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Showing posts from August, 2007

Credibility an issue for witness in Haditha case

NY Times:

A marine sergeant offered gruesome testimony on Friday against a former squad leader charged with killing 17 Iraqi civilians in Haditha nearly two years ago, suggesting that the defendant, Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, was predisposed to the violence, carried it out ruthlessly and sought to cover it up.

The prosecution witness, Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz, was ordered to testify with immunity after murder charges against him for killing five of the men were dismissed in April.

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It is unclear how much weight the hearing’s presiding officer will give to the testimony of Sergeant Dela Cruz, whose credibility has been an issue in hearings for other marines charged in the Haditha killings. The presiding officer, Lt. Col. Paul J. Ware, will recommend to a Marine Corps general whether to try Sergeant Wuterich in a full court-martial. Sergeant Dela Cruz has admitted to lying to an Army colonel who initially investigated the Haditha episode, in which Marine riflemen killed 24 Iraqis, includ…

The good ole Muslim boys indicted

Counterterrorism Blog:

Two Egyptian students enrolled at the University of South Florida have been indicted for carrying explosive materials across states lines. One of the defendants also is charged with teaching the other how to use them for violent reasons.Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, 24, an engineering graduate student and teaching assistant at the Tampa-based university, faces terrorism charges for teaching and demonstrating how to use the explosives.According to officials familiar with the case, Mohamed has been arrested previously in Egypt on terrorism-related charges. He is said to have produced an Internet video showing how to build a remote-controlled car bomb.Mohamed and Youssef Samir Megahed, 21, also an engineering student, were stopped for speeding Aug. 4 in Goose Creek, S.C., where they have been held on state charges. Police found pipe bombs in their car near a Navy base in South Carolina where enemy combatants have been held. They have been held in a South Carolina…

Sex scandals without sex?

Classical Values:

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What is it with these guys that they can't even run a proper sex scandal? Who ever heard of sex scandals without sex? At least when the Democrats have a sex scandal, it involves real, honest to goodness sex. Yeah, I know, Bill Clinton said the sex wasn't sex. But let's face it, it was. Had Bill tapped Monica's foot, the most he'd have been accused of was playing footsie, and there'd have been little to no outcry, much less an impeachment. And as Matthew Sheffield makes clear, the double standard is appalling; Democrats keep their jobs after drowning women in cars or keeping male brothels, while Republicans are hounded out of office for sex scandals without even the component of sex.If I were the American people, I'd be totally sick of sexless Republican sex scandals by now. The GOP needs to shape up.
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Sex? No thanks, we're Republicans. Read the whole thing. He explores all the recent Republican sex scandals and can't even fin…

Profits of kidnapping extortion spur Taliban to more

Scotsman:

TALIBAN militants have vowed to abduct more foreigners after ending a six-week hostage drama by releasing the last seven of a group of kidnapped South Koreans under a deal with the Seoul government. "We will do the same thing with the other allies in Afghanistan, because we found this way to be successful," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said.
His comments reinforced fears that South Korea's decision to negotiate directly with the militants would embolden them. The seven hostages were handed over in stages yesterday to the International Committee of the Red Cross close to the central Afghan city of Ghazni. The final three released - two women and a man - were handed over by armed men on a main road in Janda district after apparently walking through the desert for some distance. Covered in dust, they were quickly bundled into a Red Cross vehicle and driven away.
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As long as it is profitable they will keep doing it. The Taliban have become a pathetic lot of…

Judge stays same sex marriage ruling pending appeal

AP:

Same-sex marriage was legal here for less than 24 hours before the county won a stay of a judge's order on Friday, a tiny window of opportunity that allowed two men to make history but left dozens of other couples disappointed after a frantic rush to the altar.

At 2 p.m. Thursday, Judge Robert Hanson ordered Polk County officials to accept marriage license requests from same-sex couples, but he granted the stay at about 12:30 p.m. Friday. By then 27 same-sex couples had filed requests, but only Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillan of Ames had actually gotten their license.

