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Sunday, January 29, 2006

On Hiatus

Until further notice. Nothing is wrong, I am doing great and home from San Francisco. I'm just not feelin' it, and it has become a burden instead of an outlet. I don't know when I'll be back; it will take something that inspires me to bring me back to the blog. Don't email me to ask why; I just told you.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

UBL: Closet Republican

Once again on the eve of an important election, UBL has bailed out the Republican Party in general and President Bush specifically. His latest message is truly a late Christmas gift to the President and his supporters in Congress just like last time. It is the best possible scenario for him in two major ways. First, his “truce” offer cannot be seen as anything but a sign of weakness, especially coming on the heels of having four top AQ leadership figures been sent unceremoniously to Allah to receive their “reward”. In a negotiation, silence is golden. The first person to speak in this situation can only be construed as negotiated against himself. This is precisely what UBL has done. It is important to point out that in addition to offering a “truce” of sorts, UBL also reiterated his longstanding threats to conduct follow on attacks against the US Homeland. While it is hardly a news flash that AQ wants to attack us again, having UBL spell this out for a now complacent US populace can do nothing but refocus the attention of the American people on this clear and present danger. There is no way that this can improve things for limp wristed Democrats.

It is unexpected events such as these that demonstrate the ineffectiveness of a Party whose only policy contribution is capitulation and obstruction. For the President, having your arch enemy admit his weakness while making vague threats is a tremendous political opportunity. Bush is already leaving no stone unturned as far as repelling AQ attacks, and this reminder that our enemy continues to resist us will likely go a long way to shoring up support for the electronic surveillance programs that have drawn liberal ire of late. That is not to say that the moonbats will cease and desist- far from it- but their vocal objections from here on out will ring even more hollow in the ears of the American people. As usual, the hard left will turn out to be their own worst enemies as the 70% of non suicidal Americans will quickly grow weary of hearing that the President is an evil dictator for having protected us so effectively thus far.

As unlikely as it seems, there is someone on this planet more tone deaf than Congressional Democrats.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Froggy Does Frisco

I'll be spending the next couple weeks in the city by the bay for business purposes so blogging is likely to be either really spotty or very frequent. Who knows? This is Froggy's first time in town so I am anxious to get out and about and see what the big deal is. Encouragement and condolensces may be left in the comments.

OUT

Friday, January 13, 2006

Cause and Effect

Everyone agrees that freedom of the press is a good thing in addition to being an enumerated right as part of the First Amendment to the Constitution. But some things should remain hidden from public view. In their efforts to provide for the security of the American people, the government NEEDS to keep some things secret. It seems that this fact would be self evident, but there are some people that can’t seem to wrap their minds (h/t Discerning Texan) around this concept. It didn’t take long, but our nation is now beginning to reap the whirlwind sown by a few seditious and self promoting dirtbags. ABC News is reporting that a surge in the sale of prepaid (and unregistered) cellphones MIGHT have a connection to terrorism. Ya think?

It seems that groups of Middle Eastern men are buying up hundreds of these untraceable phones at retailers across the country. What do you think precipitated that interesting anomaly? I’ll give you one guess. Although I’m not sure that it will help them evade NSA detection, it is clear that terrorist cells currently residing in the US are attempting to do just that. At a minimum the revelation of NSA wiretaps occurring in the US has alerted active cell members that they have not completely eluded law enforcement scrutiny, and they are taking steps to change their tactics. The sheer numbers of cellphones purchased is a disturbing statistic in its own right. 19 determined terrorists were able to kill 3000 Americans on 9/11 (a rate of 158 to 1). The very fact that hundreds of these phones are being sought bodes ill for our Homeland security.

