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Catchy headline, eh? The point of it is that the netnuts are either implying as much in their criticisms or are actually saying so.

Taylor Marsh: “MARK FOLEY: Just Another Republican Pervert”

John Aravosis: “GOP House page board chair may have helped cover-up Foley scandal.”

Oliver Willis: “Republican Pedophile Scandal: They Knew”

The Democratic Daily: “Got Values? Republican House Leadership Cover Up for Suspected Pervert in Congress”

Facts you say? You want facts? Why in God’s name do you want to ruin a perfectly good scandal 40 days before the election by muddying the waters with a bunch of facts?

Well, maybe we can start with the statement issued by the Chairman of the House Page Board, Representative Shimkus:

“As chairman of the bipartisan House Page Board in late 2005, I was notified by the then Clerk of the House, who manages the Page Program, that he had been told by Congressman Rodney Alexander about an email exchange between Congressman Foley and a former House Page. I took immediate action to investigate the matter.

“In that email exchange, Congressman Foley asked about the former Page’s well-being after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph. When asked about the email exchange, Congressman Foley said he expressed concern about the Page’s well-being and wanted a photo to see that the former Page was alright.< [> “Congressman Foley told the Clerk and me that he was simply acting as a mentor to this former House Page and that nothing inappropriate had occurred. Nevertheless, we ordered Congressman Foley to cease all contact with this former House Page to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. We also advised him to be especially mindful of his conduct with respect to current and former House Pages, and he assured us he would do so. I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional emails.

“It has become clear to me today, based on information I only now have learned, that Congressman Foley was not honest about his conduct.

“As Chairman of the House Page Board, I am working with the Clerk to fully review this incident and determine what actions need to be taken.

The “jumping to conclusions” crowd has ignored this statement and the facts contained therein to accuse the Republican House leadership of covering up the actions of a known pervert. While by any stretch the contact with the page was inappropriate, it hardly rises to the level of “perversion” as it was reported to the Page Board last year and trying to make it seem so is the dirtiest kind of politics.

It disturbs me that the parents of the page did not want to pursue the matter at that time. There are many reasons for that but one that leaps out and begs to be investigated further is if there was pressure put on the parents by Republican members of Congress to drop the matter. Another perfectly logical explanation is that the emails were, in fact, innocent sounding attempts to inquire as to the youth’s well being and the parents were satisfied with the Congressman’s explanation.

But why let common sense or common decency for that matter spoil a good smear campaign? The muddy hoofprints left by Democrats over the last few years as they have dirtied the reputations of several Republicans who have later turned out to be innocent (Karl Rove in Plamegate for one) reveals a party so totally bereft of ideas that their only hope to take advantage of the monumentally stupid and disastrous Republican leadership is to pray for more Americans to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, hope that gas prices go higher, and wish for an economic downturn. Even with Republicans as weak and vulnerable as they have been in a generation or more, the Democrats still could lose thanks to a party so intellectually bankrupt and morally ambivalent that they can’t bring themselves to tell the American people the truth about their cut and run strategy in Iraq or that they fully intend to initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States at the earliest possible moment after they achieve power in the House.

It is clear from the polls that the American people are so fed up with Republicans that this summer, they turned toward the Democrats to see what they had to offer in the way of new ideas and new leadership. What they got was a blend of deranged Bush bashing, conspiracy mongering, and outright lies about their intentions. This latest Republican scandal will probably not amount to much (despite the efforts of the netnuts to make it into something larger than it is as they tried to do with the Gannon/Guckert affair) which means that as the American people continue to implore the Democrats to give them something that they can vote for, all they do is remind the country why they have lost so many previous elections in the first place.


As is usual when TBogg links here, the knuckledraggers with IQ’s smaller than their penis length swarm my site and spit vulgarity in the comments section with a regularity that makes me think they are either under 10 years of age or have the same familiarity with the English language than they do with the ideas of Proust or Kierkegaard – or Donald Duck for that matter.

I will brook no vulgarity (save mine) in the comments. If that doesn’t sit well with you, eat me.

Secondly, here is the sum total of what is known about GOP leadership knowledge of Foley’s perversion:

Shimkus recalled that when he initially questioned Foley about the e-mails, the congressman assured him that he was “simply acting as a mentor” and that “nothing inappropriate had occurred.”

Foley said he was e-mailing to find out if the teenager was OK after Hurricane Katrina and “wanted a photo to see that the former page was all right,” Shimkus said.

Foley was ordered to have no further contact with the former page and advised “to be especially mindful of his conduct,” Shimkus said.

“And he assured us he would do so,” Shimkus’ statement added. “I received no subsequent complaints about his behavior nor was I ever made aware of any additional e-mails.”

In his e-mails, Foley purportedly asked the page to send a picture of himself to the congressman, asked the teen what he wanted for his birthday and made comments about another former page in which Foley allegedly said he acted “much older than his age” and was “in really great shape.” (More details)

Some GOP leaders knew of contact

An aide to Rep. Tom Reynolds, the New York congressman who heads the National Republican Campaign Committee, said he knew about the matter a year ago.

The GOP panel coordinates election efforts for House Republicans, who now must find a candidate to replace Foley in Florida’s 16th District, six weeks before the election.

Majority Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, learned about the contacts from Louisiana Rep. Alexander in the spring, said Boehner’s spokesman, Kevin Madden.

“It was Congressman Alexander’s opinion that the contact was not of a professional nature,” Madden said.

Now I realize how eager many of you are to connect all these dots and start accusing people of all sorts of conpsiracies to keep this thing quiet. And I will happily join you in hanging by their toes the entire Republican leadership if it turns out that they knew more than what is reported here and failed to do anything.

But people – there is no “there” there. All you have to ponder at the moment is the very good question of what did they know and when did they know it. Nowhere in my post do I say that we shouldn’t get to the bottom of this (as one idiotic mouthbreather suggested breathlessly in the comments – so pleased with himself that he could string more than 4 words together and make a sentence) and in fact, I open a whole other line of questioning that even you netnuts have failed to highlight – the possibility of obstruction of justice by GOP members who worked to keep the parents of the boy whose case came before the Page board quiet.

But the fact of the matter is all you are doing at the moment is engaged in a gigantic smear campaign. Period. There is no argument there because the facts are, at the moment, unknown. You have jumped the gun making the wildest of charges without any knowledge whatsoever of the facts and all it does is expose you for the brutish louts you truly are.

Keep it clean or begone.


My good friend and fellow American Thinker contributor Clarice Feldman left a comment that deserves to be elevated for greater readability. It is, something of an eye popper:

Reportedly the St Pete Times had the same information in August 2005 and wrote nothing about it either, apparently because the emails do not constitute illegal conduct, they are just creepy, and the boy’s parents did not wish to pursue this.

The far more damaging IM messages were released by CREW , the same “public interest” group which is representing the Wilson/Plames in their laughable suit against Cheney, et al.

