May 15, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 05/15/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Justice Dept.'s No. 2 to Resign - Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty announced his resignation yesterday after 18 months on the job, becoming the fourth senior Justice Department official to quit amid the controversy surrounding the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys last year. (READ MORE)

A Casualty Of War: MySpace - The Defense Department began blocking access on its computers to YouTube, MySpace and 11 other Web sites yesterday, severing some of the most popular ties linking U.S. troops in combat areas to their far-flung relatives and friends, and depriving soldiers of a favorite diversion from the boredom... (READ MORE)

Al-Qaeda Cited Often As Padilla's Trial Opens - After Jose Padilla was arrested five years ago as the "dirty bomber," his mug shot, tanned and glowering, became the face of domestic U.S. terrorism. (READ MORE)

New Detainees Strain Iraq's Jails - The capture of thousands of new suspects under the three-month-old Baghdad security plan has overwhelmed the Iraqi government's detention system, forcing hundreds of people into overcrowded facilities, according to Iraqi and Western officials. (READ MORE)

Iraqi Backs 'Benchmark' Action - Iraq's parliament should pass a new oil law and make progress on amending the constitution before the end of the month, two key "benchmarks" being demanded by U.S. officials, a top Iraqi official said yesterday. (READ MORE)

More Greenery a Cool Way to Halt Warming - Trees, bushes, meadows: It's a perfectly civilized way to counter global warming. And a simple one as well. British scientists said yesterday that a little more greenery could keep global warming at bay for the next seven decades. (READ MORE)

Legal Shields Pushed For Terrorism Tipsters - A bipartisan coalition in the House and Senate is pushing legislation to protect Americans from being sued for reporting to authorities suspicious activity that may lead to a terrorist attack. (READ MORE)

Inspectors Cite Big Gain by Iran on Nuclear Fuel - Iran appears to be enriching uranium on a far larger scale than before, a finding that may affect efforts by diplomats to stem Tehran’s program. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Outside the Wire: Looking for That Civil War We are Bogged Down in “I've been out living among the Iraqi Police. Some people would say I was living among the Jaysh al Mahdi but I don't think the police are 100% JAM, maybe 10% JAM and 90% display the usual arab work ethic which is, uh, somewhere below the French work ethic. After spending 2 weeks looking for the civil war raging in Baghdad I've decided that Arabs must do civil wars the way they do everything else--lackadaisically.” (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Jim Spiri with NPR “‘Umm, do you think there's another range nearby that we don't know about?’ D-squared said as we share an incredulous look. ‘Do you hear where that's coming from? Nah, I don't think there 'just so happens to be another shooting range across the river in town’ I said back. We were sitting outside our primitive wooden hut the second day in Ramadi talking about life's deeper issues and pontificating our future, when an eruption of gunfire crackled about a mile away intermixed with the rude outbursts of machinegun fire.” (READ MORE)

LTC Rich Phillips: Week 17--The Summer Heats Up “Well, the summer is definately heating up here in Khowst Province, Afghanistan. Our temperatures have been in the 90's, except when the thunderstorms roll through. We had a big thunderstorm with lightening and hail last week. The hospital survived without any major damage, but a few Soldiers received minor scratches from grape-sized hailstones.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Bill Murchison: Saying 'No' To Illegal Immigration “I wouldn't advise anyone's coming down too hard on the voters of Farmers Branch, Texas, who last weekend approved, two to one, a measure that bans the leasing of apartments to illegal immigrants.” (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Israel Didn't Lose in Lebanon; America Hasn't Lost in Iraq “America has ‘lost’ the war in Iraq primarily because most people believe it has. And most people believe it has because the news media have said so.” (READ MORE)

Bruce Bartlett: Wolfowitz Endgame “It now seems almost certain that Paul Wolfowitz will leave the presidency of the World Bank. It’s only a matter of negotiating the terms of his resignation.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: The Anger Of The Left “That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising.” (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Memo to Dem Base re Hillary's Quick Trigger Finger “Any time I write something about Hillary Clinton I hear catcalls from the left accusing me, alternatively, of obsessing over her or unfairly attacking her.” (READ MORE)