It was ordinary Americans who defied the admonitions of the ACLU and other liberal groups to take it upon themselves to use their common sense to report these bizarre purchases. My hat goes off to those Americans who showed more fidelity and loyalty to their nation than Senator Jay Rockefeller, Russell Tice, or James Risen. Those last three are each in their own way in a position of trust in our nation, and they have each shown that they cannot be counted upon to live up to that duty. Meanwhile the employees of Wal-Mart and Target had an opportunity to protect their fellow citizens, and they did so without asking for anything more than a paycheck that is likely a mere fraction of a US Senator, a New York Times reporter, or even a federal employee. Why doesn’t that surprise me?

Hooyah SEAL Training Video

Enjoy Hat tip: Julio the Crazy Irish/Mexican Frogman. Yeah baby!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"As far as I'm concerned, as long as I don't say anything that's classified, I'm not worried…"

Well, isn’t that special? I guess you forgot that revealing the existence of NSA ELINT surveillance programs is more or less classified Top Secret SCI, but then again why nit pick? Russell Tice is one of the traitors who were used as the source of the NYT NSA surveillance story and for James Risen’s book about the subject. He was on Nightline last night smugly recounting his deeds and calling it “whistleblowing”. What he was really doing was trying to wrap himself in the protection of Congress after having realized that the Attorney General was going to squeeze Risen and Lichtblau for their sources this time instead of just blowing it off. That’s a little something called blowback. Prior to the Valerie Plame leak investigation, reporters that refused to reveal sources were given a pass by and large. After Patrick Fitzgerald had Judy Miller thrown in the clink for a couple of months and with the President and AG signaling its hardball time, I’m sure Risen informed Tice that he would be getting thrown under the bus. It’s funny that the NYT held onto this story for over a year before using it to launch Risen’s book. Had they released it prior to the Judy Miller situation who knows what the climate would have been with respect to compelling reporters to reveal sources.

Real Whistleblowing is an important check on the profligacy of government and the abuse of power. Real Whistleblowing occurs when a concerned employee reports waste, fraud, or abuse in his sphere of employment to Congress, not the NYT. That way, the issue can be analyzed and addressed in a confidential manner, and the whistleblower is shielded from legal and other scrutiny. I’m afraid it is too late for Tice and his fellow traitors to seek Whistleblower protection, and hopefully he and his pals will be warming a bunk in federal prison before long.

Tice stated on Nightline last night that every American that had placed an international phone call since 9/11 had that communication intercepted. He went on to say in answer to Brian Ross’ question, that he was opposed to the program even if it was successful in interrupting a terrorist attack in the US. This is exactly what one would expect from say an ACLU lawyer or liberal Democrat Senator. In fact we know that this has occurred on at least two occasions. The other issue that all international communications are intercepted and “searched” for keywords like jihad, bomb, etc somewhat dispels the association between the purpose of the FISA Act and this operation. The FISA Act was written to prevent the FBI from surveilling political activists and “enemies” of the executive branch ala Nixon. That is clearly not the purpose of this program.

One more thing. The FISA Act requires the government to present probable cause that the subject of surveillance is acting as an agent of a foreign power within 72 hours. How exactly is the FBI supposed to prove that a cell phone subscriber in Florida is a foreign agent when they have no clue as to his location? That is impossible. What Tice, Feingold, and other liberals are saying is, “Yeah, the NSA program probably will save American lives, but even though it’s physically impossible to obtain that information in accordance with FISA, we’ll just have to do without it.” Wrong answer b!tch.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow

Nobel laureate and all around pinhead Mohammed El Baradei and his cronies at the International Atomic Energy Agency will be removing seals from Iranian nuclear “research” facilities on Wednesday so that the Iranians can resume nuclear fuel production. It is unclear if this is in response to a recent request by the Iranians to the IAEA, or the result of longstanding objections to the inhibition of their nuclear weapons program. It stands to reason nevertheless that in the wake of the Israeli government’s confusion resulting from Ariel Sharon’s massive stroke, that the Iranians are going to take every advantage of the situation to try to move quickly forward with uranium enrichment.