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No more same-sex marriage licenses will be issued, and no more applications will be accepted, pending Polk County's appeal of Hanson's ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court, County Attorney John Sarcone said.Hanson's order had applied only to the county, but because any Iowa couple could apply for a license, people from across the state rushed to Des Moines, only to see fluorescent green signs explaining the …

Hsu surrenders and is released on $2 million bail

LA Times:

Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu, who had been a fugitive from a 1992 grand larceny case, was briefly jailed today before posting bail.

Superior Court Judge H. James Ellis this morning ordered Hsu held and ordered bail set at $2 million. Hsu had turned himself in after news accounts identified him as a fugitive.

Though brief, the jailing was a surprise because supervising Deputy Atty. Gen. Ronald D. Smetana and the attorney representing Hsu had agreed that Hsu could be freed on $1 million bail on the condition he surrender his passports and make all further court appearances.

But Ellis rejected that arrangement and ordered Hsu held.

Smetana said he expected to ask that Hsu serve some time in prison.

In 1992, Hsu agreed to serve three years, although that term could be modified if he makes full restitution, estimated at $1 million.

Only a week ago Hsu was in San Francisco raising money for Democratic politicians. But all that ended this week when the Wall Street Journal and Los Ange…

Another Taliban commander killed

Bill Roggio:

US and Afghan forces continue to strike hard at the Taliban's leaders in southern Afghanistan. The US Air Force killed Mullah Berader, a senior Taliban general and leader, after British and Afghan forces called in an air strike on Taliban fighters attempting to ambush their patrol in Helmand province. Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense has confirmed Berader's death in the fighting.Mullah Berader served on the Taliban Shura Majlis, or executive council, up until his death as well as served as a senior commander in southern Afghanistan. He was a senior general prior to the fall of the Taliban in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001. Berader was said to have been close to Mullah Omar, the Taliban's spiritual leader. Berader is the fourth member of the Taliban Shura Majlis to have been killed or captured since December 2006....

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The success against the senior Taliban commander can be credited to the push into the Helmand River Valley, where the Taliban have esta…

Surrendercrats get Green Zone slimed? Oh my!

Don Surber:

The Washington Post headline caught the self-pity of a couple of antiwar congressmen: “Lawmakers Describe ‘Being Slimed in the Green Zone’ “If they were “slimed,” it was with their own words. As these congressmen visited Iraq, so they can go back home and declare the Surge is lost, someone circulated their past quotes.Democratic Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher of California had said: “Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight.”She dared to protest. She whined to the Washington Post: “This is beyond parsing. This is being slimed in the Green Zone.”Truth hurts. Is she saying she lied when she said: “Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight”? Is she saying she is ashamed that she said: “Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight”? Is she saying she was misquoted when she said: “Our forces are caught in …

The Taliban extortion scam nets $A2.46 million from South Korea?

The Australian:

SOUTH Korea paid $A2.46 million to Taliban extremists in Afghanistan to secure the release of 19 hostages. Citing unidentified sources in Afghanistan, a Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said Afghan mediators persuaded South Korea's ambassador in Kabul that there was no other way to end the six-week kidnap ordeal.

"Two million dollars were paid to release all 19 people," an Afghan mediator was quoted as telling the influential Japanese daily.

The Asahi Shimbun said both a South Korean official and a Taliban spokesman contacted by the newspaper denied any payment.

The Taliban, who earlier killed two of the hostages, freed the 19 Christian aid workers this week after South Korea promised to withdraw its military from Afghanistan as planned and ban missionary groups from the Islamic country.

South Korean officials have not commented on whether a payment was made to any party to help secure the release.

Asked about the Asahi report, a presidential spokesman said to…

Who is Hsu?

Rick Moran takes a look at the mysterious Mr. Hsu and sees the possible latex gloved hand of the Peoples Army of China. That is something that the FBI should be exploring most ricki-tick.

The last time the Democrats were caught in such a scandal they used it as a pivot for campaign finance reform. I think that will be much more difficult for them this time. This is a Democrat scandal much like the campaign finance violations were in the 1996 campaign. I don't think McCain or Feingold will bail them out of this one.