Michael Barone: The Contented Young “Voters under 30 were the age group least likely to support Bush in 2000 or 2004. They were the age group least likely to support Republicans when they had a good year in 2002 and when they had a bad year in 2006.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: First Principles First “We have always held our federal judiciary in high esteem, even at a time when most of our institutions are under assault. However, if judges continue to act like politicians they will get the respect currently given to politicians.” (READ MORE)

Lisa De Pasquale: Q & A with Angela McGlowan “In her new book Bamboozled: How Americans Are Being Exploited By the Lies of the Liberal Agenda Angela McGlowan is brutally honest about the problems faced by the black community, as well as their relation with both conservatives and liberals.” (READ MORE)

Steve Chapman: What's Wrong With a Clutter of Candidates? “In more than one presidential election, I've walked into the polling booth, looked at the names on the ballot, crumpled to my knees in anguish, sobbed inconsolably and cried to the heavens, ‘Are those the only choices?’ Okay, maybe I don't go through all the theatrics, and probably you don't, either, but we both know the feeling.” (READ MORE)

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.: A L.O.S.T. Presidency “Any minute now, President Bush is going to make a fateful mistake. He will announce that his administration will make a concerted effort to secure the prompt ratification of a deeply flawed multilateral accord universally known by its acronym ? LOST, as in the Law of the Sea Treaty.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: World Bank Jobbery ”The World Bank board meets today to consider the fate of President Paul Wolfowitz, and the truth is that the verdict may already be in. The board will consider the report of an investigating committee dominated by the same European nations that have been orchestrating the media campaign to depose him.” (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: 'Nobody Is Untouchable' “Karinna Moskalenko is Russia's most distinguished human-rights lawyer. Vladimir Putin wants her disbarred. Ms. Moskalenko, 53, is the founder of the Moscow-based International Protection Center. For more than a decade, she has been arguing cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, to whose judgments Russia has been legally bound ever since it incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights in its 1993 Constitution. "We started with dozens of cases," she says, recalling the IPC's earliest days during the Yeltsin era. "We are now dealing with hundreds of cases."” (READ MORE)

Max Boot: Surging Ahead in Iraq “There is a serious and widening disconnect between the timetables that commanders are using to guide their actions in Iraq and those being demanded by politicians in Washington. Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, the senior U.S. commanders in Iraq, are quite properly planning for the troop "surge" to extend well into next year. That's why the Pentagon has alerted 10 combat brigades with some 40,000 soldiers to get ready to deploy in August. They will be needed to replace troops rotating home.” (READ MORE) *reg req*

A Soldier's Mind: PTSD, TBI Or Both? “One challenge that military healthcare providers are facing with soldiers returning from Iraq, is the challenge of differentiating between PTSD and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Both can have similar symptoms, so at times, it can make distinguishing between the two very difficult. Both are signature problems that are seen coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan. In the past, it was thought that one could not suffer from both PTSD and TBI. While that is normally true in the general population, however with the types of situations our troops are faced with and the injuries that they are succeptible to, it is a common to see both together in military personnel returning from the warzone.” (READ MORE)

American Ranger: The "America Goes Home" Scenario “For argument’s sake, let’s assume the United States and its Coalition partners complied with the wishes of the ‘cut and run’ crowd and pulled out of Iraq tomorrow. I submit the following fictional article as one of the scenarios that might occur: ‘With the Iraqi Army and police still not fully prepared to protect their country, the fundamentalist Shiite militias rapidly took control of the secular central government. This decisive move occurred with the consent of the country’s most powerful Shiite religious figure, Ayatollah Sistani, the spiritual leader of over 60% of Iraq’s citizens.’” (READ MORE)

