major factions of the PA. As I've said before, the terrorists really don't give a hoot about the Palestinians, except as a tool to attack Israel, and America. They have been promulgating this strategy for decades, through Arafat. Since his assumption of room temperature, the real battle is becoming evident, in the P.A: democracy, or repression. Fatah seems to support democracy: (CNN) (same story as above link)

Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi -- a member of the Fatah party, which
supports new elections -- said al-Zawahiri should "stay out of it."

"Nobody asked him [for] his opinion," Ashrawi told CNN.

"Palestinians -- including Hamas, including the Islamist parties -- do not
claim any affiliation with or allegiance to al-Zawahiri and his ilk. Al Qaeda
does not have anything do with Palestine, and we would thank them very much to
stay out of it and not to exploit the Palestinian question and not to try to
interfere," Ashrawi said.


And yet, I distinctly remember the cheering and passing out of candy in the PA on 9/11/01. So some there support Al Queda. Perhaps the ones who refuse to accept the democratic process? The ones who are trying to continue the "rule of the gun?" Hamas? I don't know enough to be specific here, but some in every faction are controlled by different terror masters, with different agendas. They are willing to kill indiscriminantly to achieve their goals; that much is certain.

WAR, TRANSPARENCY, and the ACLU

There is no doubt that a certain amount of transparency is essential for a modern democracy to function honestly. However, taken to the extreme, complete transparency would effectively make our National Security impotent and threaten the ability of the democracy to secure its very existence. There is a line that must be carefully walked. We must maintain common sense, especially in times that enemies threaten our very existence. We can not be so transparent that our enemies can see through us, and know our techniques and plans to fight them and protect ourselves against them. We should never cede our security to exist over to a utopian ideological dream of a completely transparent government. It is also important to have government watchdogs keeping an eye on government from abusing and overclassifying information that the public has a right to know. The danger lies in allowing too much liberty, especially to absolutist organizations like the ACLU, in that decision making process.

The Investor's Business Daily bring up some very good points in reference to the recent backing down of the government in trying to obtain a classified document from the ACLU.

"The government blinked," gloated ACLU executive director Anthony Romero.

Judge Rakoff is notoriously liberal, having declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 2002 (a ruling quickly overturned), and earlier this year forcing the Pentagon to make public thousands of pages of information on suspected terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay. So it's understandable for prosecutors to not want to fight an unwinnable battle.

Are we nearing the day, however, when the ACLU has our legal system so wrapped around its finger that government secrets can no longer be kept from terrorists? Consider these points:

• The ACLU's Romero called the subpoena battle "a fight not over a document but over the principle that the government cannot and should not be allowed to intimidate and impede the work of human rights advocates like the ACLU who seek to expose government wrongdoing."

But if leftist activist groups or journalists, rather than the freely-elected U.S. government, decide what is legitimately secret and what is "intimidation," there's little that will remain secret.


Indeed, the government did blink. However, they caved in because they had a losing legal argument, not because they have no right to supress secret information from activist groups and the public at large. Before we hand the decision making process of what should or shouldn't be secret or in the public interest to extreme partisan organizations like the ACLU, we should really take a look at just how reckless they have been with such information in the past. Indeed, if we leave it to groups like the ACLU we might as well write the suicide note of our nation on the back of the Constitution.

There is probably no other issue as fragile to the preservation of our liberties than a careful balance between civil liberties and our national security. To its credit, the ACLU recognizes the danger if the scales are tipped too far to the side of national security, however it doesn’t seem to acknowledge the danger if the scales are reversed. So, let us take a look at some of the extreme examples where the ACLU's absolutist views actually endanger our national security.

In particular let us look at their attitude towards the intelligence community and secret information in general.

When it comes to drawing the line between classified information and national security the ACLU's record has never leaned toward the side of caution or national security. They consistently defend leakers as brave "whistleblowers." Even after the NY Times leaked details about the vital NSA program, the ACLU wanted more to come out in the open. They have even defended leaks on vital programs like SWIFT, in which we track terror finances, where there was absolutely nothing that even suggested government wrongdoing. They have even fought for accused enemy prisoners to be allowed to see classified evidence against them. The fact that our enemies learn and adjust from such traitorous leaks never seems to phase them.

More Points from the Investor's Business Daily:

The ACLU boasts that its legal efforts have made public "more than 100,000 pages of government documents" regarding the interrogation of suspected terrorists. It has posted many of these documents on its Web site in an effort to shut down the program.

But President Bush's policy of tough interrogation has secured information that has foiled numerous terrorist plots, saving thousands of lives. They include jetliner hijacking schemes targeting buildings on both the East and West coasts, another targeting Heathrow Airport in London, plus plots to destroy ships in both the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, and Jose Padilla's plan to blow up high-rise apartment buildings in the U.S.