And, it is not just Mr. Hsu who is a problem as Christopher Alleva points out in his post on the money donated to the Edwards' campaign in 2004. And don't forget George Soros' friends at ACT. When you put them all together, the aroma of Democrat campaign finance abuse becomes pretty strong. McCain and Feingold have to be really disappointed.

The LA Times is digging into Hsu's past. It describes the latex glove scam as a typical Ponzi scheme where ea…

House to house in Fallujah

Dymphna reviews House to House: an Epic Memoir of War by "former Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, an infantry fighter and survivor of the second offense against Fallujah in November, 2004. His time in that circle of Hell earned him the Silver Star and the Bronze, plus recommendations for the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor."

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You hear about his shame early on and it prepares you for his eventual encounter in hand-to-hand combat with a mujahid in a house in Fallujah. This battle to the death, fought in total darkness, seems brutally eternal. You know he lives, obviously — you remind yourself that you’re reading his version of the story after all — but it doesn’t seem as though he could have survived this ordeal.

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Read the review. It sounds like an interesting book, that I need to add to my library. Marines are special people and the Marines who defeated the enemy at Fallujah are among the most special. I usually try to focus on the big picture in battles…

Threats without borders

Claude Salhani:

Addressing a gathering of some 200 French ambassadors gathered at the Elysee Palace last Monday, President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed the urgency of what he called "The first challenge" facing the West: How to prevent a confrontation with Islam.

"The threats we face today — terrorism, proliferation, crime — know no borders, warned the French president.

"There's no point in waffling: this confrontation is being called for by extremist groups such as al Qaeda that dream of establishing a caliphate from Indonesia to Nigeria, rejecting all openness, all modernity, every hint of diversity," said Mr. Sarkozy. "If these forces were to achieve their sinister objective, it is certain that the 21st century would be even worse than the last one, itself marked by merciless confrontation between ideologies."

It would be wrong, said Mr. Sarkozy to underestimate the threat of a confrontation between Islam and the West. Citing the affair of the Danish …

Why VMI?

Hat tip Opfor.

Watching the pugal stick clip reminded me of my time in OCS when the sergeant thought it would be cute to match me up with a candidate who had been a defensive tackle at Ohio State. I had to gain 20 pounds just to pass the Marine corps physical. But in the initial contact with more "lower" center of gravity my stick made contact with my opponents knee and he crumpled like a quarterback. It was not intentional, but it was effective. It is an interesting clip.

The case against UAV fighters

Joe Katzman:

Operating and recapitalization costs for front-line fighters are up in the stratosphere, even as a wide variety of conflicts around the world fit counterinsurgency profiles requiring affordable, persistent surveillance and rapid fire support. UAVs are filling an important niche, and their success is triggering major bureaucratic showdowns in response - but they remain expensive, are much more crash-prone than manned aircraft, and offer a limited field of view. Under the circumstances, it isn't surprising that some nations are turning back to simpler aircraft whose speed, view, and weapons carriage are purpose-built to offer dependable counter-insurgency surveillance and fire support at lower cost. America's A-10 "Warthog" widely outclasses much more expensive aircraft, for instance, and has become the key manned fighter of the global war on terror. Even as nations like Columbia purchase dual role trainer/COIN Super Tucano planes, and Iraq holds an aircraf…

Activist judges put gay marraige issue in election

Stanley Kurtz:

We now know why Karl Rove left the White House. Obviously, it takes time to travel around the country using hypnosis to instill a bizarre political death wish into liberal Democratic judges. Either that, or the gay marriage issue keeps getting politicized, not because of Karl Rove, but because activist judges insist on being...well, active. So now we’ve got a new front-burner issue in Iowa.On balance, this would certainly seem to help Mitt Romney, who rightly criticized the ruling as "another example of an activist court and unelected judges trying to redefine marriage and disregard the will of the people as expressed through Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act." Romney also rightly went on to pointed out the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment.Neither Fred Thompson nor Rudy Guiliani favor a federal amendment, yet I think each could benefit from clarifying his stance on this issue. As one of his "twelve commitments" Rudy Guiliani criticizes activist judg…

Flares help plane evade enemy missile attack

CNN:

A U.S. military plane carrying three U.S. senators and one member of the House of Representatives came under rocket fire Thursday night and had to make evasive maneuvers as it left Baghdad for Amman, Jordan.

