Zune

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Looks kinda cool. We'll see how well it fares in the harsh light of reality against the iPod.

VDH and the Age of Malice

Victor Hanson has a very insightful read up on Carter and Stone and their descent into malice.

The Spartans saved Greece and democracy by stopping on the Persians. When it was Carter's turn he failed. I used to feel that he had no real choice, but I am beginning to think it was not the times but the man that was at fault.

There is another disturbing element to Cartesian maliciousness. He asks us to forget all the dilemmas of being President, the necessity of making bad choices when the alternative is usually worse. And, of course, he seems to have amnesia about his own failings that put this country in grave jeopardy. He sanctimoniously lectured us on our Cold War fixation on communism—and got a murderous Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He talked of a post-Vietnam reappraisal in the midst of the Cambodian Holocaust. “Human Rights” was an admirable banner, but did not include any such audit of Sandinista Communists.

He wept for the middle class, but adopted policies that led to double-digit interest rates and inflation, ensuring that only the upscale could borrow for a house or ensure their salaries would keep up with the cost of living. No need to mention his energy policy or gas lines.

Remember the genesis of the Great Satan?

Carter’s Waterloo, of course was the Iranian hostage crisis. It was not just that his gutting of the military helped to explain the rescue disaster. Far more importantly, we can chart the rise of radical political Islam with the storming of the American embassy in Teheran and the impotent response of Jimmy Carter.

Long before George Bush was elected to anything, crowds in Teheran gave us the genesis of the Great Satan and “Death to Carter”. Does he remember that so great was the Iranian Islamist hatred of him, that Iran deliberately delayed the brokered release of the hostages until he was out of office—a lesson that appeasement wins contempt as the additional wage of its failure.

He’s Back—Oliver Stone Unmuzzled and “Ashamed”

After his recent string of movie flops—highlighted by the disastrous Alexander the Great fiasco—Oliver Stone seemed an unlikely director to entrust with a retelling of 9/11. Had we forgotten his praise of Hamas, his odd comparison of the Israeli encirclement of Ramallah to Auschwitz, or his cynical dismissal of the 3,000 dead on September 11 as “a revolt”.

So when Paramount released World Trade Center, and it went tamely into the night, what happened? I know little of Hollywood protocol, but I imagine somewhere in the multimillion-dollar negotiations, either expressed or implied, there was surely the understanding that a recently problematic (and no doubt cash-strapped) Stone could not deviate from his assigned script—and for a prescribed period of time, probably could not comment publicly on 9/11 or world events in general. When millions were involved, there was probably something agreed on like the following, ‘Stay with the party line, shut up, we both make money—and then, and only then, you’re’ on your own.’ Had Stone sounded off about the United States (see below)
on the eve of World Trade Center’s release, he would probably have lost millions.

So much for seeing the movie.

Gone fisking

Ali Bubba at Countercolumn (ht: Chicagoboyz who, BTW, have been doing some interesting stuff lately, IMO) takes a cluebat to the side of Associated Press CEO Tom Curley's thick skull. Well done, Ali. The seditionist Presse Ancienne believes their audience is a bunch of dolts.

My favorite point Ali makes is:

Curley simply is too dense, or lacks the fund of information possessed by any good E-4 that would clarify for him what a combatant is...

Robert Redeker

By now, you have probably heard the story of Robert Redeker, French philosophy teacher, who published an article critical of Islam and is now in hiding for his and his family's lives after numerous death threats along with internet postings of maps to his house. Once again, we see that some members of Islam will protest any slander against the eternal and uncreated truth of the Koran; they will even threaten death to those who they feel misrepresent Islam as a religion of sacrificial violence, an idolatrous cult.

Some westerners, in a hurry to avoid the finger of Islamophobia that is often pointed at them, are insisting that Redeker should have drawn some disctinction between violent Islamists and ordinary Muslims. Once again, the evident fact that there are lots of Muslims who like to live in secular western countries is used to argue that Islam cannot be criticized in general terms. But why is it that we can never escape in our debates such simple category errors? Redeker's target was clearly the Koran and Islamic insitutions, not Muslims as individual people who live and make choices in the world, much of which has nothing to do with Islam.

If the Koran is a text that promotes violence against the unbeliever, the question remains, can the west remain western and free if it allows in large numbers of Muslim immigrants, some of whom, if not the more happy and passive majority, will push for the values of Sharia law in their new lands? The likely fact that many Muslims will not got to war for Islamic institutions like Sharia is to avoid the question no one really wants to answer: for what else can institutional Islam possibly stand, today and tomorrow?

Since Redeker's article has already disappeared from Le Figaro's web site, the newspaper where it first appeared, all bloggers might consider leaving a record of his words. Canada's Judeoscope reproduces the article in French, with a misguided disclaimer that makes Redeker's attack on the Koran into an attack on all Muslims. I have found two English translations: Tiberge at Galliawatch has most of the article translated; there is also a translation by Fausta.

From Galliawatch:
Islam is trying to impose on Europe its rules: special hours at swimming pools just for women, no caricature allowed of this religion, dietary requirements in cafeterias especially for children, a fight to allow the wearing of veils in schools, accusations of Islamophobia against free thinkers...

As before with communism, the West is under ideological surveillance. Islam presents itself to the Western world, as did the now defunct communism, as an alternative to the Western world. Like communism before it, Islam conquers minds and hearts by playing upon a sensitive point. It boasts of having a legitimacy that troubles the conscience of the West: it is the voice of the poor people of the planet. Yesterday, the voices of the poor claimed to come from Moscow, today they are coming from Mecca! Today, once again, the intellectuals are the watchful eye of the Koran, as they were the watchful eye of Moscow. Today they excommunicate for Islamophobia, as yesterday for anti-communism.
[...]
The Koran is a book of unheard-of violence. In the Encyclopédia Universalis, Maxime Rodinson utters some truths that are as important as they are taboo in France. First, "Mohammed displayed in Medina unsuspected qualities as a political leader and military chief (...) He turned to private war, a common institution in Arabia (...) Mohammed soon sent small groups of his followers to attack caravans from Mecca, thus punishing his infidel compatriots and at the same time, acquiring rich spoils."

Secondly, "Mohammed, flush with victory, eliminated from Medina by having them massacred the last remaining Jewish tribe, the Qurayza, whom he accused of suspicious behavior." Finally, "after the death of Khadidja, he married Sawda, a widow and a good house-keeper, and also little Aisha who was barely ten years old. His erotic tendencies, long suppressed, were to lead him into ten concurrent marriages."

Exaltation of violence: merciless war chief, pillager, killer of Jews, polygamous, such is the Mohammed that is revealed through the Koran.
[...]
Continuing, from Fausta's translation:
True, the Catholic Church is not free from reproach. Its history is strewn with black pages, of which it has repented. The Inquisition, witch hunting, the execution of the philosophers Bruno and Vanini, the poor-minded epicureans who in the middle of the eighteenth century were tried for impiety, do not plead in its favor. But what differentiates Christianity from Islam appears: it is always possible to turn to evangelic values, the soft person of Jesus against the drifts of the Church.

None of the faults of the Church are rooted in the Gospel. Jesus is non-violent. The return to Jesus is a recourse against the excesses of the institution connected with the church. The recourse to Muhammed, on the contrary, reinforces hatred and violence. Jesus is a Master of love, Muhammed a Master of hatred.

The stoning of Satan, annually in Mecca, is not a mere superstitious phenomenon. It doesn't only show a hysterical crowd flirting with cruelty. Its rage is anthropological. Here is indeed a rite, to which each Moslem is invited to subject, registering violence like a duty crowned in the heart of belief.

This stoning, where annually some of the faithful - at times hundreds - die from being trampled on, is a ritual which breeds ancient violence.

Instead of eliminating this ancient violence, by imitating Judaism and Christianity, by neutralizing it (Judaism starts with the rejection of human sacrifice, i.e. by which it enters into civilization, Christianity transforms the sacrifice into Eucharist), Islam builds a nest for it, where it will grow from the heat. While Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites delegitimize violence, Islam is a religion whose very own sacred texts, as banal as some of its rites may be, exalts violence and hatred.

Hatred and violence live in the book in which any Moslem is educated, the Koran. As in the times of the Cold War, violence and intimidation are the means used by an ideology with hegemonic vocation, Islam, to throw its lead cover on the world. Benedict XVI suffers from this cruel experiment. In these our times it is necessary to call the West "the free world" compared to the Moslem world, and in these times the enemies of this "free world", dedicated civil servants of the Koran, swarm in its centre.
What Redeker fails to distinguish, in my view, is the fact that Islam has learned something from the Hebrew faith - it is something of an anti-idolatrous religion that, by outlawing contests over the image of God, goes some way in protecting the peace among those within the fold. But clearly, the Koran does indeed draw a fundamental distinction - on almost every page - between believers and unbelievers. Islam, to the degree it follows the Koran, keeps whatever peace it keeps among the believers by relentlessly scapegoating the non-believers and blaming them for all troubles. It has the utopian idea that if all the world were Islamic, there would be some kind of perpetual peace among men. This, clearly, is at odds with the inherently conflictual basis of human nature that makes religion necessary in the first place; and so Islam, like Christianity and Judaism to some (now much lesser) extent, often indulges in dangerous millennial and apocalyptic imagery to avoid coming to terms with the fact that religion can never banish conflict from this world. Furthermore, Islam, in relentlessly targetting the unbeliever and never taking the blame for its worldly woes for itself, does not make it clear that it is man, not God, who wills this conflict.

And for pointing so much out, what is Redeker's fate? Well, it is a punishment entirely consistent with a utopian Muslim point of view, if not with that of a modrn westerner who can't get his head around the fact that you can face a death sentence for saying that Islam is violent. As Redeker says in a letter to Andre Glucksmann (via Tiberge):
Dear André,

Hello.

