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11551  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "Lawfare" in full bloom on: February 10, 2009, 12:39:16 PM,0,6334034.story?track=rss
From the Los Angeles Times

Miranda rule may hamper detainee trials
None of the men held at Guantanamo were advised of their rights against self-incrimination. That and other issues may cause problems for President Obama's goal of trying them in a civil legal system.
By Julian E. Barnes and David G. Savage

February 10, 2009

Reporting from Washington — Accused in a 2002 grenade blast that wounded two U.S. soldiers near an Afghan market, Mohammed Jawad was sent as a youth to Guantanamo Bay. Now, under orders by President Obama, he could one day be among detainees whose fate is finally decided by a U.S. court.

But in a potential problem, Pentagon officials note that most of the evidence against Jawad comes from his own admissions. And neither he nor any other detainee at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was ever told about their rights against self-incrimination under U.S. law.

The Miranda warning, a fixture of American jurisprudence and staple of television cop shows, may also be one of a series of constructional hurdles standing between Obama's order to close the island prison and court trials on the mainland.

A procession of similar challenges -- secret evidence, information from foreign spy services and coerced statements -- also could spell trouble for prosecutors.

All of these problems illustrate the larger difficulty that lies ahead as the nation moves from the "law of war" orientation used by the Bush administration in dealing with detainees to the civilian legal approach preferred by Obama.

Obama last month announced sweeping changes, ordered humane treatment and invited in the international Red Cross. But the changeover will not be easy or quick, underscoring the complexity of undoing the Bush administration's policies.

John D. Hutson, a former chief judge advocate general of the Navy who advised the Obama transition team, said the new administration simply has not decided on rules to detain and try terrorism suspects -- those at Guantanamo now, or those captured in the future.

"It's still up in the air," Hutson said, "to the consternation of some of the human rights groups."

The administration has launched a review of the individual detainee cases, aimed at determining who can be prosecuted in federal courts.

"Miranda is an issue -- it is a potential issue in prosecution," said a senior Obama administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the review is ongoing. "The purpose of the review is to see how much of an issue and to see in what cases it is possible to proceed."

The administration is also reviewing whether the controversial military commission system instituted by President George W. Bush should be retained in some form for detainees who cannot be tried because of Miranda or other legal hurdles.

"The executive order purposely did not eliminate or do away with military commissions, and that is because there is an understanding that option needs to remain open to see what the review turns up," the senior Obama administration official said. "Some revised type of military commission might possibly be necessary, but that is very much an open question."

Under the Bush administration's wartime approach, prisoners were captured and interrogated for intelligence purposes, then held as a preventive measure. No Obama official has suggested that prisoners should have been read their rights on a battlefield.

But once the decision was made to put them on trial, the legal picture changed. Some legal experts said they should have been re-interviewed and warned that their statements would be used against them. Others said that for many, the history of their captivity makes trial in civilian court improbable.

"If you want to prosecute them, I have to think Miranda would apply. Miranda always applies in criminal prosecution," said a former Bush administration official, who spoke about pending cases on condition of anonymity. "Miranda hasn't applied to most things that happened in war before because there is no prosecution involved."

However, federal courts may find that Miranda does not apply to interrogations conducted for the purpose of intelligence gathering, said Gabor Rona, the international legal director for Human Rights First. Instead, judges may decide whether to accept confessions based on whether the statements were coerced.

"The idea that the failure to give Miranda warnings is a great impediment to using federal courts is a simplistic falsehood," Rona said.

The prosecution of Jawad, now 24, has been hampered in other ways. Before Jawad's military commission case was halted last month, a military judge had barred prosecutors from using Jawad's confession to Afghan authorities as trial evidence, saying it was obtained through torture.

Jawad is not among the so-called high-value detainees at Guantanamo, whom U.S. officials charge had significant roles in Al Qaeda or in planning the Sept. 11 attacks. But those cases could also present problems involving coerced evidence, classified information and constitutional rights because of the collision between civil and wartime measures for dealing with detainees.

Lawyers and judges amid the controversy have noted that neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has grounded U.S. policy in one arena or the other, leaving uncertain which set of rules applies.

A federal judge in Washington hearing habeas corpus claims from Guantanamo prisoners expressed frustration on the issue.

"I don't understand how the Supreme Court made the decision it made and left that question open," U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said during an October hearing.

Meanwhile, civil liberties groups, while applauding Obama's intention of overhauling the government's approach to terrorism, are concerned that he also has held some Bush-era policies as options.

As an example, Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU's National Security Project, called Obama's plan to close Guantanamo "a promising start" but said it leaves open the option of preventive detention.

"That should be retired," Jaffer said. "The right way to deal with people suspected of committing terrorism crimes is to prosecute them in ordinary federal courts."
11552  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 09, 2009, 10:15:45 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

Will NSC Reorg Deal Realistically With Terrorist Threats?

By Michael Cutler

I am certain that I am not the only person who wished that our world was not plagued by the threat of terrorism. I am also not alone in my wish that our nation's economy and the economy of many other countries have been shaken to the core or that international criminals and terrorists are on the move around the globe, plying their trades wherever they can, seeking weaknesses and exploiting those weaknesses. The problem is that those critically important challenges confront our nation and most other nations on the face of this planet. Therefore it is imperative that our nation's leaders put political differences aside and stop pandering to the various special interest groups and business interests and make our nation's security the unequivocal number one priority!

This news article was forwarded to me by one of the many folks I have been in touch with ever since I decided to attempt to provide my insights concerning immigration in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It appeared in a British-based newspaper, the Telegraph, and addresses two of the many areas of concern I have been hammering away at; the Visa Waiver Program and the lack of resources devoted to enforcing the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

This second article appeared in yesterday's edition of the Washington Post and was entitled, "Obama's NSC Will Get New Power." If the whole point is to seek out and then devise strategies to protect our nation, then our nation's leaders must incorporate the issues of border security and the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws into their national security strategies.

Let's start out considering the Visa Waiver Program that the Bush administration, in its final weeks, expanded from 27 participating countries to 34 countries. The travel and hospitality interests hired Tom Ridge, the first Secretary of Homeland Security to be their "talking head" to hawk their program called, "Discover America." As I have pointed out on many occasions, Mr. Ridge and his deep-pocketed friends in the travel and hospitality industries appear to have forgotten that al-Qaeda and other terrorist and criminal organizations have already discovered America! Remember that citizens of Great Britain are eligible to seek to enter the United States without first applying for a visa.

Here is a review of the benefits to be gained by requiring visas of all foreign visitors seeking to enter the United States:

1. The visas requirement subjects aliens who seek to enter the United States to tighter scrutiny including those alien airline passengers on airliners that are destined to the United States. Richard Reid, the so-called "Shoe Bomber" was able to board an airliner destined to the United States, although he had no intentions of entering the United States. His apparent goal was to blow up the airliner and its many passengers somewhere over the depths of the Atlantic Ocean by detonating explosives he had concealed in his shoes. Because he is a subject of Great Britain, a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, Reid did not need to obtain a visa before he boarded that airliner.

2. The CBP inspectors are supposed to make a decision in one minute or less as to the admissibility of an alien seeking to enter the United States. The visa requirement helps them to do a more effective job. Their's is a tough job I can certainly attest to, I began my career at the former INS as an immigration inspector at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and worked there for 4 years before I became a special agent.

3. The application for a nonimmigrant visa contains roughly 40 questions that could provide invaluable information to law enforcement officials should that alien become the target of a criminal or terrorist investigation. The information could provide intelligence as well as investigative leads

4. If an alien applicant lies on the application for a visa that lie is called "visa fraud." The maximum penalty for visa fraud starts out at 10 years in jail for those who commit this crime simply in order to come to the United States, ostensibly to seek unlawful employment or other such purpose. The penalty increases to 15 years in jail for those aliens who obtain a visa to commit a felony. For aliens who engage in visa fraud to traffic in narcotics or commit another narcotics-related crime, the maximum jail sentence that can be imposes rises to 20 years. Finally, when an alien can be proven to have engaged in visa fraud in furtherance of terrorism, the maximum penalty climbs to 25 years in prison. It is important to note that while it may be difficult to prove that an individual is a terrorist, it is usually relatively simple to prove that an alien has committed visa fraud.

5. The charge of visa fraud can also be extremely helpful to law enforcement authorities who want to take a bad guy off the street without tipping their hand to the other members of a criminal conspiracy or terrorism conspiracy that the individual arrested was being arrested for his involvement in terrorism or a criminal organization.