"Our plane leaving Iraq was fired upon, and it was a close call, but this is something that our men and women in combat face every day," Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Alabama, said in a statement. "The flight crew was outstanding, and I credit them for the way they handled the situation."

Sens. Mel Martinez, R-Florida; Richard Shelby, R-Alabama; and James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, were also on the flight.

Multi-National Force-Iraq, in a statement issued Friday, said the C-130 crew "dispensed flares as a defensive countermeasure and conducted standard evasive maneuvers. The aircraft, crew and passengers safely completed their flight."

Shelby told CNN affiliate WVTM in Birmingham, Alabama, that the rockets were "near misses."

"I was looking out the window,…

Rising war support makes Reid more desperate for defeat

Washington Times:

The White House believes it has made significant progress over the past month in swaying public and political opinion toward supporting a continued U.S. military effort in Iraq, one of President Bush's closest advisers said in an interview.

"The end of the August feels a lot better than the beginning of August when it comes to where we are relative to perceptions of our Iraq policy and what is working," said Ed Gillespie, counselor to the president.

Congress returns Tuesday from a monthlong recess that did not go according to plan for Democratic leaders and the antiwar movement, who were looking to September as a time to force Mr. Bush into changing course in Iraq.

That moment may still come. But August brought numerous reports from regional specialists and even Democratic members of Congress that the president's surge of 30,000 troops is producing positive results.

"It is clear that the surge is producing significant results. And that does not seem…

Wooing women voters?

Kimberly Strassel:

Hillary has herself. Barack has Oprah. John Edwards has his wife, Elizabeth. And what secret weapon do Republican presidential candidates have to curry the all-important "women's vote"?

(Cue silence.) Expect to hear a lot about lady voters over the next few months, though most of it from Democrats. Women make up 60% of the left's primary electorate, and the front-runners are already going to the mat for their vote. It's why Ms. Clinton has six full-time staffers for women's outreach; why Mr. Obama sports a women's "policy committee"; and why Bill Richardson recently told a cheering mob that "women are better workers than men" (you go, Bill!). Come next year one of these folks will be the nominee, and at that point will train a formidable outreach machine on the general female electorate. They'll mean business. Democrats understand that they need women to offset what tends to be a permanent advantage for Republican…

The friends of Larry Craig

Patrick Buchanan maybe one of the few compassionate conservatives when it comes to responding to the situation Larry Craig finds himself in.

Many put Pat on the mean side of conservatism, but in this piece he looks at Sen. Craig as "a man (who) can believe in traditional morality, yet find himself tempted to behavior that morally disgusts him? Is it impossible Craig is driven by impulses, the biblical "thorn in the flesh," of which Paul wrote, to behavior he almost cannot control?"

I think he is pretty close to the mark with that description, but Craig is finding few willing to be in the stall next to him right now.

Health care and dog fights?

This howler is from E.J. Dionne's column:

Who could not laugh about the news that Leona Helmsley left her dog "Trouble" a $12 million trust fund while cutting two of her grandchildren out of her will? The queen of mean, as the tabloids called her, commanded that when "Trouble dies, her remains shall be buried next to my remains in the Helmsley mausoleum."But maybe Helmsley's obsessions aren't as different from our own as we'd like to think. Consider the contrast between the extravagant coverage afforded Michael Vick for his guilty plea on a federal dogfighting charge and the scant attention given a new Census Bureau finding that the number of Americans without health insurance had risen by 2.2 million, to 47 million. The number of Americans under 18 without health insurance increased to 8.7 million....
I think he is serious but I thought it was laugh out loud funny to tie the two together. It is very liberal though. Liberals are so obsessed with th…