When did they get the IM’s? Why did they wait until now to release them? Is there any indication the Republicans who looked into THIS MATTER had any knowledge of their(the IM’s) existence.

Pardon an old lady’s suspicions. I’ve seen this dance too many times before.

I read this morning that a Monroe, LA newspaper also had the story and didn’t run with it because there appeared to be no impropriety.

And one more point that our dimwitted lefty friends can’t seem to wrap their miniscule brains around; the incident that was brought to the attention of the Page Board is unconnected to any of the raunchy, sick emails ABC news got from, as Clarice informs us, CREW.

Why the release of the emails and IM’s now is a question that answers itself 40 days before an election. And if it turns out that the GOP leadership is blameless in this – if Foley carried on his perversions in secret with only the terrified children knowing of his activities – then the question rightly arises why a Democrat connected organization allowed someone they knew as a pervert to continue to stalk children in the House of Representatives, failing to release the information until maximum political damage could be done to the opposition.

CATEGORY: Books, Media, Politics

It would be too much of a stretch to believe that Bob Woodward is in cahoots with the Democrats and has timed the release of his new book State of Denial for any other reason save the fact that political books are best published during the political season.

That said, it is fascinating to see the Democrats and the press leap upon this book like ravenous beasts, eagerly pointing out this little tidbit and that in order to “prove” something. What they are trying to prove is a mystery since from what I can gather from this story in the New York Times, there are absolutely no factual revelations contained between its covers. Instead, we have a typical Woodward book that gives us all the gossipy details of history in the making; what were people thinking and feeling as the Iraq War went to hell in a handbasket.

In fact, as is Woodward’s wont, he has relied on unsurpassed access to policymakers who for one reason or another, spill the chatty details about who they like, who they hate, why someone is strange or weird or just plain awful. They highlight their little stories by illustrating their points with vignettes of what goes on behind the scenes when high matters of state are being decided. Dishing dirt on co-workers may not be very elevating but it makes for damn fine reading.

Woodward then takes this raw material and fashions a narrative that is at once both gossipy and historical – an instant classic inside the beltway where people are always interested in gossip about politicians and their fellow travellers.

In this respect, Woodward will always be a highbrow Kitty Kelly, never quite descending into the personal muck that Kelly eagerly wallows in but at the same time, giving us the same angles and views of the high and mighty that Kelly so relishes. Both writers expose the powerful in ways that bring them down to the level of the rest of us by ripping aside the mystique of high office to reveal the petty, the quirky, the personality conflicts, and – dare I say it – the humanity of our national leaders.

The problem is that once you’ve read one Woodward book and the technique becomes familiar, most intelligent readers will start asking basic questions. How does he get those long, extended quotes from conversations between principals? How can he possibly know this particular detail of what someone else was thinking? Woodward’s books are usually riveting affairs because he has a reporters eye for important details and a novelist’s flair for making those details interesting. The question ultimately arises then; does he ever get his two personae confused? Does he try and logically extrapolate what was said or thought from known facts? Or does he truly have people on record revealing such intimate details of their thoughts and reactions?

Here’s Woodward himself on how he is able to write the way he does:

Woodward says that people talk to him because they know he has the time to get it right—which is also part of the reason these seemingly unattainable sources show him a little leg. “I have the significant luxury of time, which enables me to really look at something in depth,” he says. “I can go to people and then go to other people, and then go back and track and try to develop a documentary trail. I have time; most reporters don’t have time. Like you, for instance,” he said to me, “when you called me you said you had a tight deadline [for this story]. I don’t have that.”

It sounds plausible but it doesn’t answer some critics who believe he has actually fabricated some of the more noteworthy incidents in some of his books. Perhaps most famously, his 1987 book Veil which chronicled the extraordinary exploits (and crimes) of William Casey’s CIA, Woodward claims to have visited Casey on his deathbed in a hospital and gotten a confession from him that he knew about the transfer of funds from Iran to the Contras in Nicaragua. Casey’s widow stated that Woodward could not possibly have gotten access to her dying husband at that time – especially with a cadre of FBI agents guarding the Director’s door.

Somehow, this kind of thing has never damaged Woodward’s credibility. His eye opening books on the Clinton presidency – the towering rages by Clinton, the fights with Hillary, a cowed and brutalized staff – made for fascinating reading. But again, there really were no earth shattering revelations regarding policy or world events. Instead, the reader was treated to a front row seat at the greatest show on earth – how the powerful behave in various circumstances and the fact that they truly are no more or less human than the rest of us.

Woodward’s latest effort in this regard happens to arrive on book shelves at a very inopportune moment for the Administration. Just as the Republicans are making some headway in focusing attention on the fact that voting Democratic in November means handing the reins of power to politicans who have yet to annunciate anything approaching a policy on Iraq, the War on Terror, or homeland security, people are reminded once again what a truly botched effort the Iraq War has been and that the principals involved either through overweening hubris or tragic miscalculation quite simply blew it.

This hasn’t stopped the New York Times (who apparently got an advance copy – even before the Post was able to serialize the book prior to publication) from breathlessly reporting as “news” those facts which are already well known and whose only shock value will be in the way they are reported not that there is anything revelatory about them. In this respect, the Times and other news organs do the Democratic party a favor by going “green” and recycling – not to conserve but rather to destroy.

For instance:

  • Did we know the White House was warned that we would need hundreds of thousands of more troops in Iraq in order to get control of the country following the invasion? Perhaps we should ask General Shineski who testified before Congress and sounded that very warning.
  • Did we know that Rumsfeld mismanaged the occupation and reconstruction? One need only look at Iraq today in order to draw that conclusion.
  • Did we know that Rummy had lost credibility with the Generals by last fall? I guess the Times doesn’t read their own newspaper very often because that fact has been widely reported.
  • Did we know that the Administration was in a state of denial about the insurgency? This is a little trickier because again, the Times would have to read their own newspaper to see the 180 degree change in policy regarding how we were fighting the insurgency in the spring of 2004 compared to the previous summer.

What we are treated to and told is “news” are all the little gossipy details like the fact that Rummy hated Condi and wouldn’t return her calls unless the President told him to or that Cheney was obsessed with proving that WMD’s existed in Iraq by going so far as calling David Kay, who was in charge of finding Saddam’s weapons, in the middle of the night to give him satellite coordinates of a place to look for them. (Now what does that do to the moonbat theory that we absolutely knew there were no WMD’s in Iraq and invaded anyway?)

As an inside look at the Bush Administration, I have little doubt that Woodward’s book will be an entertaining read. But its political utility will be to block the small amount of momentum that Republicans had been gathering this month in their efforts to keep control of the House and Senate not by revealing anything new but by dressing up old news in the latest anti-Bush couture.


Allah describes the impact of the book in much more apocalyptic terms and is filled with “heart-ache.”