ArmyLawyer: Are Commanders Stupid? Then Why Don’t People Trust Them? “Who are these “commanders” people keep talking about? On the one hand you have people proclaiming that we should trust our ‘commanders on the ground.’ Yet at the same time there’s the utter distrust of ‘commanders’ when it comes to things like the new OPSEC regulation. Won’t those commanders on the ground be those most concerned with OPSEC?” (READ MORE)

Augean Stables: A Vibrant Civil Society Goes to Civil War “The Minister of the Interior of the Hamas-Fatah ‘unity government’, Hani Kawasmeh (an independent), has resigned for the second time over the lack of cooperation he has gotten in implementing his plan to restore order in the Gaza Strip. Behind this resignation lies the perdurance of Palestinian addiction to violence, the karma Arafat’s security systems, and behind that, of an honor-shame culture that knows no other way to solve its problems than ‘the barrel of a gun.’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Pyrrhic Victory “The Brussels Journal has a long post describing ‘multiculturalism’ as the ‘Communism of the 21st Century.’ Its basic argument is that a kind of fuse-delayed bomb went off in Europe; that although the West resisted Soviet Armies from without it was ultimately subtly subverted from within by socialist ideas. The very moment of Western triumph was simultaneously the moment of its de-legitimization. But the de-legitimization took this most clever of forms: a proclamation that all ideas were equally legitimate and that therefore, no idea was better than the other. The Brussels Journal calls this multiculturalism, the Communism of the 21st century.” (READ MORE)

Sachi: Does Our Own Military Understand We're at War? “Speaking of loose lips sinking ships... In recent months, several disturbing security breaches occured involving the United States Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (MSDF -- the Japanese ‘navy’); these cases appear to be deliberate acts of espionage on the part of Red China, rather than the foolish mistakes by blabbermouthed Pentagon staffers I talked about in my last post. In both cases, sensitive information was believed headed for China and may or may not have been intercepted before getting there.” (READ MORE)

Blackfive: Military Ban on YouTube and MySpace “Been getting and fielding lots of calls from the media about the ‘new’ ban on social networking web sites. Haven't those sites (YouTube, MySpace, etc.) been on the URL (web site address) filter list at most bases? Heck, I had to spend a lot of time trying to get Blackfive un-blocked at some USAF installations, and we're still blocked by some administrators (blame Uncle Jimbo and his quest for media domination).” (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Popular Vote VS. Electoral College “The ‘Are we actually a Democracy?’ debate has been bandied about forever...and more intensely after the 2000 election. Many Americans hate (don't understand?) the Electoral College. Now North Carolina, sick of not being a major player in presidential elections (they only have 14 votes), is joining those who want the vote to be by popular vote. ‘...N.C. lawmakers may join a nationwide push to decide presidential elections by popular vote instead of the Electoral College.’” (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: D For Demented “Jonah Goldberg, writing in the Los Angeles Times, takes a look at the bizarre polling results Rasmussen reported a few days ago that indicate that a majority of Democrats believe George W. Bush had something to do with 9/11 - either advance knowledge or the outright conspiracy theories of the truthers.” (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Cynthia Tucker's Alternative Universe “Every once in a while I come across an op-ed that leaves me speechless – so utterly flabbergasted that I have to walk away for a day before I can come up with a cogent response. That was the case when I read Cynthia Tucker’s piece on our ‘worn military’ committing ‘massacres’ in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on May 11. Her complete and utter failure to grasp even simple facts still has me shaking my head.” (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Bittersweet: A Nightmare Over “‘Law enforcement officers, like members of the military, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders are the sheepdogs that keep the wolves at bay. These men and women and their families make sacrifices every day that those of us they protect will never fully understand. Because of all that these families do for us, when I find myself squaring off against the bereaved widow of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, I do not enter into such opposition lightly.’ On February 12, 2004, Wake County Sheriff's investigator Mark Tucker was gunned down by Matthew Charles Grant, a felon who didn't want to go back to prison for being the possession of a weapon. Deputy Tucker's widow, backed by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, filed suit against Cary Jewelry & Pawn in October of 2005, alleging that: ‘...Cary Jewelry & Pawn, of Cary, North Carolina, negligently and illegally sold the murder weapon to an obviously dangerous person.’” (READ MORE)