The question of a military strike against Iran at this point is really more of a “when” rather than and “if”. The prospect of less stable and confident leadership in Israel makes it seem more likely that the US will have to take out critical nuclear sites on its own. As I have mentioned before, it was unlikely that short of a massive missile launch by the Israelis against Iranian targets, they probably lack the capability to hit enough targets to ensure the existence of the Jewish state.

In my opinion the lingering “if” question might be put to rest if the North Korean threat is thrown into the mix. It seems to me that there are basically two kinds of oppressive dictatorial regimes on the planet these days: suicidal and well…not suicidal. We can all agree that Iran fits quite nicely into the suicidal category, while Kim Jong Il’s DPRK narcissistic cult of personality regime personifies the other. By definition, a suicidal dictatorship is undeterrable and can only be dealt with ultimately by force or revolution. The strategic decision-politics aside-to take out the Iranian nukes essentially hinges on the likelihood of a popular revolutionary movement rising up and deposing key figures by subverting disloyal Army units against the Revolutionary Guard. I have no idea what the chances are that this might occur, but perhaps it is time to add a factor to the equation.

Whenever possible, I subscribe to the “kill two birds with one stone” theory of conflict resolution. This was recently achieved in Libya when its dictator opted for surrendering his WMD program instead of the program that he feared the President might be considering. Even though our invasion in Iraq has yielded very little in the way of taking WMDs off the street, it made Khaddafi crap his pants and give up his. Going ahead with a comprehensive pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear sites might just be the bitter medicine that arouses the latent survival instincts of the man who shot a 36 on his first round of golf. There is a good chance that an overwhelming intervention in Iran combined with aggressive naval maneuvers near the Korean peninsula might cause the great leader to rethink his divine status. Being born at the end of a rainbow won’t prevent you from attaining a fluorescent green glow afterall.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Counterterrorism by the ACLU

We simply don't have the bedspace in our national mental health system to account for people like this.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Navy SEALs: The Movie

I turned on the TV tonight to find the 1990 film Navy SEALs “starring” Charlie Sheen, Michael Biehn, and Bill Paxton. To say that the movie is hokey would be fairly generous. It was essentially a weak imitation of Top Gun, which seemed to exist only to parrot cheesy military cliché’s like, “Trust me with your life, not your money or your wife.” For the uninitiated, a strangely configured “team” of SEALs goes up against Islamic terrorists in Lebanon, climaxing in an operation in Beirut to plant demo charges on a stolen batch of Stinger missiles, but not before Sheen gets his Chief killed trying to engage a target instead of remaining hidden.

Nevertheless, this film was certainly responsible for an increase in Spec War recruiting, although I had already joined the Navy by the time it was released. There are some froggy scenes in the film that surely piqued the interest of potential recruits like locking out of a submarine and the obligatory skydive with Draegers followed by an underwater over the horizon transit. If that last one doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone.

The interesting thing about watching the movie again this time was that the “team” commander (Biehn) contacted an American journalist with connections in Lebanon to gain information about the terrorists and the location of the missing missiles. In 2006 America, this is something of a quaint proposition. Imagine a Newsweek reporter with AQ sources actually ASSISTING the US military in capturing or killing them. Unthinkable. Another refreshing aspect of the film is that the SEAL’s adversaries are actually muslim terrorists as opposed to some generic eastern Eurotrash with vague KGB ties. The only other film I can remember that dared to place the US military up against islamofascists was another cheesy spec ops movie starring none other that Chuck Norris and Lee Marvin, Delta Force.

Here we are four years and change following the most lethal terrorist attack in history that launched two wars and resulted in the deaths of more than 2000 US Servicemen and Hollywood doesn’t have the stones or is it the inclination (or both) to make a film pitting the United States against our most obvious enemy. Hardly anyone knows the name Paul Ray Smith, the soldier that was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Iraq invasion which saved 100 fellow soldiers. Suicide bomb attacks garner more media attention these days than the Marines clearing whole cities of insurgents on the Syrian border. The Washington Post even takes time out of its busy schedule of leaking top secret program details to smear a milblogger who left his family and job to risk his life in Iraq patrolling with the Marines in Anbar as a propaganda tool. Now that’s rich. The fact that a man felt compelled to leave his otherwise normal domestic American life to embed with Marines in combat so that the actual stories of valor and victory could be told to his countrymen pretty much says it all.

