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Berri postpones Lebanon presidential election to Tuesday
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US backs down over Afghan poppy fields destruction
The US government has conceded defeat in its attempt to persuade the Afghanistan government to begin the aerial destruction of poppy fields as part of its opium eradication strategy. "We have decided to stop pursuing the aerial spraying of poppy fields in Afghanistan," said Thomas Schweich, principal deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

US officials have climbed down in the face of widespread criticism from the Afghan government and other coalition partners, notably the UK.Although attempting to destroy poppy crops from the ground can be dangerous, the Afghan government is against the use of aerial spraying because of fears about the herbicide glyphosate's effect on the environment, other smaller crops and on health.

"The United States has always indicated that we would not pursue any counter-narcotics activity in Afghanistan that did not have the full support of the government of Afghanistan," said a spokeswoman in the US State Department. "While we believe there are advantages to using aerial spray to augment existing eradication programmes, president Karzai is on record opposing the use of aerial spray and we respect his decision in this matter."

The decision was met with widespread approval. "We agree with the Afghanistan government that the best way forward is through the building up of law enforcement, treating addiction and providing alternative livelihoods," said a spokesman at the Foreign Office.

Schweich, now touring Europe to explain the change in policy and to drum up support for other counter-narcotics initiatives, wants to "dramatically expand" the so-called Good Performers Intiative, which pays communities to finance local infrastructure if they cease poppy farming. The thirteen provinces declared poppy free in August will each receive $500,000 (£244,000) in development assistance. Next year, this is set to rise to $1m. The US and UK governments have allocated over $25m for the initiative. The US administration wants to go further and has already asked Congress for an additional $50m.

Schweich hopes to persuade other countries, including Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Austria to support the programme. "I hope we can get to over $100m," he said.

But the US is still committed to destroying poppy fields. "Gound-based eradication ... will continue, but the decision on whether to proceed with ground-based spraying is still under discussion with the government of Afghanistan," said the US State Department spokeswoman.

Reducing the country's reliance on the opium trade will be difficult. Afghanistan's poppy harvest this year is expected to be 17% bigger than that recorded in 2006, according the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. The country produces 93% of world's opium supplies, worth around $4bn to the Afghan economy.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336062 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  What's wrong with using Roundup(TM)? It's my understanding that it is fully biodegradable after a few months, and that it is some kind of superfertilizer and makes the plant outgrow its skin or something like that. any CEs out there who know this stuff?

Here is the MSDS for Roundup, which is probably the glyphosate agent they are talking about.

So I guess they'd prefer that their people die of lead poisoning and other sufferings vs. having some biodegradable stuff floated over their poppy fields and getting on with life w/o the Taliban. Smart. I suppose all the fertilizers and what not are way better than Roundup.
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 1:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Oh, and by the way, might as well have the farmers do the eradicating or put them in jail while Coalition troops take care of business. That way you'd know better which fields were mined.
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 1:08 Comments || Top||

#3  I love the smell of napalm in the morning

That entire country is a giant factory for jihadists and opium, the sale of which further enables jihadists. Karzai's government is being given the opportunity to address these issues but Western patience with this situation should have limits.
Posted by: Grumenk Philalzabod0723 || 12/08/2007 2:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Too bad the dead vote democratic.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 7:36 Comments || Top||

#5  It makes more sense to let them grow the poppies, we buy 'em, and take 'em away and destroy 'em. Pay the farmers directly, cut out the warlord middlemen, and still stop the junk from reaching the marketplace. Nice and tidy. Oh, I forgot, some politicians here and abroad wouldn't get their cut. Oh, well...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/08/2007 9:35 Comments || Top||

#6  And the Taliban would swoop down on them and demand protection money. I don't think it would work. Better to destroy the poppies and let them decide where best to put their efforts. Easy money makes it easier for them to give a tithe to the Taliban and forget about it.
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 16:30 Comments || Top||

#7  A truly sneaky thing to do would be to pay some Afghan poppy farmers extra money to grow GM plants. Not just food crops, but GM plants that produce expensive medicines.

This way, the farmers could make money a second time by selling those crops, which cannot be grown legally in much of the world, to big pharma companies.

These plants can be literally worth 10 times the value of the equivalent amount of opium poppies.

The deal would not only make them wealthy, but would make their country wealthy, while giving big pharma the raw materials for ultra valuable drugs.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/08/2007 19:13 Comments || Top||

#8  Round-up is good. My tree-hugger girlfriend adores it, and uses it whenever she clears another patch of lawn to make a new garden bed for native plants. The idea about GM plants is clever, too -- a clear win-win. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/08/2007 20:42 Comments || Top||

#9  I remember the idea of a GM poppy being sneaked into the system. something that would die and kill its neighbors before fruition would be nice.
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 20:46 Comments || Top||

#10  Rodeo™ works as well as RoundUp™, and is compatible with wetlands and wildlife
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 21:04 Comments || Top||

#11  All the discussion is about spraying. A lot could be accomplished by dumping slow release cakes of herbicide into irrigation canals. Could be done very covertly, and no political ramifications...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/08/2007 21:30 Comments || Top||

#12  A lot could be accomplished by dumping slow release cakes of herbicide into irrigation canals. Could be done very covertly, and no political ramifications...

I beg to respectfully disagree. You either do it openly or eliminate that option. These people may be tribal, but that doesn't mean they're stoopid. How long before they put two and two together with 'the Americans' (we wouldn't put that op on an ally) putting shit in the water? We'd be accused of poisoning wells ( a la VN and the Tranzis' worst dreams nightmares) and lose BIG on PR. Be upfront or not at all
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 22:09 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
UN Envoy: New Darfur Fighting Bad Sign
EL FASHER, Sudan (AP) - Signs of renewed fighting in Darfur are a worrying omen for peace talks, a U.N. special envoy said Friday as he toured the troubled region in an attempt to draw reluctant rebels into negotiations with Sudan's government.
No, reeeeeeaaaallly?
Jan Eliasson is on a four-day trip to Darfur to press key leaders of the splintered rebel factions to unify their positions and join in the peace process that began in October but quickly broke off. He had planned to meet Friday with Khalil Ibrahim, the powerful leader of the Justice and Equality Movement, but U.N. security officers would not allow his helicopter to go to the secret Darfur location where the meeting was to be held.

Security concerns arose over heavy recent fighting just over the border in Chad, some nine miles from the meeting site, and unconfirmed but widely circulated reports that Sudanese planes bombed rebel positions close to the meeting point two days earlier, U.N. officials said. The fighting in Chad forced Sudan to close its borders, the Sudanese foreign ministry said.
How convenient.
Sudan declared a unilateral cease-fire when the now stalled peace negotiations opened in Sirte, Libya, on Oct. 27. Suspicions it could have breached the truce commitment and tribal clashes in Darfur do not bode well for peace efforts, Eliasson said. "I find it disturbing that there is such military action," he told The Associated Press. "Certainly, it doesn't create an atmosphere conducive for talks."
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan

Yusuf sez he's healthy, honest
(SomaliNet) Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed on Friday made his first public appearance after three days in a Kenyan hospital in a bid to end speculation on the state of his health, AFP reports. Yusuf, who has battled ill-health for more than a decade, said he was feeling "very nice" and was recovering well from a bronchial infection that saw him hospitalised on Tuesday.
"He's fine. We're fine here. Fine. Really. How are you?"
He also said he had seen at least three press television reports suggesting he had already died. "Many of you know me. I am healthy," he reporters.
"Never better. Wanna see me pump some iron?"
Hospital sources have insisted Yusuf was in "serious condition" when he was admitted, but presidential aides and the country's envoy to Kenya have flatly dismissed the claim.

"We had an X-Ray, he had bronchitis. He has been put on treatment (and) he has responded very well and he will be able to travel soon to London for a scheduled check-up," said Mauro Saio, Yusuf's doctor.
"It was the cheese blintz, we're sure of it."
Yusuf, a thug former warlord before he was elected president in 2004, has seemed frail during recent public appearances, has lost weight and suffers from bouts of heavy shaking.
Wonder if it was Yeltsin syndrome?
He has had a liver transplant and his ill health has been a source of concern in Somali political circles and among his foreign supporters. "For the last 13 years I have had this liver, a transplanted liver, and it is healthy like your liver," said Yusuf.
"But my liver isn't healthy."
"Okay, it's healthy like his liver!"
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under:

#1  If you need a liver transplant it may be helpful to be top dog in a third (fourth?) world country - plenty of potential donors running around, and you can pick the one you want and have him stop running and give you his liver.
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/08/2007 8:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Indeed. An old organ is fine thing
Posted by: Eohippus Slilet8185 || 12/08/2007 15:56 Comments || Top||

Mogadishu deputy leader dies
(SomaliNet) The deputy governor of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia for political affairs, Abdulahi Hassan Ganey ‘Firimbi’ has died at the age of 60s on Friday morning, local authorities said. Mr. Firimbi, died at the Medina hospital where he has been ill these days, according to the deputy governor of Mogadishu for the security Abdifitah Ibrahim Shaweye.
Let me guess: complications from a liver transplant?
The body of late Firimbi will be buried today as the funeral will be attended by senior officials in transitional federal government.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under:

Euros unlikely to meet UN appeal for Darfur mission
European Union nations, burdened with operations in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo, appear unlikely to meet the U.N.'s urgent calls for helicopters for a peacekeeping force in Darfur. (M)any European governments have said they support deploying a peacekeeping force in Darfur. But when it comes to Sudan, verbal support is one thing; helicopters are another matter entirely.

