Public Secrets Global HQ is shutting down for the evening: I’m off to get dinner supplies and Tito’s queuing up a Twilight Zone marathon, so, from all of us to all of you, have a Happy New Year!
Michael Goldfarb thinks Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair may be the fall-guy for the failure to stop the Pantybomber before he got on Flight 253, but as much for not playing well with others in the White House as for not connecting the dots from Nigeria to Yemen to Amsterdam.
Perhaps, and it certainly sounds like he deserves a sacking, but I can think of someone who should get the boot with him.
Really, though, this near-fiasco shows that all the urgency to do something, anything, right after 9/11 accomplished was to create another level of bureaucracy, with all the inherent frictions of a bureaucracy. Rearranging the national security org chart did little other than to provide more turf to fight over. For all its flaws, the 9/11 Commission Report got this much right: the need was (and is) to tear down the barriers to communication and cooperation between various agencies so that when a father in Nigeria goes to our embassy and says “My son wants to wage jihad against you,” we can tell the State Department, who will then revoke the son’s visa and put him on a no-fly list before he can blow up a plane over Detroit.
Just as an example.
Sadly, I don’t have much faith that the bureaucracy will learn from this near-miss.
RELATED: And speaking of connecting the dots, the Ft. Hood jihadi and the Pantybomber share the same spiritual adviser. Yet, every time something like this happens, the government assures us they acted alone. There are none so blind…
Because, to accept as fact the idea that CO2 and other so-called greenhouse gases are causing a catastrophic rise in the Earth’s temperature, you have to suspend the laws of physics:
In a recently revised and re-published paper, Dr Gerlich debunks AGW and shows that the IPCC “consensus” atmospheric physics model tying CO2 to global warming is not only unverifiable, but actually violates basic laws of physics, i.e. the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics. The latest version of this momentous scientific paper appears in the March 2009 edition of the International Journal of Modern Physics.
The central claims of Dr. Gerlich and his colleague, Dr. Ralf Tscheuschner, include, but are not limited to:
- The mechanism of warming in an actual greenhouse is different than the mechanism of warming in the atmosphere, therefore it is not a “greenhouse” effect and should be called something else.
- The climate models that predict catastrophic global warming also result in a net heat flow from atmospheric greenhouse gasses to the warmer ground, which is in violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
Essentially, any machine which transfers heat from a low temperature reservoir to a high temperature reservoir without external work applied cannot exist. If it did it would be a “perpetual motion machine” – the realm of pure sci-fi.
Gerlich and Tscheuschner contend that, even if carbon dioxide levels were to double from present levels, the thermal conductivity of the atmosphere would be little changed and the greenhouse effect would not take place, because the Earth is an open system, not a closed system, unlike a genuine greenhouse. If this holds up to testing, then the entire anthropogenic global warming thesis is falsified because there would be no way for CO2 in the upper atmosphere to warm the lower. The greenhouse isn’t sealed. Rising CO2 is a trailing indicator of warming, not a cause.
Unless you believe in magic.
UPDATE: Prominent skeptic Roy Spencer argues that there is a greenhouse effect, but that weather processes greatly limit that warming.
It’s finally happened: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have succeeded in uniting the nation – we all hate the proposed health care reform. When even a reliable left-liberal like the New York Times’ Bob Herbert says it stinks, you know it’s done. Stick a fork in it:
There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s effort to reform health care.
The bill that passed the Senate with such fanfare on Christmas Eve would impose a confiscatory 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which are popularly viewed as over-the-top plans held only by the very wealthy. In fact, it’s a tax that in a few years will hammer millions of middle-class policyholders, forcing them to scale back their access to medical care.
Which is exactly what the tax is designed to do.
In other words, rationing. I know it would kill Herbert to admit this, but he’s on his way to agreeing with Sarah Palin.
Give in to the Right side of The Force, Bob. We have cookies.
(hat tip: Jennifer Rubin, who uses this as an example of an overall growing awareness among liberals that this plan stinks.)
Our President has to be a nominee for the “Political Tin Ear of the Decade Award:”
Mr Obama began his golf round after a press conference earlier in the day, when he vowed an all-out pursuit of plotters of a failed Christmas Day bombing of a US-bound airliner, vowing “we will not rest” until they are captured and tried.
(via Keep America Safe)
First it’s finger paints, then it’s plastic explosives. When will the madness stop?
Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November, 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.
American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.
The real madness, of course, is in releasing committed jihadis who’ve been trained to fool their interrogators, believe deeply that they are fighting for Allah and will be rewarded in the afterlife for it (Qur’an 9:111), and understand the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya – religiously sanctioned lying.
Nope, instead we release them to Saudi Arabia, the country from which 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers came from and the home of the bin Laden family, where they can be deprogrammed by Islamic scholars (who practice the same Salafist brand of Islam as bin Laden) and healed by drawing unicorns and making ceramic ashtrays. What could go wrong?