I am now in a personal situation that is catastrophic. Numerous explicit death threats have been sent to me, and I have been condemned to death by organizations that are offshoots of Al-Qaïda. L'UCLAT and the DST (2) are on the case, but...I am no longer entitled to live in my own house (the websites that have condemned me show a map with instructions on how to get to my house to kill me, there is a my photo, a photo of my workplace, phone numbers, and the statement of condemnation). But at the same time they do not provide me with a lodging, and I'm forced to ask others for help, two nights in one place, two nights somewhere else...I am under permanent police protection. I must cancel all my classes. And the authorities are forcing me to give up my home. I'm a homeless person. An insane financial situation is the result: I must pay all the expenses, including any future rent for one month or two, someplace far from here, the cost of moving twice, the legal expenses, etc...This is quite sad. I asserted my constitutional rights and I am being punished for it, on the very territory of the French Republic. This affair is also an attack against national sovereignty: foreign laws, created by criminal fanatics, are punishing me for having exercised a French constitutional right, and I am suffering, right here in France, a terrible wrong.
According to Tiberge, there is now a large mobilization of support in France for Redeker, except on the far left and in the government offices:
Let us point out also the dhimmitude of Education Minister Gilles de Robien, who, instead of defending the teacher and freedom of expression, drives the nail in deeper by saying: "A functionary must display prudence and moderation in all circumstances."

These events will reveal who is bowing before the fatwas of MRAP and Al Qaïda, and who dares defend the values of the Republic. The French people will learn a political lesson!

Separated at Birth?




Sometimes I think I am better than this. Sometimes. Then temptation sashays through the door. Glen had the Carter picture up on his page and I had the niggling sensation that I had seen it before, that I knew that image from another time and another place. But when and where? Memories came back in a rush. Really, I didn't think Glen was that old.

The missing "a."

Friday, September 29, 2006
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Shifting Sands - Follow the Money

PoliticalMoneyLine now has a report on spending up which covers party, PAC and 527 spending for the month of September by race. The numbers do not include spending by the candidate's election committees so the totals reflect party (and surrogate) effort in each race. The total spent in September by both parties and surrogates was $19.5M with $12.6 spent by the Republicans and $6.9M spent by the Democrats. The money spent is a drop in the bucket compared with the approximately $500M that will have been spent between September 1st and November 7th but it does give some idea as to the races that will be real dog fights.

The chart below lists the top 25 races (representing 89% of the total spent) in descending order:



Pink represents a Republican open seat with red and blue indicating incumbents party affiliation. Both parties are being very circumspect regarding their spending on districts not on the list. LA-03 and TX-17 are definitely in play and the Republicans will not give up TX-22 without a fight. GA-08 and GA-12 will also be getting a lot more attention from the Republicans during October.

The chart below comes from Coldheartedtruth where Indy Voter does as nice a job on unprejudiced poll dissection as anyone I've read. He updates the chart regularly and I'm hopeful that we'll be seeing some of those 'Lean Dem' races start moving into the 'No Clear Leader' column on their way to the 'Lean Republican' column.


One way to look at this is that three states - Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio hold the key to the Republicans retaining control in both the House and the Senate. That's why they are pouring money ($3.7M in September) into the Ohio Senate race - if they hold either DeWine or Santorum's seat then they retain control. If they can hold six of the nine top 25 races from those states they will hold the House.

We've already seen a little fruit from opposition research with the Menendez problem exposed and today's exposure of the Florida congressman. I'm betting that the next two weeks will see quite a bit more of the same. Nothing like a nice six week mud fight to try and force down turnout.

That's why ignoring the 'issues' saves time. They don't mean much in most elections and this one is going to go in the 'most' category except for the amount of mud slung.

A spot in the sun | the Daily Mail

This picture, from the Daily Mail is pretty cool -- nice sunspot and all.




Now, have a look at the close-up. That's no sunspot.

Hostettler has a chance

This evening on Brit Hume's Special Report I heard that Hostettler was behind Ellsworth by 16 points. I had a very hard time believing that so I tried to find the source of the poll.

Here it is. No wonder.

More than 47 percent of registered voters in the 8th District favored Ellsworth, while 31.8 percent favored Hostettler, according to the poll commissioned by the Evansville Courier & Press and conducted by Indiana State University's Sociology Research Lab.

More than 16 percent of those surveyed were undecided. Thomas Steiger, a professor of sociology and women's studies at Indiana State, said he was surprised by the undecided vote.

"The conventional wisdom is that a high percentage of undecided is bad news for the incumbent," he said.

The poll of 603 registered voters in the district was conducted Sept. 6-21 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points. Of those polled, about 32 percent identified themselves as Republicans and about 33 percent said they are Democrats. About 63 percent of respondents were women.

Ed Patru, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, questioned the poll's methodology. He said the poll is flawed because it surveyed registered voters instead of likely voters, and it was conducted over several weeks instead of a few days.

"There's a reason why professional pollsters haven't been driven out of business by college kids -- good methodology typically yields more reliable findings," he said.

A previous poll found voters about evenly split between Hostettler and Ellsworth, who is sheriff of Vanderburgh County. The WISH-TV Indiana Poll was a telephone survey of 400 likely voters and was conducted Sept. 5-8 by Maryland-based Research 2000.


Ellsworth runs like a Republican, he is a pro war social conservative. He claims Hostettler sold us out to the oil companies who deliberately drove up gas prices because they are evil. or something. Hostettler just keeps talking about how Nancy Pelosi will be running things if the Democrats win. I would say it could go either way.

Does the bear ?

Public Policy Crisis: Bears Go in the Woods » Outside The Beltway | OTB: "We needed a major study to figure out that wild animals poop outside? And it’s page 1 news?"

The Senate gets Busy

There must be an election coming because the Senate has finally decided to act like they have a job.

Glenn Reynolds has a brief and informative post up on the passage of the long awaited detainee bill. High time. Big Lizards has graphics. And did you know that Bush pulled all the special forces out of Tora Bora in December 2001 and sent them to Iraq? Neither did I, in fact I thought the war in Iraq did not begin until 2003. Big Lizards heard Leahy make the statement with his own ears. Do lizards have ears?

The Senate has also voted for cloture on the bill for the border fence. I think it will pass easily. There was never that much resistance to the fence. The debate was over whether or not the hardliners would allow anything else to get done. If they do, it will not be until after the election. I know I myself will be glad if this subject just sort of goes away...........

The House has passed a wiretap bill that Bush supports, but so far there is no sign they will be able to reconcile with the Senate and get the President something he can sign before the election. But maybe they will have a change of heart. People are tired of all this screwing around. Time to get the show on the road.

Clinton Ordered Santa Killed?

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Apropos Seneca's post below, if you haven't seen this video over at RightWinged or on Leno, it is pretty funny.








Update: However, it seems that the video no longer plays, neither here nor on other sites. Hmmm... Wonder if the NBC lawyers have been busy. I'm going to leave it up. If the video comes back, so much the better. If not, well, it makes one curious.

Update: Here is another version.

Clinton Doth Protest Too Much - Los Angeles Times

Clinton Doth Protest Too Much - Los Angeles Times: "
THERE'S NO LIMIT to what a man can do,' President Reagan used to say, ' … if he doesn't care who gets the credit.'

Former President Clinton's motto seems to be a little different: 'There's no limit to how much credit a man can get, if he doesn't care what he's actually done.'"

4000 Jihadis Killed In Iraq and the New York Times yawns

A new tape from the current al Qaeda leader in Iraq, and among the scary things like requesting explosives and nuclear experts to come join him he drops this little bit:

"The blood has been spilled in Iraq of more than 4,000 foreigners who came to fight," said al-Muhajir.

Foxnews reported the above.

And along with al-Muhajir's call for kidnappings, the BBC also reported what he said about the number of foreign fighters killed in Iraq.


But the NY Times? Prints the scary stuff only. Not one word about 4000 al Qaeda we've killed in Iraq.

Perhaps the New York Times is trying to scare us into thinking the situation is totally hopeless. All those terrorists created by the Iraq war are COMING TO GET US! HIDE! Well, 4000 of 'em are dead, Jim.

Just a minor detail so not fit to print.

Seems to me the Democrats are trying to scare us into leaving Iraq...with the help of the New York Times.

More on torture

Another torture technique to get people to spit out what needs to be said, and do it pronto. Coarsening of society?

Ramadan rioting

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Heh, did you know there have been three nights of rioting in Brussels? If you rely on the MSM, of course not. The indefatigable Pastorius, however, has the latest at IBA.

This is a war, not a popularity contest

I am not sure what to make of this poll . I do have one observation however, if 60% of the people in a country with a population of 26 million thought it was ok to kill American soldiers, one would think they could manage more than 2600 in three years. I think there is a certain amount of come hither go away here.

I have to ask, what the hell kind of question is "Do you think it is acceptable to target American soldiers?" or words to that effect...What kind of reaction is the polster trying to elicit with a question like that? Oh but then again they want us stay at least 6 months to a year to train their forces and they want civilian help to stay on. Is it ok to target them too? Gee they didn't ask.

alMaliki and the government that would not be there if not for the American soldiers they think it is ok to target has high approval ratings in the 80's and there abouts.

curiouser and curiouser.

But for AlQaida the news is far worse:

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally—71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).

Dick Morris hits a Psychological Home Run

Gateway Pundit: Dick Morris Makes Clinton Prediction in Blogger Conference Call: "There is nothing Bill does that is out of control. His rages are the ultimate form of control. The closer you get to the truth the more vociferous he is with his indignation. Once the issue was raised about how he fought terrorism, he thought he had to unload. September is always his month. Not this year. Bill stepped on his story and brought attention to the Clinton years. This was a mistake. Ask Bill about something that hits close to home and he rages."