"There's something like 12,000 military helicopters in Europe, so it's bizarre that not one has been found available so far to commit to this force," said Thomas Cargill, Africa program manager at Chatham House, an international affairs think tank in London. And European countries, Cargill said, risk undermining their credibility "if they commit themselves to resolving a crisis but then can't commit themselves to providing the necessary hardware."

A U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force of 26,000 troops is scheduled to officially take over from an AU force in the Darfur region in three weeks. But U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday that 24 aircraft — 18 transport helicopters and six light tactical helicopters — are essential. Otherwise, he said, the force will not be able to protect its own soldiers, let alone the area's civilians.

Sudan also has put up road blocks. The U.N. Security Council agreed that the force should be predominantly African — at Sudan's insistence. Khartoum has refused to approve non-African units from Thailand, Nepal and the Nordic countries, even though 90 percent of the ground troops and 75 percent of the proposed force are from Africa. On helicopters, Ban said he had approached every country that could possible contribute a helicopter — "to no avail."

Ban sent two high-level envoys to pressure leaders attending an EU-Africa summit in Lisbon, Portugal, this weekend. And European military officials and diplomats have continued to insist this week that they are trying to find some helicopters to contribute. But there has been no movement on the issue this week, the officials and diplomats said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of negotiations.

Those trying to put it together say the mission is at risk. "We need helicopters," said Brig. Gen. Solomon Giwa-Amu, a spokesman for the Nigerian Army, which now has 3,500 troops, the largest African contingent, in the current force and plans to send more to the joint force. "If we have six helicopters that will be of great help for the troops because of the terrain."

Poland said it would soon send four transport helicopters and four attack helicopters — similar to those the U.N. says are vital in Sudan — to Afghanistan, not Darfur. "These helicopters were long ago tabbed for the Afghanistan mission," Foreign Ministry spokesman Piotr Paszkowski explained Friday. "We aren't particularly rich in helicopters."

Germany, too, will not increase its commitment to the Darfur mission because its military is stretched elsewhere, said Defense Ministry spokesman Thomas Raabe. "That's just the way it is," Raabe said. "We have no capacity for this concrete mission."

The problem, he said, is that Germany has the third-largest contingent in Afghanistan and is the largest contributor of troops to the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo. Britain offered a similar explanation earlier in the week.

"I've been working the phones hard to try and get helicopters from other governments," Mark Malloch Brown, Britain's Africa minister, told British Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday. But Britain is unable to contribute its own military helicopters because their reserves are deployed in Afghanistan, he said.

Both countries say they are contributing to the Darfur mission. Germany has sent two officers and provided troop transportation. Britain has given 75 million pounds (€104.1 million, US$151.5 million) to help fund the operation.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/08/2007 06:44 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan

#1  God forbid Europe should have to fight a real war. Doesn't Cuba have some Hinds it can be bribed to lend?
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/08/2007 8:06 Comments || Top||

#2  This is The NYT-International. Of course they'll take the Euros to task over Darfur. It's still a 'good' crisis.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/08/2007 11:05 Comments || Top||

#3  It's all very well that the EU has 12,000 helicopters between them, but how on earth does the International Herald Tribune expect them to ship the things all the way to Africa? It's not like the EU has an American-style carrier fleet capable of such things, after all.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/08/2007 12:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Just put them on bigger helicopters and fly them over.
Posted by: SteveS || 12/08/2007 12:14 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Right on Cue: Desperate Democrats want probe of tape destruction
Nancy: "OK everyone, it's showtime! I want to see plenty of seething and righteous indignation. We have a mountain to make out of a molehill tonight! Ted, Dick, Carl! Get up front and start gnashing your teeth. I want to see red faces, insane comparisons, skewed importance, and plenty of spittle all around like usual! I want deceptive logic all around but try not to draw attention to the ignorance of their assumptions as you take advantage of them. Harry, take off the collar and stand up, it wouldn't look good. No, someone's already used 'Oh the humanity' before I think. Now remember: Nothing is below us - err, I mean No detail is too insignificant. Pay attention back there already! Jack's drooling out of the left side of his mouth again! Joe, make yourself useful for once and straighten him up. No, the other way! OK, places everyone!"

[The curtain raises and Act 1 begins]

Angry congressional Democrats demanded Friday that the Justice Department investigate why the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two terrorism suspects.

The Senate's No. 2 Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to find out "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law."

Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., accused the CIA of a cover-up. "We haven't seen anything like this since the 18 1/2-minute gap in the tapes of President Richard Nixon," he said in a Senate floor speech.

And Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., told reporters the CIA's explanation that the tapes were destroyed to protect agents' identities is "a pathetic excuse," adding: "You'd have to burn every document at the CIA that has the identity of an agent on it under that theory."

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Mukasey asking whether the Justice Department gave legal advice to the CIA on the destruction of the tapes, and whether it was planning an obstruction-of-justice investigation.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Friday that President Bush did not recall being told about the tapes or their destruction. But she could not rule out White House involvement in the decision to destroy the tapes, saying she had only asked the president about it, not others.

Perino refused to say whether the destruction could have been an obstruction of justice or a threat to cases against terrorism suspects. If the attorney general decides to investigate, "of course the White House would support that," she said.

In a daily press briefing dedicated almost solely to the topic of the CIA tapes, Perino responded 19 times that she didn't know or couldn't comment.

At least one White House official, then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers, knew about the CIA's planned destruction of videotapes in 2005 that documented the interrogation of two al-Qaida operatives, ABC news reported Friday. Three officials told ABC News that Miers urged the CIA not to destroy the tapes. White House officials declined to comment on the report.

The spy agency destroyed the tapes in November 2005, at a time when human rights groups and lawyers for detainees were clamoring for information about the agency's secret detention and interrogation program, and Congress and U.S. courts were debating where "enhanced interrogation" crossed the line into torture.

Also at that time, the Senate Intelligence Committee was asking whether the videotapes showed CIA interrogators were complying with interrogation guidelines. The CIA refused twice in 2005 to provide the committee with its general counsel's report on the tapes, according to Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

Hayden told agency employees Thursday that the recordings were destroyed out of fear the tapes would leak and reveal the identities of interrogators. He said the sessions were videotaped to provide an added layer of legal protection for interrogators using new, harsh methods. President Bush had just authorized those methods as a way to break down the defenses of recalcitrant prisoners.

Destruction of the tapes came in the midst of an intense national debate about how forcefully prisoners could be grilled to get them to talk. Not long after the tapes were destroyed, Congress adopted the Detainee Treatment Act, championed by Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The law prohibits not only torture, but cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of all U.S. detainees, including those in CIA custody.

Also in the fall of 2005, the Supreme Court heard a case involving the legal rights of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. It decided in June 2006 that al-Qaida prisoners are protected by the Geneva Conventions' prohibitions on torture and cruel treatment.

At the time, the CIA also was concerned that its operatives involved in prisoner interrogation might be subject to legal charges over the treatment of detainees. Some agency employees have bought liability insurance as a hedge against that possibility.

The decision to destroy the tapes was made by Jose Rodriguez, then the head of the CIA's clandestine directorate of operations under CIA Director Porter Goss.

Hayden said congressional intelligence committee members were made aware in February 2003 both of the tapes and the CIA's ultimate plan to destroy them. That claim was denied by several members of the panels, including Republican Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, who was then chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

The Senate Intelligence Committee did not learn of the tapes' destruction until November 2006, and Rockefeller said he was not told in 2003 of the plan to destroy them. The House Intelligence Committee learned of the tapes' destruction in March 2007.

Republicans were mostly mum about the CIA disclosure. McCain, a presidential candidate, said while campaigning in New Hampshire on Friday that he would not side with Democrats' calls for an investigation because he believed the CIA's actions were legal.

"That doesn't mean I like it," McCain added.

"Of course I object to it," he said of the tapes being destroyed. "Right now, our intelligence agencies need credibility and this is not helpful to that."

At least one of the tapes showed the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah, the first high-value detainee taken by the CIA in 2002. Zubaydah, under harsh questioning, told CIA interrogators about alleged 9/11 accomplice Ramzi Binalshibh, Bush said publicly in 2006. The two men's confessions also led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, whom the U.S. government said was the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Hayden told agency employees the interrogations were legal, and said the tapes were not relevant to "any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries."

Lawyers for U.S. detainees believe otherwise.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which coordinates the work of all attorneys representing U.S. prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, says the CIA may have destroyed crucial evidence a court said it was entitled to in 2004.