6. Even when an application for a visa is denied, the application can be maintained to track those who attempt to secure a visa for the United States.

These benefits do not apply when aliens are admitted under the auspices of the Visa Waiver Program.

On May 11, 2006 I was called to testify before a Congressional hearing conducted by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives on the topic, "VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?"

As you read about the resources being poured into the development of informants in Great Britain within the Pakistani community I want you to consider another issue of extreme importance. The cultivation of informants is, arguably, one of the most important endeavors of intelligence services and law enforcement agencies. It is certainly extremely important to make use of sophisticated surveillance techniques to keep track of potential terrorists and their plots to attack our nation and our allies, but it is important to understand that the use of informants, especially in conjunction with those high-tech surveillance methods is vital for the successes upon which the security of our nation and the lives of our citizens depend.

It is not enough to know the name, for example, of a bad guy who may be involved in a terrorist or criminal plot, it is absolutely vital to be able to put a face with the name. That is where informants often come in to play.

Additionally, terrorists and criminals are not stupid. They know that if phones may be tapped or electronic communications may be intercepted, that they may have to resort to low-tech tactics such as using rented mail drops or courier services to communicate. Again, informants who can infiltrate an organization or a community, may well make the difference between a bunch of terrorists being caught before they have the opportunity to strike, or a devastating attack that kills many people.

As a former INS special agent, I was intimately involved in "flipping" or cultivating informants. As you may know, I spent nearly one half of my career working with other law enforcement agencies on investigations involving narcotics trafficking. I also worked with fellow law enforcement officers of the FBI and other agencies in several investigations involving terror suspects. One of my primary areas of responsibility was to use the statutory authority I had as an INS agent to help to recruit informants. The INS statutes provide large sticks and juicy carrots when you are dealing with aliens who are involved in criminal activities in the United States.

The challenge our country faces is that while much has been made about the security of our nation's borders, a critical issue, to be sure, almost no attention has been paid to the enforcement of the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

Most people seem to think that the interior enforcement of the immigration laws begin and end with the investigation of unscrupulous employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Certainly this is an important area of concern, but there are precious few resources allocated to going after aliens who commit immigration fraud in order to secure lawful status in the United States, including obtaining United States citizenship by committing fraud on their applications.

To make the importance of this aspect of immigration law enforcement simple to understand, you must think of fraud as a lie placed on an application by an alien or a person who files an application for that alien to provide him (her) with a benefit that would not be possible if the truth was known.

Informants constitute a vital tool to combat immigration fraud, narcotics trafficking, terrorism and all sorts of other violations of law. In order to help to make this effort as effective as possible, given the high-stakes nature of these efforts, especially when you consider the potential for devastating terrorist attacks, our nation needs to have many more special agents at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) who can enforce the immigration laws and, in the process, develop informants to act as the "eyes and ears" of our law enforcement and intelligence officers.

On May 18,2004, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee who, at that time, was the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims, requested that I testify at a hearing that was convened to explore the topic: "PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES"

All too many of our nation's leaders are, at the least, naive in considering the role that immigration can and must play to address these critically important national security threats that confront our nation, each and every day.

Several days ago, former Vice President Dick Cheney assailed the current administration and went on about the threat that terrorism poses. Meanwhile, the administration in which he was the number two man, ignored the threat posed by our utter lack of security on our borders. A responsible homeowner would lock his doors and windows, especially if he was concerned about burglars breaking in. The Bush administration did not only failed to lock the back door, but essentially took that door off of its hinges!

The previous administration created the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) that merged Customs and Immigration and then split the former INS into three separate and distinct agencies: CBP (Customs and Border Protection), ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services). This unwieldy arrangement, in my judgement, hobbled efforts to effectively enforce the immigration laws. This is why I came to refer to the DHS as being the Department of Homeland Surrender!

The process by which visa applications are processed obviously need to be understood from a national security perspective. Immigration law enforcement needs to also be conducted with an understanding that not only must our borders be secured against the entry of illegal aliens, among whom may well be criminals and terrorists, but that the entire immigration bureaucracy must be mindful of the potential for so-called "sleeper agents" seeking to enter our country and acquire lawful resident status and even United States citizenship that can then enable spies and terrorists to get sensitive jobs in industry and within the government, itself, to spy on our nation and gain access to critical infrastructure.

What also needs to be considered is that critical infrastructure can include many industries that have the potential to harm or kill large numbers of our citizens.

Food processing plants can be as significant, for example, as power generating plants. Schools, hotels, malls and hospitals are as important as national landmarks.

In our interconnected society, their are many pressure points that need to be protected. The presence of perhaps as 20 million illegal aliens whose identities, backgrounds, affiliations and intentions are unknown and unknowable represents a huge threat to our safety and the survival of our nation.

Any massive amnesty program will only make matters worse because any such program has the real potential of providing criminals and terrorists with official immigration status even though their true names are unknown.

During the campaign, President Obama promised us, "Change we can believe in."

I would love to see an end to the Visa Waiver Program. I would love to see the President, for once and for all, make it clear that illegal aliens will not be rewarded with lawful status after they violated our nation's laws and our nation's borders.

Let us remember that each and every year, the United States furnishes more aliens with lawful immigrant (resident alien) status than do all of the other countries of the world combined (more than one million)!

Remember, the difference between and immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.

By Michael Cutler on February 9, 2009 1:22 PM
11553  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 09, 2009, 06:41:05 PM

This thread has become quite a catch-all thread and I'd like to suggest that it become more of a repository of snide commentary  cheesy and that efforts at serious discussion take place on specific issue oriented threads. 

For example, I just posted a WSJ piece on His Glibness's apparent preparations to appease Russia by sacrificing missile defense of Europe from Iran in the Big Picture WW3 thread.

Like it or not, His Glibness is the president and we need to articulate what we want FOR America, what we think America should do.

This is a lost 4 years, President Empty-suit is going to get innocents killed and we'll be paying for decades, if not longer for the mistake of electing him.
11554  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Australia on: February 09, 2009, 01:49:14 PM

Islam group urges forest fire jihad

Josh Gordon
September 7, 2008 - 12:00AM

AUSTRALIA has been singled out as a target for "forest jihad" by a group of Islamic extremists urging Muslims to deliberately light bushfires as a weapon of terror.

US intelligence channels earlier this year identified a website calling on Muslims in Australia, the US, Europe and Russia to "start forest fires", claiming "scholars have justified chopping down and burning the infidels' forests when they do the same to our lands".

The website, posted by a group called the Al-Ikhlas Islamic Network, argues in Arabic that lighting fires is an effective form of terrorism justified in Islamic law under the "eye for an eye" doctrine.

The posting — which instructs jihadis to remember "forest jihad" in summer months — says fires cause economic damage and pollution, tie up security agencies and can take months to extinguish so that "this terror will haunt them for an extended period of time".

"Imagine if, after all the losses caused by such an event, a jihadist organisation were to claim responsibility for the forest fires," the website says. "You can hardly begin to imagine the level of fear that would take hold of people in the United States, in Europe, in Russia and in Australia."

With the nation heading into another hot, dry summer, Australian intelligence agencies are treating the possibility that bushfires could be used as a weapon of terrorism as a serious concern.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the Federal Government remained "vigilant against such threats", warning that anyone caught lighting a fire as a weapon of terror would feel the wrath of anti-terror laws.

"Any information that suggests a threat to Australia's interests is investigated by relevant agencies as appropriate," Mr McClelland said.

Adam Dolnik, director of research at the University of Wollongong's Centre for Transnational Crime Prevention, said that bushfires (unlike suicide bombing) were generally not considered a glorious type of attack by jihadis, in keeping with a recent decline in the sophistication of terrorist operations.

"With attacks like bushfires, yes, it would be easy. It would be very damaging and we do see a decreasing sophistication as a part of terrorist attacks," Dr Dolnik said.

"In recent years, there have been quite a few attacks averted and it has become more and more difficult for groups to do something effective."

Dr Dolnik said he had observed an increase in traffic on jihadi websites calling for a simplification of terrorist attacks because the more complex operations had been failing. But starting bushfires was still often regarded as less effective than other operations because governments could easily deny terrorism as the cause.

The internet posting by the little-known group claimed the idea of forest fires had been attributed to imprisoned Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Suri. It said Al-Suri had urged terrorists to use sulphuric acid and petrol to start forest fires.