I don't know how much I believe the rest of this --- I think Dick Morris is still P.O.'ed at Bill C for making a fuss about Morris just having his toes sucked --- but I think he's got a really good point here, psychologically, about the Clinton v Wallace furor: "His rages are the ultimate form of control."

The Pillar

If you haven't seen the name Paul Pillar popping up around the blogoshpere over the past few hours you will notice it soon enough. I noticed the name at American Thinker which pointed to Dinocrat and Malkin (as well as an earlier piece by their own Clarice Feldman) which pointed to Stop the NY Times and Powerline which pointed to older notices of the man at The Weekly Standard and Thomas Joscelyn.

You'll find links to WaPo and NYTimes articles as well as Mr. Pillar's book first published in 1999 and re-released in 2004. I expect Paul Pillar will be getting some attention over the next day or two so I went and googled him all for my little self. He get's around. A one man, inexhaustable advocate team for the Kerryesque (or perhaps the Pillar of the Kerryesque) idea of using the the domestic and international criminal justice system for "fighting" terrorism.

He's a Visiting Professor at the Georgetown Center for Peace and Security Studies, according to ZNET he "managed the writing of all NIEs on Iran from 2000 to 2005" and apparently charges that the Fear of U.S. Drove Iran's Nuclear Policy. He authored an article in Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Policy,and the War in Iraq, defending the Intelligence Community as the victims of the Bush administration's subltle pressures. You can find his recent book described at the Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College and reviews, at Foreign Affairs, of his books Terrorism and US Foreign Policy and Negotiating Peace: War Termination as a Bargaining Process. He's no fan of using military forces for counterterrorism operations although he does acknowledge the effectiveness of doing so in Afghanistan which, he claims, was rather a unique situation.

The most interesting bit I found from the simple googling was the Statement of Paul R. Pillar to the Joint Inquiry of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence 8 October 2002. It is a minor masterpiece. Read it (and weep) for yourself. Dr. Pillar spends eight pages telling the SSCI about the various difficulties when it comes to collecting and analysing intelligence, the various failures over the years, the various bureaucratic changes and even breakthroughs, his "belief" that those have saved lives and matter a great deal despite the painful failures, the importance of acting against terrorists rather than getting too hung up on terrorists tactics and foiling operations and how we should all be very careful about making additional changes or putting too much blame on the intelligence community.

No doubt he's a very smart man. The seditionist Presse Ancienne just loves him like a cuddly ol' teddy bear they've been snuggling with for years and years.

President Bush Welcomes President Karzai of Afghanistan to the White House

President Bush Welcomes President Karzai of Afghanistan to the White House: "They came to America on September 11th, but they were attacking you before September 11th in other parts of the world. We are a witness in Afghanistan to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York. Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high? Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again? That's why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated -- extremism, their allies, terrorists and the like."


Would it have been too undignified to title this "Kharzai chews AP reporter a new one, making her look like an idiot"?

The Indepundit

The Indepundit: "Since the closing of Fran O'Brien's (Boycott Hilton!) in April, the Friday dinner [for recuperating wounded veterans -- StY] has been somewhat of a traveling feast. It's been hosted by various restaurants and other venues around town, including the Italian and Thai embassies. Many community leaders have ponied up to sponsor one or several meals; the troops and their families never pay a dime."


Now there'as a human interest story for someone. (Emphasis mine, by the way.)

Glenn Reynolds on the NIE

Instapundit.com: "Jesus Christ, if this is the quality of intelligence we're getting, no wonder we haven't won yet."


The first rule of intelligence analysis is to never say anything that could be proven wrong.

Muslims' Complicity With Violence

Max Boot has a good opinion piece in the LAT which frames the issue of "moderate" muslims rather well. I have no doubt that the vast majority of muslims are in fact "moderate" - if by moderate on means "willing to submit to anything". It would hard to imagine otherwise about adherents to a creed whose central tenet was so ably expressed by the murderous thief who started it: "I was ordered to fight all men until they say, 'There is no god but Allah' ".

Given the choice between accepting subjugation or being killed, the vast majority of humanity will always choose survival. Every petty tyrant in the muslim world knows this for a fact and uses that fact in conjunction with control of his pet mullahs and imams (and secret police) every day. Islam is an excellent tool for a tyrant - just as good as Marxism and sometimes better. There is no mystery as to why the left admires and seeks partnership with the tyrants of the Middle East for they have long recognized that terror, forced conversion and the threat of violence are required achieve the state of slavery over which they long to be masters. Islam and the left are very good partners and will remain so.

The tyrants (and the leftists) know that democracy and capitalism will destroy their regimes, they know that people will choose freedom, although they won't necessarily fight for it, they know that opportunity and choice are antithetical to the maintenance of their power just as Islam's 'theological' know that, without the threat of the sword, their 'religion' will die.

The main thing to keep foremost in our minds is that while moderate muslims are not enemies, they are also not allies. They have chosen the role of pawn and are deserving of treatment as such. We shouldn't look for knights to arise from among them because the bravery required to become a knight has been thoroughly extinguished through the conditioning so ably expressed in the phrase 'inshallah'.

The best thing that the West can do is to leave them as they are. A null force that may turn positive - if we kill enough of the tyrants and their mullahs and imams to free them from their fear.

Geek Alert

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Morse Resource: "Morse code is fun. It's fun to know, fun to use, and has roots in the earliest days of radio. Copying and sending morse code are skills that require practice. There are a lot of books, programs, and tapes that can help you learn Morse Code, but I wanted a way to practice copying code anywhere. I came up with the idea of morse code podcasts, and that was the initial motivation for this web site."

The Corner on National Review Online

The Corner on National Review Online: "Mainstream Media Biased? Noooo [John Podhoretz] Holy jamoley. Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times — the paper of record's beat reporter on the Supreme Court — just gave a talk at Harvard in which she basically said, 'Hello. My name is Linda, and I make The Nation look like the John Birch Society.' Every single time anyone tells you the New York Times isn't a left-wing organ from its news columns to its wedding pages, just send him this link."

Augh

The Corner on National Review Online: "BTW— Crappy writing (Sorkin's) can be defined as, writing where almost every piece of dialog is written to illicit some grand emotional response. Does every scene need to be so weighted? "


Um ... elicit.

Talk about spoiling a comment....

NIE Key Judgments

Declassified Key Judgments of the National
Intelligence Estimate Trends in Global Terrorism:
Implications for the United States dated April 2006

Key Judgments

United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations; however, we judge that al-Qa’ida will continue to pose the greatest threat to the Homeland and US interests abroad by a single terrorist organization. We also assess that the global jihadist movement—which includes al-Qa’ida, affiliated and independent terrorist groups, and emerging networks and cells is spreading and adapting to counterterrorism efforts.

• Although we cannot measure the extent of the spread with precision, a large body of all-source reporting indicates that activists identifying themselves as jihadists, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and
geographic dispersion.

• If this trend continues, threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide.

• Greater pluralism and more responsive political systems in Muslim majority nations would alleviate some of the grievances jihadists exploit. Over time, such progress, together with sustained, multifaceted programs targeting the vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement and continued pressure on al-Qa’ida, could erode support for the jihadists. We assess that the global jihadist movement is decentralized, lacks a coherent global strategy, and is becoming more diffuse. New jihadist networks and cells, with anti-American agendas, are increasingly likely to emerge. The confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.

• We assess that the operational threat from self-radicalized cells will grow in importance to US counterterrorism efforts, particularly abroad but also in the Homeland.

• The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.

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

• The Iraq conflict has become the cause 'celebratee' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.

We assess that the underlying factors fueling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities and are likely to do so for the duration of the timeframe of this Estimate.

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

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

(2) the Iraq jihad;

(3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and
political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and

(4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims all of which jihadists exploit.

Concomitant vulnerabilities in the jihadist movement have emerged that, if fully exposed and exploited, could begin to slow the spread of the movement. They include dependence on the continuation of Muslim-related conflicts, the limited appeal of the
jihadists radical ideology, the emergence of respected voices of moderation, and criticism of the violent tactics employed against mostly Muslim citizens.

• The jihadists greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution an ultra-conservative interpretation of sharia-based governance spanning the Muslim world is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims. Exposing the religious and political straitjacket that is implied by the jihadists propaganda would help to divide them from the audiences they seek to persuade.

• Recent condemnations of violence and extremist religious interpretations by a few notable Muslim clerics signal a trend that could facilitate the growth of a constructive alternative to jihadist ideology: peaceful political activism. This also
could lead to the consistent and dynamic participation of broader Muslim communities in rejecting violence, reducing the ability of radicals to capitalize on passive community support. In this way, the Muslim mainstream emerges as the most powerful weapon in the war on terror.

• Countering the spread of the jihadist movement will require coordinated multilateral efforts that go well beyond operations to capture or kill terrorist leaders.

If democratic reform efforts in Muslim majority nations progress over the next five years, political participation probably would drive a wedge between intransigent extremists and groups willing to use the political process to achieve their local objectives. Nonetheless, attendant reforms and potentially destabilizing transitions will create new opportunities for jihadists to exploit.
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role.

• The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and
disagreements.

We assess that the resulting splinter groups would, at least for a time, pose a less serious threat to US interests than does al-Qaida.

• Should al-Zarqawi continue to evade capture and scale back attacks against Muslims, we assess he could broaden his popular appeal and present a global threat.

• The increased role of Iraqis in managing the operations of al-Qaida in Iraq might lead veteran foreign jihadists to focus their efforts on external operations.