I hadn’t read the Daily News blurb about Tenet coming to Rice in July of 2001 begging for funds to go after Bin Laden. If true, all it does in my mind is add to the ongoing argument about how responsible Bush or Clinton was for 9/11. And, of course, going after al-Qaeda at that point would not have stopped the 9/11 plot which was ready to step off, only needing a the Saudi muscle guys to show up in America and a firm date (the date was set in early August).

As for the descriptions of Rummy, this again is nothing new. He’s an incompetent fool and Republicans on the Hill who didn’t join with Democrats in getting this guy kicked out should be ashamed of themselves. When the investigations into what’s gone wrong in Iraq begin, we will not have to look any farther than Rumsefeld’s extraordinary mismanagement of the entire occupation. One disasterous decision after another while going before the American people and telling us how rosy things really were.

The gossip dished on Rumsfeld in the book will reveal nothing we didn’t know about him already. And I will reiterate what I said above; the impact of this book will not be in anything new but in how it is being reported. In that respect, it may, as Allah thinks, be something of an earthquake. More likely, it will stall the Republican comeback and cost some GOP representatives their seats. And in a close race like this one, that may be enough to tip the balance toward the Democrats in the House.

By: Rick Moran at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (37)

In Search Of Utopia linked with You know it is real tempting... Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Book Says Top Aide Urged Bush to Fire Rumsfeld

It’s a good thing my computer is about 5 feet from my bed. If it were any further away, my chances of posting anything this week would have been significantly reduced.

I feel just aaaawful. But, being the eternal optimist that I am, I think I’ve hit rock bottom today and am now on the mend.

But illness will not be vouchsafed as an excuse for failure to post the results of our Watchers vote. And since I was remiss in posting last week’s results as well (actually, I was sulking because of my horrible showing in that vote), I must therefore make this a twoferone post.


Results from w/e 9/15:


1. “Your Chance of Dying in a Terrorist Attack” by Socratic Rythmn Method

2. (tie) ” Three Strands Not Easily Broken” by Soccer Dad.

2. (tie) “9/11 Ambiguities” by Shrinkwrapped.

4. “A Little Journalistic Arrogance” by Rymes with Right.


1. “And At Night, I Dream Of You…” by Villainous Company

2. (tie) “Ten Reasons Why the West Will Lose the War on Terror (the pessimist’s view)” by TMH Bacon Bits.

2. (tie) “Countdown To 9/11: My Days With the Dead” by Greetings from the French Hill.

2. (tie) “The Shadow of our Hand” by The Belmont Club.

2. (tie) “A General Theory of Just About Everything” by Crosscurrents.

Results from w/e 9/22:


1. “You’ll Never Know What We Did’” by Done with Mirrors.

2. “That Was Not a “Blunder.” It’s Just An Excuse to Kill Infidels” by Gates of Vienna.


1. “Just Outside Westminster Cathedral Today…” by Joee Blogs—A Catholic Londoner.

2. “What did you do this Summer?” by Murdoc Online.

If you’d like to participate in the weekly Watchers Vote, go here and follow instructions.

By: Rick Moran at 4:25 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (6)

Doug Ross @ Journal linked with New Al Qaeda recruiting video

NRO’s Jonah Goldberg is usually a level headed sort of fellow, not given to wild flights of illogic or unreasonable argumentation. But Mr. Goldberg’s piece justifying some kinds of torture in yesterday’s online edition left me cold.

Sounding very much like a man trying to convince himself of something he believes to be wrong but thinks that if he talks about it long enough and with plenty of conviction he can turn the moral tables on the issue and justify it to his own satisfaction, Goldberg makes some rather startling arguments in favor of torture.

It should be noted that Goldberg is one of the only writers – conservative or liberal – who has made an effort to actually come to grips with this issue on a practical basis rather than a purely moral plane. This is a dubious distinction however because once started down that road, one inevitably makes a hash of both the moral arguments and the practical realities of the issue.

Almost by default, if one tries to define torture, the slope tilts precipitously and the surface is greased – albeit with good intentions. This is because the justification/rationalization for torture can never be based on firm and unbending principle but rather on a foundation of moral quicksand that constantly shifts position according to time and circumstance. Goldberg sees this and recognizes the pitfalls but fails to draw the one necessary conclusion; torture, however you define it, is wrong and trying to construct a framework that allows for it is something akin to herding cats. You can never quite close the corral because it’s a virtual certainty you’ve missed something somewhere.

Where Goldberg nails it is in his characterization of the hysterical denunciations by the American left and international human rights organizations of our detainee policies:

When confronted with the assertion that the Soviet Union and the United States were moral equivalents, William F. Buckley responded that if one man pushes an old lady into an oncoming bus and another man pushes an old lady out of the way of a bus, we should not denounce them both as men who push old ladies around.

In other words, context matters.

Not according to some. Led by Time magazine’s Andrew Sullivan, opponents of the CIA’s harsh treatment of high-value terrorists have grown comfortable comparing Bush’s America to, among other evils, Stalin’s Russia.

The tactic hasn’t worked, partly because many decent Americans understand that abuse intended to foil a murder plot is not the same as torturing political dissidents, religious minorities, and other prisoners of conscience. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was not asked to renounce his faith or sign a false confession when he was reportedly waterboarded. His suffering wasn’t intended as a form of punishment. The sole aim was to stop an ongoing murder conspiracy, which is what al Qaeda is. If accounts from such unbiased sources as ABC News’ Brian Ross are to be believed, his suffering saved American lives.

Comparing CIA facilities to Stalin’s gulag may sound righteous, but it is a species of the same moral relativism that denounces all pushers of old ladies equally.

On this, all serious people should be able to agree. However, it should be pointed out that we don’t know exactly what “enhanced techniques” were used on KSM to elicit the information that led to foiling several plots against Americans. While waterboarding may be a necessary violation of the Geneva Convention under the rubric of the “ticking bomb” scenario, what else would be justified? Electrodes on genitalia? Pulling out fingernails? If, as one must assume, torture “works” in these instances, why stop at waterboarding?

In fact, Goldberg makes no distinction between waterboarding and nail pulling in his time sensitive scenario:

But there is no equivalent word for murder when it comes to torture. It’s always evil. Yet that’s not our universal reaction. In movies and on TV, good men force evil men to give up information via methods no nicer than what the CIA is allegedly employing. If torture is a categorical evil, shouldn’t we boo Jack Bauer on Fox’s 24? There’s a reason we keep hearing about the ticking time bomb scenario in the torture debate: Is abuse justified in getting a prisoner to reveal the location of a bomb that would kill many when detonated? We understand that in such a situation, Americans would expect to be protected. That’s why human-rights activists have tried to declare this scenario a red herring.

Sullivan complains that calling torture “aggressive interrogation techniques” doesn’t make torture any better. Fair enough. But calling aggressive interrogation techniques “torture” when they’re not doesn’t make such techniques any worse.

Still, there is a danger that over time we may not be able to tell the difference.