This story was found at:
11555  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 09, 2009, 12:38:28 PM
- Pajamas Media - -

From ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Fear and Loathing’
Posted By Rick Moran On February 9, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Feature 01, . Positioning, Money, Politics, US News | 87 Comments

There is something surreal about the debate surrounding the stimulus bill which now appears headed for passage in the Senate. On the one hand, you have conservative Republican lawmakers railing against the bill’s pork-laden provisions with all the earnestness and fervor of the born-again, fiscally responsible politicians they have suddenly become. It’s as if we are getting lectures in morality from a pimp who, after seeing the light and embracing Christ as his savior, now feels compelled to preach against the evils of prostitution. You are happy for the transformation but leery about how long it will last.

Whether GOP legislators are now beating the tambourine for fiscal responsibility out of conviction is a matter open for debate, although being trounced at the polls may be reason enough for them to suddenly rediscover their conservative roots.

And what of the Democrats and their equally sudden metamorphosis from earmark crazy gigolos, bedding down any lobbyist who winks in their direction, to warriors for safeguarding the taxpayers’ money? Admittedly, the Democrats have a much harder sell given the blatant and sometimes comical fraud they are trying to perpetrate on a public scared out of its gourd by a president whose hyperbole and predictions of [1] “catastrophe” if the bill is not passed immediately is matched only by his cynical refutation of any semblance of the “bi-partisanship” he so blithely promised to bring to Washington during the campaign. No one doubts the economy is bad and getting worse. But when the president of the United States stands up and asks us to give in to our fears, to blindly obey his call to pass a bill with tens of billions of dollars in spending that even the bill’s proponents say is wasteful, one has to ask what happened to the party who once told us: “All we have to fear is fear itself.”

[2] Rep. David Obey (D-WI):

How money is spent should be far from the biggest concern about the stimulus package, its chief author, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wisc.) said Friday.

“So what?” Obey asked in response to a question on NPR’s “Morning Edition” about the perceived lack of direction from Congress as to how money in the stimulus should be spent. “This is an emergency. We’ve got to simply find a way to get this done as fast as possible and as well as possible, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Thus speaketh the voice of fiscal responsibility.

And thus speaketh a president who, for all his rhetorical gifts, can’t seem to muster the words that would give the American people the one thing desperately needed at this point in American history — hope.

That’s right. The candidate of “Hope and Change” has decided to be a president who espouses “Fear and Loathing.” Fear of financial Armageddon unless we do as we are told and blindly give in to his $900 billion panic panacea for the economy and loathing of the opposition — an opposition Obama unfairly portrays as opposing him out of spite and because a popular talk radio host is telling them what to do.

It is a far cry from the way Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan handled economic crises that in some ways were more dire than what Barack Obama is facing today.  Both men came to office at a time when the American spirit was limping and lost. Both men were confronted with unprecedented economic problems (double digit inflation and interest rates in 1981 were an impossibility according to the books).

And yet, both men eschewed fear mongering and sought to lift the people out of themselves in order to bring back hope and allow the natural optimism of the American people to come to the fore. Arguments rage to this day whether FDR’s massive spending helped or hurt the economy. And Reagan’s tax cuts began a spiral of deficits that, save for a brief period in the 1990s, fostered a climate of “let the kids pay for it” on Capitol Hill.

But few can argue that FDR and the Gipper didn’t succeed in changing the dynamics of the crisis they were facing by inspiring the people to believe in themselves again and that better times were ahead.

Obama does not want Americans to believe in themselves. He wants them to [3] believe in him:

If we don’t move swiftly to put this plan in motion, our economic crisis could become a national catastrophe. Millions of Americans will lose their jobs, their homes, and their health care. Millions more will have to put their dreams on hold.

The truth should be dawning on all of us just about now that Democrats, Republicans, economists, Wall Street wizards, and even the high priests of monetary policy at the Federal Reserve have no idea how bad things are going to get or whether anything Congress does can improve the situation — much less stave off disaster. And that means that the only thing we have to hang our hats on is the credibility and trustworthiness of the president of the United States.

Instead of instilling confidence, Obama is selling fear. Instead of raising us up, he is crushing us with his rank appeal to partisanship. Instead of statesmanship, we get gimmicks like his stimulus bill that the [4] Congressional Budget Office tells us will harm the economy in the long run.

It is amazing and frightening to think that less than three weeks into his presidency, Barack Obama is at risk of losing his credibility as a leader by threatening disaster unless his will be done. He may very well get what he wants when Congress passes this monstrosity despite it monumental flaws.

But at what cost? And is Obama capable of being the kind of leader who can inspire hope rather than generate fear?

So far, he has failed in that regard.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:
[1] “catastrophe”:
[2] Rep. David Obey (D-WI)::
[3] believe in him::
[4] Congressional Budget Office:
11556  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: February 09, 2009, 11:42:37 AM
20.3 million dollar stimulus for HAMAS.
11557  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2009, 08:42:30 PM

A quick refresher from Milton Friedman on some eternal truths.
11558  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 08, 2009, 08:40:04 PM
What always happens with republican resistance?  rolleyes
11559  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 07, 2009, 09:39:42 PM
The europeans are masters of "feed the crocodile, hoping it'll eat you last".  rolleyes
11560  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 07, 2009, 09:32:05 PM
Ok, copy.
11561  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 09:31:07 PM
I think you can respect and admire Yon while reasonably disagreeing with him. He has ground truth advantage, but sometimes one's perspective on the ground misses the larger picture. Then again, it's not like i'm working at a think tank or manning a desk in Langley.
11562  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:37:44 PM,0,4669288.story

Deja vu in Kabul
Naysayers call Afghanistan a hopeless quagmire. Isn't that what they said about Iraq?
By Max Boot
February 7, 2009

For years, opponents of the Iraq war claimed it was an unwinnable waste of resources that wasn't worth fighting anyway. The real war against terrorists, they argued, should be waged in Afghanistan. But now that Iraq has made heartening progress and we are finally sending more troops to Afghanistan, the critics are applying to Afghanistan the same arguments they once used in favor of partial or total withdrawal from Iraq.

Afghanistan, we are told, is a hopeless quagmire. A Newsweek cover story screams "Obama's Vietnam." Andrew J. Bacevich of Boston University writes, "Afghanistan will be a sinkhole, consuming resources neither the U.S. military nor the U.S. government can afford to waste."

Skeptics, including many in uniform, contend that we need to downsize our goals in Afghanistan. Establishing a functioning democracy, they say, is too ambitious in an underdeveloped Muslim country with little sense of nationhood. According to the Associated Press, a Joint Chiefs of Staff report advises "squeezing Taliban and Al Qaeda sanctuaries inside neighboring Pakistan while deemphasizing longer-term goals for bolstering democracy."

But don't worry, the naysayers assert, we can still achieve our core objectives in Afghanistan. George Friedman, of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, opines in the New York Times that Afghanistan requires "intelligence, and special operations forces and air power that can take advantage of that intelligence. Fighting terrorists requires identifying and destroying small, dispersed targets. We would need far fewer forces for such a mission than the number that are now deployed."

It is striking the extent to which the arguments now being made about Afghanistan were previously made -- and discredited -- in the case of Iraq. The only thing we haven't heard yet is a proposal to dismember Afghanistan into mini-states. But with Joe Biden in the White House, we can expect that brainstorm to pop up soon.

Is it quixotic to try to build democracy in Afghanistan? The same thing was said of Iraq. It is true that holding elections wasn't a magic elixir there. But once the security situation started to improve, Iraq's political process began to function and competing factions started to solve problems with handshakes rather than bombs.

The latest provincial elections delivered a strong showing for centrist, secular candidates -- a far cry from the sort of extremists (Hamas, for example) that are thought to be favored in Middle Eastern voting. In the long run, democracy in Iraq is likely to strengthen stability. That's just as well, because installing a "Saddam Lite" strongman was never a serious option. Most Iraqis would not have put up with it.

Nor would Afghans stand for a strongman "solution." In a 2007 poll conducted by the Asia Foundation, 85% agreed that "democracy may have its problems, but it is better than any other form of government." In Afghanistan, as in Iraq, there is no practical alternative to supporting the democratic process if we want to create a government with legitimacy, the sine qua non for defeating any insurgency.

What about the argument that we don't need more troops in Afghanistan? Can't a handful of special operations forces prevent a takeover by extremists? We tried that in Iraq. From 2003 to 2006, U.S. troops withdrew to large bases while the Joint Special Operations Command carried out strikes on targets such as Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Zarqawi. That turned into a game of whack-a-mole. As top-level terrorists were going down, new ones were popping up and the war was being lost.

The war effort was turned around by an increase in U.S. and Iraqi troop numbers and by the decision to push U.S. troops into outposts in population centers. Ordinary Iraqis could rat out terrorists, secure in the knowledge that they would be protected from retaliation. Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else, only counterinsurgents who live among the people can acquire the knowledge to identify insurgents.