Counterterrorism Blog: Islam and Suicide Terrorism in Pakistan “After five long years of advent of suicide terrorism in Pakistan (a recent estimate indicated about around 30 suicide bombing incidents with well above 160 fatalities have taken place since 2002), suddenly the erstwhile supporters/believers (somehow tacitly) of suicide (Fidayeen) attacks voiced against this most lethal terror tactic. Although, the use of suicide bombings in Pakistan never caused a public backlash in general, some liberal and progressive Muslims do oppose the tactics irrespective of their targets, but their voice never posed a deterrent.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: No Evidence Of Religion In The Fort Dix Terrorist Plot “Sometimes reading the New York Times is just surreal: (h/t Newsbusters) ‘It is unclear what role, if any, religion played in the attack Mr. Shnewer and the five other men are charged with planning. (The sixth suspect, Agron Abdullahu, had no apparent connection with Al-Aqsa or the South Jersey Islamic Center.) The authorities have described the suspects as Islamic extremists, but the lengthy criminal complaint summarizing the F.B.I.'s 15-month undercover investigation of the group does not mention where -- or how often -- they prayed. Certainly there is no evidence that they picked up radical ideas at either mosque.’” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Fidel lied “AP reported: ‘Ethanol’s effect on food cost minimal.’ Darn. I was hoping the adherents to the Cult of Global Warming — Pseudoscientologists — were causing food prices to rise. Food prices are up 7% this year. A ramping up of ethanol production has led to higher feed prices. But the feds also cite the California frost and a small Australian wheat crop.” (READ MORE)

Fortress of Solitude: Geraldo at Large “There are moments in a debate where it seems as if one of the debaters doesn’t even listen to the words that come out of their mouth. If they did actually listen to themselves, they would hide their face in shame over the stupidity that they utter. Such is the case with those who rationalize the criminal activity of illegal immigrants. One such argument that those individuals make was repeated by open-border advocate Geraldo Riviera.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Pakistan Unraveling “After a weekend of mortar exchanges between Afghan and Pakistani security forces on the Khost-Kurram border, and the subsequent Pakistani incursion into Afghan territory, a U.S., Afghan and Pakistani commission met in Pakistan's Kurram agency. The delegation, which was made up of security and diplomatic officials from the three countries, was ambushed as they left the school which served as a meeting place. The initial reporting on the incident varied widely, with the first reports intimating Pakistani security forces or an al Qaeda mole shot and killed the NATO soldier.” (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: President’s Critics in Denial About Successes in Iraq “Just by taking a gander at conservative columns and blogs, you can see that many on the right have found much to criticize in the record of President George W. Bush. When they take issue with the supposedly conservative Chief Executive, they reference statements he has made, individuals he has appointed and policies he has enacted (or failed to enact) — and many have taken issue with his failure to change military strategy in Iraq until this year. When many on the left (and in the MSM) take issue with the president, they often dispense with the facts and levy a bevy of charges on him, often without substantiating them — or by pulling statements out of context and/or offering only an incomplete version of the situation, leaving out key facts.” (READ MORE)