While recognizing that the slope is getting slippery and that repeated violations of the Geneva strictures could inure us to the consequences, Goldberg’s arguments go off the rails when he raises the specter of the fictionalized torture portrayed by TV heroes. It is not a question of booing them for causing physical discomfort to a suspect who can lead them to the ticking bomb. It’s a question of what constitutes a “ticking bomb” in the first place.

Do we practice these “enhanced techniques” on terrorists to discover whether there is an imminent threat? Or do we only do it when we’re sure that there’s a plot nearing fruition?

Jack Bauer knows that a terrorist strike is imminent which justifies his brutal treatment of prisoners in most people’s minds. But in the real world, that kind of certainty is almost definitely lacking. And even though the capture of a “high value” terrorist operative would almost by definition be an intelligence bonanza regarding future attacks, the idea that any of them would be imminent and a direct threat to American citizens would almost certainly be unknown. Therefore, torture would be carried out in these cases not to necessarily uncover any plots but rather to see if there are any plots worth responding to in the first place.

How slippery is that slope now?

Goldberg’s reasoning becomes most muddled when he can’t seem to make up his mind about the “taboo” of torture versus its utility in stopping the ticking bomb:

Taboos are the glue of civilization because they define what is beyond the pale in ways mere reason cannot. A nation that frets about violating the rights of murder-plotters when the bomb is ticking is unlikely to violate the rights of decent citizens when the bomb is defused.

I suspect this is what motivates so many human-rights activists to exaggerate the abuses and minimize their effectiveness. Slippery-slope arguments aren’t as powerful as moral bullying. Still, their fears aren’t unfounded. Once taboos have been broken, a chaotic search ensues for where to draw the new line, and that line, burdened with precedent and manufactured by politics, rarely holds as firmly as the last. But that is where history has brought us.

In the recent debate over torture, everybody decided to kick the can down the road on what torture is and isn’t. This argument will be forced on us again, no matter how much we try to avoid it. We’ll be sorry we didn’t take the debate more seriously when we had the chance.

First of all, the argument that a nation that frets about torturing terrorists won’t torture criminals or dissenters has no basis in fact whatsoever and indeed, common sense would dictate the opposite. Once the taboo is broken for one reason, it becomes easier to do so for another – something that Goldberg recognizes but for some reason fails to draw the necessary conclusion. We can agonize about the issue but the fact remains, it is the government that sets the policy. And with this Administration (and probably future ones as well) who rightly see America at war, it is hard to imagine the challenges we’ll face tomorrow and what measures they might see as necessary to protect the homeland.

This is why strictures against torture must remain in place – even strictures against waterboarding and other techniques that only cause a prisoner psychic discomfort or physical inconvenience. Without the “taboo” of violating the Geneva Convention, there is no hard surface beneath our feet where we can anchor ourselves against the ravages of our own rationalizations and self justifications. Ends and means can blur together into unresolvable amorphous shapes making it hard to differentiate between what is necessary and what is merely convenient or easy. In this respect, Goldberg’s arguments fail the tests of specificity and consistency.

I applaud Mr. Goldberg’s effort to tackle the issue. And although he reaches what I believe to be are incorrect conclusions, the issue is by no means resolved and there is plenty of room for further debate and reflection.

By: Rick Moran at 8:00 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (24)

Rhymes With Right linked with Watcher's Council Results
Watcher of Weasels linked with The Council Has Spoken!
Watcher of Weasels linked with Submitted for Your Approval
Y.A.C.R.W.B linked with On Torture

In what, in my opinion, is one the most disgraceful and shocking exhibitions of callous disregard for journalistic standards not to mention human decency, the New York Post gossipy Page Six ran a story describing MSNBC host Keith Olbermann’s terrifying experience with a threatening letter that contained a “white powder.”

Here’s the piece:

September 27, 2006—MSNBC loudmouth Keith Olbermann flipped out when he opened his home mail yesterday. The acerbic host of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” was terrified when he opened a suspicious-looking letter with a California postmark and a batch of white powder poured out. A note inside warned Olbermann, who’s a frequent critic of President Bush’s policies, that it was payback for some of his on-air shtick. The caustic commentator panicked and frantically called 911 at about 12:30 a.m., sources told The Post’s Philip Messing. An NYPD HazMat unit rushed to Olbermann’s pad on Central Park South, but preliminary tests indicated the substance was harmless soap powder. However, that wasn’t enough to satisfy Olbermann, who insisted on a checkup. He asked to be taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where doctors looked him over and sent him home. Whether they gave him a lollipop on the way out isn’t known. Olbermann had no comment.

The fact that the story is not considered “straight news” is absolutely no excuse. The columnist, Paula Froelich, should be fired immediately.

The tone of the piece is not only insulting but attempts to make light of what must have been a horrifying experience for Mr. Olbermann. And, as Dave Neiwert points out, sending the letter is considered an act of terrorism – hardly something to yuck it up about with references to “lollipops” not to mention the attempt to portray Olbermann as something less than courageous.

Yes, I realize I wrote a piece yesterday skewering Mr. Olbermann for his pretentiousness, his ignorance, his hysterical exaggerations about the right, about Bush, and Republicans. Politics is full contact sport and going for the jugular as Olbermann does on his show and I do on this site from time to time necessitates using rhetoric more suited to knife fighting than pistols at 20 paces.

But the United States is not a banana republic where we go around trying to kill our political opponents. Tear them down, yes. Hit them where they’re weakest, yes. This has been the nature of politics in America for more than 200 years. And if you know anything about history, you know that things are much, much more civilized today than they were even 100 years ago. Politics is a blood sport and if you want sweetness and light, get thee to a nunnery – you ain’t gonna get it from the wardheelers of Chicago, the Back Bay Brahmins of Boston, or in the high rise offices of the media manipulators, pollsters, advance men, oppo researchers, or candidates of today.

Our friends on the left are trying to tar the entire conservative media by conjuring up the conspiracy theory that because The Post is owned by Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch, that somehow Froelich’s disgrace was instigated by evil right wingers.

Spare me.

What is it about the left and conspiracies? For them, 2 + 2 = 4 is a conspiracy because it’s possible one of the 2’s used to be a 3 and colluded with the 5 to step aside and allow the 4 to hide the fact that the 3 is now a 2.

Can’t things just be coincidence every once and a while? You know, like real life. History is replete with coincidences that few have bothered to posit conspiracy theories for. And making a conspiracy about everything your political opponent does reflects badly on the critical thinking skills of many liberals not to mention their emotional maturity and innate intelligence.

The New York Post has no excuse. One would hope they would fire Froelich and issue a page one apology to Mr. Olbermann forthwith.


Were Ed Morrissey and Rick Moran brothers in another life? Ed and I have been on the same wavelength all day. Here’s his take on Froelich’s disgrace:

I don’t know what Froelich was thinking when she wrote this piece. Olbermann has surely slammed the Post on a number of occasions, perhaps even in personal ways. That doesn’t excuse Froelich from belittling someone who had good cause to be frightened, especially considering the level of animosity he provokes. The anthrax attacks in 2001 went to media offices, something Froelich fails to mention in her schoolground rant.