Other affiliated Sunni extremist organizations, such as Jemaah Islamiya, Ansar al-Sunnah, and several North African groups, unless countered, are likely to expand their reach and become more capable of multiple and/or mass-casualty attacks outside their
traditional areas of operation.

• We assess that such groups pose less of a danger to the Homeland than does al-Qaida but will pose varying degrees of threat to our allies and to US interests abroad. The focus of their attacks is likely to ebb and flow between local regime targets and regional or global ones.

We judge that most jihadist groups both well-known and newly formed will use improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement their asymmetric warfare strategy, and that they will attempt to conduct sustained terrorist attacks in urban environments. Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.

• CBRN capabilities will continue to be sought by jihadist groups. While Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, remain the most active state sponsors of terrorism, many other states will be unable to prevent territory or resources from being exploited by terrorists. Anti-US and anti-globalization sentiment is on the rise and fueling other radical ideologies. This could prompt some leftist, nationalist, or separatist groups to adopt terrorist methods to attack US interests. The radicalization process is occurring more quickly, more widely, and more anonymously in the Internet age, raising the likelihood of surprise attacks by unknown groups whose members and supporters may be difficult to pinpoint.

• We judge that groups of all stripes will increasingly use the Internet to communicate, propagandize, recruit, train, and obtain logistical and financial support.

I can't resist

It is of no importance to anything but I never let such things stop me...

For some reason I can't be bothered to research, John Derbyshire of National Review and NRO goes off on Martin Amis for Islamophobia:

Brit Lit Twit Goes Islamophobe
The late Sir Kingsley Amis was an excellent writer who held sensible opinions about most things. I have always regarded his son Martin Amis as a frivolous lefty twit, a prime example of the statistical phenomenon known as "regression to the mean."
Think what you will of Mr. Derbyshire but if Martin Amis is, in fact, a frivolous lefty twit then it deserves noting. The quote Derbyshire provides
"...the only thing the Islamists like about modernity is modern weapons. And they're going to get better and better at that. They're also gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now and by 2025 they'll be a third. ... What can we do to raise the price of them doing this? There's a definite urge – don't you have it? – to say, 'The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.' What sort of suff­­er­­­ing? Not letting them travel. Deportation – further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan… Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children. ... They hate us for letting our children have sex and take drugs – well, they've got to stop their children killing people. It's a huge dereliction on their part."
may perhaps qualify as "Islamophobic" but is shared by a fair number of people who are quite fed up with the machinations of the death cult. It isn't, after all, like being phobic about something utterly harmless such as palindromes (Aibohphobia). The mussies do, after all, seem to have an unfortunate penchant for murder and mayhem.

I know nothing of Martin Amis and precious little of Sir Kingsley Amis other than that he authored what is, by far, the most humorous book I have ever read - Lucky Jim. I did not write any of the review commentary on Amazon but I can attest to the suggestion that reading the book while in public might be ill-advised

because, most likely, it will provoke loud screams of laughter and you'll embarrass yourself.

I read it on an eight-hour flight once upon a time. Fortunately when one laughs that well for that long one becomes completely unconcerned with embarassment.

The rest of the story

In From the Cold has some more information on the NIE report and it sheds a different light on things:

In one of its early paragraphs, the estimate notes progress in the struggle against terrorism, stating the U.S.-led efforts have "seriously damaged Al Qaida leadership and disrupted its operations." Didn't see that in the NYT article.

Or how about this statement, which--in part--reflects the impact of increased pressure on the terrorists: "A large body of reporting indicates that people identifying themselves as jihadists is increasing...however, they are largely decentralized, lack a coherent strategy and are becoming more diffuse." Hmm...doesn't sound much like Al Qaida's pre-9-11 game plan.

The report also notes the importance of the War in Iraq as a make or break point for the terrorists: "Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves to have failed, we judge that fewer will carry on the fight." It's called a ripple effect.

More support for the defeating the enemy on his home turf: "Threats to the U.S. are intrinsically linked to U.S. success or failure in Iraq." President Bush and senior administration officials have made this argument many times--and it's been consistently dismissed by the "experts" at the WaPo and Times.

And, some indication that the "growing" jihad may be pursuing the wrong course: "There is evidence that violent tactics are backfiring...their greatest vulnerability is that their ultimate political solution (shar'a law) is unpopular with the vast majority of Muslims." Seems to contradict MSM accounts of a jihadist tsunami with ever-increasing support in the global Islamic community..

The estimate also affirms the wisdom of sowing democracy in the Middle East: "Progress toward pluralism and more responsive political systems in the Muslim world will eliminate many of the grievances jihadists exploit." As I recall, this the core of our strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq.


H/T Powerline .

I realize that the White House does not like to see classified information in the papers and does not want to reward that kind of thing by publishing the whole report. But it might be wise to do so. Betsy has some interesting posts on this issue as well.

UPDATE: Bush announced today that the NIE report would be made public. Maybe Rove really is behind this.

Jihad for the singular, eternal and uncreated truth, or Multiculturalism? Which is the bigger joke?

Monday, September 25, 2006
News from Londonistan is sometimes so strange it seems that the ideology of multiculturalism is going all out to reveal its incompatibility with responsible representative government, or democratic self rule, and with true respect for the human unity that is the basis of all real and meaningful diversity:
POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid.

Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.
So the Brits are going to tie up their police with enforced consultations with an anti-police, anti-government, anti-American, Judeophobic, pro-Iranian nuke, group and any police actions which do not meet with the Muslim watchdogs' pleasure will now presumably be officially sanctioned as victimizing the Ummah.

When governments bring such non-elected advisors/critics into consultations not only on policies, but on day-to-day policing with all its needs for timely action and control of information, we are surely seeing a prime example of how multiculturalism assumes that the various members of a nation are not fit to govern themselves. Just as the supposedly independent (from political interference) police are here implied to be incapable of governing themselves, of maintaining their own professional standards, practices, and public consultations without need of suspicious, politicized, watchdogs, multiculturalism assumes that the disparate members of a nation do not have sufficient common interests or any unifying principles that can serve as a rational basis for governing themselves. Instead of a country in which, say, a Muslim or a Christian, a person of Xinjiangese or Basque ancestry, can aspire to the virtue of going into the public sphere and making representations that could appeal to many disparate members of his nation, the ideology of multiculturalism assumes we can only speak for our own, however defined.

What this assumption must leave unanswered is the overall basis or reason for the decisions made by the high officials of state who co-ordinate the various interest groups over which the government - which becomes an imperial hierarchy riding the winds of power - rules. Democracy requires a common purpose or reason that is the basis for the people ruling themselves through their representatives. And staying alive by keeping the system and the diversity it fosters from being ripped apart into competing, warring, camps is ultimately at the root of such common purpose or reason.

But there is no accessible rationality behind the present multicultural order in full pomp; there are only attempts to obscure the fact that a liberal order, trying to serve all the conflicting desires that it pretends to have room for, and without deferring to any unifying principles or respect for a nation's foundational events that give it a particular history of self-representation, will sooner or later fall into a tyranny of high officials negotiating differences in back rooms, without the possibility of publicly accounting for the rationality of such negotiations other than in terms of deferring to competing interests and powers.

Such a "nation" might become a place, say, where police cannot protect against terrorism, from risk of offending those with a right to restrain their investigations. Or it might become a place where dhimmi police trade their powers to Muslim leaders in return for the promise that the latter will control violent trouble makers under some kind of imperial millet system.

On the other hand, maybe it is only when all see multiculturalism reveal itself for the arational and potentially tyrannical system it is, that we will be able to see clearly that the emperor has no clothes. What fun then to read:
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A car dealership's planned radio advertisement that declared "a jihad on the automotive market" has drawn sharp criticism for its content but will not be changed, the business said Saturday.

Several stations rejected the Dennis Mitsubishi spot, which says sales representatives wearing"burqas"_ head-to-toe traditional dress for Islamic women _ will sell vehicles that can"comfortably seat 12 jihadists in the back."

"Our prices are lower than the evildoers'every day. Just ask the pope!"the ad says."Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies."A fatwa is a religious edict.

Dealership president Keith Dennis said the ad does not disrespect any religion or culture. He said it was"fair game"to poke"a little fun at radical extremists."

"It was our intention to craft something around some of the buzzwords of the day and give everyone a good chuckle and be a little bit of a tension reliever,"he said.

The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations decried the ad as disrespectful.

My Way or the Highway

Dafydd at Big Lizards has an alternative view to Mickey Kaus's assertion's of Bill Frist caving on the fence.

I read the Kaus column late last night, and I must say that cynicism is very unbecoming... particularly when it's not warranted. There is a simpler explanation:

* Perhaps Frist really did think that everyone in the Senate, on both sides, would rise above what Frist sees as petty bickering to enact the plans for the fence;

* But then, when the Democrats made it clear that they were going to filibuster, and a handful of Republicans joined them, Frist now realizes that the yolk's on him -- the bill he so loudly touted was going nowhere, and he (Frist) was going to look like an idiot.

This alternative explanation perfectly explains Frist's initial enthusiasm, his current probable intent (which we don't actually know yet to be true) to drop the subject again, and even the so-called "guilty, knowing grin" that Kaus insists he saw. It's certainly true, as Micky Kaus writes, that:


It's easy to let the fence bill drop and blame Democrats. Wink, wink. But a forceful majority leader who actually wanted either a) a vote or b) a sharpened issue against the Dems wouldn't give up just like that. He'd call a press conference to demand that the Democrats allow a vote. Put a spotlight on the issue. Make Harry Reid come up with an equally well-publicized explanation for why the Democrats oppose this popular common-denominator measure. That would be hard for Reid to do without hurting Dem election chances, and he might not do it--resulting in a Democratic cave-in and a vote. And the fence Frist says he wants.