The Bush administration lost sight of that basic truth because leaders from Donald Rumsfeld on down feared that increasing troop numbers would stoke resentment of foreign occupation. Similar concerns are expressed today about Afghanistan by Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. He recently told Congress: "My worry is that the Afghans come to see us as part of the problem, rather than ... the solution. And then we are lost."

But in Iraq, the "surge" was welcomed by a populace concerned above all by pervasive insecurity. The same thing is likely to happen in Afghanistan as U.S. troop numbers rise. In both nations, nothing feeds anti-Americanism more than concerns that U.S. troops aren't doing enough to impose law and order.

This is not meant to minimize the difficulties in Afghanistan or exaggerate the similarities with Iraq. Afghanistan is a larger and poorer country with more difficult terrain and fewer resources of its own. It also has more porous borders with a much larger problem of terrorist infiltration. And it is a much more difficult place to keep a large military force supplied. But we should not exaggerate the difficulties either. According to the Brookings Institution, civilian casualties in Afghanistan last year (1,445) were a fraction of the casualties in Iraq at the height of the fighting. Fom July 2006 to September 2007, at least 2,000 Iraqis were dying each month.

Keep in mind that until fairly recently, the conventional wisdom was that we had already won in Afghanistan and could never win in Iraq. Now we hear the reverse, but the new zeitgeist is no sounder than the old. We can win in Afghanistan, as we are now winning in Iraq.

The key is for policymakers to ignore the naysayers. They will get louder over time, because, just as in Iraq, a surge in the number of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan will inevitably bring about a short-term spike in casualties. But if President Obama doesn't lose his nerve, the odds are that a classic counterinsurgency strategy, supported by adequate troop levels, can turn around another failing war effort.

Max Boot is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing editor to Opinion. He is the author, most recently, of "War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History, 1500 to Today."
11563  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 07:19:11 PM
I reject the Stratfor "Iran as a rational actor we can work with" paradigm. They've been at war with us since 1979, it's well past time we return the favor.
11564  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 07, 2009, 08:56:39 AM
Rather than a direct military confronttation with Iran, President Empty-suit should open up domestic drilling and push the Sunni gulf states to ramp up production to crater oil prices. In addition, he can fund train and equip dissident resistant groups. These pressures can potentially end the mullah's rule, or at the minimum cripple the Iranian state.
11565  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 07, 2009, 08:43:26 AM
To quote Phil Messina "A warrior must hear the assassin's call, but never answer it".
11566  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 09:54:26 PM
I'm guessing you found that Indian piece I sent you persuasive?  cheesy


If I understand correctly this approach is willing to accept/embrace a collapse of the Pak state.   

**Embrace? Hell, make it happen.**

In such an event, what happens to Pak's nukes? 

**First thing we do is seize them.We do have assets in place to do just that.**

In such an event, what about Baluchistan and the other Whackostan's?  Do they become yet more areas for the AQ types to train and launch attacks?  Or in the current situation are there already a surplus of areas from which they can do that so it doesn't matter?


Also, I gather Iran's Shia nuts are not enthused about the Sunni nuts in Afg-Pak.  Its why they helped us in 2001-2002 and were surprised to be branded part of the axis of evil.  Is there some use we can make of this?

**Exploiting the sunni-shia split is always something to be used.**

11567  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 09:45:16 PM
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well?

Funny, I've actually considered that before. I certainly wouldn't complain... wink

And I love the past tense of HUSS post. Two weeks in and the administration is already part of the past, due to a bill that hasn't been passed.

You can't see any problem with this?
11568  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:55:06 PM

11569  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: February 06, 2009, 03:36:16 PM
If "giving" everyone a government job is so great, then why not "give" everyone a free house and a million dollars as well? Now that would be a stimulus!
11570  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Secrecy vs. Knowledge wants to be free on: February 06, 2009, 10:52:19 AM
Does this mean DBMA videos want to be uploaded to Limewire?  evil

"With great power, comes great responsibility". Cheesy comic book sentiment? I say no. You may not be able to prevent bad guys from learning dangerous knowledge, but you can make damn sure they don't learn it from you.
11571  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 06, 2009, 08:45:35 AM

Moral blindness, thy name is Obama.
11572  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 06, 2009, 08:35:04 AM
OK, so what do we do now in Afg/Afg-Pak?

Use the Indians to break the ISI's spine.
11573  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: February 05, 2009, 11:05:44 PM
U.S. Jewish targets listed on Muslim website
'Give them the Islamic message,' demands New York-based extremist
Posted: February 05, 2009
5:03 pm Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

JERUSALEM – A U.S. jihadi website has issued a series of videos targeting the New York headquarters of Chabad, a Jewish outreach movement, just two months after the group was rocked by a deadly terrorist attack in Mumbai, India.

The videos also ask viewers to "give the Islamic message" to Yeshiva University, a Manhattan-based Jewish college, as well as "Jewish Federation buildings all over the U.S." in response to the institutions' purported funding for Israel amid its recent offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The Islamic threats already resulted in a New York Police Department investigation and a beefed-up police presence outside the Chabad headquarters, WND has learned.

"When an atrocity is done like what was done in Gaza, indiscriminately killing women and children, we know who the source is," stated Yousef Al-Khattab, the CEO of in a video address posted on the website.

"These are definitely the sources," Khattab stated, citing Chabad and the other Jewish institutions.

"We think it's imperative to hold these people responsible, speak in front of their homes, give them the Islamic message. Leave them the message of Islam. That's not a threat, that's what it is," Khattab said in the video.

While Khattab, who spoke to WND today, claimed his website is not issuing threats against Jewish groups, a second video posted on the site contains what can easily be interpreted as lightly veiled threats of violence against Chabad.

The video features a slideshow of images of wounded Palestinians and then repeatedly switches to pictures of Chabad's main headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. It then presents a picture of a blood-stained Jewish prayer book taken from inside a Jerusalem seminary following a deadly shooting massacre there last March that killed eight Jews.

The video ends with the sound of gunshots.

Asked whether the video montage was implying Chabad's headquarters should be targeted by Islamic violence, Khattab told WND, "It is what it is."

Khattab said he did not have the authority to issue a directive to carry out specific attacks.

Further petitioned to explain the intended meaning of the blood-soaked prayer book interspersed with images of Chabad's headquarters, Khattab replied, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

He told WND he supports Hamas' suicide bombings against Israelis, including attacks targeting cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.

"There is no such thing as Israeli civilian," he said. "I pray to Allah for the complete destruction of Israel."

In a video on his website, Khattab states he normally advises others to "just ignore [the Jews]. That's not racist. We don't like to deal with them ... but when there is a terrorist war of destruction, killing of kids ... [Israeli] genocide, then we have to take to the forefront."

Security bolstered at Chabad headquarters

Motti Seligson, a spokesman for Chabad, told WND although not all threats are serious, his organization is "work[ing] closely with law enforcement to ensure that all threats are handled properly, as safety is of paramount concern."

Immediately following RevolutionMuslim's first posting about Chabad two weeks ago, the NYPD stationed a large police presence, including NYPD vans, outside the Jewish group's headquarters.

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelley called Chanina Sperlin, vice president of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, to assure him the police were looking into the situation and were taking any threats seriously.

Khattab said he was questioned by NYPD investigators.

Expert: Take threats seriously

One Chabad official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was not particularly concerned about the alleged threats.

But U.S. terrorism expert Steve Emerson said videos like those posted on should be taken seriously.

"Any site that advocates violence or provides incitement to violence has to be taken seriously," he told WND.

'We appreciate support of American progressives'

Realizing his statement may attract the attention of U.S. law enforcement agencies, Khattab delivered a direct message to the NYPD, CIA and FBI: "You can put me in jail for the rest of my life. As long as I got that information out there for people, I did something. I didn't sit on my behind."

Khattab also lashed out against any website that may pick up on his statement.

"It just attracts Drudge, the JAWA report, Atlas Shrugs (blog), and Robert Spencer (Jihad Watch blog) and just other whining little queers and stuff like that."

But he celebrated what he said is his website's non-Muslim following of "progressive Americans, socialists, anarchists, communists ... people who can really contribute, they give us dialogue and send us nice e-mails."

Khattab, a 39-year-old New York taxi driver who converted to Islam from Judaism, said he launched with the mission of "preserving Islamic culture," "calling people to the oneness of God" and asking them to "support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who's preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide.