Being partisan is one thing. Being inhuman is something else entirely.

And Hugh Hewitt thinks its time for the entire staff to go – again. You may recall the “Page Six Fix” from last year where it was discovered former columnist Richard Johnson was getting expensive gifts and other goodies from some of the subjects mentioned in his columns. Of course, it was just coincidence that references to the gift givers were almost always positive.

Pride goeth before the fall…

Add Patterico to the fire Froelich/shame on the Post group. He points out Ed, Hugh, and I all came to the same conclusions he did without any of us aware of the other’s position.

Maybe all of us were brothers in another life. Let’s see…I would have been the black sheep, Hugh the scholar, Ed the man about town, and Pat the lawyer.

We would have called ourselves “The Undefeated…”

By: Rick Moran at 6:35 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (30)

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Robert Kagan asks, “How do you count the number of terrorists?”

According to the Times, the report is agnostic on whether another terrorist attack is more or less likely. Rather, its authors claim that the war has increased the number of potential terrorists. Unfortunately, neither The Post nor the Times provides any figures to support this. Does the NIE? Or are its authors simply assuming that because Muslims have been angered by the war, some percentage of them must be joining the ranks of terrorists?

As a poor substitute for actual figures, The Post notes that, according to the NIE, members of terrorist cells post messages on their Web sites depicting the Iraq war as “a Western attempt to conquer Islam.” No doubt they do. But to move from that observation to the conclusion that the Iraq war has increased the terrorist threat requires answering a few additional questions: How many new terrorists are there? How many of the new terrorists became terrorists because they read the messages on the Web sites? And of those, how many were motivated by the Iraq war as opposed to, say, the war in Afghanistan, or the Danish cartoons, or the Israel-Palestine conflict, or their dislike for the Saudi royal family or Hosni Mubarak, or, more recently, the comments of the pope?

Interesting, isn’t it? This is what the National Intelligence Estimate has to say about increased numbers of jihadists:

  • Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion.
  • If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.

In other words, we don’t know how many jihadists there are, but we know that their number is increasing. Okay, I’ll accept that. We can’t possibly know the sources and methods used to calculate those facts so we just have to believe that our analysts know what they are talking about.

How do we know that the reason there are more jihadists is because of our blundering around in Iraq? Let’s go to the NIE:

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

  • The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight. We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.
  • Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq “jihad;” (3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims – all of which jihadists exploit.

In other words, there are several reasons why jihadists become radicalized and the Iraq War – while being a “cause celebre” for international jihadism – is only one of them. Better yet, is there any way to measure the effect of the Iraq War on the recruitment of jihadis specifically?

All very good questions that the press and the Democrats are ignoring this morning in their haste to use the NIE for their own political purposes. And as I said yesterday, the narrative on what this report contains is just about set and no amount of research or analysis will be able to counter the political effects of its release.

This is not to say we shouldn’t accept some of the report’s basic conclusions; that the number of terrorists is growing, that they are less centralized and therefore harder to kill, and that our confronting the jihadis in Iraq has thrown up new leaders in the movement and they are being shaped by the conflict there.

These are the headlines we’re reading this morning. But also contained in the NIE are some interesting tidbits that have been deliberately buried – especially by Democrats – because highlighting them would undercut their critique of the war.

For instance, the NIE points out that staying in Iraq and somehow achieving the goal of a forming a Democratic Iraq would mean fewer terrorists would be created:

Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

The flip side of that argument is that leaving Iraq will create more terrorists than staying. The report points out that “perceived jihadist success there (Iraq) would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.

In fact, the report would seem to validate the Administration’s main anti-terrorism aim of democratization:

If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.

The wild spin on this report coming from Democrats completely ignores the consequences of an Iraq pullout as far as creating even more terrorists and the potential war-winning strategy of democratization – something they have been telling us for years is doomed to failure.

In other words, it is not the President’s policy of invasion, occupation, and democratization in Iraq that has been wrong, it is the Democrat’s counter strategy of leaving Iraq too soon and abandoning or downgrading democratization efforts that runs counter to the report’s analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.

The Editors at NRO:

In explaining that only selective parts of the NIE were leaked, director of national intelligence John Negroponte noted: “The estimate highlights the importance of the outcome in Iraq on the future of global jihadism, judging that should the Iraqi people prevail in establishing a stable political and security environment, the jihadists will be perceived to have failed, and fewer jihadists will leave Iraq determined to carry on the fight elsewhere.”

Winning, however, is something Democrats rarely talk about. The NIE leak was an occasion for even more defeatism from the party that, insofar as it offers any distinct policy prescriptions for Iraq, advocates a premature withdrawal that would only ensure defeat. That would be the ultimate jihadi recruiting tool. Terrorists would be emboldened by their victory — since they are always more aggressive when we appear to be the “weak horse,” in bin Laden’s phrase — and would perhaps control some or most of Iraq as a base of operations.

Properly understood, the NIE leak confirms President Bush’s argument that Iraq is an important front in the War on Terror, and that achieving victory there is essential.

The President’s policy is correct; it is the implementation of that policy that has been badly botched.

This would seem to leave a political opening of gargantuan proportions for the Democrats. All they have to do is tell us how they would win the war in Iraq, right?

Instead, we hear nothing about attempting to win the war but rather how to lose it in as painless a way as possible. Withdrawing our forces based on an arbitrary timetable that bears no relationship whatsoever to how the Iraqi government is doing in bringing stability and democracy to that country is a strategy that runs 180 degrees counter to what the NIE report recommends. And yet, according to the Washington Post, Democratic members of Congress have had this report since April and still insist on promoting a policy of withdrawal:

Copies of the NIE were sent to the House and Senate intelligence, armed services and foreign affairs committees at the time, through normal electronic information channels available to all members, intelligence and congressional sources said. It arrived at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on April 26.

In the House, “there was a bit of a snafu with this particular document,” said a spokesman for Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the intelligence committee chairman. “We had a massive computer failure on our classified side.” The first that the committee knew of its existence was late last week, when “it was requested specifically by a member. That was when it was found and scanned into our system.”

Whether the document was ignored or disappeared into cyberspace, however, it seemed to have made little impact on Capitol Hill at the time. No one in either chamber, on either side of the aisle, requested a briefing or any further information on its conclusions until now, the sources said.

The fact that the report has been available to Democrats on the Hill since April begs the question; who leaked it and why now? After all, there apparently is nothing much new in the document:

The intelligence community has had its own problems with the attention the document is now receiving. Several active and retired intelligence officials stressed that the judgments were nothing new and followed a series of similar assessments made since early 2003 about the impact of the Iraq war on global terrorism.

“This is very much mainstream stuff,” said Paul R. Pillar, the CIA’s national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005. “There are no surprises.”

The only possible conclusion one can draw is the one that President Bush mentioned yesterday; that the leaking of this document was a political hit job designed to give Democrats ammunition for the November elections.