But the problem with Kaus's reasoning is that, like so many others, he starts from his honest admission that "I can't think of any other possibilities" than "phoniness, fecklessness, or a corrupt bargain;" but then he makes the illogical leap from "I can't think of" to the conclusion that there are no other possibilities. I suppose his idea is that if he can't think of any, how could any lesser mortal?

But of course, there is a good reason -- one that we Big Lizards ourselves support -- for rejecting the enforcement-first approach to immigration reform. And it would be easy for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 100%) to give exactly that press conference that Kaus so knowingly asserts cannot be given. And if Reid gave it (and did a better job than he usually does), it could indeed flip the whole immigration issue around and hang it like an anvil around the Republicans' necks.

Simply put, the fence is great; I'm all in favor of the fence; but there are other reforms equally vital, without which the fence alone cannot work. And here's the kicker: once we get the fence, the enforcement-first crowd in Congress will turn into the enforcement-only mob, and I am 100% convinced that they themselves will do everything in their power to obstruct and disrupt every other element of immigration reform.

The only incentive for "enforcement only" Congressmen to support other reforms is to tie those reforms to the border fence. It's a sad state of affairs for the nation -- but one that is forced upon reformers by the monomania of the enforcement-only representatives and senators. Both moderates and conservatives have immigration ideas that are vital to solving this problem; but the hard right refuses even to consider the moderates' ideas... even to the point of letting the border fence go unbuilt, if to build it means they have to ac
cept some other reforms.

I think Dafydd is onto something here. Why would the Democrats help the Repubicans heal this rift and why would the moderates cave when they can always blame the failure to get a wall on the hardliners being stubborn?

Kat vs Dexter Filkins

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On the left, the 5'0", 89 lb Kat. She spent two years working for a contractor in Iraq and has a few observations to make about Dexter Filkins, intrepid reporter for the NY Times, who has just published a book on his dangerous mission reporting on Iraq, a story of body guards, armored cars, and bomb shelters. A story of reporters holed up in their buildings, piecing together the snippets of news provided by their Iraqi journalist runners. Filkins admits he doesn't know much about what is going on in Iraq and thinks the military is confined to their bases and just as ignorant as he. Kat is not that impressed with Filkins. Nor, reading the military bloggers, does it look to me like the military is holed up on their bases, fearing to stick their heads up over the wall. Its really a shame that the girls go where the manly reporter fears to tread. Says Filkins, "Five people doing a run-of-the-mill story takes forever." Seems to me there were hundreds of run-of-the-mill stories Filkins could have reported without taking forever. He could have ridden with Kat, for instance.

Clinton throws a tantrum

FNC comes on at 6pm here and so I just watched the infamous interview between Chris Wallace and Bill Clinton.

I am at a loss for words. Clinton acted like someone who forgot his meds. Paranoid, delusions of persecution and grandeur, belligerent, and just plain mean.

A New Kind of Review


A few years ago Stephen Wolfram, the Illini wunderkind inventor of Mathematica, after years of arduous effort, gave birth to his crowning achievement, his master-tome, A New Kind of Science. Yet despite its self-evident genius, its self-proclaimed superiority to and replacement for all that came before, it has inexplicably never received its fitting review. Until now.

Interesting Observations on Arab Cultural Differences

An American blogger has some posted some interesting observations based on his time living in Saudi Arabia...

From Observations on Arabs:


Since the beginning of the Iraq phase of this conflict of civilizations, I've experienced the teeth-grinding frustration of watching both pro- and anti- Iraq sides make the exact same mistake - that of supposing that these people are bascially Americans in funny costumes. In this respect, George Bush and Michael Moore are equally clueless, as was Jill Carroll apparently.

...

In the case of the Kingdom, I went there with a certain sympathy for Arab grievances, a belief that America had earned a lot of hostility from "blowback" from our ham-handed interventionist foreign policy and support for Israel etc.

I came back with the gloomy opinion that over the long run we are going to have to hammer these people hard to get them to quit messing with Western Civilization. And by the way, among "rational, fair-minded" non-interventionist libertarians, not a damn one of them has asked me, "What in your experience caused you to change your mind?" Instead what I get are gratuitous insults followed by insufferably condescending lectures about how wrong I am.

So, with the caveat that one of the first things I learned was that the term “Arab” covers a lot of territory, here are some observations and some tentative conclusions about Arabs, more specifically about Arabs from the oil states about why we have misunderstood each other to the point that we are fighting a war with some of them and are pissing off the rest of them.

I question the timing

Powerline and Ed Morrisey as well as AJ all have posts up on the newspaper articles in the New York Times and the Washington Post concerning leaked information from the soon to be released NIE report. Read them for analysis. I just want to rant.

The basic contention is that the war in Iraq has caused more terrorism and has been a recruitment tool for jihadis.

I think the better question would be what is not a recruiting tool? Everything from war to cartoons to the Pope sends these folks into a rage. If we come.. go.. leave.. stay.. fight.. run away.. interfere.. refuse to interfere.. respect the religion.. criticize their religion.....they recruit people to kill us. Kind of a tails I win heads you lose scenario.

Or maybe this is just another case of people in the Intel community trying to make life difficult for Bush. Like I said, I question the timing. Paranoia is catching.

I think the war in Iraq was inevitable because it never really ended after the Gulf War and sooner or later something had to give. Either way, it would have been a recruiting tool for Islamists, either because we let Saddam defy the world and get away with it or because we actually took the fight to them.

We need to stop always asking ourselves what we do to make these people act the way they do. They are not blank slates ready to be written on, they are people with their own desires and right now their number one desire is to wage a holy war against us.

Does this mean going after AlQaida in Afghanistan was a mistake? Or do the terrorists find our presence there acceptable and nonthreatening?

UPDATE: White House says this is not representative of the whole document . Which is classified of course.

The left discovers a little respect?

In this video Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, scolds Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for his Bush-Bashing. Is this a hopeful sign of latent sanity?

Migration


Reading Meaningless Hot Air's post on Selts and Basque made me think of the Tarim Mummies. Who were they, and how did they end up in China thousands of years ago?

The Chomsky Fan Club

I was informed by a member of the reality based community that Hugo Chavez is a helluva guy and we would all be lucky if were our president instead of The Devil.

Thor Halvorssen feels differently:

Calling "world dictator" George Bush the "devil" over and over again, he discussed everything from CIA plots to assassinate him to how he - along with Cuba, Iran and the non-aligned countries - will save the world from imperialist doom.

Chavez has said the United States is "afraid of truth, is afraid of independent voices," yet Chavez has suffocated all dissent in his own backyard. Beyond rewriting the Constitution to bolster his legal power, he's passed a law banning "the use of language deemed to be insulting to the President of the Republic."

Indeed, any expression of dissent, public or in private, against any public official is punishable with prison.

Francisco Usón - a former minister in Chavez's own Cabinet - recently drew a six-year jail term for expressing an opinion on television. Carlos Ortega - the president of Venezuela's AFL-CIO-affiliated federation of workers - got a 16-year sentence for instigating a legal strike despite protests by the International Labor Organization of this unspeakable violation of human rights. (Ortega escaped from prison last month.)

Chavez claimed yesterday that the United States protects terrorism while his own government is "fully committed to combating terrorism and violence." In fact, Chavez has demonstrably protected and armed the FARC terrorists of next-door Colombia. (He's also presided during the greatest crime wave in Venezuelan history, with a death toll exponentially larger than any previous government's.)

Chavez denounced capitalism as the generator of "mere poverty." Yet, thanks to a capitalist oil boom, he has profited from the richest Venezuelan government in history - but squandered its wealth on a new Venezuelan oligarchy of petro-millionaires masquerading as government officials. Meanwhile, misery and malnutrition are at a historic high.


Other than driving up Chomsky's book sales and reminding the American people that the American left is in league with the enemy, what did Chavez's little tirade accomplish?

Selts vs. Kelts vs. ... Basques???

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Everything you know is wrong.

Is Gentrification Wrong?



I must confess that I have never quite understood the argument against "gentrification", i.e., against people buying property and improving it in order to make money. Usually the process seems to reduce crime and improve the general cleanliness of a place. Why is this wrong? Don't property owners have rights too? Is it better for our cities to be filled with poverty and desperation than with hope and upward mobility? Isn't this the American Dream after all?

Saturday Mini-Review: The Sure Thing

"I have a credit card."
"You have a credit card?"
"Yea, but my father specifically told me only to use it in case of an emergency."
"Well maybe one will come up."



The important question this movie attempts to answer is: Can a 19-year-old from Evanston, IL (John Cusack) and a 22-year-old from Berkeley (Daphne Zuniga) successfully convince us they are freshman college students at an Ivy League college falling in love? Seems to work, though I'm skeptical of Zunigas from Berkeley. Cusack is playing his "optimistic, charmingly loquacious" Cusack character—this one is not as appealing as Lloyd Dobbler of Say Anything, but he's still nerdy, half-honest, and charming. The Sure Thing is yet another Eighties young romance movie, this time it's a Rob Reiner college-romance-roadtrip vehicle. It's a cross-country journey of discovery which is actually a very sweet, almost innocent movie. A clearer example of the Hollywood view of this country could scarcely be found: the weather is cold and the people on the East Coast are intellectually sophisticated; on the West Coast it's warm weather and socially sophisticated party animals; everybody in the middle is a backwards overweight depressed rapist hick wearing a cowboy hat. Beyond this small flaw, the movie is worth watching even if not recommended, a short sequence with Tim Robbins before he was Tim Robbins being memorable.

Did they drive a stake through his {alleged} heart?

Is Bin Laden really dead as a doornail or have reports of his demise been greatly exaggerated?