Discuss.

By the way, my favorite character in the film was Paxton, but not because he was a sniper with the call sign "god" wielding a .50 cal rifle with sights that switched from IR to thermal with the push of a button. He was the grey man. Quiet, unassuming with a thick country mustache and a dry humor. That's what most Team guys are like, not Charlie effing Sheen.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pelosi-Ahmadinejad ‘06

I bet you thought that the next Presidential Election wasn’t until 2008. That’s true for the country at large, but Nancy Pelosi thinks that she can eek her way into the White House early. It is this campaign that she and other Democrats are leading against the President that is putting the US, Europe, and especially Israel in grave danger. But then again, what else is new?

Most experts in foreign affairs see the looming nuclear crisis in Iran as the most pressing national security threat to the US in the coming months and perhaps years. When a suicidal islamofascist regime installs a former US Embassy kidnapper as “president” and calls for the extinction of state of Israel, it is prudent to take them at their word. When that regime actually gains the capability to make due on that threat, it is prudent to take them out. It goes without saying the MAD (mutually assured destruction or even the assurance that Iran itself will alone be made into a smoldering nuclear waste dump) style deterrence is not a viable state of affairs when one is facing people who think that they will only find quality virgins in the afterlife.

The problem is that Iran’s critical nuclear weapons production nodes are numerous and spread throughout its vast interior. It would be nice if the Israelis could just waltz in there ala Osirak 1982 and take care of business, but I don’t think they have the capability. The targets must be simultaneously hit, and hit hard the first time. There will be no second chances. Israel has no stealth aircraft, no widespread SEAD (suppression of enemy air defenses) capability for the scope of the operation, and insufficient refueling assets. The best they could do would be to put together a “one-way” trip, and sacrifice a large percentage of their air force and all of their best pilots.

What the Israelis lack in SEAD packages and refueling could be very easily supplemented by the United States, and it would clearly be in our interest to have a neutered Iran. The problem is that US-Israeli joint operations would inflame otherwise reasonable muslim leaders and populations around the globe. It would jeopardize our success in Iraq, and hamper cooperation with otherwise friendly arab/muslim governments. So basically, it’s going to be up to the US to handle this situation alone. European allies with the sac to get on this train are becoming harder and harder to come by these days.

This is where Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have been so useful to the national security interests of the United States. President Bush is certainly cognizant of these circumstances, and yet he is constrained by politics to effectively act to address them. He knows that if the Democrats win control of the House and Senate this year, he and VP Cheney WILL be impeached AND convicted. The nice thing about impeachment is that it is not so much a legal proceeding as it is a popularity contest. Whatever “evidence” of high crimes and misdemeanors the Dems decide to throw up against the wall is of little consequence compared to how many votes Nancy and Dirty Harry can muster. And therein lies the conundrum.

President Bush has to decide if he can take the political risk of attacking Iranian nuclear sites AND defend seats in Congress in ’06, or can he wait a year. Tough call. The Iranian nuclear program might be past the “point of no return” by 2007, and hell, the GOP could lose the Congressional majority anyway putting the President and VP out on the street early. Then again, he could start now to build public support for confronting the Iranians and nail ‘em before November hoping that the American people will recognize the gravity of a nuclearized Iran. But ever since the “Bush lied, people died” meme became fashionable, new military actions are likely to be just as saleable as Social Security reform, which is to say-not at all. So if San Fran Nan can get some of her own elected, she sees herself moving up to the big girl chair in the Oval Office.

“Pelosi-Ahmadinejad ‘06” makes good bumper sticker, don’t you think?