The leak comes at a time when Republicans have built some momentum and are trying to scratch and claw their way back into the race for control of the House of Representatives. Through this leak and the creation of the “instant narrative” that Iraq was a “mistake” (the report doesn’t say that anywhere) and that because of Iraq the United States is “less safe” (again, the report is silent on that issue), the Democrats are attempting to blunt the “terrorism card” that the GOP has used to trump the Democrats in the last two elections.

Will it work? The narrative has had a head start of 4 days. It will be very difficult to overcome the spin being put out by Democrats and argue about the report on the merits of what it actually says.


Ed Morrissey and I are on the same wavelength this morning:

This is why we have to endure the Iraqi “jihad” until we succeed. The insurgency will collapse when Iraqis grow strong enough to defend themselves and rebuild their infrastructure in peace. In fact, no other strategy could possibly address factors one and three. Even if we packed up and walked out of Iraq, those factors would still exist—as they have for decades—and the fourth factor would remain from our economic engagement with the oppressive regimes that control the region. We have an opportunity to address all four factors by prevailing in Iraq.

What do the Democrats offer? Withdrawal from the one theater in which we face our terrorist enemy and the one place that has to replace a missing tyrant. If we continue our resolve, we can firm up a democracy as Saddam’s replacement and begin to address the factors that drive jihadism. As the NIE concludes, a victory in Iraq would seriously damage the radical Islamist movement, perhaps even mortally. We have no chance to strike a blow against them by retreating. Democrats have badly misrepresented this report and offer the one solution guaranteed to result in making the problem worse—as the NIE also concludes.

By: Rick Moran at 6:38 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (37)

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I can see why the President wanted the National Intelligence Estimate on Terrorism declassified: it gives a little context to the sensational conclusions that our anti-terror policy has created more terrorists and placed the United States in greater danger.

For instance; news reports never mentioned that the 16 agencies involved in compiling the NIE basically agree that democratization is the correct policy:

* Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida, could erode support for the jihadists.

Funny how that never made it into the Times. (AP either)

And then there’s this:

* If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.

Also, the report makes clear that part of the problem has been a result of some of our success; that the reason the jihadists have become so diffuse is because we’ve taken away their main sanctuaries – although we may want to revisit that question in a year or so and see how Pakistan and Afghanistan are turning out.

I also found this interesting:

Four underlying factors are fueling the spread of the jihadist movement:

1. Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness;

2. Iraq Jihad

3. The slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and

4. A pervasive Anti-US sentiment among most Muslims all of which jihadists exploit.

In other words, Iraq is only part of the reason for the growth of jihad. A large part to be sure. And a place where our intelligence people believe the next generation of terrorists are getting training and experience right now. But it kind of knocks the chocks from underneath the position that pulling out of Iraq (or not going into Iraq in the first place) would have made much difference.

One question not addressed by this or any other analysis I’ve ever seen is this; how many terrorist recruits were there after 9/11? After Madrid? After London or Bali or Egypt or any other successful attack?

Does a terrorist success breed more jihadists?

As long as we’re using common sense here, my answer to that; there are a lot of people who want to play with the winning team.

An interesting analysis would be if you could find out the number of recruits who signed up following the spectacular success of 9/11 and compare it to when we bombed the snot out of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and kicked Osama and Omar out. Would there be a significant difference? Would more oppressed, anti-US jihadists sign up after a Muslim defeat? Or would more recruits flock to al-Qaeda’s banner after a surge in Muslim pride following a 9/11 type attack?

No answers, of course. I’m just throwing the questions out there for discussion.

BTW - I don’t think the declassification of this report is going to stop the Democrats or the press from drawing whatever conclusions they wish. The narrative is pretty well set now and it will be very difficult to counter with what the report actually said. As we know, the report categorically did not say that going into Iraq was a mistake – which is something I’ve seen on more than one lefty website in the last couple of days. In fact, reading the entire report, it doesn’t even hint that. If anything, it makes that case that invasion and democratization of Iraq is a wash.

But the troubling aspect of the report to me is the continuing diffusion of jihadists and their spread in numbers and locations around the world. This does not bode well for tracking and capturing the bad guys unless we really start to get stronger international cooperation from other intelligence and police services.

Much to ponder in the reports contents. I’ll be interested to hear what some of our more thoughtful commenters (Andy!) have to say.


You’re kidding, right?

The NIE was circulated last April. It takes a while to make it through the bureaucracy what with all the people that shouldn’t be seeing it getting a good look at it. Information is power in Washington and people who are continually judging their status in the bureaucratic hierarchy by who is in the know on some things and who isn’t make sure they see the conclusions of the NIE at the very least.

That said, I think it very likely that the partisans who first leaked the existence of the NIE were hoping to hold off until the middle of October before dumping it on the public. As it is, someone may have wanted to blunt any possible momentum the Republicans may have been generating since early this month and thought that now was as good a time as any.

President Bush is convinced:

Bush charged at the news conference that political opponents leaked select parts of the National Intelligence Estimate to media organizations last weekend “to create confusion in the minds of the American people” in the weeks before the Nov. 7 mid-term elections.

“Somebody has taken it upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes,” Bush said. “I think it’s a bad habit for our government to declassify every time there is a leak.”

Timing is everything in politics. We’ll see how the timing of the leak in this case plays itself out.


Michelle Malkin wonders will our intel agencies ever get it when it comes to the historical hatred of the west by radical Muslims:

Putting aside how the outdated portions still refers to Zarqawi in the present tense, the big thing that strikes me about the key judgements is that they reflect a dhimmi, historically ignorant view of jihad more suited for the moonbat Left than our premier intelligence agencies.


Not a word about the 1,400-year-plus history of Islamic hostility to the West or Islamic imperialism from time immemorial or the Koran-inspired war on infidels—long, long before there was a United States and “pervasive anti-US sentiment.”

Remember what I said yesterday?

If our intelligence agencies are laboring under the moonbat illusion that Muslim hatred of the infidel West didn’t really start bubbling until the year 2003, we are really in deep, deep doo-doo.

Now I know we have some very smart and learned people working in our intelligence agencies. And I suspect that somewhere in that NIE - still classified for some reason – would be an analysis of historical/political roots of conflict between the Muslim world and the west. But Malkin has a point. Dumping this thing piecemeal on the public as first the leak from last weekend did and now the Administration scrambling to give a little more context doesn’t enlighten anyone. How do our agencies “count” jihadists in order to come up with the idea that their numbers are increasing as a result of the Iraq War? Why not Afghanistan as I asked above? Or because of their successes in the last few years?

Lots of questions and no good answers…

By: Rick Moran at 5:25 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (26)

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CATEGORY: Politics

I predicted this last May:

And unless significant progress has been made in Iraq by next summer, I have no doubt that the Democrats would seek to pull a Viet Nam and try to cut off funding for our operations there. At the very least, they will seek to gain control of the conflict in some way by using the power of the purse strings.