This is a rare case when “I blame George W. Bush” actually has some meaning, since it was under President Bush that this misbegotten idea was hatched. And here’s a chance for President Obama to genuinely fix something by ending this stupid “release terrorists back to terrorist-supporting countries” program and keeping them locked up in Guantanamo, world opinion be damned.
Oh, and don’t move them to Illinois, either.
(via Gabriel Malor)
RELATED: The Weekly Standard says the ABC report was a bit off. Legal Insurrection provides some legal context for the release program and points out that Justice Scalia was prophetic in his dissent to the Boumediene case. Fausta is shocked that art therapy doesn’t cure jihadism.
Hmmm… Variations on “Janet Napolitano is an idiot” have replaced long-time champ “near-naked Brazilian carnival babe” (or something similar) as the top search finding this blog.
I dunno. In difficult times such as these, I’d much rather contemplate the good things in this world and turn my eyes toward beauty, wouldn’t you?
And what a beauty.
I linked to this earlier, but I really think this video needs emphasis. Flight 253’s would-be mass-murderer, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, has promised that more like him will follow. And where are they learning the skills need to wage jihad fi sabil Allah? Meet the next al Qaeda staging grounds: Yemen.
Note also that the British had the sense to place him on a no-fly list. Why we didn’t, I have no idea. Must be that system working, again.
They’re still trying to kill us, in case you didn’t know.
Realizing she had shoved her foot so far into her mouth that she was chewing her ankle, Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano now says the system “failed” when a jihadi and would-be bomber got on board Flight 253:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the aviation security system failed when a young man on a watch list with a U.S. visa in his pocket and a powerful explosive hidden on his body was allowed to board a fight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
A day after saying the system worked, Napolitano said her words had been taken out of context. She said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show that “our system did not work in this instance.”
Besides, it’s not their fault; they inherited the situation from Bush. Or something.
And here’s video of Janet trying to explain why she’s not an inept bumbler.
Heckuva job, Janet!
If this is true, then several executions are in order for gross stupidity:
A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.
Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with MLive.com and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.
(…)While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, ‘He’s from Sudan and we do this all the time.’”
Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab’s lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.
All I can say is that al Qaeda apparently knows how to play our society’s multiculturalist, PC guilt-trip like a Stradivarius: “Oh, you poor victim! It would be racist of me to demand a passport of you (forget that passports are regularly issued to stateless refugees), and there is no way I should ever ask the well-dressed gentleman for proof that what he says is true. No, if I take what he says at face value (or push it off on my manager who will do likewise), then I will prove myself wise, sophisticated, and tolerant. And get to go home on time.”
My God. We are all Thanksgiving turkeys waiting for the farmer’s ax.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday that the thwarting of the attempt to blow up an Amsterdam-Detroit airline flight Christmas Day demonstrated that “the system worked.”
I suppose that’s true, if your “system” involves a brave Dutch passenger and an improperly constructed bomb. Worked like a charm, Madame Secretary. Indeed, the design shows a Wile E. Coyote level of genius!
Of course, this is the same Secretary Napolitano who issued the infamous right-wing extremists report that was such a shoddy piece of work it wouldn’t have even passed a freshman remedial research course, so perhaps we should have expected such a boneheaded statement.
I feel so secure about flying. Don’t you?
RELATED: Michelle Malkin adds another item to the myth of the poor, oppressed jihadist. ABC News explores the Yemen connection. (It’s kind of hard to be working alone when al Qaeda builds the bomb for you…) In fact, he may have links to the imam who was the spiritual mentor to Major Hasan, the jihadi behind the Ft. Hood massacre. He was certainly on a list, but why not the no-fly list? By the way, the bomber’s father tried to warn us. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is looking into a possible UK connection. Richard Fernandez looks at the plane’s schematics to determine just what Abdul Mudallad had in mind. Fausta calls it the Flying Dutchman Security System. Finally, via The Jawa Report we get a link to a video about binary explosives and how little is needed to cause a lot of damage.
Let’s all say it together, now: They’re still trying to kill us.
UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg wants this “patently unqualified hack” fired.
Was Max Baucus drunk on the Senate floor? Sure looks like he’d been hitting the Christmas cheer:
Newsbusters has the details.
Fight with the girlfriend, Max? Or has the whole corrupt process driven you to the demon rum?
Dear Montana: You may want to look into a new senator.
UPDATE: Allahpundit tries writing Leno’s jokes for him.
Nate Beeler on the corporatist deal cut on the Senate version of health care reform:
I’d have put Harry Reid in Obama’s place, but the point is well-taken: Big Business sells out to support Big Government’s policies in return for guaranteed profits, in this case the individual mandate that requires persons to buy a private insurance policy whether they want it or not. They’re not owned by the government, but they are an arm of it, nonetheless. It’s the fascist bargain.