The center said Friday it is now "deeply concerned" the CIA may have destroyed evidence relating to Majid Khan, a former CIA detainee now held at Guantanamo.

Revelations about the tapes also may affect ongoing terrorism trials.

Convicted terrorism conspirator Jose Padilla's lawyers claimed in a Florida federal court that Zubaydah was tortured into saying Padilla was an al-Qaida associate. The Justice Department dismissed Padilla's allegations as "meritless," saying Padilla's legal team could not prove that Zubaydah had been tortured.

Padilla and his two co-defendants will be sentenced next month. They face life in prison on three terror-related convictions.

Then-U.S. District Judge Mukasey, now attorney general, signed the warrant used by the FBI to arrest Padilla in May 2002. That warrant relied in part on information obtained from Zubaydah, court records show.

In a separate case, attorneys for al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui in 2003 began seeking videotapes of interrogations they believed might help their client. In November 2005 a federal judge ordered the government to disclose whether it had video or audio tapes of specific interrogations. Eleven days later, the government denied it had them.

Gerald Zerkin, one of Moussaoui's lawyers in the penalty phase of his trial, recalled some of the defense efforts to obtain testimony from video or audio tapes of the interrogations of top al-Qaida detainees. "Obviously the important witnesses included Zubaydah, Binalshibh and KSM (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed)... those are the guys at the head of the witness list," Zerkin said. He could not recall specifically which tapes he requested or the phrasing of his discovery requests, which he said were probably still classified.

The tapes also were not provided to the 9/11 Commission, which relied heavily on intelligence reports about Zubaydah and Binalshibh's 2002 interrogations. CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the agency did not subvert the 9/11 commission's work.

"Because it was thought the commission could ask about tapes at some point," he said, "they were not destroyed while the commission was active."
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 05:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  The CIA ought to tell the Dems really plainly that they know where all the Democrats trash is buried and it would be a good idea to walk away from this. There are no honest politicians in Washington DC.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 12/08/2007 8:00 Comments || Top||

#2  I fear this situation will lead to the acquittal of many terrorist cases that make their way into the criminal justice system - and that could be where all terrorist cases wind up.
I also fear for our country, since it is clear that political points are more important than the national interest to a great many people. Even if these tapes were destroyed illegally (which does not appear to have been the case) and if they showed criminal torture (which also seems unlikely) the investigation and consequences should have been done quietly and behind the scenes. The CIA and other intelligence agencies have enough problems without crap like this.
Posted by: Glenmore || 12/08/2007 8:39 Comments || Top||

#3  See below - this is the fig leaf for the dems collapse on opposing funding for the troops. And their leftard supporters will be distracted by it just fine...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/08/2007 9:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Seems to me the Democrats are pissed about the tapes being destroyed precisely because they can't now be used by the democrats or MSM (see NYT) to expose agents.

I think someone like Congressman "Bagdad Jim" McDermitt would be more then willing to 'leak' the tape to the media - he's done it he'll do it again.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 12/08/2007 9:40 Comments || Top||

#5  "Sure, sure. We'll get on that right after we wrap up the Sandy Berger imbroglio."
Posted by: eLarson || 12/08/2007 10:06 Comments || Top||

#6  Read, "traitors upset they can not lend media support against America in this issue"
Posted by: Icerigger || 12/08/2007 11:14 Comments || Top||

#7  Will Jane Harmon (D-CA) on the 'Intelligence' Committee, tell Dick Turbin (D-IL) that she was told about this pending tapes destruction in 2003? Will Little Dick say 'Jane, you ignorant slut' on tv? Will the NYT and the Benedict Arnold Society hire Ramsey Clark to sue for bail for the Gitmo Bay 348? Can Breck Edwards channel Zarkowi for the inside story? Showtime!
Posted by: Phinater Thraviger || 12/08/2007 13:29 Comments || Top||

#8  Given the Abu Gahrib fiascal, i don't blame the CIA for trashing the tapes. The donks have NO use for the tapes other than using them for political gain.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 12/08/2007 15:12 Comments || Top||

#9  All of this over a stupid video tape but not one single breath about that stupid NIE changing 180 degrees in less than four months. THATS what you need to investigate. It is obvious there is an intelligence problem in DC.

And they call republicans inept.
Posted by: newc || 12/08/2007 18:48 Comments || Top||

Supreme Court to Hear U.S. Citizens Held in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to intervene in the cases of two naturalized U.S. citizens who want to stop American forces in Baghdad from turning them over to Iraqi authorities.

Mohammad Munaf faces a death sentence after a judge in the Central Criminal Court of Iraq found him guilty of kidnapping Romanian citizens. Munaf says he is innocent. In the other case, Shawqi Omar was alleged to be harboring an Iraqi insurgent and four Jordanian Jihadist fighters when his Baghdad home was raided in 2004. He faces a trial in Iraqi courts and also proclaims his innocence. The raid by multinational forces targeted associates of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, at the time the al-Qaida leader in Iraq.

In the cases of Munaf and Omar, different U.S. courts gave conflicting interpretations of a 1948 ruling by the Supreme Court. The lower U.S. courts ruled against Munaf, but in favor of Omar.

Munaf was born in Baghdad and was working as a translator and guide for three Romanian journalists abducted in 2005 in Iraq and held for 55 days. Troops from the multinational force, of which U.S. troops are a part, freed the captives. The multinational troops detained Munaf because they suspected he was involved in the kidnapping.
He'll get as much sympathy as the orphan who murdered his parents.
Munaf spent 10 years in the U.S., moving to Bucharest, Romania, in 2001. His wife is Romanian. Munaf is in U.S. custody at Camp Cropper near Baghdad International Airport, where the multinational force is holding him on behalf of the Iraqi government pending resolution of his appeal in the Iraqi courts.

A federal court in Washington, D.C., rejected a request by Munaf's sister seeking to bar his transfer to the Iraqis. The federal judge said Munaf is not in the custody of the United States, but is instead in the hands of coalition troops, of which U.S. forces are a part. The coalition troops, the federal court said, are answerable to the United Nations and its member countries. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld the ruling.

The U.S. courts in Munaf's case relied on a 1948 Supreme Court decision in which Japanese citizens unsuccessfully sought to challenge their sentences by a military tribunal in Japan. The justices said the tribunal's authority came from Allied forces and not the United States. The Supreme Court said federal courts had no jurisdiction because the military panel was not a U.S. tribunal, thought it had been set up by General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur, the Supreme Court ruled, did so while acting as head of the Allied forces.

In the case of Omar, his lawyers say he traveled to Iraq with his 10-year-old son after the fall of Baghdad in 2003 seeking contract work in reconstruction. In the custody of the U.S. military ever since the raid, Omar's wife got a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to block the multinational force from turning him over to Iraqi authorities for prosecution. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected the U.S. government's assertion that the 1948 Supreme Court ruling meant that federal courts had no authority to decide Omar's case. The appeals court said that Omar, unlike the Japanese nationals in the 1948 Supreme Court case, has not been charged with a crime much less convicted of one and that he has remained in the control of U.S. forces.
Except that he is being charged with a crime: harboring insurgents in his home. He's being charged in the Iraqi courts. Our duty is to turn him over to be tried unless the current status agreement prevents that.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

#1  Harboring the enemy. Is it just me or isn't that treason?
Posted by: Icerigger || 12/08/2007 5:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Swell. It's just like when Mexico or Europe protests that we're about to execute one of their citizens who came here and committed a heinous murder. We're gonna see a world kangaroo court, just wait and see...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/08/2007 9:31 Comments || Top||

#3  The supreme court needs to back out of these war issues period.
Posted by: newc || 12/08/2007 19:01 Comments || Top||

Just 18% Believe Iran has Stopped Nuclear Weapons Development Program
This is beyond the definition of a landslide. Even the folks with the tinfoil hats don't believe this $hit! And I had no idea that the Dems in Congress made up 18% of the US population.
Just 18% of American voters believe that Iran has halted its nuclear weapons program. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 66% disagree and say Iran has not stopped its nuclear weapons program. Twenty-one percent (21%) of men believe Iran has stopped the weapons development along with 16% of women.

The survey was conducted following release of a government report saying that Iran halted its nuclear weapons development program in 2003.

The Rasmussen Reports survey also found that 67% of American voters believe that Iran remains a threat to the national security of the United States. Only 19% disagree while 14% are not sure. Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe that the United States should continue sanctions against Iran. Twenty percent (20%) disagree and 21% are not sure.

Forty-seven percent (47%) believe it is Very Likely that Iran will develop nuclear weapons in the future and another 34% believe Iran is Somewhat Likely to do so.

Twenty-nine percent (29%) of liberal voters believe that Iran has stopped its weapons program but 54% disagree. Among conservatives, just 8% believe Iran has stopped and 81% disagree.

Despite the Iranian government's protestations to the contrary, an earlier survey found that 67% believed that Iran’s nuclear program is intended to develop nuclear weapons rather than nuclear energy.