He told WND his site's main goal is to establish worldwide Islamic dominance. He runs the site from his home in Queens, N.Y., and even advertises his personal phone number.

Faisal, the website's spiritual adviser, was convicted in the UK in 2003 for urging his followers to kill Jews, Hindus and Westerners. In videotaped recordings, Faisal was taped delivering sermons calling on Muslims to use chemical weapons to "exterminate unbelievers" and "cut the throat of the Kaffars (nonbelievers) with (a) machete." previously reported Faisal's sermons may have influenced "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who attended mosques where Faisal preached.

Khattab's website is no stranger to controversy. In the past it featured a video praising al-Qaida's beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl under the banner "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead Smiley," and a puppet show making light of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.
11574  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: February 05, 2009, 10:54:54 PM
**Choice! No excess in the pursuit of "womens' health" can be criticized, right?**

02/05/09 02:15 PM
Fla. doctor investigated in badly botched abortion

Associated Press Writer
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy.

Three days later, she sat in a reclining chair, medicated to dilate her cervix and otherwise get her ready for the procedure.

Only Renelique didn't arrive in time. According to Williams and the Florida Department of Health, she went into labor and delivered a live baby girl.

What Williams and the Health Department say happened next has shocked people on both sides of the abortion debate: One of the clinic's owners, who has no medical license, cut the infant's umbilical cord. Williams says the woman placed the baby in a plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.

"I don't care what your politics are, what your morals are, this should not be happening in our community," said Tom Pennekamp, a Miami attorney representing Williams in her lawsuit against Renelique (ren-uh-LEEK') and the clinic owners.

The state Board of Medicine is to hear Renelique's case in Tampa on Friday and determine whether to strip his license. The state attorney's homicide division is investigating, though no charges have been filed. Terry Chavez, a spokeswoman with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, said this week that prosecutors were nearing a decision.

Renelique's attorney, Joseph Harrison, called the allegations at best "misguided and incomplete" in an e-mail to The Associated Press. He didn't provide details.

The case has riled the anti-abortion community, which contends the clinic's actions constitute murder.

"The baby was just treated as a piece of garbage," said Tom Brejcha, president of The Thomas More Society, a law firm that is also representing Williams. "People all over the country are just aghast."

Even those who support abortion rights are concerned about the allegations.

"It really disturbed me," said Joanne Sterner, president of the Broward County chapter of the National Organization for Women, after reviewing the administrative complaint against Renelique. "I know that there are clinics out there like this. And I hope that we can keep (women) from going to these types of clinics."

According to state records, Renelique received his medical training at the State University of Haiti. In 1991, he completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Interfaith Medical Center in New York.

New York records show that Renelique has made at least five medical malpractice payments in the past decade, the circumstances of which were not detailed in the filings.

Several attempts to reach Renelique were unsuccessful. Some of his office numbers were disconnected, no home number could be found and he did not return messages left with his attorney.

Williams struggled with the decision to have an abortion, Pennekamp said. She declined an interview request made through him.

She concluded she didn't have the resources or maturity to raise a child, he said, and went to the Miramar Women's Center on July 17, 2006. Sonograms indicated she was 23 weeks pregnant, according to the Department of Health. She met Renelique at a second clinic two days later.

Renelique gave Williams laminaria, a drug that dilates the cervix, and prescribed three other medications, according to the administrative complaint filed by the Health Department. She was told to go to yet another clinic, A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, where the procedure would be performed the next day, on July 20, 2006.

Williams arrived in the morning and was given more medication.

The Department of Health account continues as follows: Just before noon she began to feel ill. The clinic contacted Renelique. Two hours later, he still hadn't shown up. Williams went into labor and delivered the baby.

"She came face to face with a human being," Pennekamp said. "And that changed everything."

The complaint says one of the clinic owners, Belkis Gonzalez came in and cut the umbilical cord with scissors, then placed the baby in a plastic bag, and the bag in a trash can.

Williams' lawsuit offers a cruder account: She says Gonzalez knocked the baby off the recliner chair where she had given birth, onto the floor. The baby's umbilical cord was not clamped, allowing her to bleed out. Gonzalez scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw it out.

No working telephone number could be found for Gonzalez, and an attorney who has represented the clinic in the past did not return a message.

At 23 weeks, an otherwise healthy fetus would have a slim but legitimate chance of survival. Quadruplets born at 23 weeks last year at The Nebraska Medical Center survived.

An autopsy determined Williams' baby - she named her Shanice - had filled her lungs with air, meaning she had been born alive, according to the Department of Health. The cause of death was listed as extreme prematurity.

The Department of Health believes Renelique committed malpractice by failing to ensure that licensed personnel would be present when Williams was there, among other missteps.

The department wants the Board of Medicine, a separate agency, to permanently revoke Renelique's license, among other penalties. His license is currently restricted, permitting him to only perform abortions when another licensed physician is present and can review his medical records.

Should prosecutors file murder charges, they'd have to prove the baby was born alive, said Robert Batey, a professor of criminal law at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport. The defense might contend that the child would have died anyway, but most courts would not allow that argument, he said.

"Hastening the death of an individual who is terminally ill is still considered causing the death of that individual," Batey said. "And I think a court would rule similarly in this type of case."


Find this article at:
11575  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Michael Yon in Afghanistan on: February 05, 2009, 10:31:40 PM
Until/unless Pakistan's malevolent interference in Afghanistan is ended, there is no hope for progress.

Fundamentally, there are massive issues facing Afghanistan, including it being a mishmash of tribes, languages and islamic theology as well as caught in the tug of war between global powers.

There are no quick and easy answers for it's problems and in the best possible case, it won't be a Jeffersonian nation in decades.

My suggested strategy that applies here and the rest of the world in fighting the global jihad consists of several principles:

1. This is a war of generations. We need to forget the short term American mindset of 24 hr. media cycles and fiscal years and 2-4 year elections. Our enemies plan in decades and centuries. We need to do the same.

Note: I have seen al qaeda documents captured in Afghanistan that shows their 100 year plan to re-establish the global caliphate and crush the western world. I doubt that the pentagon has a similar plan plotting the survival of the west.

2. The Marines have a slogan "No better friend, no worse enemy,". This needs to be hammered into the US State Department as their ethos. Post WWII, they've tended to push US foreign policy into the reverse. Transforming less than optimal allies into better countries takes time. Abandoning allies to revolutionary movements only makes things worse for the people in the country and often the world as well. As bad as the Shah might have been, Iran is not better off now by Carter allowing him to fall from power.

3. This is a global struggle. There is no Iraq war, no Afghan war, no Gaza war. They are different theatres of the same war, just as Normandy and Iwo Jima were small segments of a global war. I see no one from either political party that seems to grasp this reality, or at least willing to say such things publically. This needs to be recognized by the public. Our current president's pandering and groveling only earns contempt from our enemies and shows them to be a "strong horse".
11576  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Self Defense with Pistols on: February 05, 2009, 08:49:04 AM
Does a 5 inch knife have more "stopping power" than a 4.5 inch knife?
11577  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 05, 2009, 08:40:36 AM
Stupid should hurt. I doubt very much that it's possible to make a viable case against Phelps if the bong photo is all they have.
11578  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Brave Sir Robin-Obama on: February 04, 2009, 09:27:49 PM

Run away-run away!
11579  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:32:39 PM
Per Wikipedia:

Prior to joining ABC News, he was a senior political adviser to the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and later became Clinton's communications director.
11580  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Media Corruption, this week with George Stephanopoulos on: February 04, 2009, 05:38:07 PM

February 04, 2009   CONTACT: COLLEEN O’BOYLE or TIM SCHEIDERER AT 703.683.5004
Bozell to ABC President: You Must Publicly Address Stephanopoulos' Apparent Conflict of Interest
Open Letter Demands Public Resolution to Daily Strategy Calls


Alexandria, VA – Media Research Center (MRC) President L. Brent Bozell, III has written a letter to ABC News President David Westin calling on him to publicly address and resolve what appears to be a clear violation of journalistic ethics by ABC’s Chief Washington Correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Last week a Politico story broke the news that Stephanopoulos has participated in daily phone strategy sessions with now White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel throughout his tenure at ABC.

Mr. Bozell on Thursday issued a statement demanding an explanation, and calling for Stephanopoulos to recuse himself from reporting on an Obama Administration whose plans and messaging he spends every morning helping to craft. Stephanopoulos has remained silent.

Bozell has now brought the matter directly to Westin, calling on him to either provide evidence that the Politico story is false, or admit and resolve what clearly would be a major violation of journalistic ethics.