Et tu, NZ?

Samizdata reports:
Having misappropriated taxpayer money and facing a lawsuit, the New Zealand government now wants to ram through legislation validating their thievery. To divert attention, they threatened to dish the dirt on opposition MPs, resulting in the exposure of an affair by the opposition leader. The dirt has come right back at them, however, with allegations that the PM's husband is gay and that her marriage is one of convenience. Entering into the equation, also, are Exclusive Brethren who may have been snooping on the Prime Minister and tales of the government hiring private investigators to snoop on the opposition.

Sounds like great fun for the spectators. Sounds like New Jersey. And maybe NZ will join the slow turn of the great ship Anglosphere towards its Liberal harbor.

The NYT Does It Again

Friday, September 22, 2006


The Guardian

From the Associated Press

Army Meets Recruiting Goal
Thursday September 21, 2006 11:16 PM

By ROBERT BURNS
AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army is ending its best recruiting year since 1997 and expecting similar success in 2007, despite the weight of grim war news from Iraq, Army Secretary Francis Harvey said Thursday.

In an Associated Press interview, Harvey said the Army will enlist its 80,000th soldier on Friday, reaching its goal for the year with eight days to spare. That is a considerable turnaround from last year when the Army missed its target for the first time since 1999 and by the widest margin in more than two decades....

The New York Times

Strained, Army Looks to Guard for More Relief

By THOM SHANKER and MICHAEL R. GORDON

Published: September 22, 2006


WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 — Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.

Discuss among yourselves.





Remember how the US cut into the French tourism trade?


Well here is a chance to do the same thing for Venezuela's gas company.

H/T Captain's Quarters .

Irony Alert

Charles Krauthammer has a very interesting oped on the lack of irony [as well as tolerance] in radical Islam which is reacting with violence to a midieval passage claiming Islam is violent.

Iraq the Model says enough angry fist shaking allready.

It seems there has been a lot of this going around lately. Movie stars living like royalty and complaining to a multitude of adoring fans that America is no longer a democracy with freedom of speech.

Dictators raving on about human rights while hate mongering leftists cheer them on. You have to wonder why Jesse Jackson doesn't just move to Venezuala.

More examples of rampant irony anyone can think of?

Chickens coming home to roost

The Anchoress has some interesting thoughts on things that go around coming around:

But maybe some on the left finally understand that while they’ve been having fun and laughing while calling President Bush every manner of ugly name and insult, dangerous people have been watching. And they have made a calculation: We can disrespect Bush and America will laugh with us. Bush is weak. America is once again the appeasing “weak horse” it was throughout the 1990’s and even before…when we could attack anything and be accountable to no one.

I’m sure Hugo, once he left the guffawing chamber of hyenas at the UN, was shocked to discover that most Americans were not laughing, that even some Democrats were not.

And I’m sure some Democrats were shocked to see just how ugly their words sounded, when coming out of the mouth of someone else, someone with “no right,” to spew hate for political expediency.

There are some on the left who are suggesting that Hugo Chavez’s remarks are simply an indicator that the world “disrespects” President Bush…well…I wonder who gave them the idea that they could? Was it John Kerry calling him a “fucking liar,” and not having to answer for that rudeness to anyone while the press shrugged it off? Good heavens, Bush calls terrorism “evil” and he was mocked and criticized for using that word, but the press never had a problem with “fucking liar, fucking crooks and thieves” or with adolescent musings about the president’s name and female genitalia. It was alllllll soooooo funnnnneeeeeee, newsreaders could hardly deliver the spite without grinning, themselves.

Let me tell you, I didn’t see “disrespect” at the UN while President Bush was speaking…while he was speaking he was accorded that dubious body’s full and complete attention, and like it or not, nothing he said was disregarded, because the world knows he means what he says. They may not like him, but they respect him. And if they don’t respect him, they fear him just enough to pretend. Which frankly I prefer to a president they all “love” but don’t respect or fear, one who plays games.


read it all.

George Bush will leave office in a couple of years, maybe it is beginning to dawn on some people that the damage they are doing to the President might rub off on them in particular and the American people in general.

spiked | Darfur: damned by pity

Thursday, September 21, 2006
spiked | Darfur: damned by pity: "There is no civil war so bad that it cannot be made worse by the intervention of Western liberals."

Kafkaesque



The term {kafkaesque ed.}, which is quite fluid in definition, has also been described as "marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies".....

It can also describe an intentional distortion of reality by powerful but anonymous bureaucrats. "Lack of evidence is treated as a pesky inconvenience, to be circumvented by such Kafkaesque means as depositing unproven allegations into sealed files ..." Another definition would be an existentialist state of ever-elusive freedom while existing under unmitigatable control.

The adjective refers to anything suggestive of Kafka, especially his nightmarish type of narration, in which characters lack a clear course of action, the ability to see beyond immediate events, and the possibility of escape. The term's meaning has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical.


How else does one describe the latest follies of the UN? Over the course of two days, two madmen, Chavez and Ahmadinajad, come to our country and make a point of insulting us, threatening us, and in general raving like the totalitarian thugs that they are and yet today I look at the headlines and there it is, the UN is critical of Bush's interrogation plans, the UN is concerned over torture in Iraq.

Saddam killed how many people, tortured how many people, raped how many people and now the UN is concerned about torture in Iraq.

And then of course the fine upstanding people at the UN who have been able to ignore Darfur, pretend not to notice millions starved in North Korea, sort of look the other way discretely so as not to embarass the Persians while they hang people in public and torture them in private...is concerned about Bush using {gasp} icky interrogation methods to stop terrorists.

I wonder if someone did a poll right now and ask the American people if they wanted the UN to stay in the US and be funded by the American people while the same American people are routinely disrepected by the den of thieves at Turtle Bay...well just what would the numbers in that poll be like? I see them now, applauding Chavez, not even wondering what the reaction of their hosts might be. Yes, kafkaesque.

UPDATE: It seems there is a poll And they say Bush's numbers are bad.

Walton Ruling on Libby Motion

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Criminal No. 05-394 (RBW)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
I. LEWIS LIBBY, Defendant. __________________________________________________________________


MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On September 27, 2006, this Court will commence hearings pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA), 18 U.S.C. App. III, 6(a) (2000), to address the use, relevance, and admissibility at trial of certain classified documents, information, and testimony.1 After reviewing the papers submitted by the parties, it is apparent that they not only disagree on the evidentiary value of the information at issue, but also have divergent views on the standard the Court should employ in determining whether use of the information should be precluded during the trial.2 Thus, before these hearings commence, the Court must address the standard it will employ during those hearings in addressing the


1 In connection with these hearings, the following papers have been submitted to the Court: (1) the Defendant's Consolidated CIPA 5 Notice (Def. Notice); (2) the defendant's Memorandum Concerning Use, Relevance, and Admissibility of Classified Documents and Information Listed in Defendant's Consolidated CIPA 5 Notice (Def.'s Mem.); (3) the Government's CIPA 6(b) Notice (Gov's Notice); (4) the Government's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Arguments Regarding the Use, Relevance, and Admissibility of Classified Documents (Gov's Oppn); and (5) the defendant's Reply Memorandum Concerning Use, Relevance, and Admissibility of Classified Documents and Information Listed in Defendant's Consolidated CIPA 5 Notice (Def.'s Reply).


2 The Court uses the term 'information' throughout this opinion to encompass all categories of classified evidence, including documents and testimony, that the defendant seeks to introduce as evidence during the trial and which is identified in his Section 5 notice.

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admissibility question. As discussed in greater detail below, it is the Court's conclusion that the Federal Rules of Evidence and the restrictions they impose control whether information subject to CIPA proceedings is admissible during a trial.

I. The CIPA

The CIPA establishes the procedures for pretrial determinations of the disclosure and the admissibility at trial of classified information in federal criminal proceedings.3 See United States v. Fernandez, 913 F.2d 148, 151 (4th Cir. 1999). The statute was designed to reconcile, on the one hand, a criminal defendant's right to obtain prior to trial classified information and introduce such material at trial, with, on the other hand, the government's duty to protect from disclosure sensitive information that could compromise national security. United States v. Rezag, 134 F.3d 1121, 1142 (D.C. Cir. 1998). As such, the CIPA creates pretrial, trial, and appellate procedures for federal criminal cases where there is a possibility that classified information will be disclosed through a defendant's defense. These pretrial procedures cover the manner in which pretrial conferences are to be conducted, the issuance of protective orders, and the regulation of the discovery of classified information sought by criminal defendants. 18 U.S.C. App. III, 2-4. In addition, the CIPA sets forth a structure for determining the admissibility of classified information at trial, which involves a four step process. 18 U.S.C App. III, 5-6.

First, Section 5(a) of the CIPA requires a defendant to file a notice describing the classified information he reasonably expects to disclose or cause the disclosures of at trial. 18 U.S.C. App. III, 5(a) (“Section 5 notice). If the defendant fails to comply with this


It is clear to the Court, and the defendant does not contend otherwise, that the government's assertion that the documents identified in the defendant's Section 5 notice are classified is justified. Accordingly, it is proper to employ the CIPA procedures.