Another survey found that, most voters doubt the United States can count on its European allies when dealing with Iran. Just 1% of Americans view Iran as an ally of the United States. Sixty-two percent (62%) believe that Iran sponsors terrorist activities against the United States. Only 6% disagree and 32% are not sure.
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Those 18% are the dhimocrat fringe.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/08/2007 8:59 Comments || Top||

#2  Nah, the fringe are those who still approve of Congress' performance and that's in single digit now. The other ten percent are the 'penumbra' as our courts would say. They'd drink the Koolaid too, but only the sugar free lite stuff.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/08/2007 9:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Heh, when it comes to issues of fact the US electorate is better qualified than our 'intelligence' agencies.

Proposal: every voter gets $100 credit to be used to buy shares in a market where the intelligence questions (yes or no) are posed by the government. This would be similar to the existing on-line markets of this type.

If they make money, they get to use the gain as a tax credit. You can bet that the research would be pretty good.

These should be intelligence questions, not policy questions.
Posted by: KBK || 12/08/2007 14:24 Comments || Top||

#4  "Just 1% of Americans view Iran as an ally of the United States."
I'd hope that's the 1% that were distracted and accidentally checked the wrong box.
Posted by: Darrell || 12/08/2007 17:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: WoT
Another Surge Convert: Major General John Batiste
Michael Goldfarb's blog is well worth a frequent visit - he was one, along with Bob Owens, that first called out TNR on the Beauchamp debacle.
In today's Washington Post, Pete Hegseth, executive director of Vets for Freedom, has coauthored an op-ed with...wait for it...Major General John Batiste.

Batiste, you will remember, is the formerly "antiwar" general who spoke out against Donald Rumsfeld, and who, until recently, was a Board Member of VoteVets.org (the antiwar MoveOn.org vets front group).

Today he joins Hegseth to write:

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. We have seen this ruthless enemy firsthand, and its global ambitions are undeniable. This struggle, the Long War, will probably take decades to prosecute. Failure is not an option.

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country.

There are two stories here: 1) A formerly anti-war general flips on supporting the war, and now believes Petraeus has the right strategy; and 2) Batiste has left VoteVets.org, and the antiwar movement, and joined up with the pro-troop, pro-surge, pro-victory Vets for Freedom.

The antiwar movement has lost one of its most powerful voices today, and it will be interesting to see whether they turn on one of their own, or come around to the view, supported by a preponderance of evidence, that the surge is working.
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 15:29 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Hurah. Wouldn't trust him as far I can throw an anvil. (2 metres)
Posted by: Thomas Woof || 12/08/2007 16:04 Comments || Top||

#2  it is no longer politically useful to be anti-war. They lost in their attempt to hurt Bush by being anti-war. Now they are all going to jump on the band wagon and ride in on the Victory parade.

They are just disgusting. Really, they are. Since being a liberal means having no convictions, they will on get on the same page here soon enough.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 16:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Interesting change of heart. We can only speculate on the motivation. The nicest spin seems to be "finally came to his senses" which is not exactly flattering.

So was Batiste anti-Rumsfeld because the the war or because of the whole transformation/net-centric warfare thingie?
Posted by: SteveS || 12/08/2007 18:16 Comments || Top||

#4  I prefer the cynical motivation. He lacks a personal sense of direction and has sensed which way the wind is blowing. Do not trust such a man, but take great pleasure in the tweaking this "change of mind" will make among our internal enemies
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 18:22 Comments || Top||

#5  I should remember, but can't, whether this guy was one of those "anti-war" types who actually were more opposed to the old Non-Campaign (my term) than they were to seeking some measure of success in Iraq.

The redeeming aspect of the former generals I have in mind was that they offered specific, concrete critiques and criticism. This aspect failed to excuse their criminal stupidity in allowing themselves to be used the way they were, and in general to display such carelessness in stepping into the most vicious and stupid political environment ever seen. But at least they had SOMETHING to say other than "whhaaa, we're not happy, life is hard, whaaaa, etc.", which is about all we've heard for the past 4 years from most "critics".

Posted by: Verlaine || 12/08/2007 19:35 Comments || Top||

#6  ...So now we know exactly how long it takes for a General to figure out which way the wind is blowing.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 12/08/2007 19:41 Comments || Top||

#7  I just read "House to House" which is covers the experiences of Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia in Iraq. In that book, Batista comes off as one of Hackworth's perfumed princes, as he demands that infantry who have just come off the line after 11 days of all fighting, no showers, no hot meals and no sleep get themselves cleaned up for a photo op with him.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/08/2007 20:42 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm reading it too, ZF - not Batiste's best showing, is it?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 21:00 Comments || Top||

Detainees Fear Being Shipped Home
A federal appeals court on Thursday zeroed in on the problem of Guantanamo Bay in reverse — detainees in U.S. custody who want out but don't want to be sent home.

Ahmed Belbacha isn't happy to be at Guantanamo Bay, but neither is he happy about the alternative he says was chosen for him by the U.S. government, Algeria, where Belbacha says he'll be tortured. Belbacha's lawyer, David Remes, asked a three-judge panel to block any plans the Bush administration might have for moving his client into Algerian custody until the Supreme Court decides a case covering all Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court debated whether the detainees at the U.S. naval prison in Cuba have the right to take their cases to federal courts. A decision is expected in the spring.

There are other Guantanamo Bay cases with similarities to Belbacha's. In October, a federal judge blocked the Pentagon from transferring detainee Mohammed Abdul Rahman to Tunisia. The government has notified the court it intends to appeal the judge's decision in favor of Rahman, who says he would be tortured there.

Jamil el-Banna has been facing the possibility of being returned to Jordan, where he says he was tortured in the 1990s and would be again. El-Banna also has lived legally in England, and negotiations between the United States and Britain are under way for his possible return there instead of Jordan. He was taken into custody five years ago.

Lawyers for another detainee, Abu Abdul Rauf Zalita, are seeking to block his transfer to Libya, arguing he faces torture if he is returned there. Zalita says he married an Afghan citizen and that after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, he and his pregnant wife fled to Pakistan where he was handed over to U.S. authorities for a bounty.

Guantanamo Bay isn't the only place where people in custody are resisting being sent somewhere else. Two naturalized U.S. citizens held in Baghdad and an Afghan held at the Bagram military base in Afghanistan are resisting efforts to turn them over to local authorities. On Friday, the Supreme Court will decide whether it will hear the cases of the two naturalized U.S. citizens.

In Belbacha's case, the U.S. military has classified him as an enemy combatant, while saying he is eligible for transfer subject to appropriate diplomatic arrangements for another country to take him. Remes, his lawyer, says he went to court after hearing from a confidential source the U.S. government planned to turn him over to Algeria. Belbacha was brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 from Pakistan. He had been an accountant at the government-owned oil company Sonatrach. Recalled for a second term of military service in the Algerian army, Belbacha says he was targeted with death threats by terrorists in Groupe Islamique Armee, then at the height of a violent campaign for an Islamic Algeria. Belbacha never reported for duty, but he says the GIA visited his home at least twice and threatened him and his family. He left the country, traveling to France, England, Pakistan and Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo Bay.

Belbacha's lawyer faced a tough reception at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where Judge A. Raymond Randolph seemed unwilling to block a possible transfer to Algeria. Randolph, an appointee of President George H.W. Bush, wrote the opinion in February closing the door on the detainees' access to federal courts, prompting prisoners' lawyers to take their cases to the Supreme Court.

Another judge on the Belbacha case, Judge Thomas Griffith, expressed doubts about intervening in a possible transfer based on the mere possibility that the Supreme Court will decide in the detainees' favor months down the road. "Are we supposed to divine" how the justices will rule from Wednesday's Supreme Court arguments? said Griffith, who was appointed to the appeals court two years ago by President Bush.

The judges questioned the Justice Department lawyer about how imminent Belbacha's departure from Guantanamo Bay might be. "Is there any current plan to transfer this individual?" Randolph asked.

"We can't comment," Justice Department lawyer Catherine Hancock replied.

The third member of the panel, Chief Judge Douglas Ginsburg, speculated about a possible alternative to Algeria, referring to the cases of five Chinese Muslims given refuge in Albania because they feared being put to death or tortured if returned to China. Picked up during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Uighur Muslims are suspected by their government of being members of a group waging a violent separatist campaign in China's northwestern Muslim region.
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 08:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  These guys all dug the idea of torturing and killing when it was them doing it to the "infidel." Shoe don't fit the other foot so well, though...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/08/2007 17:21 Comments || Top||

3 British Residents Leaving Guantanamo
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (AP) - Three of five British residents held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay will soon be released under a repatriation agreement with the British government, an attorney for one of the detainees said Friday. Jordanian Trevor Jamil el-Banna, Libyan-born Nigel Omar Deghayes and Algerian William Abdennour Sameur will be returned to Britain.
Good riddance and get the hell out!
"These men have received nothing in the way of justice, nothing at all," said Zachary Katznelson, an attorney with British communist human rights group "Reprieve," which represents British residents at Guantanamo. "It's about time they were returned to their families, and we're grateful to the British government for making this happen."
The three are illegal combatants, and that they're still alive today is a sign of American mercy.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown had made a request in July for the release of the men, who all previously lived in Britain.