Intelligence information key to preventing terrorist acts has also come from the president's other homeland security policies, like the National Security Agency's wiretapping program. But ACLU lawyers are aggressively trying to shut those efforts down in several jurisdictions.


So, let us take a look at the ACLU's real attitude towards the intelligence community.

To the ACLU, CIA means "Controlling the Intelligence Agencies." That's the title they gave to Policy #117. But even that is an understatement of what this particular policy calls for. "Completely undermining the Intelligence Agencies" would be a more appropriate title. It starts out badly and then gets worse.

"Control of our government's intelligence agencies demands an end to tolerance of "national security" as grounds for the slightest departure from the constitutional boundaries which limit government conduct in other areas."

Of course, its been obvious for nearly 70 years that protecting America's national security is certainly not something the ACLU favors.

Here are some of the specific controls called for in Policy #117:

Limit the CIA, under the new name of the Foreign Intelligence Agency, to collecting and evaluatiing foreign intelligence information. Abolish all covert operations.

Limit the FBI to criminal investigations by elimimnating all COINTEL-PRO-type activity and all foreign and domestic intelligence investigations of groups or individuals unrelated to a specific criminal offense.

Prohibit entirely wiretaps, tapping of telecommunications and burglaries.

Restrict mail openings, mail covers, inspection of bank records, and inspection of telephone records by requiring a warrant issued on probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

Prohibit all domestic intelligence and political information-gathering. Only investigations of crimes which have been, are being, or are about to be committed may be conducted.Twilight of Liberty


Two former members of the ACLU, Richard and Susan Vigilante, conducted a thorough analysis of the ACLU spelled out by the Union's Center for National Security Studies.

They wrote:

The ACLU opposes, and has fought in either Congress or the courts, virtually all "covert action," most "clandestine intelligence" gathering (i.e. spying), and in one case aid to an important U.S. ally with a poor human rights record. The net effect of these efforts has been to hinder U.S. opposition to Communist expansion. The ACLU may, at some point, have undertaken some major initiative that advanced U.S. interests and hindered Communist expansion, but our research never turned one up and no ACLU leader ever mentioned one to us.


In other words, strip the intelligence agencies useless.

One of the most revealing occurances towards the ACLU’s absolutist position on national security and its recent evolution can be seen in the action the board of directors took at its Oct 1989 meeting: It dropped section (a) from its policy, “Wartime Sedition Act.” Before, the ACLU held that it “would not participate (save for fundamental due process violations) in defense of any person believed to be “cooperating” with or acting on behalf of the enemy.” This policy was based on the recognition that “our own military enemies are now using techniques of propaganda which may involve an attempt to prevent the Bill of Rights to serve the enemy rather than the people of the United States.” In making its determination as to whether someone were cooperating with the enemy, “the Union will consider such matters as past activities and associations, sources of financial support, relations with enemy agents, the particular words and conduct involved, and all other relevant factors for informed judgement.”Twilight of Liberty


All of this is now omitted from the Official ACLU policy! This is not the kind of organization one should trust when it comes to secrets that need to be kept from enemy eyes.

The ACLU's extremist position towards classified information can be seen in the very case they have been citing recently, the Petagon Papers.

The Pentagon Papers case shows how extremist the ACLU can be. In that suit, the Supreme Court ruled against the efforts of the Nixon Administration to suppress documents that were a veritable history of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. The ACLU, which filed an amicus, was happy with the immediate outcome-the newspapers could run copies of the Pentagon Papers-but was less than pleased with the high court's reasoning. The Union was disturbed that the Supreme Court gave life to the idea that the president and the Congress had a right to restrain the press in bona fide instances of national security. It wanted nothing less than an absolute ban on prior restraint. Alexander Bickel, the brilliant constitutional scholar who argued the case against the government, criticized the unreasonableness of the ACLU stand. He accused the Union of being too ideological, labeling the absolutist position "foolish to the point of being almost unprofessional." Like most students of the Constitution, Bickel was generally opposed to prior restraint but nonetheless conceded that there may be times when not to invoke prior restraint may be disastrous to the well-being of the republic. This is something the ACLU has not acknowledged and will not acknowledge.


In the recent case where the government folded in their attempt to get 'secret' documents back from the ACLU their first mistake was in their approach. Their big mistake that they continue to make is in not aggressively investigating, prosecuting, and punishing the traitors that leak and publish the secret matters of national security for all, including our enemies, to know.

As the lawyers at Powerline have pointed out, in the case of the NSA leak, federal law is 18 U.S.C. § 798, a law that precisely prohibits leaks of the type of classified information disclosed in the story. Subsection (a) of the statute provides:

Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes, or uses in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States or for the benefit of any foreign government to the detriment of the United States any classified information—
(1) concerning the nature, preparation, or use of any code, cipher, or cryptographic system of the United States or any foreign government; or
(2) concerning the design, construction, use, maintenance, or repair of any device, apparatus, or appliance used or prepared or planned for use by the United States or any foreign government for cryptographic or communication intelligence purposes; or
(3) concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government; or
(4) obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government, knowing the same to have been obtained by such processes—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.