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requirement, the Court, in its discretion, may preclude the use of any classified information not part of the defendant's Section 5 notice. Id. at 5(b). Second, at the government's request, the Court must hold a pretrial hearing to address the use, relevance, or admissibility of the classified information identified in the defendant' Section 5 notice. Id. at § 6(a).4 Following this hearing, the Court is required to 'set forth in writing the basis for its determination' as to each piece of classified information that was at issue during the hearing. Id. Third, if the Court determines that certain classified information can be used during trial, the government may move (1) to replace the classified portions of the information at issue with a statement admitting the relevant facts that the information would tend to prove, or (2) to substitute a summary of the information. Id. at 6(c)(1)(A) - (B). 'The court shall grant such a motion. . . if it finds that the statement or summary will provide the defendant with substantially the same ability to make his defense as would disclosure of the specific classified information.' Id. at 6(c)(1). And finally, if the Court denies the government's proposed admission or substitution, the government has two options. The government can file an 'affidavit of the Attorney General objecting to [the] disclosure of the classified information at issue,' which will then require the dismissal of the indictment except in cases where 'the [C]ourt determines that the interests of justice would not be served by dismissal of the indictment.' Id. at 6(e). Alternatively, the government can file an immediate interlocutory appeal. Id. at 7.

Here, the defendant has filed his final Section 5 notice. In response, the government has moved for a hearing pursuant to Section 6(a) and it has filed its Section 6(b) notice identifying

This hearing is preceded by the government's notice to both the Court and the defense of which documents in the defendant's Section 5 notice are classified and at issue. 18 U.S.C. App. III, § 6(b) ('Section 6(b) notice').

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those items of classified information that are at issue. Accordingly, the Court, in the upcoming hearings, must now make pretrial 'eterminations concerning the use, relevance, or admissibility of [the] classified information' identified by the government. 18 U.S.C. App. III, 6(a). Only after these determinations are made does the Court need to address the question of redactions and substitutions.

II. Section 6(a) of the CIPA

As noted above, the parties disagree sharply on the standard the Court should employ in the Section 6(a) proceeding. The defendant argues that the Court must simply apply the Federal Rules of Evidence, Def.'s Mem. at 5-6, while the government contends that the Court should engage in a three-step inquiry, Gov't's Opp'n at 5-15. Specifically, the government opines that when it asserts a classified information privilege,5 a classified document (or testimony based on a classified document) should be precluded from use at trial unless the Court determines (1) that the document is relevant; (2) that the document is 'helpful to the defense,' and (3) that the defendant's interest in disclosure of the document outweighs the government's need to protect the classified information. Id. The Court cannot accept the government's position for the following reasons.

'The CIPA's fundamental purpose is to protect and restrict the discovery of classified information in a way that does not impair the defendant's right to a fair trial. It is essentially a procedural tool that requires a court to rule on the relevance of classified information before it maybe introduced.' United States v. Dumeisi, 424 F.3d 566, 578 (7th Cir. 2005) (emphasis

The papers submitted by government refer to this privilege as both the classified information privilege and the national security privilege. See, e.g., Gov't's Opp'n at 12-14.

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added) (internal quotation marks, brackets, and citations omitted); see also Fernandez, 913 F.2d at 154; United States v. Smith, 780 F.2d 1102, 1106 (4th Cir. 1985) (en banc). When the CIPA was enacted, Congress made clear that the statute did not alter the rules governing the admissibility of evidence during a trial. Senate Rep. No. 96-823, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. (1980), p. 8; House Conf. R. No. 96-1436, 96th Cong. 2d. Sess., (1980), p. 12 ('As noted in the reports to accompany[,] . . . [n]othing in the conference substitute is intended to change the existing standards for determining relevance and admissibility.'); see Smith, 780 F.2d at 1106; United States v. Johnson, 139 F.3d 1359, 1365 (11th Cir. 1998) ('CIPA has no substantive impact on the admissibility or relevance of probative evidence.'); United States v. Wilson, 732 F.2d 404, 412 (5th Cir. 1984) ('CIPA does not undertake to create new law governing admissibility.') (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). However, '[w]hile [the] CIPA creates no new rule of evidence regarding admissibility, the procedures it mandates protect a government privilege in classified information.' Yunis v. United States, 867 F.2d 617, 623 (D.C. Cir. 1989).

Under Section 6(a), the Court is charged with making a pretrial 'determination concerning the use, relevance, or admissibility” of the classified information identified in the defendant's Section 5 notice. 18 U.S.C. App. III, § 6(a). It is an unremarkable proposition of statutory interpretation that it is a court's 'duty to give effect, if possible, to every clause and word of a statute.' Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S. 167, 174 (2001) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Thus, during a Section 6(a) proceeding, the Court must make determinations not only as to the relevance of classified information, but also as to its use and admissibility at trial. 18 U.S.C. App. III, 6(a). The fact that these are separate inquiries cannot be surprising since, for example, it is well settled that not all relevant evidence is admissible during a trial. See

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Fed. R. Evid. 403 ('A]lthough relevant, evidence may be excluded if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice.'); Fed. R. Evid. 802 ('Hearsay is not admissible except as provided by these rules or by other rules prescribed by the Supreme Court.').

Applying the framework enunciated in Section 6(a), the Court must first determine whether the information identified by the defendant is relevant. Specifically, the Court must assess whether the information '[has] any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.' Fed. R. Evid. 401 (defining 'relevant evidence'). Following the relevance determination, the Court must then examine whether the information is admissible at trial, and if so, whether its use should be limited.6 This inquiry is also governed by the Federal Rules of Evidence, which imposes restrictions on the use of relevant evidence. See, e.g., Fed. R. Evid. 403, 404(b), 501.

Here, the government not only challenges the relevance of the information proffered by the defendant, but also asserts that its introduction should be excluded at trial because the government has a classified information privilege. Gov't's Opp'n at 7. The government contends that when such a privilege is raised, the Court's inquiry must go beyond examining the relevance of the information. Specifically, the government argues that after a national security privilege has been invoked, the Court must look further than relevance and determine whether introduction of the information would be at least 'helpful to the defense.' Id. at 8 (citing Yunis,

6 For example, courts often admit evidence of other crimes, but limit their use to show, inter alia, motive, identity, or a common scheme or plan. See, e.g., Fed. R. Evid. 404(b); Instructions 2.5 1(A), 2.5 1(B), Criminal Jury Instructions, Young Lawyers Section, The Bar Association of the District of Columbia (2005).

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867 F.2d at 622). If this hurdle is satisfied, the government posits that the Court must then balance the need to protect the government's information against the defendant's interests in disclosure. Id. (citing Smith, 780 F.2d at 1110). According to the government, this further inquiry is used to determine the 'use' and 'admissibility' at trial of the information in question. Id. at 14. While recognizing that the District of Columbia Circuit has not mandated such a balancing test, the government notes that other courts have. Id. at 9 n. 5.

Before addressing the legal arguments raised by the government in support of its three-step inquiry, which in practice sets a standard higher than mere relevance and admissibility assessments, it is important to discuss briefly the history of the CIPA. During the congressional hearings which preceded the enactment of the CIPA, the Department of Justice ('DOJ') requested that the CIPA include a heightened standard for the admissibility of classified information. Specifically, the DOJ sought language that would make evidence admissible only if it was 'relevant and material.' Graymail 5. 182, Hearing Before Subcommittee on Criminal Justice of Senate Judiciary Committee, 96th Cong., 2d Sess. (1980), pp. 3, 18. Under this standard, the Court would be required to balance the probative worth of the evidence against the potential harms to national security. Id. at pp. 9, 22. This standard was rejected by Congress, which stated unambiguously that 'nothing in the [CIPA] is intended to change the existing standards for determining relevance and admissibility.' Smith, 780 F.2d at 1106 (citing House Conference Report No. 96-1436, 96th Cong., (1980), p. 12.).

Here, the government is advocating a standard similar to the one rejected by Congress. Not only does the government's argument lack support in the legislative history, but with one exception, see Smith, 780 F.2d ati 106-1110, its position is not supported by the existing case

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law. While there can be no question that the government has a legitimate privilege in protecting documents and information concerning national security, see, e.g., C. & S. Air Lines v. Waterman S.S. Corp., 333 U.S. 103, 111(1948); Totten v. United States, 92 U.S. 105, 106-07 (1875), the extent of that protection in the context of a criminal prosecution is embodied in the procedures set forth in the CIPA, Yunis, 867 F.2d at 623 ('the procedures [the CIPA] mandates protect [the] government's privilege in classified information.'); see United States v. Mejia, 448 F.3d 436, 455 (D.C. Cir. 2006) (quoting Yunis, 867 F.2d at 623). And the cases in this Circuit that have applied the CIPA have recognized only that it allows for the Court to balance the assertion of a classified information privilege against a criminal defendant's interests during the discovery process. See Mejia, 448 F.3d at 455; Yunis, 867 F.2d at 623.

In Yunis, and later in Mejia which reaffirmed Yunis, the District of Columbia Circuit addressed the question of what standard to employ in a CIPA proceeding when the Court is asked to determine whether classified information should be produced in discovery. Recognizing that the government has a substantial interest in protecting classified information, the Yunis Court reasoned that something more than simple 'materiality' must be shown. Yunis, 867 F.2d at 622. Thus, the Court required a further inquiry, one consistent with what the Supreme Court found necessary in Roviario v. United States, 353 U.S. 53 (1957). Id. In Rovario, the Supreme Court was presented with the question of whether an informant's identity had to be disclosed during discovery. Roviaro, 353 U.S. at 59. The Supreme Court held that while a common law 'informant's privilege' exists, the privilege must give way when disclosure of the information 'is relevant and helpful to the defense of an accused.' Yunis, 867 F.2d at 622 (citing Roviaro, 353 U.S. at 60-6 1) (internal quotation marks omitted). Finding the disclosure of classified

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information analogous to the disclosure of an informant's identity, the Circuit Court in Yunis required an identical inquiry for determining whether classified information should be produced during discovery. Id. at 622-23. Thus, the Circuit Court concluded that something more than 'mere showing of theoretical relevance' was required for the Court to order the production of classified documents. Id. at 623; Mejia, 448 F.3d at 455. And this Court employed this test when presented with motions to compel the production of classified documents at an earlier stage of this litigation. See United States v. Libby, 429 F. Supp. 2d 1, 7 (D.D.C. 2006); see also United States v. Sarkissian, 841 F.2d 959, 965 (9th Cir. 1988) (applying a balancing test to a CIPA 4 proceeding); United States v. Pringle, 751 F.2d 419, 427 (1st Cir. 1984) (same).