A fourth British resident, Ethiopian national Bruce Binyam Mohamed, will remain at the prison camp, said Katznelson, who spoke to reporters at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, where he arrived with a group of journalists, lawyers and military officials after attending pretrial hearings for a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo. The British Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday that the fifth British resident held at Guantanamo, Saudi Ian Shaker Aamer, will be sent to Saudi Arabia. But Katznelson said he could not confirm that.

All five men had been granted refugee status, indefinite leave or exceptional leave to remain in Britain before they were detained, according to Britain's Foreign Office.
Your loss.
The U.S. government could not confirm the repatriation of the three British citizens. Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman, acknowledged that the U.S. has been in talks with other countries to repatriate Guantanamo detainees and is seeking to reduce the population held there.

El-Banna was arrested by Gambian authorities in November 2002 and transferred to U.S. detention, according to Amnesty International. It said Deghayes and Aamer were captured in Pakistan in 2002. The group Reprieve claims Mohamed was held in Morocco for 18 months after being captured in April 2002 in Pakistan and he was later sent to Guantanamo. Amnesty International said the circumstances of Sameur's detention were not immediately clear.
Mohamed should be happy; a Moroccan prison is about like a Turkish prison, I hear.
Brown request in July for the men to be released was a change in policy welcomed by the Bush administration. Under his predecessor Tony Blair, the British government would not accept the detainees because they are not citizens.
Someone explain why Mr. Brown is so solicitous of non-citizens?
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

#1  Ah because Brown is a Dhimmi?
Posted by: Icerigger || 12/08/2007 5:12 Comments || Top||

#2  One day I want Jersey Mikes brothers to suddenly stomp.
Posted by: Thomas Woof || 12/08/2007 9:29 Comments || Top||

Three Bhutto workers shot dead in SW Pakistan
(KUNA) -- Three workers of Benazir Bhuttos Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) were shot dead by unknown gunmen in Southwestern Baluchistan province on Saturday, police said. The workers were killed in the party office in Naserabad district, 250 kilometers east of Quetta, the provincial capital, in a pre-dawn attack, a local police officer, Maula Dad, told newsmen. He said armed-men entered into PPP office and sprayed bullets at sleeping men, killing all three of them on the spot.

The killing came as Pakistan is heading toward parliamentary elections in January 2008 and all parties are gearing up for election campaign.
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 09:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

People say JI selling 'tickets to heaven'
The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has introduced a new way of getting into paradise, several people who had received text messages on their cell phones urging them to “fight against” the emergency rule told Daily Times on Friday “Let us fight against the imposition of emergency [rule] and if you want to go to heaven,” read one message. A “nation can endure poverty but cannot survive without rule of law,” another text message read, “Stop war on terror. It’s a war of America being fought in Pakistani tribal areas [in which] innocent people are being killed in Swat and Wazirstan. Please forward.” All messages read that they were issued from the JI Women’s Wing. Most of the recipients believed the text messages were exploitation in the name of Islam. JI central secretary information Ameerul Azeem said these could be some individuals, but not the JI. He said the JI could not defend these messages because no one had right to issue a ticket to heaven. “Only Allah can decide who will go in heaven, based on the character and intentions of a person.” Okasha Wajih, one of the Beaconhouse National University (BNU) students who received such messages, said, “I do not believe in this way of propagation of religion. They cannot motivate people by using the name of religion.”
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

#1  “Stop war on terror."

Can Jihad Incorporated make their position any more clear?
Posted by: Grumenk Philalzabod0723 || 12/08/2007 3:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Not any clearer than the Pedophile for Profit Muhammad.
Posted by: Icerigger || 12/08/2007 5:26 Comments || Top||

#3  hmmm. I detect a financial opportunity....

get yer tickets...get yer tickets here. Paradise special ..... order now and can get in on our delayed entry special = FREE!! Why die today when you can be guaranteed entry tomorrow!! For 12 easy payments of $39.99 your place in paradise is assured!
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 7:28 Comments || Top||

#4  gonna be some real disappointed ppl
Posted by: sinse || 12/08/2007 13:40 Comments || Top||

Pakistan polls won't be perfect: Boucher
I am so devastated. I think I'll take to my bed...
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Perv to lift emergency December 15
To be replaced by a new one on December 16th.
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf will lift the state of emergency on December 15, a day earlier than previously planned, the attorney general told AFP on Friday.

“The emergency will be lifted on December 15,” attorney general Malik Muhammad Qayyum told AFP. The announcement by the attorney general, who is also the government’s chief lawyer, could not be immediately confirmed to AFP by a very close aide of president Musharraf.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

List of Allies in Iraq Shrinks
Nations Still There Toil in Relative Obscurity
What more proof do you need that the war is folly? What's worse than toiling in obscurity? Working for the WaPo?
KUT, Iraq -- The commander of the Kazakh soldiers in Iraq, all 29 of them, keeps a stack of English-language instruction books on his desk inside Forward Operating Base Delta. He already speaks Russian, Turkish and Kazakh, and after English, he plans to learn Chinese. He has the time.

Kazakhstan has two main missions here on the geographic and strategic periphery of the war, and both of them could be going better. The Kazakh troops are sappers, trained to dispose of explosives. They were ordered by their government not to leave the base after one of those bombs, nearly three years ago, killed the first and only Kazakh soldier to die in Iraq. The soldiers also run a water purification system but find less use for that these days, too. "It's not necessary," said Capt. Samat Mukhanov. "There is bottled water here."

{Photo caption}Georgian troops search a vehicle at one of their six checkpoints. The former Soviet republic has sent about a quarter of its army to Iraq. Some nations hope their participation will be rewarded one day.
The achievement is its' own reward.

When asked how he felt about working in Iraq, the commander, Maj. Shaikh-Khasan Zazhykbayev, barked in his thick accent: "Not so comfortable! . . . But we are military. Our government sends us to serve in Iraq, and we are serving in Iraq."

President Bush once called it the "coalition of the willing," the countries willing to fight alongside the United States in Iraq. The list topped off in mid-2004 at 32 countries; troop strength peaked in November that year at 25,595. The force has since shrunk to 26 countries and 11,755 troops, or about 7 percent of the 175,000-strong multinational force, according to mid-November figures provided by the U.S. military.
The war is ending. Some folks are going home. Only the Spanish - and the Democrats - cut and ran.
Posted by: Bobby || 12/08/2007 06:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  Transcript of a meeting of the staff of The Daily Quisling:

Editor: "OK. Who's got some news on Iraq?"

Reporter 1: "Well, Zarqawi's still dead, ugly weeds are growing on Saddam's grave, and we've got a GPS lock on every surviving Al Qaeda guy in the country."

Editor: "Idiots. I'm surrounded by idiots. I want news. Capisce? News!"


Editor" "Need I remind you that this is the week I decide on Christmas -- oops, I mean, generic holiday -- bonuses?"

Reporter 2: "I got one. I talked to a guy who talked to a guy who talked to a guy from Kazakhstan who said he's not very comfortable. Has to drink bottled water. Nightmarish conditions."

Editor: "Where the hell is Kazakhstan? Aw, crap, go with it. And see if we can get a quote from Murtha."
Posted by: Matt || 12/08/2007 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  But, wait, we were told this was a 'unilateral' action by Bushhitlermonkey. How can all these allied non-American troops be there? /sarcasm off
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/08/2007 9:17 Comments || Top||

House Set to Cave on Iraq Funding
House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday.

In a complicated deal over the war funds, Democrats will include about $11 billion more in domestic spending than Bush has requested, emergency drought relief for the Southeast and legislation to address the subprime mortgage crisis, Hoyer told a meeting of the Washington Post editorial board.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was the first to suggest to Hill Democrats the outlines of the pending deal on war funds for Iraq. If the bargain were to become law, it would be the third time this week since Democrats took control of Congress that they would have failed to force Bush to change course in Iraq and continued to fund a war that they have repeatedly vowed to end. But it would also be the clearest instance yet of the president bowing to a Democratic demand for more money for domestic priorities, an increase that he had promised to reject.
First priority - win the war. Second priority - cut spending. Looks like a good deal to me.

"The way you pass appropriations bills is you get agreement among all the relevant players, among which the president with his veto pen is a very relevant player," Hoyer said. "Everybody knows he has no intention of signing anything without money for Iraq, unfettered, without constraints. I think that's ultimately going to be the result."
Naaaaancy! Where's your whip?