And, no, I’m not calling Obama or Reid jackbooted fascists. But the progressive policies they’re pursuing are part of an ideological continuum on the Left that runs from a relatively mild Progressivism through Fascist and Communist totalitarianism, all of which subordinates the individual to the State and assumes that the State is the arbiter of the public good. Theirs is a fascism with a smile and a warm hug, not goosesteps and truncheons. In short, it’s a liberal fascism.
You can follow Nate Beeler’s cartoons at The Washington Examiner.
From Public Secrets Global HQ, wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and many happy surprises under your tree:
UPDATE: Here’s a very interesting article by historian John Steele Gordon on the origins and history of Christmas, including the story of how it came to fall on the end of the Roman holiday of Saturnalia. Smart man, that Pope Liberius: A Brief History of Christmas.
Only in a Wonderland tea party could this be considered a good idea: Senator John Kerry (D-Boor) wants to go to Iran, and the White House won’t oppose it:
Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won’t oppose.
The offer comes as mass protests against Iran’s regime are resurfacing and a U.S.-imposed deadline nears to broach international sanctions against Iran.
“This sounds like the kind of travel a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would — and should — undertake,” said a White House official, adding it would be at Sen. Kerry’s own behest.
Obama said he’d meet without preconditions, but I don’t recall anything about “without sense.” Just what in Heaven’s name is Kerry, a former presidential nominee and current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, thinking? Is he thinking? Or is this just another item to buff up the wanna-be Boston Brahmin’s resume? Iran is an avowed enemy of the United States that has considered itself at war with us for 30 years. It has supplied weapons to our enemies that have killed American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has threatened a nuclear attack against one of our closest allies and waged a terror-war against Jews around the world. It rigged its most recent election in defiance of every democratic norm. The regime has never shown any interest in serious negotiations with us.
Rather, it wants us dead.
And Kerry wants to reward this same millenarian, fascist regime in Tehran with a visit from the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, the highest-ranking visit in three decades? John, just what do you hope to accomplish?
A trip by Sen. Kerry could provide the Obama administration a last-minute chance to directly convey its views to Iranian leaders before the U.S. moves to increase financial pressure on Tehran in an effort to derail Iran’s nuclear programs.
Brilliant. As if we haven’t tried time and again since 1979 to “convey our views” to Tehran, all to the same effect: bupkis. Every administration from Carter through Bush the Younger tried to reach a grand bargain with Iran, and all wound up with egg on their faces. Iran is only stringing us and the rest of the West along until it can achieve what it wants: nuclear weapons, dominance in the Middle East, and the furtherance of global jihad.
And John Kerry wants to be the next to play.
Kerry’s potential visit won’t be without effect, however. No, it will have an effect, alright: the betrayal and demoralization of the democratic resistance in Iran, which has the regime so worried that they have had to declare a state of emergency in Isfahan, one of their most important cities:
Iran security forces and opposition protesters stepped up clashes on Wednesday in the city of Isfahan, the birthplace of Iran’s top dissident cleric, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. Montazeri’s death this past weekend, and the rituals marking his passing, coincide with a new push by regime opponents during a 10-day religious commemoration.
The government has responded by harassing two reformist clerics who could replace Montazeri, as well as stripping the opposition’s top political figure – Mir Hossein Mousavi – of his sole official post.
In Isfahan, pro-regime basiji militiamen used batons, chains, and stones to beat mourners who gathered at the city’s main mosque to remember Montazeri, the spiritual mentor of the Iranian opposition, whose websites reported the clashes.
“While people were reciting the Quran [in the mosque], plainclothed forces attacked them and threw tear gas into the mosque yard and sprayed those inside with pepper spray after they closed the doors,” reported the reformist Parlemannews. “They severely beat the people inside,” then doused the clerical speaker with pepper spray and arrested him.
“Tens of thousands gathered outside for the memorial but were savagely attacked by security forces and the basijis,” witness Farid Salavati told the Associated Press. He said that dozens were injured as riot police and vigilantes clubbed and kicked men and women alike – some in the face – and arrested 50 people who had gathered to mourn the grand ayatollah.
Montazeri – the chosen successor of Iran’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, until a falling out in 1989 – had been unrelenting in his criticism of the officially declared reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last June, as well as of Iran’s current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“Khamenei is a murderer, his rule is invalid,” protesters shouted on Wednesday, referring to violence since June, in which severe force has been used against Iranians who marched to reverse the official result. They wanted to see the “Green Movement” presidential candidate, Mr. Mousavi, elected. Scores died in June and thousands were arrested; protests have flared repeatedly around the nation since then.