The government now asks this Court to import this test, used at the discovery stage, into the CIPA 'use, relevance, and admissibility' decision. Gov't's Opp'n at S-iS. As support for this applicability leap, the government relies on cases from the Fourth Circuit, including one from a splintered en banc court. Id. (citing Smith, 780 F.2d at 1107-11). These cases, however, ignore the clear language of the statute and the unambiguous mandate from Congress that the standard evidentiary rules applicable in federal courts apply with equal force in Section 6(a) hearings.

In Smith, the Fourth Circuit, sitting en banc, recognized that 'the legislative history is clear that Congress did not intend to alter the existing law governing the admissibility of evidence' in Section 6 proceedings. Smith, 780 F.2d at 1106 (noting further that '[t]he circuits that have considered the matter agree with the legislative history cited that ordinary rules of evidence determine the admissibility under [the] CIPA'). Despite acknowledging this clear mandate from Congress, a seven to five majority of the Fourth Circuit concluded that there

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existed, under Federal Rule of Evidence SOl, a common law privilege for classified information, and that a court must 'balance the public interest in nondisclosure against the defendant's right to prepare a defense' before the evidence may be admitted at trial. Id. at 1107. The Fourth Circuit's reasoning was based entirely on the Supreme Court's decision in Roviaro and its progeny. Id. (citations omitted). While noting that '[t]he privilege must give way to the "fundamental requirements of fairness," the Fourth Circuit reasoned that '[t]he defendant must come forward with something more than speculation as to the usefulness of such disclosures.' Id. at 1107-08 (citations omitted). Thus, the Fourth Circuit held that '[a] district court may order disclosure only when the information is at least essential to [the] defense, necessary to the defense, and neither merely cumulative nor corroborative,' and the defendant's interest in disclosure outweighs the government's classified information privilege. Id. at 1109-10 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted); see also United States v. Zettl, 83S F.2d 10S9 (4th Cir. 1987) (applying Smith). It is Smith's balancing mandate which this Court cannot accept.

As recognized by the dissenting judges in Smith, the majority adopted an admissibility standard that was explicitly rejected by Congress when considering the enactment of the CIPA. Smith, 780 F.2d at 1111 (Butzner, J. dissenting) (noting that Congress explicitly refused to incorporate language into the CIPA adopting the Roviaro balancing test for the admissibility of classified information). Moreover, the majority's reliance on Roviaro and its progeny was misplaced, as those cases stand solely for the proposition that a balancing must be employed before the discovery of classified information may be required. Id. at 1112. In addition, Roviaro, was not intended to 'exclude the introduction of relevant evidence known to the defendant.' Id. (citing Rovario, 3S3 U.S. at 60 n.8; United States v. Godkins, S27 F.2d 1321, 132S-27 (Sth Cir.

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1976)). Thus, by employing 'Roviaro to exclude relevant evidence known to the defendant, instead of confining its principles to discovery requests, [the Fourth Circuit] significantly alter[ed] the existing standard for determining the admissibility of evidence in contravention of express congressional intent.' Id. Similarly, the reasoning of the Smith majority is flawed because it fails to recognize that there is an important difference between the discovery of information and its ultimate use during trial. While, '[t]here is no general constitutional right to discovery in a criminal case,' Weatherford v. Bursey, 429 U.S. S4S, SS9 (1977) (citation omitted), the Constitution mandates that a defendant be accorded the opportunity to present a defense, see, e.g., Chambers v. Mississippi, 410 U.S. 284, 302 (1973) ('few rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present witnesses in his own defense.'). Indeed, the Fourth Circuit failed to recognize that the CIPA itself has separate provisions that govern discovery and admissibility. Compare 18 U.S.C. App. III, 3, 4, with id. at 6.~

Based on the foregoing, there is simply no basis for importing the Roviaro standard into the CIPA's use, relevance and admissibility determination, especially against the backdrop of Congress' clear declaration that the standard rules of evidence should apply. In fact, the Fourth Circuit appears to be moving away from the en banc court's ruling in Smith. Most recently, the Fourth Circuit in United States v. Moussaoui, observed, albeit in the discovery context, that even

While this Court's opinion appears to be the first published opinion that takes exception with the Fourth Circuit's admissibility standard adopted in Smith, commentators have suggested that the Fourth Circuit's opinion is contrary to the Congress' intent and the applicable evidentiary standards. See Richard Salgado, Comment, Government Secrets, Fair Trials, and the Classified Information Procedures Act, 98 YALE L.J. 427 (1988) ('[a]ssuming Congress understood the current state of evidence law, the Smith and Zettl court probably violated the intent of Congress when they allowed trial courts to balance the defendant's need for disclosure against the interests of national security in section 6(a) relevancy hearings'); see also Charles Wright & Kenneth Graham, Federal Practice and Procedure § 5672 (3d ed. 1998) (observing that the Fourth Circuit in Smith adopted 'a more strict rule of admissibility' for Section 6(a) proceedings, despite Congress' rejection of such a standard).

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when the balancing test is applied to assess whether documents should be produced to the defendant, 'the "balancing" [it] must conduct is primarily, if not solely, an examination of whether the district court correctly determined that the information the Government seeks to withhold is material to the defense.' Moussaoui, 382 F.3d 453, 476 (4th Cir. 2004) (discussing the required balancing at the discovery phase). Thus, while the Fourth Circuit in Moussaoui was presented with a discovery dispute as opposed to a question of admissibility under the CIPA, since the Fourth Circuit in Smith required courts in that Circuit to conduct the identical balancing test when determining whether classified information would be admissible under the CIPA, the Fourth Circuit's apparent minimization of that test in the discovery context likely applies with equal force to admissibility determinations.

And just as this Court believes it was improper for the Fourth Circuit to employ the Roviaro standard at the admissibility phase, it would be improper for this Court to employ the District of Columbia Circuit's discovery stage pronouncements from Yunis and Mejia during the Section 6(a) proceedings the Court will conduct. While there is no doubt a governmental interest in protecting national security and classified information under the CIPA, the Court's balancing of the government's interests against the defendant's interest was properly employed during the discovery process, not now, when examining whether the disclosed information must be excluded at trial. This is not to say, however, that the government's interests in protecting classified information are diminished at the admissibility stage. Indeed, the CIPA continues to provide the government substantial safeguards to protect classified information at this stage in the proceeding. Thus, if this Court concludes that identified documents are relevant and otherwise admissible at trial, the government can seek to substitute or redact those documents to

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protect the classified information from disclosure. 18 U.S.C. App. § 6(c). If the government is still not satisfied that the classified information is adequately protected at the conclusion of these hearings, the government has the power to preclude entirely the introduction at trial of the classified information. 18 U.S.C. App., 6(c)(2). While invocation of this option may require dismissal of this case, now, just as during the discovery process, '[t]he burden is the Government's, not to be shifted to the trial judge, to decide whether the public prejudice of allowing the crime to go unpublished is greater than that attendant upon the possible disclosure of state secrets and other confidential information in the Government's possession.' Moussaoui, 382 F.3d at 47S (quoting Jencks v. United States, 3S3 U.S. 6S7, 672 (19S7)) (internal quotation marks and emphasis omitted). Thus, the government is not without recourse to protect national security interests if the Court concludes that the defendant must be permitted to reveal classified information as part of his defense.

It is the hallmark of the criminal justice system in this country that every defendant has 'a right to his day in court,' to 'examine the witnesses against him, to offer testimony [and other admissible evidence], and to be represented by counsel.' In re Oliver, 333 U.S. 2S7, 273 (1948) (footnote omitted). In fact, the Supreme Court has observed that '[few rights are more fundamental than that of an accused to present. . . [a] defense.' Chambers, 410 U.S. at 302. And it is the duty of this Court to ensure that the defendant receives his constitutionally protected right to a fair trial. See, e.g., Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333, 362 (1966) (noting that a district court has a duty to ensure that a criminal defendant has a fair trial). Adopting the balancing test advanced by the government is not only contrary to Congress' clear mandate and the proper application of the relevant case law in this Circuit, but could infringe on the


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defendant's constitutional right to put on a defense by preventing him from introducing relevant and otherwise admissible evidence at his trial because the government's interest in non­disclosure was considered of greater significance. This is a balance that is simply not appropriate under either the CIPA or the Constitution. As the Supreme Court recognized almost fifty years ago, the Government can invoke its evidentiary privileges only at the price of letting the defendant go free. . . . [S]ince the Government which prosecutes an accused also has the duty to see that justice is done, it is unconscionable to allow it to undertake prosecution and then invoke its governmental privileges to deprive the accused of anything which might be material to his defense.

Jencks, 3S3 U.S. at 670-71 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Accordingly, this Court is compelled to employ the standard rules of evidence in assessing admissibility of the classified information throughout the Section 6(a) proceedings it will conduct. To conclude otherwise would be contrary to Congress' clear mandate and potentially compromise the defendant's right to a fair trial.8

SO ORDERED this 21st day of September, 2006.

REGGIE B. WALTON
United States District Judge


It is also important to briefly discuss Federal Rule of Evidence 403, as the parties have diverging views on its application. There is no question that Rule 403, as a standard rule of evidence, impacts the admissibility of the classified information referenced in the defendant's CIPA § 5 notice. Rule 403 provides that relevant evidence can be excluded at trial 'if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, or misleading the jury, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.' Fed. R. Ev