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at (703) 683-5004.
11581  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: February 04, 2009, 04:21:12 PM;_ylt=Aqam7ISLSp4n4wroVv2b2d8UewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTB1MjgxN2UzBHBvcwMxNARzZWMDdG9vbHMtdG9wBHNsawNwcmludA--

11 former Gitmo inmates on Saudi wanted list

By PAUL SCHEMM, Associated Press Writer 1 hr 27 mins ago

CAIRO – Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that 11 men released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay are now on the kingdom's most-wanted list despite having attended its touted extremist rehabilitation program.
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order closing the detention center at the naval base in Cuba, leaving countries scrambling over what to do with released detainees.
Saudi Arabia and terror experts defended the program for terror suspects, saying it is largely effective. The Pentagon has said it's unlikely to change its policy on prisoner transfers to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and home to 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, has pursued an aggressive campaign against militants but also sought to rehabilitate those it believes can abandon their violent extremist beliefs and reintegrate into society.
These rehab programs — and the kingdom's assurances that they are effective — have been a major reason why most of the Saudis have been released from Guantanamo. Only 13 of the 133 Saudis detained there remain, said Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, Gen. Mansour al-Turki.
"Besides the 11 people (on the wanted list) who came from Guantanamo, there are still 106 people who have gone through this rehabilitation program and are doing OK," al-Turki told the Associated Press by phone. Three others committed suicide in Guantanamo.
The 11 were on a list of 83 Saudis and two Yemenis wanted for their connections to al-Qaida issued Monday by the Saudi government. The government knows where the rest of the 106 former detainees are.
Among the 11 were two Saudis who have emerged as the new leaders of Yemen's branch of al-Qaida. The two appeared in a militant video last month calling for attacks against Arab governments and Western interests.
"Imprisonment only increased our persistence in our principles for which we went out, did jihad for, and were imprisoned for," Said Ali al-Shihri said during the video. Al-Shihri was jailed for six years in Guantanamo after his capture in Pakistan, and said he resurfaced as the branch's leader after completing the Saudi rehab program.
The Saudi rehab program placed former Guantanamo detainees in secure compounds with facilities such as gyms and swimming pools. Imams gave them lessons on moderate Islam, and they met with psychologists and sociologists.
Georgetown University terror expert Bruce Hoffman stressed that the vast majority of those going through the program have not rejoined extremist groups.
"I think it would be a mistake to view the program as a failure. Instead of looking at the 11, concentrate on the (others) who have not gone back to terror. ... I think the success has been remarkable," he said.
The Pentagon also has said it is unlikely to stop prisoner transfers to Saudi Arabia. After the video of al-Shihri was released on extremist Web sites in January, Pentagon spokesman Navy Cmdr. Jeffrey Gordon said the U.S. sees the Saudi rehab program as admirable.
"The best you can do is work with partner nations in the international community to ensure that they take the steps to mitigate the threat ex-detainees pose," Gordon said.
But Obama's Jan. 21 decision to close Guantanamo within a year has unleashed a debate in the U.S. about what to do with the remaining 245 inmates, some of whom are considered very dangerous. On Wednesday, the European Parliament said EU countries should help the administration accept Guantanamo inmates.
Obama's announcement came about a week after the Pentagon issued a report saying that increasing numbers of those released have rejoined militant organizations and carried out attacks. Figures from December indicated that 61 of the former detainees have rejoined militant movements, up from 37 in March, it said, without detailing the nationalities of the 61.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has cautioned against closing Guantanamo, claiming the remaining inmates are "hard-core."
"If you release the hard-core al-Qaida terrorists that are held at Guantanamo, I think they go back into the business of trying to kill more Americans and mount further mass-casualty attacks," he told the online political magazine Politico in an interview published Wednesday. "If you turn 'em loose and they go kill more Americans, who's responsible for that?"
But al-Turki, the Saudi spokesman, stands by his country's rehab efforts, which hundreds of Saudis have passed through. He said the families of the 11 on the most-wanted list were the ones who alerted the government that the former Guantanamo detainees had disappeared.
"The program is meant to show society and the community and the families of these people that we are doing everything possible as a government to give these people all the chances they need," he said.
Khaled al-Maeena, the editor of the English-language Saudi daily newspaper Arab News, said community involvement is the strength of the Saudi program.
"There is no use putting them in jail and creating more hatred. Once you put them in society they are under, in essence, your watch. You know what they do," he said.'
11582  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: February 04, 2009, 04:04:42 PM
Unrestricted Warfare.
11583  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Long Gun for self-protection on: February 04, 2009, 04:00:17 PM
I like ghost rings too. I like side saddles and don't find them to make the shotgun more difficult to use. I think lights are a must have. Yes, using a shotgun for hostage rescue scenarios is....far from optimal, but the training exercise is useful.

Understanding the patterning of your shotgun/ammo is something every defensive shotgunner should know.

11584  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 03:53:00 PM
THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system

Depends on the user and depends on the system.

**Ok, do you know of someone who totally metabolizes THC in the same way most people can metabolize alcohol?**

I just don't buy the all-encompassing, reefer madness, rabid, stupid stoners stereotype that has been perpetuated for so many years.

**Reefer madness. No. Stupid stoner. You think there is nothing to the stereotype?**

And I think it gets people bent when someone like Phelps who has performed at an extremely high level (no pun intended) turns out to be a pot smoker.

**Yeah, because there is never any news about high level athletes using drugs.......  rolleyes
11585  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thank god we have smart people running things now! on: February 04, 2009, 10:28:08 AM

Wow, the economy is worse than I thought!
11586  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:39:37 AM
Would you want a Dr that smokes weed to perform it? Airline pilot ? Any other person in a position of responsibility?

How would you know if they were or were not marijuana users? And please don't respond with "drug testing" because we all know how well that works... rolleyes

I'm going to guess many pot smokers are like many drinkers. They find a time and place for it. Many people who drink alcohol do it responsibly, why would that be different for marijuana users? Bad drunk exist, so do bad pot smokers. I would no more make a blanket statement about enjoyers of alcohol than enjoyers of marijuana.

To each his own...

** A key difference is the nature of alcohol vs. the nature of THC. Alcohol is water soluble and quicky metabolized. I don't want a surgeon that is working on a major hangover from the night before, but a surgeon that had two or three glasses with dinner the night before is fine. THC is fat soluble and can be detected weeks after a single use in the user's system, raising legitimate concerns about a longer term degree of impairment related to it's use.

You might be surprised at the things I detect in people that aren't obvious to the average person.**
11587  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 04, 2009, 08:33:05 AM
I think i've proven that I absolutely cannot be enlightened....  ; )
11588  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 10:00:28 PM

Feb 2, 15:42
Understanding the Islamist Agenda and Negotiations

There are many good reasons for wanting to talk directly to one’s enemies, particularly states that pose a direct threat to one’s security. The Obama administration, facing a host of domestic problems and inheriting the ineffective policies of the previous administration in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, has incentives to want to get the Iran issue contained, at a minimum.

The same can be said for the Afghanistan crisis, which is lurching from bad to worse. The Taliban, flush with opium money, is making inroads while the corrupt and ineffective government fiddles, and Kabul is close to burning.

But one has to be clear that the other side wants some sort of serious back and forth. This is what is missing in both cases.

One must start from a recognition of what it is Iran wants: the abolition of Israel, the unimpeded sponsorship of armed non-state actors (Hezbollah and Hamas, with the dalliance with al Qaeda when convenient), and imposition of a global theocracy. None of these issues is negotiable.

From this Wall Street Journal piece, it is quite clear that Iran sees nothing to be gained by talks, and much to be gained by trying to humiliate the incoming administration. Perhaps they are simply recognizing the reality that their basic goals leave little room for substantive negotiations.

It seems to me that Fareed Zakaria makes serious mistake in his assessment of Afghanistan policy in calling for talks with the Taliban.

This is largely for the same reason: the lack of a understanding of what the Taliban want and what they are.

Like the Iranians (yes, the Taliban is Sunni and wahhabist, and yes the Iranians are Shi’ite and they have much disdain for each other on many issues) the Taliban has as its bottom line the establishment of a global Islamist caliphate that starts in Afghanistan and from there, the world.

The differences with al Qaeda are cultural clashes and discomfort with the way the Arab forces treat the Taliban, but not over fundamental beliefs, tactics or strategy. A world under Sharia law, as understood by both groups, is a divine mandate and therefore not negotiable.