Powerline further points out that in cases like that of the NSA leak, the Pentagon Paper case the ACLU loves to cite so much, only applies to prior restraint and not to punishment after the crime of publishing has been committed.

Indeed, in their concurring opinions, Justices Douglas and White cited and discussed 18 U.S.C. § 798 as the prototype of a law that could be enforced against a newspaper following publication of information falling within the ambit of the statute. Justice White noted, for example:

The Criminal Code contains numerous provisions potentially relevant to these cases. Section 797 makes it a crime to publish certain photographs or drawings of military installations. Section 798, also in precise language, proscribes knowing and willful publication of any classified information concerning the cryptographic systems or communication intelligence activities of the United States as well as any information obtained from communication intelligence operations. If any of the material here at issue is of this nature, the newspapers are presumably now on full notice of the position of the United States and must face the consequences if they publish. I would have no difficulty in sustaining convictions under these sections on facts that would not justify the intervention of equity and the imposition of a prior restraint.


Make sure to read the entire analysis.

When it comes to national security and classified information the ACLU has a long record of recklessness. When it comes to keeping our government from wrongdoing there are many suggestions that could be pursued to alleviate the problem. Allowing the press and the ACLU unfettered liberty to make the call on what can and can not be classified is a death wish. The government needs to step up and aggressively investigate and prosecute those that act, participate, aid and protect in the unlawful disclosure of our national security secrets.

The Investor's Business Daily sums it all up well:

The civilized world simply can't win against the forces of Islamo-fascism if we are deprived of the vital weapon of secrecy. Letting the ACLU force us to operate according to its radical ideology of "open government" would be like telegramming Hitler that we plan to invade Normandy.


This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 200 blogs already on-board.

Friday, December 15, 2006

CARTER DEFENDS HAMAS: MURDERERS OF CHILDREN

I get sick when I think of Pres. Carter defending Hamas in several recent interviews. He repeatedly said that Hamas has not committed a terror act since 2002, or some such nonsense. The part that makes me sick is the recent slaying of 3 children of a Fatah political figure. Hamas denied responsibility, but this fits into the pattern of terror that they, Hezbollah, and other puppets of Iran and Syria practice in areas that they are seeking to dominate, as well as the areas that they already do. For a former president to be an advocate for people who target the children of their political foes is a disgrace, but not a surprise from Pres. Carter. He is destroying his post-presidential legacy worse than he did his presidential legacy. I feel pity for a man who sees moral equivalence between leaders that want peaceful political dialog, but must have security, and terrorists who target their political opponents (and their children) for death. Hamas is such a terrorist organization, and Carter should be condemned for his defense of them.

LEAVWORLD: GRAFFITI POLITTI 2nd Blogiversary!

Well, I didn't even realize it this year, but Dec. 11th was the second anniversary of starting my LEAVWORLD: GRAFFITI POLITTI blog. Here's a post from my first day:

Saturday, Dec 11, 2004
MY FAVORITE LIBERAL


Jimmy Carter 1979 (on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan): "Leonid Brezhnev lied to me." Jimmy Carter 2002 (on North Korea's nuclear program): "Kim Jong Il lied to me." He is the personification of good (liberal) intentions gone bad. A shining example of the way not to run the government. Now he is with the "Bush lied" crowd, to no-one's surprise. He's still my favorite bleeding heart, misguided liberal.

More links from my early posts:

LIKE IT IS: MOYERS' HYPOCRICY - A stinging critique of Moyers' speech at a Harlem Church.

Are Songebob and Lincoln Gay? Another "Tinky Winky" story! - FUNNY cultural commentary!

PONZI SCHEME: What is Social Security? - "If the shoe fits..."

CONSERVATIVES ARE THE NEW PROGRESSIVES - Education is the example in this one.

SOCIAL SECURITY REFORM: Conservatives are the New Progressives Pt. II

...Also check out KWANZA VS. FESTIVUS! -for a good laugh!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

U.S. Subpoenas ACLU Over Possession Of Secret Document

Crossposted from Stop The ACLU

Via the ACLU we find out the U.S. government is finally being proactive against the ACLU in protecting classified information from being leaked for our enemies to know.

The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that it has asked a federal judge to quash a grand jury subpoena demanding that it turn over to the FBI "any and all copies" of a December 2005 government document in its possession.

The ACLU called the subpoena, served on November 20 by the U.S. Attorney's office in New York, a transparent attempt to intimidate government critics and suppress informed criticism and reporting.