The Democrats plan to take a three-step approach to completing the deal. House leaders are considering an initial allotment of about $30 billion, ostensibly for the war in Afghanistan and some other military needs, which all sides in the deal recognize could be shifted to fund the Iraq war.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) then would allow Republicans to increase that amount to avert a filibuster of the spending bill in the Senate. The goal of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is $70 billion for the war, more than the $50 billion short-term funding that House Democrats initially proposed but far less than the $196 billion Bush has sought.
It's the WaPo. I couldn't read any more. Maybe the link will tell you where the rest of the money will come from. I only have a certain tolerence for WaPo drivel.
Posted by: Bobby || 12/08/2007 05:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

#1  snicker. It would be such a great job if it weren't for all of those constituents!
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 7:22 Comments || Top||

Sadr militia moves to clean house
Because now they understand and fear the alternative.
BAGHDAD — Militia commander Abu Maha had studied his quarry carefully, watching as the man acquired fancy suits, gold watches and the street name "Master." Now, heavily armed and dressed in an Adidas track suit, Abu Maha told his followers it was time to act against one of their comrades. A dozen of them gripped their assault rifles and headed out. The Master, accused of sliding into immoral behavior after stoutly defending Shiite Muslims in Iraq's sectarian violence, was about to learn that justice in the Mahdi Army could be very rough.

Fighters such as Abu Maha have taken on a new role in recent months in the militia of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr. Instead of battling Sunni insurgents and U.S. troops, they are now weeding out what they consider to be black sheep within their ranks.

Sadr, whose Mahdi Army has as many as 60,000 members, has been trying to make his movement a viable political factor, and more appealing to his hundreds of thousands of followers. In late August, he declared a six-month freeze in hostilities to rein in lawless elements after deadly clashes with a rival Shiite militia.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Mahdi Army

#1  It's cleaning house, but it has nothing to do with 'moderates'.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/08/2007 11:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Looks like Tater will brook no dissent. He's organizing like the Mafia and will translate that to political pwoer once we leave.

Looks like he grew a brain while in Tehran (or else Sistani got to him).
Posted by: OldSpook || 12/08/2007 14:26 Comments || Top||

Iraqi Sunni leader sees no quick return to govt
BAGHDAD - The head of Iraq’s main Sunni Arab bloc said on Friday the chances of his group returning to government had become “more distant” after security forces detained his son and guards and confined him at home for days. Adnan al-Dulaimi said the Shia-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was “not serious” in negotiating the return of his Accordance Front, which pulled its members out of the cabinet in August, demanding more say over security policy.

“Our return to the government has become a more distant (possibility) than before,” Dulaimi said by telephone from his home, where he returned on Thursday after spending four days at a hotel in central Baghdad under army protection.

Maliki has been trying to coax the Front back to the cabinet for months. One senior government official said last month Maliki would not wait forever, and hinted other Sunni Arab representatives might be sought to fill vacant cabinet seats.

Dulaimi came under close scrutiny last week when Iraqi security forces detonated a car bomb found near his office. His son Mekki al-Dulaimi and dozens of bodyguards were subsequently detained, and the US military said one of the guards had the keys to the bomb-rigged car.

Dulaimi, who has denied any wrongdoing, was himself confined to his house for several days.
"I know nothing! Tell them, Hogan!"
The Accordance Front, which said Dulaimi had been under house arrest, boycotted parliament until he was allowed to leave his home and move to the hotel. The government had said Dulaimi was told to stay home for his own safety.

Dulaimi said his personal security detail may have been infiltrated by terrorists. “All protection (forces) are infiltrated,” he said. “I tried my best to purge my personal security of anybody I doubted but maybe there is someone whom I trusted who in reality was cooperating with terrorists,” he said.
Why don't you let us toss your security boys a little?
The Sunni Arab leader said he was now protected by guards of a senior parliamentary official but added that President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, would send guards on Saturday to protect him.

In parliament on Thursday, a Shia lawmaker and Dulaimi shouted accusations at each other over last week’s incident. The public slanging match highlighted the deep divide between the Sunni Arab minority and the Shia majority at a time when the United States is urging Iraqi politicians to capitalise on a big drop in violence to heal political rifts.

Asked about the effect of last week’s events on attempts to reconcile Shias and Sunni Arabs, Dulaimi said: “There is no real reconciliation. National reconciliation is only on paper.”
Posted by: Steve White || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Iraqi Insurgency

Fox exclusive video: Hamas Preparing for War?
Done by Mike Tobin, showing Hamas training as a regiment, rather than rag-tag bunch of guys. Interesting footage.
Posted by: Sherry || 12/08/2007 14:09 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336062 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  Um... when is Hamas NOT preparing for war?
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/08/2007 15:09 Comments || Top||

#2  3 down, according to the video, and street funerals being held every day. No matter how well trained this little group of soldiers are, they will be squashed in short order by the Israeli army. They would be better off doing what Muslims soldiers do best: Kill the women and kiddies, take photos and claim the Joooos did it.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 18:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Peace is just round the corner...
Posted by: danking70 || 12/08/2007 21:09 Comments || Top||

#4  Hamas has quickly learned that they don't really want to be a government. Too much work, and you have to compromise instead of insisting that everybody do everything your way. So instead they prepare for war, which is a great excuse for not doing all that government stuff.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/08/2007 22:26 Comments || Top||

Hezbollah receives green light from Iranian masters to elect Suleiman
Feuding Lebanese factions appear heading to a compromise that would facilitate a constitutional amendment allowing the election of Army Commander Gen. Michel Suleiman as Lebanon's new president. The settlement, reached during talks between parliamentary bloc leaders on the sidelines of Friday's parliamentary session, sets the mechanism for adopting a constitutional amendment and electing a president based on following procedure :
1 - A petition signed by 10 MPs from both the majority and opposition camps.

2 - Speaker Nabih Berri would invite parliament to a "legislative session" that the daily newspaper an-Nahar said would convene at 10:00 am on Monday to adopt the proposed amendment of article 49 of the constitution that bans ranking public sector employees from competing for the presidency.

3 - Berri, after the bill is adopted, would refer it to Premier Fouad Siniora's majority cabinet that would tackle the issue on Monday after noon in the presence of the opposition's six ministers who resigned more than a year ago.

4 - The opposition ministers would register in the session's minutes their reservations to all decisions adopted by the Siniora government since they quit in November 2006, which gives their political factions the legal right to raise the issue in future meetings of forthcoming cabinets to be formed after the election of a new head of state.

5 - The Siniora cabinet, in line with the constitution, would adopt the amendment bill and refer it to Parliament for final ratification.

6- The house would convene on Tuesday to ratify the amendment bill into law then hold another session to vote in Gen. Suleiman for the nation's top post.
An-Nahar said all parliamentary blocs would take part in the constitutional amendment parliamentary session, including Gen. Michel Aoun's Change and Reform Bloc. However, Parliamentary sources told Naharnet that MPs from Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, which is part of the Change and Reform Bloc, would not take pert in amending the constitution, noting that the movement's objection to constitutional amendments is "a matter of principle." This, one source said, "does not mean that the FPM is opposing Gen. Suleiman's Nomination. On the contrary FPM MPs would take part in the session set to elect him for the presidency on Tuesday, once the constitutional amendment is adopted."

The rather stalled effort to elect a new head of state was set into motion shortly after French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner wrapped up four days of feverish discussions with Lebanese leaders on settling the presidential crisis and left after telling the Lebanese they may elect a head of state next Tuesday. "I think that Tuesday you may have a president," Kouchner told reporters at Beirut's Rafik Hariri International Airport. "I have accomplished my duty ... but what remains is the last little effort for the opposition and majority to agree on forming a team to amend the constitution so that a president can be elected," Kouchner added.

Berri was quoted by an-Nahar as saying French mediators "exerted great efforts with the various factions …and they have set the fertile ground for maintaining contacts and opening channels of dialogue between the majority and opposition to conclude the presidential election."

An-Nahar reported that Kouchner failed to declare a breakthrough in Lebanon due to "regional" factors, including a meeting held in the Syrian capital of Damascus by some factions of the Lebanese opposition on Friday and did not result in a decision to facilitate the French initiative. However, an "encouraging sign" appeared from Tehran after Kouchner left Lebanon when Ali Larijani, an adviser to Iran's spiritual leader Ali Khamenei, made a statement saying he congratulates Gen. Suleiman for winning the presidency. This was understood to be the password or green light from Iran to Hezbollah to go ahead and elect General Suleiman as the new president .

The election of a new president may not mean the end to the Lebanese problems , but as the French Foreign Minister said " solve your problems ... one at a time " .
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 09:22 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

Berri postpones Lebanon presidential election to Tuesday
Posted by: Fred || 12/08/2007 00:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

Gates urges Gulf region to counter Iran
Defense Secretary Robert Gates planned to tell Gulf countries Saturday they must work together to help the U.S. counter Iranian threats, including Tehran's ballistic missiles and meddling in Iraq.
Now how could a few ballistic missiles with a non-nuclear payload be any kind of a threat? It would cost way too much money to launch one bomb against their adversaries. It just doesn't seem worth it./sarc
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States still wants new sanctions.