Zakaria writes that:

The United States is properly and unalterably
opposed to al-Qaeda. We have significant differences with the Taliban on many issues—democracy and the treatment of women being the most serious. But we do not wage war on other Islamist groups with which we similarly disagree (the Saudi monarchy, for example). Were elements of the Taliban to abandon al-Qaeda, we would not have a pressing national security interest in waging war against them.

That is simply not true. As he notes later, al Qaeda (the old guard, perhaps less relevant than ever) is essentially a parasite, living off host groups and nations. But in the case of the Taliban, the host has welcomed the parasite, fed it, clothed it, protected it and embraced it.

The idea that the Taliban would, in a verifiable way, renounce and cut ties to al Qaeda, is simply not realistic. The idea that we should stand by and deal with-and likely assure the ascent to power of-a group whose basic philosophy is to return everything they can back to the Middle Ages is an abandonment of everything we claim to stand for. The fact that we tolerate Saudi Arabia’s abysmal behavior is no reason to watch another country fall under the worst kind of enslavement and barbarism.

Finally, the line about having no pressing national security interest in the Taliban repeats exactly the misguided analysis that led the Taliban to facilitate the execution of the 9/11 attacks. Every major attack (1998 East Africa bombings, USS Cole, 9/11) were carried out by non-state actors (al Qaeda) operating from a “failed” state or sympathetic state (Taliban and Sudan).

Dialogue is a useful, vital tool in international relations. But it is only useful when the bottom lines of both sides are understood and the areas of overlap can be discussed. Otherwise, it is a waste of precious time and resources.
11589  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 09:43:46 PM
Sounds like a zen koan.

If someone you loved needed neurosurgery, would you want a Dr that smokes weed to perform it? Airline pilot ? Any other person in a position of responsibility?
11590  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Muslim (Pak? Arab? or?) mob set Brit police fleeing on: February 03, 2009, 08:16:32 PM

Just a quick glimpse into europe's future.
11591  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 07:50:25 PM
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Tom Daschle Withdraws: Another Ethics Casualty for Obama
Posted By Jennifer Rubin On February 3, 2009 @ 10:53 am In . Feature 01, Money, Politics, US News | 73 Comments

How quickly they fall. Tom Daschle, who just yesterday had the full backing of President Barack Obama, has announced he is withdrawing his name from consideration as Health and Human Services secretary. For both Daschle and Obama, it has been a rough ride, calling into question the latter’s judgment and skill as a chief executive.

President Barack Obama rode into Washington on a veritable cloud of goodwill and sky-high expectations. The mainstream media had swooned over his transition with some justification. They had swooned over his inaugural speech with far less. But hopes, even among conservatives, were high for a break from business as usual, a degree of bipartisan pragmatism and a can-do approach to solving the nation’s economic problems. But in a mere two weeks, the thrill is gone and nagging questions have begun.

Most glaringly, we have been treated to a raft of embarrassing personnel issues. Tim Geithner made it through the confirmation hearing but Bill Richardson did not; nor did the “[1] chief performance officer” who could not perform the task of paying all her own taxes. Then Tom Daschle, who just yesterday garnered the support of President Obama and Democrats in the Senate, has now announced he is backing out. This followed a storm of criticism from not just conservatives who are aghast at the tax cheats and revolving-door-ism. [2] Marie Cocco summed up:

No need to fumble for words that sum up the stew of hypocrisy, arrogance, and insiderism that is the unfolding saga of Tom Daschle. This is the audacity of audacity. … The rationale for confirming Geithner was that he is a financial wizard — one of a handful of people, it was argued, with the experience and intellect necessary to manage the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression. But surely there is more than one Democrat capable of managing the Department of Health and Human Services. And undoubtedly there is more than one — there are perhaps, hundreds — as committed to the cause of revamping the health care system. Daschle isn’t indispensable. But he is indefensible.

And [3] Richard Cohen was no less critical:

Taken individually, the tax problems of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the health and human services secretary-designate, Tom Daschle, don’t amount to much. Together, though, they amount to a message: If you are beloved by this administration, you don’t necessarily have to play by the rules. Both Geithner and Daschle are good men, but their appointments send the message that Washington’s new broom sweeps a bit like the old one.

The Daschle debacle is not the only problem bedeviling the Obama team. This follows a slew of ethics waivers which has made the so-called ethics rules (prohibiting ex-lobbyists from working on issues for which they previously lobbied) into Swiss cheese. The [4] good-government types are fuming. And even the MSM has noticed the pattern, which includes an ethics waiver for William Lynn, a former lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon who has been nominated for the Pentagon’s number two job.

[5] TIME magazine explains:

But the controversy over the waivers, which have been criticized by both Democratic and Republican senators, is just one of the perception problems dogging Obama’s new ethics policy. Another issue stems from the people nominated to the administration who have worked in the lobbying business but are not technically lobbyists — people, in other words, like Tom Daschle, or former Senator George Mitchell, the new Middle East peace envoy who had previously served as the chairman of a law firm that has done lobbying and legal work for many clients in the region, including the leader of Dubai.

In short, we are back to the very same Washington, D.C., brew of sleaze, double standards, ethical lapses, and hypocrisy. That it comes from an administration which ran on such a sanctimonious platform only makes it that much more disappointing and indeed infuriating.

But that’s not all. Aside from the ethics issues, the number one priority, the Obama stimulus plan, has run aground. The administration’s stimulus bill has become the subject of widespread criticism from [6] conservatives and [7] mainstream outlets alike for its porked-up spending plans and insufficient attention to fulfill the president’s directives for a temporary and targeted response to the recession. What was supposed to garner bipartisan support has instead invigorated the Republican opposition. As ABC’s [8] The Note summed up: “Team Obama lost the early battle to define the bill — which has become a pork-stuffed monstrosity, instead of economic salvation wrapped in legislation.”

On foreign policy the record is more mixed. The president’s declaration that he will close Guantanamo, as soon as he has figured out what to do with the prisoners, brought conservative criticism and has proven to be [9] unpopular with voters who, come to think of it, don’t like the idea of moving dangerous terrorists to their neighborhoods or releasing them to the battlefield. And liberals are miffed that the Bush-era terrorist [10] rendition program has been retained or indeed expanded. President Obama’s apologetic interview with Al-Arabyia was panned by conservatives and lauded by liberals (but, tellingly, was not echoed by his new secretary of state and was greeted with contempt by Ahmadinejad.)

It is fair to ask: what’s wrong? Several things, it appears, are at work here.

First, the Obama team certainly does not place ethical standards or the appearance of ethical standards above other concerns (e.g., avoiding embarrassment or getting a key player). Now this should come as no surprise from the team which promised to work within the public campaign financing rules and then decided it was better not to. In the course of the campaign, however, against the dreaded Republicans this passed muster. In the glare of the White House press corps lights when expectations are higher, it induces biting criticism and even anger.

Second, Obama has never been an expert legislator and has, it seems, lost control of his own stimulus bill. By deferring to the House Democrats he lost the policy and political high ground. Now an astounding [11] 54% of Americans either want a major reworking of the bill or to block it entirely. The president and his advisors seem to have mistaken his own personal popularity with both the public’s and the Republicans’ willingness to accept anything he and the Democrats could dream up.

And finally, the Republicans have played their cards well on the stimulus — speaking in respectful tones about the president, displaying heretofore unheard of unity, and hammering at the excessive and unwise aspects of the stimulus bill. By holding their ground, they have forced Obama into a tight corner. He must now either revise the bill or pass it on his own. And by standing on principle, they have denied the president the chance to do what he has done successfully throughout his career; namely, to claim the mantle of bipartisanship while advocating a far-left agenda.

Now, President Obama’s approval numbers are still high, but they are [12] floating steadily back to earth. This is the messy business of governing — when rhetoric comes up against reality and the sky-high expectations of supporters are ratcheted down, bit by bit.

It was never realistic to expect President Obama would reinvent politics, but it would have been nice had he not sacrificed his principles quite so quickly. It has not earned him any brownie points. Instead, conservatives are revived, liberals are dismayed, and the general public is left wondering: Didn’t we vote for something better than this?

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[6] conservatives:
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11592  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: February 03, 2009, 07:34:21 PM
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Hiding the Truth About the Pay Gap Between Men and Women
Posted By Michael J. Eastman On February 3, 2009 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 01, . Positioning, History, Legal, Money, Politics, US News | 27 Comments

The debate over pay equity is front and center on the Congressional agenda. The first bill signed into law by President Obama, the Lilly Ledbetter [1] Fair Pay Act, overturns a U.S. Supreme Court decision and vastly expands the opportunity to file pay and other discrimination cases. Another bill, the [2] Paycheck Fairness Act, has already passed the House of Representatives and is likely to be considered by the Senate in the spring.