Homefront Six: Losing a Piece “I was talking with a friend the other day about funerals. He's been to more than he can count. I lost track years ago. He made the comment that ‘you lose a little bit each time, but each time you lose a little less.’ Most of the time, I think he's right. But I have found in the past 2 months that the funeral of an adult, though sad, is different in terms of its impact on the mourners than that of a child. My experience is that I lose so much more when it comes to the funeral of a child. Is it that way for everyone?” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Dean’s DNC: Reaping what it has sown “Live by the lawyer, get sued by another lawyer. ‘Howard Dean and the DNC are being sued for defamation and discrimination by a former employee - claiming among other things that Dean discriminates against gays and violated the “D.C. Human Rights Act”.’” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: (Video) McDermott calls for investigation into Camp Falcon attack “Remember this? We blogged it while it was happening. Insurgents launched an attack on Falcon with rockets and mortars, one of which hit an ammo dump and set off a string of explosions that lasted for hours. The military reported no casualties; jihadist media reported 300 American soldiers dead plus scores more wounded. Their spin has now made it all the way up to McDermott, as part of the anti-war effort to show that no matter how awful conditions are in Iraq, they’re actually even worse than you think. But who told McDermott? That’s where it gets interesting:” (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Beloved Son “I haven’t had to make that kind of call much since I became an editor, but tonight when it needed to be done, I preferred to be the one to do it. Andy Bacevich answered the phone but was brusque, just said he couldn’t talk about it right now. Later, he sent me an email. ‘He joined the Army to serve his country in time of need. We love him and mourn his loss.’ And a photo of his beloved son, who looks exactly like him, smiling, with bright eyes, at Patrol Base Love, Iraq.” (READ MORE)

Kat in MO: Military Cross Section of America “I was reading Michael Yon's latest dispatch which is a letter from Gen. Petraeus on the values of the American fighting machine vs. those of our enemy. This in response to a poll that showed almost 50% of the troops would not turn in themselves or a friend if they killed a civilian, accidentally or on purpose, as well as a few other disturbing (or not) thoughts from the general military populace.” (READ MORE)

McQ: Voting to Defund the war: Feingold-Reid an attachement to a water bill “Finally, we’ll get a real sense of the Senate: ‘Good news for war foes: Harry Reid just spoke on the Senate floor, revealing that he’ll allow a vote this week on the Feingold-Reid amendment, which would cut off funding for the war by March 31, 2008. This is a big deal for war opponents — it’s the first vote in the Senate on a measure of this kind. “This is a vote that folks have been clamoring for some time now,” enthuses a staffer who works for a Senator favoring the approach.’ This is the Netroots ‘bottom line’, and, frankly, it is what those who oppose the war and think it is lost should vote on doing. It is the only constitutional way the Congress has of actually stopping the war in my opinion.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: Alert The Media! “Among the many oxymoronic talents of our Democratic brethren in Christ ('winning' wars by declaring them lost, supporting the troops by cutting their funding while leaving them in the line of fire, building coalitions by belittling our allies), surely the most impressive is their capacity to travel backwards through time, magically erasing their prior positions on the presence al Qaeda in Iraq:” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Morning Constitutional “There was a bit of a discussion yesterday about the public accomodations and concessions being given to Muslims around the nation, with our own Kim, Glenn of Instapundit, and Bryan of Hot Air all chiming in on this editorial. Me? I had my say on it over a year ago. But I would like to suggest that this beginning of a backlash is long overdue. We, as a society, need to start being a tad more heavy-handed.” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: Muslims Shouldn't get Rights Denied other Religious Groups “But, as the Examiner points out, Muslims all over this country are getting special treatment that Christian and Jewish groups are routinely denied. The principle of separation of church and state in tax-funded institutions has been upheld in more than a dozen Supreme Court rulings. As a result, overtly religious symbols of mainstream religions such as Nativity scenes, the Ten Commandments and menorahs have largely been banished from the public square on the grounds that they offend unbelievers.” (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: An Ego Driven Bloomberg/Hagel Run At The Presidency? Probably Not. “There have been rumors floating around for a while that New York's faux Republican mayor, left-of-center Michael Bloomberg, and widely despised Senator (by Republicans anyway) Chuck Hagel were going to run as independents. Over the last couple of days, there have been stories breaking (See here & here) that speculated Bloomberg would run with Hagel as his veep.” (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

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