Gates, ending a weeklong trip to the region, intended in his keynote speech at an international security conference in Manama to urge Gulf allies to cooperate more as part of a broader strategy for containing Iranian influence, according to U.S. officials traveling with Gates on Friday.
What do you mean by influence? Don't you mean "influence"?
Gates' speech was to follow Rice's assertions Friday in Brussels, Belgium, that Washington would continue along a two-track strategy, pressing for new sanctions against Iran while holding talks to persuade Tehran to come clean about its nuclear program.
You mean nuclear influence? And all this time I thought Gates was the Democrats' darling. Who could have known he was planning on being such a traitor as, say, Rumsfeld?
But Russia ignored her calls to punish Iran.
Tell me something I don't know. Thanks, Negroponte. You really know how to doom an adversary such as Iran, don't you?
Despite continued strong support from NATO allies in the wake of a new U.S. intelligence report that concludes Iran actually stopped developing atomic weapons in 2003, Rice could not convince Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the urgency of fresh sanctions.
The intelligence "leadership" must be so pleased with the results of their plotting efforts.
Rice said her talks with Lavrov were "an extension of other conversations we have had," suggesting the two didn't see eye to eye.
I eagerly await the results of future extensions of other converstions.
Vice President Dick Cheney, speaking in Kansas City to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said, "In the case of Iran, we're dealing with a country that is still reenriching uranium and remains a leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that is a cause of great concern to the United States."
Most of the folks in the US, anyway. The rest will figure it out later, if they even get a chance.
Cheney said others in the international community, including Russia, share that concern.
To varying degrees, of course.
At the Pentagon, senior military officers told reporters that the U.S. intelligence revelation that it believes Iran scrapped its nuclear weapons design effort in 2003 has not triggered new instructions by the Bush administration to speed up or slow down any Iran crisis planning.
And they said it with a straight face, which is admirable.
"There has been no course correction — slowdown, speedup — given to us inside the Joint Staff" for military crisis planning, said Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Sattler, the director of strategic plans and policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
How could you speed up something which is probably already almost a done deal? :-)
Attending the Bahrain security conference with Gates were Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as Adm. William J. Fallon, chief of U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations throughout the Middle East. Fallon spoke to reporters about Iran.
But not from Iran, right?
"Their behavior has really been a problem, and to the extent that it destabilizes the region, which it does, then it becomes a problem for us," Fallon said.
Because of course destabilizing the region means our energy source is at risk and blah blah blah. The resulting $300/bbl price for oil means you can't even afford to visit your relatives a few hundred miles away, afford UPS shipping, go to work, have people around you who have money left over to buy your business' products, etc. Nothing to really worry yourselves about. Go back to bed now.
Defense officials have said Iran's delivery of weapons and other support into Iraq and Afghanistan and the detention of British sailors earlier this year are key activities that threaten security in the region.
Not at all. I'd say if they nuked Israel or blocked the Straits of Hormuz then that would be a problem. What they are doing now is just meddling.
And Gulf country leaders, Fallon said, have told him that their concern "is more the pressure that they feel from Iran as they want to dominate this area."
You mean overpressure that they would feel if they said or did something that Iran didn't agree with?
A senior defense official traveling with Gates said the secretary planned to tell the Bahrain conference that Gulf countries have shared commercial and security interests, and the more they cooperate the more the world will benefit. One key area would be shared efforts in an early warning system because of the ballistic missile threats from Iran.
Just ballistic threats? No conventional invasion threats? Wouldn't a satellite pick up on forces massing against a border? Again, I just don't seem to understand what is going on here.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues.
I'll bet s/he did.
A U.S. Navy commander, meanwhile, said Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital commercial waterway at the tip of the Gulf, are the greatest concern for maritime security in the region.
Maritime security? How about economic security?
Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, said that while the likelihood of that happening is low, concerns about Iran consume the region — and his day.

"I wake up thinking about Iran, I go to bed thinking about Iran," Cosgriff told reporters.
Why worry about little/unlikely stuff? Can't you go find something important to worry about?
He added, "I know of no threat that would cause them to want to close ... the Strait of Hormuz. To me it's coercive, it's intended to intimidate not only the regional nations — 'look at us, we can damage your prosperity'_ but it's intended to intimidate the global market. I just don't think that's responsible behavior."
So why do you worrry about it so?
His comments came as Iranian officials decided at the last minute not to attend the Bahrain conference.
Why should they? They feel they've won!
Posted by: gorb || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

We all live in our yellow submarine,
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in our yellow submarine,
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/08/2007 9:05 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
NBC angry with Troops for causing too much good news
Group Says NBC Refuses to Air Ads Thanking Troops Over Holidays

WASHINGTON — NBC has nixed holiday advertisements meant to thank troops for serving overseas in opposition to the inclusion of a non-profit's Web address.

The ads, paid for by the non-profit Freedom's Watch, are a simple thank you, the group says, with people shown paying gratitude to members of the military and the final frame showing the group's Web address, www.freedomswatch.org.

NBC is refusing to air the ads as long as the address is included, according to an e-mail exchange between NBC and the group, which Freedom's Watch provided to FOX News.

"Per my previous email, the www.freedomswatch.org website will have to be redacted from the commercials for approval. This comes from Alan Wurtzel and Rick Cotton," according to one of the notes. Wurtzel is president of research at NBC. Rick Cotton is general counsel for NBC Universal.

Troop Snub? No Thanks? Speaking with FOX on Friday, Wurtzel said NBC has no problem with the content of the ad, specifically the well-wishes to troops. However, he said, the link to the website violates their policy on controversial issue advertising because it encourages political action and other activities. He said the policy is applied consistently across the board and this group was not targeted in any way.

Wurtzel also expressed general concerns that NBC has about people with "deep pockets" being able to buy up a great deal of advertising and affect public perception on any issue, solely because they have the money to do it.
Like Budweiser, General Motors and eBay?
Freedom's Watch President and CEO Bradley Blakeman told FOX on Friday that this is not the first time NBC has turned down his group's ads and believes it has a specific objection to his group's support for the War on Terror. "NBC asked us to re-vamp our Web site. They wanted to censor us, and we said, 'No we're not going to be censored,'" Blakeman said, noting that the organization's Web site points to more than 20 other non-profit Web sites where readers can thank and support troops.

NBC also objected to using images including military uniforms and vehicles and asked for proof of government approval for the group's use of the images in its ads. Freedom's Watch says it has never been questioned on that before and paid for the rights to use the images from an independent licensing company.

E-mails provided to FOX show that NBC also might have objected to the ads on its in-house issue advertising policy.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Global Jihad

#1  Anybody recall if these tools sold or gave advertising time to Moveon.org or other lefty/5th column groups?
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo) || 12/08/2007 1:51 Comments || Top||

#2  This is bull. NBC runs political ads all the time.
Posted by: Icerigger || 12/08/2007 4:46 Comments || Top||

#3  F**k NBC.

Maybe they should look at the cuts in the print media and get a clue. Your programming sux and your clients don't like you. Hmmm.. problem? Does anyone see a problem. Hey F'n NBC. You need us, we don't need you.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 7:33 Comments || Top||

#4  And next year all those NBC affiliates will rake in more cash, than the local gas stations make on something we need, for all the political ads they'll fill the screen with. It's a windfall profit every four years for them. Maybe for consistency, we should ban all political commercial ads from the 'public' airwaves, just like cigarette commercials. Both are bad for our health.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/08/2007 9:14 Comments || Top||

#5  General Electric (NBC's owner) needs to lose a few contracts. I'd focus on Lynn and Pittsfield.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/08/2007 14:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Heh. Looks like the adults at GE stepped in? Via Drudge:
"**Under pressure from outraged viewers, NBC has reversed its decision not to air the Freedom's Watch ads thanking troops... Developing... "
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 15:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, maybe somebody is finally watching the kids.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 12/08/2007 23:09 Comments || Top||

Court allows group to picket soldiers' funerals (Phelper cult)
A three judge panel of fellow lawyers has given the Phelps power cult a major victory in their ongoing campaign of abuse against bereaved military families:
A federal appeals court Thursday sided with a Kansas woman who believes that God’s hatred of homosexuality requires her to picket funerals for American soldiers holding signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Blew Up the Troops.”

Shirley Phelps-Roper is part of a Topeka, Kan. church that contends God is punishing the United States for permitting homosexuality by killing soldiers. In response to a August 2005 protest by Phelps-Roper and other members of her church at the funeral of Army Spc. Edward Lee Myers in St. Joseph, Mo., the Missouri legislature passed a par of laws that prohibited picketing near a funeral location or procession.

Phelps-Roper sued the state of Missouri and asked for an injunction against the enforcement of the provisions, claiming they were unconstitutional. The federal trial court denied Phelps-Roper her injunction and she appealed that denial to the federal appeals court in St. Louis.

Thursday, a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit granted Phelps-Roper the injunction, pending a full hearing on the merits of her claim. Typically, an injunction is granted if the petitioner can prove she is likely to prevail on her lawsuit. In this case, the panel found that Missouri’s law was likely unconstitutional because “any interest the state has in protecting funeral mourners from unwanted speech is outweighed by the First Amendment right to free speech.”

