Recently in The War On Terror Category

That's A Lot Of Pings

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Seriously, there are some lazy people in Federal Law enforcement. 8 million pings? There are not enough terrorists in this country to justify that many pings in one year.
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This is what Sarah Palin meant when she said it:

I've been struck by this since the beginning. If it is the case that the president can designate an Office of Legal Counsel functionary to immunize government officials and employees against criminal behavior, then it is true, to all intents and purposes that "if the president does it it's not illegal."
And, from this article, we also learn that Cheney, who developed his executive beliefs and values from the Nixon White House, ordered the CIA to not inform Congress about the secret wiretapping programs.

(NYT)The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
Next week sure is going to be an interesting news week.
From working in a residential setting, I learned quickly that those who were thieves in the past tended to be the ones that complained about there being thieves in the residence. On several occasions, they turned out to actually be the thieves. Hence, my total lack of surprise at the shrill response of the Right Wing Noise Machine.

I also think it's especially ironic that the loudest of shrill networks would actually produce a level-headed piece pointing out the over-reaction of the Right Wing Noise Machine.

I swear, Shepard Smith is trying to get himself fired from Fox.


Putin Challenging Obama?

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(CNN) -- Kyrgyzstan parliament has voted to close a base the U.S. military uses as a route for troops and supplies heading into Afghanistan, a government spokesman said Thursday.

Of the 87 members of parliament who attended the session, 78 voted to close it, the spokesman said.

The law must now be signed by the Kyrgyz president. It will then be forwarded to the United States, after which the U.S. military has 180 days in which to withdraw from the base, the spokesman said.

Somehow, Putin figures into this move. Does he have enough clout with the Kyrgyzstan parliament to cause this move? I suspect he does. Unfortunately, all I have are suppositions and hunches. But, then, once upon a time, that's all our administration had.

Do you know how nice it is to write "had?"

And Thus It Begins

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Finally, a clear sign of this administration breaking with the past.

Washington Post

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Jan. 20 -- In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.

The instruction came in a motion filed with a military court in the case of five defendants accused of organizing the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The motion called for "a continuance of the proceedings" until May 20 so that "the newly inaugurated president and his administration [can] review the military commissions process, generally, and the cases currently pending before military commissions, specifically."

They can't move fast enough to undue the damage of the last 8 years. But at least they are moving.

Terrorists strike in Mumbai

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My heart and hope goes out to the victims of this horrible tragedy.

Meanwhile, back at one of the NeoCon sandboxs:
CNN

The Taliban claimed that its fighters used a rocket-propelled grenade launcher to shoot down a U.S. Chinook helicopter in the Wardak province, about 30 miles (50km) west of Kabul.

Maj. John Redfield, a U.S. military spokesman, told CNN a coalition helicopter went down in the Wardak province after an exchange of fire with enemy on the ground.

All 10 soldiers on board were picked up and taken to safety, he said. He could not say if any were injured.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber on Monday killed two soldiers and wounded three others in northern Afghanistan, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan said.

Gosh darn! I am feeling so hunky dory positive and uplifted. Viva La Freedom!
New York Times

Heather Browne, a KBR spokeswoman, would not comment about a company safety study or the reports of electrical fires or shocks, but she said KBR had found no evidence of a link between its work and the electrocutions. She added, "KBR's commitment to the safety of all employees and those the company serves remains unwavering."
Of course KBR is going to deny any wrong doing. They don't want to be sued. Once again, the hallmark of BushCo™ is on display: incompetence in all they do or touch.

I wonder if there will be any war profiteering hearings after the new administration takes power. That has been the most glaring problem with BushCo™. They have made no effort at ensuring competence and integrity with government contractors during their entire tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But than, their focus has not been on running the government, it has been on lining Dick Cheney's pockets, as well as the Carlyle Group's accounts.

New York Times

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The Taliban insurgents who attacked a remote American-run outpost near the Pakistan border on Sunday numbered nearly 200 fighters, almost three times the size of the allied force, and some breached the NATO compound in a coordinated assault that took the defenders by surprise, Western officials said Monday.
Is our intelligence gathering ability that degraded? Or is this because of our deteriorating relationship with Pakistan? In either case, this should not be happening. Our forces are simply not getting the support from the administration that is needed to ensure their safety.
Star Tribune

U.S. officials say militant attacks in Afghanistan are becoming more complex, intense and better coordinated than a year ago. Monthly death tolls of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan surpassed U.S. military deaths in Iraq in May and June. And last Monday, a suicide bomber attacked the Indian Embassy in Kabul, killing 58 people in the deadliest attack in the Afghan capital since 2001.
This should not be a news story. Afghanistan should not be a problem right now. But, because our piss poor excuse of a president decided to prove he was better than his father, we blundered into an invasion of Iraq. This depleted the military strength required to take out the people truly responsible for the attacks on September 11th, 2001. So, instead of a secure, safe Afghanistan, we have Afghanistan slowly degrading into chaos -- if ever it really had seen stability.

New York Times

In the first civilian judicial review of the government's evidence for holding any of the Guantánamo Bay detainees, a federal appeals court has ordered that one of them be released or given a new military hearing.

The ruling, made known Monday in a notice from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, overturned a Pentagon tribunal's decision in the case of one of 17 Guantánamo detainees who are ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China.

The imprisonment of the 17 Uighurs (pronounced WEE-goors) has drawn wide attention because of their claim that although they were in Afghanistan when the United States invaded in 2001, they were never enemies of this country and were mistakenly swept into Guantánamo.

No, it can't be possible. Our government make a mistake?! Not the government commanded by George "No regrets" W. Bush. Oh please oh please tell me it ain't so! I mean, these prisoners sound dangerous, what with peddling their fruits of mass destruction.

The one-paragraph notice from the appeals court said a three-judge panel had found in favor of Huzaifa Parhat, a former fruit peddler who made his way from western China to a Uighur camp in Afghanistan.

I am so disheartened. Poor president Bush. He will never be able to achieve world peace at this rate.

I know I said I was not into politics at the moment. But Scott McClellan is coming out with a book on Monday that a CNN White House correspondent called, and I am trying to recall this from memory, candid and straightforward.

Already the Mighty Wurlitzer's screeching harpies are lining up for blood.

Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to Bush, said advisers to the president should speak up when they have policy concerns.

"Scott never did that on any of these issues as best I can remember or as best as I know from any of my White House colleagues," said Townsend, now a CNN contributor. "For him to do this now strikes me as self-serving, disingenuous and unprofessional."

Only problem with that:

A former spokesman for Bush when he was governor of Texas, McClellan was named White House press secretary in 2003, replacing Ari Fleischer. McClellan had previously been a deputy press secretary and was the traveling spokesman for the Bush campaign during the 2000 election.

He announced he was resigning in April 2006 at a news conference with Bush.

"One of these days, he and I are going to be rocking in chairs in Texas talking about the good old days of his time as the press secretary," Bush said at that conference. "And I can assure you, I will feel the same way then that I feel now, that I can say to Scott, job well done."
Obviously, Scott didn't coordinate this announcement with the White House; it's not Friday. But more to the point, how can they denounce Scott's job performance when the president himself proclaimed a job done well? Yeah, I know, they will anyway.

Damn, just when I thought I'd gotten away, they pull me back in.

Update: Here are two more links; C&L and Politico.com

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