Winning with "very focused kinetic effect"

Ralph Peters:

IF you saw any news clips of intense combat last January, you were probably watching the fighting unfolding on Baghdad's Haifa Street: 10 days of grim sectarian violence. Until we put a stop to it. The boulevard of Sunni-inhabited high-rise apartments erupted in shootouts pitting the "Haifa Street Gang" and its al Qaeda allies against heavily Shia Iraqi army units. It was a recipe for massacre, as terrified residents - those who remained - cowered in their apartments. Then the U.S. Army moved in. Commanders must've felt tempted to just level the former Saddamist stronghold. Instead, they decided to rescue what they could. Our troops cleaned out the terrorists with what Brig. Gen. Vince Brooks - one of the Army's rising stars - termed "very focused kinetic effects." And the Cavalry charged in: the 2nd Infantry Division's 1-14 Cav, OPCON - Army-speak for "on loan" - to the 1st Cavalry Division's 2nd Brigade. This is a …

Hsu donated $600,000 in last 3 years

NY Times:

From $62,000 for Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York, to $10,000 for the Tennessee Democratic Party, the full extent of fund-raising by Norman Hsu came into focus yesterday, as campaigns across the country began returning his money in light of revelations that he is a fugitive in a fraud case.

Beyond the hundreds of thousands of dollars he raised from others for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Mr. Hsu personally contributed more than $600,000 to federal, state and municipal candidates in the last three years, a review of campaign finance records shows. It was a startling amount of money for someone whose sources of income remained far from obvious yesterday, as visits to addresses he has provided for his businesses found no trace of Mr. Hsu.In interviews with Democrats, a picture emerged of Mr. Hsu as a valued and reliable rainmaker, someone who was frequently tapped at all levels of politics to make a contribution, bundle checks or hold an event. In addition, Mr. Hsu d…

Democrats are undermining the war effort

Vasko Kohlmayer:

Deborah Haynes, the UK Times' correspondent in Baghdad, has recently put her finger on perhaps the greatest difficulty we face in Iraq today: The reluctance of many pro-American Iraqis to help us, because they fear we may cut and run. This is what Haynes wrote:

US troops have had some success in winning the confidence of members of the community by pushing out into previously unexplored neighbourhoods as part of President Bush's surge plan. However, many Iraqis refuse to believe that the American presence will stay for very long. These people remain fearful of offering up tips on where they know insurgents have placed roadside bombs because they fear being killed once the US troops leave. ‘I cannot help the coalition because I worry that the soldiers will leave and the terrorists will come back to kill me,' said Mokdat Ahmed Shahib, a 40-year-old security guard in the village.

This fear is easy to understand given the current climate in America where a ma…

Looking at Gonzales testimony

The very idea of looking at his testimony is enough to make your hair hurt.

I think he is a pretty smart guy but articulate he is not. It should be difficult to make a case that anyone that incoherent could be deliberately be making a false statement. If Congress had collective intelligence it should be happy enough to not have to hear anymore.

It should also be clear that Congress was never mislead by Gonzales' testimony, because its members were alway incredulous while listening to the AG.

I wish Alberto well. Hopefully he can develop a private practice with a prestigious Houston firm. It should be one that does not require testimony.

What really happened in Vietnam

Mark Moyar:

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Kerry and Kennedy missed key facts about Vietnam, some of them long obvious, others newly emerged from historical studies. The New York Times and NBC News and CNN and so on missed them, too, because they chose to rely on outdated historians or their own prejudices. The insurgency in Vietnam was dead by 1971, thanks to South Vietnam's armed forces, America's forces, and a South Vietnamese civilian population that overwhelmingly viewed the South Vietnamese government as legitimate. During 1972, after all American combat units had departed, South Vietnamese forces defeated a massive North Vietnamese invasion with the help of American air power. The so-called Christmas bombing of 1972 bombed North Vietnam into submission, resulting in a peace treaty. Had the antiwar Congress not slashed aid to South Vietnam and prohibited the use of American aircraft over Vietnamese skies, the South Vietnamese probably could have repulsed the North Vietnamese when they violated the p…