Charlie Rangel, who would take over the powerful Ways and Means Committee if the Democrats were to win the House in November, said this recently and reported by The Hill today:

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee if Democrats win control of the House next year, but his main goal in 2007 does not fall within his panel’s jurisdiction.

“I can’t stop this war,” a frustrated Rangel said in a recent interview, reiterating his vow to retire from Congress if Democrats fall short of a majority in the House.

But when pressed on how he could stop the war even if Democrats control the House during the last years of President Bush’s second term, Rangel paused before saying, “You’ve got to be able to pay for the war, don’t you?”

Rangel’s views on funding the war are shared by many of his colleagues – especially within the 73-member Out of Iraq Caucus.

Some Democratic legislators want to halt funding for the war immediately, while others say they would allocate money for activities such as reconstruction, setting up international security forces, and the ultimate withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“Personally, I wouldn’t spend another dime [on the war,]” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

This is why the Democratic Party is the biggest bunch of snivelling cowards on the planet.

Knowing full well that they would lose votes if this position was made part of their campaign strategy (and probably energize the GOP base to boot), they are seeking to cover up their true intentions if they manage to win through in November:

Having lost the last two elections in part because of national security issues, Democratic leaders have been reluctant to spell out their exact Iraq war funding strategy.

“I don’t think the Democratic leadership should put that out at the moment,” Woolsey said.

But Democratic leaders will be under tremendous pressure from campaign donors and activists to take bold steps on Iraq should they be setting the legislative agenda in the 110th Congress.

“If we have the majority, it’ll be because of Iraq,” said Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).

If what Abercrombie says is true, why hide the fact that Democrats want to cut off funding for our troops in the field? Why not spell out to the American people exactly how Democrats are going to end the war? After all, if the polls are to be believed, this is what the American people want – to leave Iraq. Why the subterfuge?

The reason is that the Democrats know full well that even though support for the way the Administration is waging the war is at just about rock bottom, only 17% of Americans believe we should leave immediately while another 31% want the troops home in 12 months time according to the latest Gallup poll (Must watch ad for access to premium content). What’s more, 51% of Americans believe we should stay as long as it takes or even send more troops to get the job done.

This is why the Democrats must cower in the shadows without revealing their true Iraq policy.

And let’s not forget the pressure on the Democrat’s new majority from “party activists” who will almost certainly take credit (deserved or not) for the victory. They will not only want an immediate Iraq exit but also an immediate impeachment inquiry in the Judiciary Committee. For that, I’m sure putative Committee chairman John Conyers will be more than happy to oblige.

Why can’t the Democrats be proud of what they’re about to do and announce it to the world? Why sneak around behind the voter’s backs?

The reason is that they are so confused about what the best political strategy would be that they are torn between satisfying their shrieking base who are screaming for us to get out of Iraq and acting like responsible adults who realize there is a war on:

Abercrombie stressed that Democrats are not going to sever funding for the troops. Cutting off funding is “easy to say and another thing to do,” according to Abercrombie.

What’s more like likely, he said, is to fund the conflict in a way that will end the war by reallocating money to new initiatives.

“We’re going to continue to give the troops everything they need,” said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

A House Democratic leadership aide said, “The bottom line is that should Democrats regain the House, Democrats will leave no soldier left behind in Iraq. As long as there’s soldiers in the battlefield, funding will continue.”

Well, which is it? “reallocate” money or give the troops everything they need to continue the fighting? Not even the leadership can tell you.

Could the Republicans use Democratic confusion on what to do about Iraq? Not if they’re smart. The word “Iraq” is not being uttered much by Republicans who prefer “The War on Terror” as a catch all for our efforts against global jihadism. In this respect, Republicans are playing their own little political games with Iraq policy although with few exceptions, Republicans have made it crystal clear that they prefer staying until the Iraqis can protect themselves.

Iraq withdrawal and impeachment are both explosive issues to be sure. But considering the impact on the country, don’t you think that the Democrats should make it absolutely clear about their intentions before the American people vote for them?

By: Rick Moran at 12:29 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (8)

CATEGORY: Media, Politics

I rise from my sickbed this morning to weigh in on Keith Olbermann’s latest “Special Comment” during which he referred to Fox News Reporter Chris Wallace – a journalist who has won every major broadcast news award around – as a “monkey posing as a newscaster” and accused Republicans of trying to foist blame for 9/11 onto the Clinton Administration.

The fact that I am dizzy, drugged up, and incoherent this morning makes me the perfect candidate to respond to Olbermann’s ignorant rant. Judging by some of the jaw droppers unleashed by the Unhinged One during his confused and typically shallow critique of Fox News, conservatives, Republicans, the Bush Administration, and the press, MSNBC should probably initiate drug screenings for its on air talent at the earliest possible moment. Either that or someone should make sure that Keith is still taking his Lithium religiously for it is apparent the reality Keith is experiencing is on some other plane of existence than the rest of us.

For the longest time, I tried my best to peg Olbermann, to define his appeal in normative terms; A left wing clown? A liberal provocateur? A humorist a la Will Rogers? A self-anointed Diogenes, carrying the lantern throughout America looking for the one honest man?

Olbermann tried all of these approaches and failed miserably. It wasn’t until he realized that his bread was buttered by liberal bloggers did he begin to demonstrate some traction with his show. In fact, it is eerie how like a liberal blog his show has become; wildly accusatory with no evidence to back up outrageous charges; sophomoric flights of logic and reason; an unhinged whining that causes the viewer to actually recoil in disgust at some of the self-pitying “woe is us” rhetoric; and a breathtaking shallowness that outlaws context and substitutes emotion for rational thought.

In this respect, Olbermann’s shtick is reminiscent of the high school know-it-all who used to drive everyone nuts by trying to prove he was smart by using a large vocabulary – invariably misusing terms willy nilly – while taking on a professorial air of superiority that attracted every bully in the school like flies to rotting meat. Loud, insufferable, and laughably incoherent at times, the know-it-all was able to gather around him the witless, the woebegone, and the wasted where he would hold forth every day in the lunchroom, his sycophants hanging on every word.

Reading this transcript of his remarks last night, it is clear that Olbermann has slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of idiocy. To call a fellow journalist a “monkey” is so far beyond what passes for rational discourse that even a lefty blog should find such rhetoric disturbing.

Of course, they don’t. In fact, they are cheering Mr. Olberman on to ever higher flights of rhetorical excess and juvenile name calling. Reporter Wallace is a “monkey.” Bush is a “coward.” This is what passes for reasonable dialogue on lefty blogs and Olbermann doesn’t let his audience down.

But the real dishonesty by Olbermann comes when he ascribes actions to the Bush Administration that he not only offers no proof for but that are also belied by the facts. For instance:

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest “pass” for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!