Paying someone less because of their sex is illegal and two federal laws, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, provide the framework whereby victims of pay discrimination can seek redress. However, some argue that these two laws are not effective at eradicating pay discrimination and that the laws must be changed. Central to their argument is the so-called “pay gap,” the difference between the average earnings of men and women.

In debate over the Paycheck Fairness Act, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said that today women earn “78 cents for ever dollar that is earned by a man doing the same job with the same responsibilities.” Miller then went on to say “if we are serious about closing the gender pay gap, we must get serious about punishing those who would otherwise scoff at the weak sanctions under current law.” President Obama expressed similar sentiment as he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law.

To close the wage gap, Miller and his colleagues support punishing violators of the Equal Pay Act with unlimited punitive and compensatory damages. They also seek to make it harder for employers to justify legitimate pay differences, make it easier for trial lawyers to create large class actions lawsuits, and effectively eliminate the statute of limitations for many types of claims, among other things.

The argument that the pay gap must be closed rests on the assumption that the pay gap is largely attributable to employer discrimination. However, if the pay gap is to be used to justify such significant changes in the law, it seems entirely appropriate to examine the pay gap itself. Does it really measure employer discrimination? Do other factors play a greater or lesser role?

Economists who have studied the pay gap have observed that numerous factors other than discrimination contribute to the wage gap, such as hours worked, experience, and education. For example, Professor June O’Neil has written extensively about how time out of the workforce, or years spent working part-time, can reduce future pay. Likewise, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, in her book Women’s Figures, has written about the decisions that women are more likely to make to choose flexibility, a friendly workplace environment, and other nonmonetary factors as compared to men.

Recognizing the importance of unbiased research on the pay gap, the Labor Department recently contracted with [3] CONSAD Research Corporation for a review of more than 50 existing studies as well as a new economic and statistical analysis of the pay gap. CONSAD’s Report, which was finalized on January 12, 2009, found that the vast majority of the pay gap is due to several identifiable factors and that the remainder may be due to other specific factors they were not able to measure.

CONSAD found that controlling for career interruption and other factors reduced the pay gap from about 20 percent to about 5 percent. Data limitations prevented it from considering many other factors. For example, the data did not permit an examination of total compensation, which would examine health insurance and other benefits, and instead focused solely on wages paid. The data were also limited with respect to work experience, job tenure, and other factors.

The Labor Department’s conclusion was that the gender pay gap was the result of a multitude of factors and that the “raw wage gap should not be used as the basis for [legislative] correction. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

The Labor Department’s new report is clearly an important contribution to the debate over pay equity. But where is it? Although it was posted on the Labor Department’s web site just days after it was finalized, it was apparently removed as the transition in power was occurring between former President Bush and President Obama. We don’t know why the report was taken down, but certainly the timing is suspicious.

If the debate over pay equity is to be at the forefront of the Congressional agenda, then the Labor Department and the new administration need to acknowledge that the overwhelming evidence is that the pay gap is not based primarily on employer discrimination. Disclosure of the Labor Department’s report would be a good first step.

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11593  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:35:36 PM
Then there was they guy with weed in his socks. When we find the weed, he looks us in the eye and says "Those aren't my socks".
11594  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:23:24 PM
Multiple times I have contacted people and busted them because they had weed and/or drug paraphenalia in plain view. So stoned/stupid that that forgot they left it sitting out on their dashboard/console/ashtray.
11595  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 06:00:34 PM

Much more common than gold metal winners or Columbia laws school grads, in my personal experience.
11596  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Libertarian Issues on: February 03, 2009, 05:09:04 PM
Show me one high performing pot smoker and i'll show you 10,000 middle aged losers living with their parents. Yes?
11597  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 05:02:58 PM

No worries! Nothing a few "talks without preconditions" can't fix.....
11598  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 04:53:03 PM
**Remember all the outraged feminists? Oh wait, they were too busy calling Sarah Palin a c*nt.**

Obama only talks good game on gender pay equity
Submitted by SHNS on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 15:17.
By DEROY MURDOCK, Scripps Howard News Service
editorials and opinion
"Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work," Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said August 28 in his convention acceptance speech. He told the crowd in Denver: "I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."

Obama's campaign website is even more specific. Under the heading "Fighting for Pay Equity," the women's issues page laments that, "Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. A recent study estimates it will take another 47 years for women to close the wage gap with men at Fortune 500 corporate offices. Barack Obama believes the government needs to take steps to better enforce the Equal Pay Act..."

Obama's commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his United States Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.

A watchdog group called LegiStorm posts online the salaries for Capitol Hill staffers. "We have no political affiliations and no political purpose except to make the workings of Congress as transparent as possible," its website explains. Parsing LegiStorm's official data, gleaned from the Secretary of the Senate, offers a fascinating glimpse at pay equity in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

The most recent statistics are for the half-year from October 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, excluding interns and focusing on full-time personnel. For someone who worked only until, say, last February 29, extrapolating up to six months' service simplifies this analysis. Doubling these half-year figures illustrates how a year's worth of Senate employees' paychecks should look.

Based on these calculations, Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

Why this disparity? One reason may be the under-representation of women in Obama's highest-compensated ranks. Among Obama's five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.

Again, on average, Obama's female staffers earn just 83 cents for every dollar his male staffers make. This figure certainly exceeds the 77-cent threshold that Obama's campaign website condemns. However, 83 cents do not equal $1.00. In spite of this 17-cent gap between Obama's rhetoric and reality, he chose to chide GOP presidential contender John McCain on this issue.

Obama responded August 31 to Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's Republican vice-presidential nomination. Palin "seems like a very engaging person," Obama told voters in Toledo, Ohio. "But I've got to say, she's opposed -- like John McCain is -- to equal pay for equal work. That doesn't make much sense to me."

Obama's criticism notwithstanding, McCain's payment patterns are the stuff of feminist dreams.

McCain's 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878.

On average, according to these data, women in John McCain's office make $1.04 for every dollar a man makes. In fact, all other things being equal, a typical female staffer could earn 21 cents more per dollar paid to her male counterpart -- while adding $10,726 to her annual income -- by leaving Barack Obama's office and going to work for John McCain.

How could this be?

One explanation could be that women compose a majority of McCain's highest-paid aides. Among his top-five best-compensated staffers, three are women. Of his 20-highest-salaried employees, 13 are women. The Republican presidential nominee relies on women -- much more than men -- for advice at the highest, and thus, best-paid levels.

If anyone on McCain's Senate staff is unhappy, McCain's male staffers might complain that they seem to get a slightly raw deal.

In short, these statistics suggest that John McCain is more than fair with his female employees, while Barack Obama -- at the expense of the women who work for him -- quietly perpetuates the very same pay-equity divide that he loudly denounces. Of all people, the Democratic standard bearer should understand that equal pay begins at home.

(Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.Murdock(at)
11599  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Big Picture WW3: Who, when, where, why on: February 03, 2009, 04:45:40 PM
Obama will piss this away. It's an article of faith on the left that Iraq must be a failure. Obama was elected to ensure this.
11600  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 03, 2009, 04:35:33 PM
GM; I get your point, but you are speaking to the choir.  I never have been a fan of NOW.  I prefer to ignore them
although sometimes they are so loud it is hard to do.

In general, though, I don't think it is a left or right issue; democrat or republican; Democratic Hart as well as Republicans have been driven from office
for their peccadilloes. 

**The difference is the double standards. When dems cross the lines, the MSM actively covers up/minimalizes the acts, and in Clinton's case most feminists put power politics over their supposed values.**

As for Clinton, whether he committed these alleged acts or not I don't know nor did I pay much attention.

**He did.**
As for the intern, that was a matter of trust and it bothered me deeply.  Her parent's trusted him to educated and protect her;
it is an honor to be an intern in the White House; instead her job duties seemed to include everything but actual "sex".   huh
I take the same attitude towards teachers that have sex with their students.  Or employers.  It's wrong.  Also, I don't respect a few local
policemen I know of who stop women on some pretense and then ask them out.  It is an abuse of authority and trust.

But I doubt if all this has much to do with The Cognitive Dissonance of his Glibness except that history has and will repeat itself; but it
is not a republican or democratic, left or right issue.  It's just wrong if you are in a position of authority and trust.

But the Ledbetter case was about equal pay for equal work for the same job.  I happen to think that is the right thing to do
whether you are republican or democrat.

**The Ledbetter law won't be about right or wrong, but about litigators shaking down businesses and the costs getting passed on to consumers.**

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