Kenya corruption on grand scale

Guardian:

The breathtaking extent of corruption perpetrated by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel Arap Moi was exposed last night in a secret report that laid bare a web of shell companies, secret trusts and frontmen that his entourage used to funnel hundreds of millions of pounds into nearly 30 countries including Britain.The 110-page report by the international risk consultancy Kroll, seen by the Guardian, alleges that relatives and associates of Mr Moi siphoned off more than £1bn of government money. If true, it would put the Mois on a par with Africa's other great kleptocrats, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nigeria's Sani Abacha.The assets accumulated included multimillion pound properties in London, New York and South Africa, as well as a 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia and bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of pounds....The Kroll investigation into the former regime was commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki shortly…

US hero honored in Ramadi

Times:

Watch Martin Fletcher's report from Ramadi The police station in Tameen, a district of Ramadi, occupies a wreck of a building – its roof shattered by shells, its windows blown out, its walls pockmarked by shrapnel. That is not unusual in Iraq. What makes this station extraordinary is that a city in the heart of the infamous Sunni Triangle, a city that once led the antiAmerican insurgency, has named it after a US soldier – Captain Travis Patriquin. The honour is well-deserved. Captain Patriquin played a little-known but crucial role in one of the few American success stories of the Iraq war. He helped to convert Ramadi from one of Iraq’s deadliest cities into arguably the safest outside the semi-autonomous Kurdish north. This graveyard for hundreds of American soldiers, which a Marine Corps intelligence report wrote off as a lost cause just a year ago, is where the US military now takes visiting senators, and journalists such as myself, to show the progress it is making. Ra…

Iraqi docs can be used against Texas oilman in oil for food case

Houston Chronicle:

The jury in the criminal trial of Houston oilman Oscar Wyatt, scheduled to start next week, can be told about an Iraqi document that suggests he discussed American troop levels and possible dates for an attack with a member of Saddam Hussein's regime before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, a federal judge ruled today. Wyatt, 83, is slated to stand trial starting next week on charges he funneled millions of dollars in illegal payments to Saddam's government in order to win lucrative oil export contracts under the United Nations' oil-for-food program.U.S. District Judge Denny Chin ruled prosecutors could present as evidence handwritten notes purportedly made by an Iraqi oil official, which say Wyatt conveyed information about when the United States might begin bombing, when ground forces would be sent in and how many soldiers would be deployed.Wyatt's attorneys say such information was discussed widely in media at the time. But in a motion to exclude the …

Testimony begins in Wuterich Haditha hearing

North County Times:

A Marine lance corporal testified Thursday morning that he never saw his squad leader kill any Iraqis inside two homes that were assaulted by a group of Camp Pendleton Marines in Haditha in 2005 after a roadside bombing.

Lance Cpl. Humberto Mendoza told a packed base courtroom that the homes were stormed on the heels of a roadside bombing that killed one Marine and injured two others.

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"Wait until I open the door and shoot," Mendoza quoted Wuterich as saying.

Wuterich has told investigators he was taking small-arms fire from a house near the explosion and ordered his troops to consider anyone inside as an enemy.

"I told them to shoot first, ask questions later," he told authorities last year.

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A short time later, a support force including Kilo Company platoon commander 1st Lt. William Kallop, who has testified in a previous hearing that he ordered Wuterich and his men to "clear" houses near the site of the bombing.

That part of the events…

Saddam's WMD found in UN office in New York

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CNN:

Workers found vials believed to contain the poison gas phosgene at a U.N. office building in New York, U.N. officials said Thursday.