So, naturally, Kerry’s visit, if it happens, will be interpreted as a willingness to work with the current regime and a stamp of legitimacy from the American government, as well as a big, bright signal that the resistance cannot count on the world’s most important democracy in its hour of need. Genius. Sheer genius. Just what I’d expect from that pompous jackass Kerry and an administration that would rather vote “present” than tell him to sit down and shut up.
Or maybe this will the the first for 2010!
Interesting. Long a minor actor in geopolitics, South Korea is preparing to play a larger role in global security matters:
More than 56 years after the end of the Korean War ushered in a long period of relative military isolation, South Korea is finally taking steps towards a regional security role commensurate with the country’s advanced economy. But South Korea’s rise as a military power is complicated by its domestic politics — and a belligerent North Korea.
Despite a technologically advanced military and a Gross Domestic Product that, at just shy of $1 trillion, makes it the world’s 15th-wealthiest country, the Republic of Korea has rarely deployed troops outside its borders. In 1999, Seoul sent 400 soldiers to boost a U.N. force trying to stabilize East Timor when that country broke away from neighboring Indonesia. The Timor deployment was South Korea’s first overseas military operation. South Korean troops had fought alongside the U.S. in Vietnam.
South Korean medics and engineers subsequently joined the U.S.-led coalitions in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003. The Afghan mission was curtailed after the Taliban kidnapped a South Korean church group in Afghanistan and murdered two of its 23 members. The extremists released the surviving captives when Seoul promised to stick to a planned withdrawal by the end of 2007. The Iraqi mission ended peacefully in 2008. That year, Seoul also sent a warship to patrol Somali waters for pirates.
But South Korea’s planned second deployment to Afghanistan in 2010 will mark its true debut as a regional military power. In response to U.S. President Barak Obama’s call for a bigger international coalition in Afghanistan, Seoul has pledged a Provincial Reconstruction Team and a powerful infantry force to accompany it, for a total of around 500 troops.
The author argues that the PRT is merely a political cover for the deployment of combat troops, meant to keep South Korea’s rather pacifist Left from putting up too strong an opposition. But the move seems not to be engendering much resistance in South Korea, regardless, as there seems to be public sentiment for the nation pulling more of its own weight after decades of being protected from Mordor North Korea. South Korea has gone so far as to commission three small aircraft carriers. Once fitted with aircraft, this will give Seoul a power-projection capability few Asian nations have.
In my opinion, this is can be an unalloyed good for the world: a stable democracy with a powerful economy should shoulder some of the burden of protecting constitutional government and freedom of the seas in a dangerous world. (While recognizing the political difficulties for Tokyo are much, much greater, I’d love to see Japan do something similar.) The United States should be mentoring South Korea in this, just as, under George W. Bush, we agreed to promote democratic India as a potential global power. The time is now to strengthen old alliances and build new ones among democratic, capitalist powers facing the twin threats of jihadism and the rise of Russian and Chinese aggressive nationalism and geopolitical ambition.
Sadly, we are lead by exactly the wrong president.
(via Real Clear World)
Early this morning Last night the Senate passed its version of health-care reform on a party-line 60-39 vote, the first time that’s happened on a truly major piece of legislation since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Thankfully, I’m not into omens, but how fitting that Nebraska should reprise its old role! The LA Times called the moment “historic.” Perhaps, but I would remind them of what Karl Marx once said about historic repetitions.
And yes, the oddity of me quoting Marx has not gone unnoticed. But the progress of this abominable bill through the Senate has brought us to an odd time, indeed, when even cats and dogs will ally.
I was all set to write a long screed about what a terrible piece of legislation this is and how rotten the process became, but Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn, a physician, does it for me:
This vote is indeed historic. This Congress will be remembered for its arrogance, corruption and stupidity. In the year of 2009, a Congress ignored the coming economic storm and impending bankruptcy of our entitlement programs and embarked on an ideological crusade to bring our nation as close to single-payer, government-run health care as possible. If this bill becomes law, future generations will rue this day and I will do everything in my power to work toward its repeal. This bill will ration care, cut Medicare, increase premiums, fund abortion and bury our children in debt.
This process was not compromise. This process was corruption. This bill passed because votes were bought and sold using the issue of abortion as a bargaining chip. The abortion provision alone makes this bill the most arrogant piece of legislation I have seen in Congress. Only the most condescending politician can believe it is appropriate to force Americans to pay for other people’s abortions and to coerce medical professional to take the lives of unborn children.
Go, read the rest. Some form of nationalized health care, whether the Senate’s, the House’s, or a compromise monstrosity, is almost certain to pass in the next few months. Regardless of which, just remember the arrogance, corruption, and stupidity of those who passed it when you go to vote next November.
RELATED: A powerful House Democrat is not impressed with ReidCare.
It’s Blue on Blue as the Left goes after Obama for broken promises:
(via Hot Air)