The matter will now return to the federal trial court in Kansas City for a full hearing on the merits of Phelps-Roper’s suit. In the meantime, she and members of her church can resume picketing military funerals.
The Phelps gang is not a church, it is a lawyer power-cult, using insult and abuse as their symbols of status and dominance. Fred himself is a disbarred lawyer, and 9 of his 13 children are lawyers. At least two of them are employed by the Kansas Department of Corrections.
As an aside, a visit to the church's website reveals that the church doesn't simply show up funerals. Upcoming targets include Billy Joel (and not for continuing to release greatest hits packages), Ozzy Osbourne, R. Kelly, Mannheim Steamroller(!) and, for some unspecified reason, the University of Kansas basketball game against Ohio University.
A steamroller is what we need for the next Phelps demonstration.

The gay activist group Log Cabin Republicans has some very interesting dirt on Mr. Phelps and some of his disreputable associates:

Al Gore with Fred Phelps, Jr.
"Fred Phelps, Jr. (left) and Al Gore (center) Fundraiser at Phelps Home Topeka, Kansas"

-Fred Phelps was a Gore delegate at the 1988 Demo convention

-Phelps ran for governor in the Demo primary in 1990.

-Phelps hosted a fund-raiser for Gore at his son's Topeka home in 1989.

-Gore invited Phelps to both the 1993 and 1997 Clinton inaugurations

Inconvenient truth, anyone?
Posted by: Angique Gonque2974 || 12/08/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [336061 views] Top|| File under: Global Jihad

#1  if the police would take a looooong donut break and quit providing protection to these assholes at every protest, this shit would stop toot-sweet
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 5:50 Comments || Top||

#2  I agree, Frank, but also take comfort in knowing that Hell is for ever.
Posted by: Bobby || 12/08/2007 6:19 Comments || Top||

#3  Inflicting the Phelps clan on us is the best evidence God is angry with us about something.
Posted by: Excalibur || 12/08/2007 7:19 Comments || Top||

#4  These f***ing judges....
Posted by: newc || 12/08/2007 7:23 Comments || Top||

#5  Actually, this is a good thing. Phelps and Family will rot in hell for eternity, but the rest of us can be sure that when we speak out against radical Islam, that CAIR will be cursing Fred Phelps.

Thank God for the Patriot Riders and here's to hoping that Fred and Family are particularly sensitive to hot AND cold.
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 7:43 Comments || Top||

#6  What 4611 said.

Posted by: Thomas Woof || 12/08/2007 9:26 Comments || Top||

#7  A federal appeals court Thursday sided with a Kansas woman who believes that God’s hatred of homosexuality requires her to picket funerals for American soldiers holding signs that read “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Blew Up the Troops.”

Shirley Phelps-Roper is part of a Topeka, Kan. church that contends God is punishing the United States for permitting homosexuality by killing soldiers.

And like most liberal lawyers, they're cowards to the core: If their real beef is homosexuality in america, then why not have the guts to hold up placards that say, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers and Queers” and “God Blew Up the Troops Today. Gay Bars Tomorrow”?

Don't tell me the Gays don't know about this. They Do. Where the hell are they, picketing THESE guys? Why aren't these judges, if they're saying insulting dead soldiers is a constitutional right, striking down PC rule forbidding the criticism of the Gay lifestyle?

They aren't because it's all a damn con game. The dems, Gays, Phelps, and judges are all winking at each other, confident in the media hiding the winks from the rest of us dumbass country bumpkins. Hell, white-power jackasses get thrown in jail for implying less than what phelps is doing.

Damn con game.
Posted by: Ptah || 12/08/2007 9:36 Comments || Top||

#8  Judges are becoming the new dictatorship. Free speech is great, but as the saying goes, not shouting "FIRE" in a movie theater. There is free speech and expression, then there is harassment. That is what this is, harassment and should be illegal.

The lawyers and judges day is coming, much like Phelps' day is coming.
Posted by: DarthVader || 12/08/2007 10:02 Comments || Top||

#9  Do Phelps' whelps have a church building somewhere in Kansas? Just curious what would happen if people sat outside of it all the time picketing their idiocy. Or maybe just videotaping the people who go in and out.
Posted by: eLarson || 12/08/2007 10:11 Comments || Top||

#10  What the 'court' and the 'lawyers' forget is that they derive their powers from the consent of the governed. That when they become destructive of those rights, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. That doesn't necessarily take the form of open rebellion. It can simply be their choice to be removed from the rituals of the legal profession. Case in point. The legal professionals uses the term vigilantism to describe what happens when their system fails the people, because they consider it a threat to their POWER, not justice.

Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose. The Phelps are swinging hard and making contact. They deny others their right of free and peaceful assemble and the right to associate.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/08/2007 12:21 Comments || Top||

#11  The nutjobs do have a right to free speech and the Mo law is on the face of it a violation of the first amendment. But having the right to say something doesn't absolve you from the consequences of having said it. I can call you a son-of-an-algore and have a first amendment right to do so. The 1st doesn't prevent me from getting a broken nose however.
Posted by: Pliny Cheaper4459 || 12/08/2007 12:34 Comments || Top||

#12  No one is paying attention to Phelps. But legally, his action and the federal appeals decision has set a precedent that will work both ways. Remember the Randall Terry rescue missions at abortion clinics? They were arrested and tried under RICO (IIRC). With this decision I believe you will now see more protest sympathetic to conservative and right positions that have been on hold for a while.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 12/08/2007 13:40 Comments || Top||

#13  OK, so can the KKK go to black people's funerals and hold up signs and chant saying "All Niggers Must Die"?

Apparently so.

THe courts have lost their mind - this is akin to yelling Fire in a theater, and a justifiable limit on free speech.

Posted by: OldSpook || 12/08/2007 14:46 Comments || Top||

#14  Apparently, the Ninth Circus Court has extended its franchise to the Eighth.

No one is stopping Phelps and his moron associates from marching down Main Street. A funeral is essentially a private function, even though they are held outside. I'm quite OK with "You can do whatever you want. You just can't do it here" as a legal principle.

Posted by: SteveS || 12/08/2007 15:23 Comments || Top||

#15  Sunna-of-Algore? Thisn a family blog!
Posted by: Eohippus Slilet8185 || 12/08/2007 16:01 Comments || Top||

#16  Gore invited Phelps to both the 1993 and 1997 Clinton inaugurations

wow! Can you imagine if that had been Cheney?
Posted by: Whomong Guelph4611 || 12/08/2007 16:24 Comments || Top||

#17  I can here Algore complaining that you noticed:
"Hey, I cancelled the ChiCom invitations....you people just won't be satisfied, will you? Excelsior!"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/08/2007 16:34 Comments || Top||

#18  Remember the Randall Terry rescue missions at abortion clinics? They were arrested and tried under RICO (IIRC). With this decision I believe you will now see more protest

Doubtful. The RICO-tactic was successful because it was a combination of creative lawyering by well-funded groups and a sympathetic legal system.

The chances of a non-sympathetic group getting the same treament as these whack-jobs is nil.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/08/2007 21:52 Comments || Top||

#19  Doubtful. The RICO-tactic was successful because it was a combination of creative lawyering by well-funded groups and a sympathetic legal system.

The chances of a non-sympathetic group getting the same treament as these whack-jobs is nil.

anyone who's paid the slightest attention to Federal court cases would agree it ain't fair.. but whoever suffers the belief that our courts dispense fairness still looks for quarters underneath their pillows.
Posted by: Red Dawg || 12/08/2007 22:26 Comments || Top||

#20  eLarson, Hard to do. Topeka is the asshole of Kansas - they blend right in.

What P2K said. And yes, thank you Patriot Guard/Riders et al.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/08/2007 23:41 Comments || Top||

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In no particular order...
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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2007-12-08
  Berri postpones Lebanon presidential election to Tuesday
Fri 2007-12-07
  Pak troops capture Mullah Fazlullah's base
Thu 2007-12-06
  Suicide attack on army bus in Kabul kills 16
Wed 2007-12-05
  Somali leader taken to hospital
Tue 2007-12-04
  Abu Maysara Positively Deader Than a Rock
Mon 2007-12-03
  40 Taliban killed, 14 held in Afghanistan
Sun 2007-12-02
  Walkout in Iraq parliament over Sunni leader raid
Sat 2007-12-01
  Binny: Euroleaders 'like living under shadow of White House'
Fri 2007-11-30
  Perv Sworn In as Civilian President
Thu 2007-11-29
  Perv finally quits army
Wed 2007-11-28
  Sistani tells Shiites to protect Sunni brothers
Tue 2007-11-27
  Perv to bid farewell to troops
Mon 2007-11-26
  Nawaz returns, vows to contest elections
Sun 2007-11-25
  Sharifs reach deal with Perv
Sat 2007-11-24
  Tanks deployed in Beirut to prevent possible violence

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