U.N. archivists for UNMOVIC, the U.N. chemical weapons agency, unexpectedly turned up samples of material from an Iraqi chemical weapons plant in old files on Friday, U.N. officials said. The samples were in weapons inspectors' files dating back to the 1990s, but the substance is not believed to pose any immediate danger, the officials said. The building where the samples turned up is several blocks away from main U.N. Secretariat building along New York's East River. Tests found no toxic vapors in the offices, U.N. spokeswoman Marie Okabe said. Watch how the chemical scare unfolded » Phosgene is an industrial chemical used to make plastics and pesticides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At room temperature, it is a poisonous gas, but can be stored and shipped under cooling and pressure. Phosgene was used ext…

Reaper is grim news for enemy

Hat tip to The Jawa Report.

What happened to the consensus?

Daily Tech:

Comprehensive survey of published climate research reveals changing viewpoints

In 2004, history professor Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of research papers on climate change. Examining peer-reviewed papers published on the ISI Web of Science database from 1993 to 2003, she found a majority supported the "consensus view," defined as humans were having at least some effect on global climate change. Oreskes' work has been repeatedly cited, but as some of its data is now nearly 15 years old, its conclusions are becoming somewhat dated.

Medical researcher Dr. Klaus-Martin Schulte recently updated this research. Using the same database and search terms as Oreskes, he examined all papers published from 2004 to February 2007. The results have been submitted to the journal Energy and Environment, of which DailyTech has obtained a pre-publication copy. The figures are surprising.

Of 528 total papers on climate change, only 38 (7%) gave an explicit endorsement of the cons…

Rationed health care in Japan kills a baby

BBC:

Japan's health minister has pledged to address the shortage of doctors in the country after a woman in labour was turned away by eight hospitals. A ninth hospital refused to admit her even after she miscarried in an ambulance and her baby died. The woman, who was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, lived just three minutes away from a hospital. But she was forced to travel 70km (45 miles) by ambulance looking for a facility that would admit her. The woman, who lives in the countryside, called an ambulance in the middle of the night because she was suffering from stomach pains and bleeding. For more than an hour the ambulance crew tried to find a hospital to accept her. Eight refused. Then on the way to a ninth hospital the ambulance crashed and the woman miscarried. The hospital then changed its mind and refused to admit her....
Too bad she wasn't in Canada. At least she could have come to the US for help when rationed health care failed her. Socialized medici…

Do you have a license for that fetus?

AP/Houston Chronicle:

Yang Zhongchen, a small-town businessman, wined and dined three government officials for permission to become a father.

But the Peking duck and liquor weren't enough. One night, a couple of weeks before her date for giving birth, Yang's wife was dragged from her bed in a north China town and taken to a clinic, where, she says, her baby was killed by injection while still inside her.

"Several people held me down, they ripped my clothes aside and the doctor pushed a large syringe into my stomach," says Jin Yani, a shy, petite woman with a long ponytail. "It was very painful. ... It was all very rough."

Some 30 years after China decreed a general limit of one child per family, resentment still brews over the state's regular and sometimes brutal intrusion into intimate family matters. Not only are many second pregnancies aborted, but even to have one's first child requires a license.

Seven years after the dead baby was pulled from her b…

Raid on Koch finds 160 illegal aliens

Cincinnati Enquirer:

All 161 people taken into custody Tuesday during a federal raid at Koch Foods in Fairfield have been identified as illegal immigrants, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman said Wednesday.The detainees are from eight countries, including Mexico, Guatemala and Peru.Eighty of those remain in ICE custody, spokesman Greg Palmore said. Another 20 have been charged with state offenses, including forgery and taking the identity of another, and are in the Butler County jail, he said.The remaining 61 were released for "humanitarian reasons," Palmore said. They were either the sole caregiver or had medical concerns, he said.Those released were given notices to appear before an immigration judge at a future date, Palmore said.As far as any possible charges against Koch Foods, Palmore would only say: "The investigation is continuing. It's ongoing."Chicago-based Koch Foods said the company is cooperating with customs enforcement officials…

High priced vote fraud scam

Byron York:

On Wednesday, the Federal Election Commission slapped America Coming Together with a $775,000 fine — the third-largest such penalty in history — for violating campaign-finance laws in the 2004 election. Now largely defunct, America Coming Together was the biggest of the so-called “527” groups that took in millions from donors like George Soros for the purpose of defeating George W. Bush. In a case that has taken years to decide, the FEC ruled that America Coming Together did an end-run around the campaign-finance laws in 2004 by claiming it was using its money for non-partisan purposes like voter registration when it was in fact spending millions specifically targeting Bush.