This, of course, is one of the Ãœber talking points on liberal blogs; that the press are a bunch of lapdogs. One wonders how Olbermann and his shipmates on the S.S. Perpetually Outraged got their high school diplomas without benefit of acquiring the ability to read. How, in fact, did we find out about this “incompetence and malfeasance?” A little birdie? Perhaps Olbermann has powers of divination that allows him special access to the supernatural for his Special Comments?

Should we tell Keith and his crew that their ammunition to prove incompetence and malfeasance comes from the press and therefore negates the “Bush is getting a pass” meme? Not if you don’t want to be showered with brain matter following the collective explosion of liberal heads. Logical thought to a lefty is like anti-matter. When it comes in contact with the muddled gray stuff in their confused, limited, and emotionally charged cranium, the two forces annihilate each other thus causing a rupture in the space-time continuum. Thankfully, there isn’t much chance of swaying a liberal with logic so we’re safe for the time being.

Caution: The following will make you want to tear your hair out if you are older than 5, can write complete sentences, and have the wit and reason to know the difference between reality and make believe:

It is not important that the current President’s portable public chorus has described his predecessor’s tone as “crazed.”

Our tone should be crazed. The nation’s freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as al Qaida; the nation’s marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would’ve quit.

Nonetheless. The headline is this:

Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done in five years.

He has spoken the truth about 9/11, and the current presidential administration.

“Portable” public chorus? Olbermann’s strained alliteration is sprinkled throughout his piece and hearkens back to that know-it-all high school kid. And please note the hysterical comparison between al-Qaeda and the Administration. Such over the top stupidity is lapped up by liberal blogs. It fits in perfectly with their worldview that the War on Terror is a sham and that al-Qaeda is no more a threat than the mugger in the park or rapist in the alley.

And believing that “Bill Clinton did what almost none of us have done in five years,” by giving the Democratic spin on 9/11 is either sly disingenuousness or Olbermann is oblivious to The Narrative. The “truth” being spun by liberal bloggers, pundits, media, and politicians has been non-stop for 5 years. To give Clinton a privileged position as truth teller is laughable.

More strained and putrid prose from Olbermann with Keith getting out the kneepads to service his hero:

Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.

“Forceful and Triumphant?” The awkwardness is embarrassing, jarring to the senses. By trying to sound Murrowesque, Olbermann ends up sounding like Elmer Fudd.

And I hope Clinton has the common decency to respond to Olbermann’s gooey eyed groveling. Such lap dog devotion should be rewarded with at least a Milk Bone or some other doggie treat.

Saving the most calumnious for last, Olbermann then offers up a shocking charge without one scintilla of evidence to back it up:

After five years of skirting even the most inarguable of facts—that he was president on 9/11 and he must bear some responsibility for his, and our, unreadiness, Mr. Bush has now moved, unmistakably and without conscience or shame, towards re-writing history, and attempting to make the responsibility, entirely Mr. Clinton’s.

Of course he is not honest enough to do that directly.

As with all the other nefariousness and slime of this, our worst presidency since James Buchanan, he is having it done for him, by proxy.

Thus, the sandbag effort by Fox News Friday afternoon.

No, you are not reading incorrectly. Keith Olbermann is accusing a major national news network of being in cahoots with the White House in an effort to “rewrite” history. He offers no proof of this conspiracy. No proof of this connection. No proof of anything at all, most especially that anyone is trying to “rewrite” anything.

Only in Olbermann’s hysterically juvenile fantasies (and those of his slavering supporters in the lefty blogosphere) does a recitation of the known facts – gathered by the 9/11 Commission, Richard Clark, and others – regarding the inconstancy, the hesitancy, the confusion, the misplaced priorities, the missed chances, and the suicidal underestimation of the capability of our enemies by the Clinton Administration become an effort for the Bushies to dodge responsibility for 9/11.

First of all, the historical record won’t let them. Nor will the historical record be unkind to Clinton’s efforts against terrorism which, despite its many flaws (flaws that when pointed out, for some reason, sends the left into paroxysms of apoplectic anger), at least recognized Bin Laden as a threat.

The fact of the matter is that the left saw a political opening via 9/11 (and found a way to negate the Administration’s political use of that date) and have attempted to shift the entire blame from Osama Bin Laden for the attacks and place it in the oval office. It has largely worked although I sense in the desperation of Clinton’s remarks as well as Olbermann’s rant that this rehash of arguments about 9/11 may be resonating with the American public. The semi-fictitious Path to 9/11, which has set off this debate, has people questioning the dominant lefty Narrative about 9/11 for the first time. It is this that Olbermann and Clinton are railing against; people re-examining the conventional wisdom and putting the American government’s response in a context detrimental to the political aspirations of Democrats.

But Olbermann’s charge of collusion between Fox and the White House is so ridiculous that only in the fringe fever swamps of the left will it get any play. In fact, an encouraging sign that some of the saner liberals are saying enough with regards to Olbermann’s ever more unbalanced “Special Comment” segment:

Knock knock.

Who’s there?


Key who?

Key-th Olbermann is as shrill as Tiny Tim sucking a balloon full of helium and then blowing sixty-four octaves above middle C on a giant dog whistle right in your ear. And not the original recording, mind you – the cover. By Alvin & The Chipmunks.

Um…’kay. At least their hearts are in the right place.

(NOTE: Apparently, I am mistaken. There are no sane lefties out there. Imagine my embarrassment in learning that at the link above, “Shrill” doesn’t mean “strident or intemperate.” Or perhaps it does mean that but it is seen as a badge of honor by some liberals. Kinda like “speaking truth to power” minus the truth and substituting ear muffs. Or maybe the truth is there but you leave out the speaking part. Actually, I believe that many liberals believe that acting and speaking like an ass should be their ultimate goal.

My head hurts…)

Allah is waiting for Olbermann to go completely off the rails and start spouting 9/11 conspiracy theories. He’s already had on as guests several leading truthers so that wouldn’t surprise me one bit. It is evident that Olbermann has given up on trying to impress the kind of liberals who grace the salons of the Upper West Side. The society folk like their Bush hatred warm but not too hot lest it scorch those whose humor tends more toward the cerebral rather than Olberman’s Punch and Bush show physicality.

But I have no doubt he will be handsomely rewarded by the netnuts who luxuriate in his laughable attempts at profundity while egging him on to ever greater heights of irrelevancy.

You almost want to avert your eyes when the inevitable crash comes but, like those of us who watch NASCAR solely for the spin-outs and pile-ups, the entertainment value of watching Olberman melt like the Wicked Witch of the West right before our eyes will be immensely satisfying.

By: Rick Moran at 9:02 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (31)


Zsu-Zsu was kind enough to give me a present yesterday – a full blown case of the flu.

This will necessitate me being out a couple of days. We’ll probably have a replay of a previous show today with guest hosts filling in for the rest of the time I’m gone.

As usual, to access WAR Radio, simply click on the “Listen Live” button in the left hand sidebar.

I hope to be back in the saddle and raring to go soon!

By: Rick Moran at 5:08 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)