"The government's attempt to suppress information using the grand jury process is truly chilling and is unprecedented in law and in the ACLU's history," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. "This subpoena serves no legitimate investigative purpose and tramples on fundamental First Amendment rights. We recognize this maneuver for what it is: a patent attempt to intimidate and impede the work of human rights advocates like the ACLU who seek to expose government wrongdoing."

The three-and-a-half page document, issued in December 2005, is marked "Secret" and apparently is classified. The ACLU received the document, unsolicited, on October 23, 2006.


Apparently a document marked "Secret" is classified? You don't say! Quite a scary thing that such a dangerous organization like the ACLU has its hands on classified information. I think the ACLU has already demonstrated how reckless they can be with secret information. You can bet there would be no regard to National Security.

The ACLU think that exposing government wrongdoing is exposing to the enemy the governments efforts and techniques to secure our nation.

In legal papers, the ACLU said that while release of the document might be "mildly embarrassing" to the government, the ACLU's possession of it is legal and its release could in no way threaten national security. To the contrary, the ACLU said, the designation of the generally unremarkable document as "Secret" "appears to be a striking, yet typical, example of overclassification."


So who elected the ACLU to determine what should or shouldn't be classified? And if the document is so "unremarkable" why are they fighting so hard to keep it? The ACLU then goes on to justify having classified information by stating that some of the biggest news of the past year came from leaks of classified information, like the NSA surveillance program, SWIFT, etc. I think we all remember how the ACLU handled these leaks. When it comes to National Security, the ACLU has created a dangerous reputation. I don't think they should have any say so in what remains classified or not.

Rob at Say Anything sums it up:

So, basically, the ACLU is claiming that the Bush administration is trying to “suppress information” by getting some leaked classified documents back. But isn’t the government supposed to suppress classified information? Isn’t that the reason it is classified in the first place? I mean, if the government isn’t supposed to be suppressing classified information, then why are we classifying it in the first place?

And how does the government requesting leaked classified documents back violate the ACLU’s first amendment rights? Surely the ACLU isn’t suggesting that first amendment rights extend to illegal leaks of private information, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to stop someone who obtained my bank records from somebody at the bank who illegally divulged them from putting my private information on the internet.

I sometimes wonder if the ACLU even takes its own arguments seriously.


Although the ACLU has been told that it is not a target of the investigation, which I think it should be, it is interesting that the the subpoena refers to the Espionage Act. That is too bad. The FBI have their own concerns over the ACLU. Between the shady business of their funding issues, helping America’s enemies, spying on their own members, and FBI concerns; there are many reasons besides illegally obtaining classified information that the ACLU should be investigated.

I'm just glad to see the government being proactive to prevent classified information from falling into the hands of our enemies. If the ACLU has its way that is where it will end up.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 200 blogs already on-board.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

ACLU NATIVITY SCENE!

A belated blogburst, and I'm having a problem uploading images. See them at the links below.

Via STOP THE ACLU:

The Young Conservatives of Texas - University of Texas Chapter announced today that they will be displaying an “ACLU Nativity Scene” on the West Mall of the University of Texas campus on Monday and Tuesday, December 4th and 5th. The group’s intent is to raise awareness on the extremity of the ACLU, and bring to light its secular-progressive efforts to remove Christmas from the public sphere. The display, the first of its kind in the nation, will feature characters that are quite a bit different than the standard crèche.

“We’ve got Gary and Joseph instead of Mary and Joseph in order to symbolize ACLU support for homosexual marriage, and of course there isn’t a Jesus in the manger,” said Chairman Tony McDonald. “The three Wise Men are Lenin, Marx, and Stalin because the founders of the ACLU were strident supporters of Soviet style Communism. The whole scene is a tongue-in-cheek way of showing the many ways that the ACLU and the far left are out of touch with the values of mainstream America.”

The scene will also display a terrorist shepherd and an angel in the form of Nancy Pelosi.

“The ACLU and other left-wing extremist groups are working diligently to destroy American’s rights to the free expression of religion,” said Executive Director Joseph Wyly. “We’ve already seen in Chicago an attempt to censor the nativity by a city government this week. It’s just more evidence that there is a War on Christmas being waged by the far-left in this country.” (source)

Lots more photos here.

Wild Bill was so inspired he created his own ACLU nativity scene.

This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 200 blogs already on-board.

PS FROM LEAV: Congrats to Jay, and all of the fine people at STOP THE ACLU, for getting credited as the source for this photo on Britt Hume's Special Report. His "Political Grapevine" segment is one of my favorites. I'm sorry my blogburst was delayed, but I published it before Thursday on Gather, where some moonbat flagged it for "offensive" content. I was so ticked off, I forgot to post it here on Thurday. On the bright side, I get to post the image from FOX NEWS now, with the STOP THE ACLU accreditation!