I included a chapter on America Coming Together in my 2005 book, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy. During my research, in the months before the 2004 election, everyone seemed to know that America Coming Together was openly flouting the rules, but everyone also knew that the group would get away with it unti…

Bridging the Golden Gate, and sailing under the bridge

Terrence Jeffrey:

A magnificent ongoing act of defiance against the forces of nature, the Golden Gate Bridge symbolizes the scope and fragility of American greatness. I grew up near the bridge, commuting across it every day when I was in high school. My father, who drove me, called it the most spectacular commute in the world. I once suspected him of hyperbole, but passing years and travels taught me otherwise.
No bridge is as elegant as the deep red Golden Gate. None matches its splendid setting. With the precipitous Marin Headlands on one side and the craggy face of San Francisco on the other, it is a perfectly cut ruby set in gold. From this bridge, sublime vistas shimmer across the water at every compass point: the tree-studded peninsulas of Marin; the prison island of Alcatraz; the high hills of Alameda; and the skyscrapers of San Francisco. On clear days, the distant Farrallons loom above the Pacific like mirages on the horizon. The most commanding sight, however, is the brid…

In the company of Bush haters

Victor Davis Hanson:

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Finally, there is at least one group whose hatred of Bush is more than welcome: bin Laden and his al-Qaida terrorists.Now, if you were to believe the criticisms of the president by many of the groups outlined above, it would follow that bin Laden would actually be delighted by Bush's "war on terror."After all, Bush supposedly waged an unnecessary and divisive war that only empowered his enemies. The administration supposedly drove "moderates" into bin Laden's camp, divided the American public over Iraq, and turned off allies with Guantanamo and wiretaps. We are surely less safe, it is argued, post-9/11.But why then does bin Laden hate George Bush so passionately? He serially rants about the president. In October 2004 he even released a pre-election video addressed to Americans, lambasting Bush in hopes that he would lose the election.The truth is that, thanks to Bush, bin Laden's original bases in Afghanistan are lost. His al-Qaid…

Chairman Charlies' fine portrait

Washington Post:

He's been chairman for only eight months, but already Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is more than daydreaming about what his official Ways and Means Committee portrait will look like. He knows one thing: It'll be top of the line. In perhaps the most thorough and earnest letter ever written on the subject of a member of Congress's portrait, Rangel's campaign attorney sent a letter to the Federal Election Commission asking permission to use either campaign or leadership political action committee money to pay for the chairman's grand portrait. The lawyer, Phu Huynh, wrote, "The cost of commissioning the portrait of Representative Rangel is estimated by the artist to be $64,500, including the cost of a custom frame. . . . Portrait artists determine fees based largely upon reputation, but the size of the subject and detail required also factor heavily in the pricing." And lest anyone have concerns, no nepotism rules will be violated in the pain…

New Orleans is a sink hole investment

Larry Kudlow:

So, the president and Mrs. Bush went down to New Orleans to commemorate the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Who knows? Maybe over a latte with leading Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, they discussed spending even more money down there. After all, everyone seems to be saying New Orleans needs more cash. Here's a pop quiz: How much money has Uncle Sam spent on New Orleans and the Gulf region since Hurricane Katrina ripped the place apart? I'll give you the answer because you'll never guess it. The grand total is $127 billion (including tax relief). That's right: a monstrous $127 billion. Of course, not a single media story has highlighted this gargantuan government-spending figure. But that number came straight from the White House in a fact sheet subtitled, "The Federal Government Is Fulfilling Its Commitment to Help the People of the Gulf Coast Rebuild." Huh?
This is an outrage. The entire …