June 27, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 06/27/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
CIA Releases Files On Past Misdeeds - Hundreds of pages of decades-old documents declassified and released by the CIA yesterday revealed a 1970s-era agency in the throes of unaccustomed self-examination, caught between its traditional secrecy and demands that it come clean on a history of unsavory activities. (READ MORE)

GOP Skepticism On Iraq Growing - Key Republican senators, signaling increasing GOP skepticism about President Bush's strategy in Iraq, have called for a reduction in U.S. forces and launched preemptive efforts to counter a much-awaited administration progress report due in September. (READ MORE)

Desperate Villagers Flee Central African Republic - Widespread banditry, kidnapping and political violence in the volatile and virtually lawless northeastern corner of the Central African Republic are forcing thousands of villagers to flee to Chad, where the security situation is possibly more desperate, according to an Amnesty... (READ MORE)

Senate Votes to Revive Illegal-Alien Bill - The Senate voted yesterday to resurrect its immigration bill, overcoming opposition from conservative Republicans and setting up a week of showdown votes on amendments and passage. (READ MORE)

Busch Warns of Local Aid Cuts - House Speaker Michael E. Busch yesterday warned local officials from across Maryland to prepare for less financial support and not to criticize state lawmakers as they struggle with a $1.5 billion budget deficit. (READ MORE)

Border Agent Backers to Protest Prosecutor - More than 1,000 people are expected to rally Saturday outside the offices of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton in San Antonio to demand his termination and protest his "malicious prosecution" of law-enforcement officers who sought to arrest illegal aliens. (READ MORE)

GOP Doubts on War Widen - Ohio Sen. George V. Voinovich yesterday called for a "military disengagement" from Iraq, the second Republican this week to voice doubts about President Bush's troop-surge strategy while simultaneously discrediting Democrats' plans for an abrupt pullout. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Calvey in Iraq: Muslim redneck “Greetings from Baghdad! A quick funny note is all I have time for. Some of the unsung heroes of this war are our Arabic linguists, also called interpreters or terps for short. A few of them were born in America and learned Arabic at an Army language school or in college. But most of them are native Arabic speakers from a multitude of countries. Many, of course, are from Iraq originally. Many have lived in America for years and became American citizens long ago, but never forgot how to speak in their native language. There is one guy that I work with sometimes that jokingly calls himself ‘the Muslim redneck.’” (READ MORE)

Badger 6: Deciphering the Code “Soldiers all over the world mark the places they have been. Go to any US Army post and you will see various signs of unit pride and espirt d'corps. At the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, a mound of rocks is covered in paint, done by different units to remind future visitors of the victories those Soldiers had there. At Camp Buehring, Kuwait, units making the trip north paint their symbols as a show of pride on T-barriers around the post. this is the barrier we painted.” (READ MORE)

MasterGunner: Et Tu, Brute? “It's no secret that, generally speaking, Republicans are more supportive of the military, and of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Very rarely do you read or hear of a Republican "flip flopping" and deciding he or she no longer supports the efforts of US and Coalition Forces to fight and defeat our enemies abroad. Notice I said "rarely". It happens. And sometimes, the staunchest of allies will commit rhetorical fratricide on our efforts.” (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Dymphna: An Open Letter to President George W. Bush “Dear Mr. President: I write to you with great sadness, the kind of despair that descends on one after hopes have been dashed many times, after repeated betrayals by a leader who said what I wanted to hear, but whose actions have not lived up to his words. You have a chance to redeem yourself with the many millions who voted for you. At 11:30 a.m., when you speak tomorrow at the Washington Islamic Center, you could put all of our hearts at ease if you change the direction and tenor of your communications to Muslims in this country. Sir, you must stand up for our pluralist values.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Clear the Damn Backlogs First “Harry Reid boasts of his compassion for ‘undocumented Americans.’ President Bush wants understanding for ‘newcomers’ without papers. The so-called Grand Bargainers on both sides of the aisle in the Senate are pushing forward this week with their massive plan to ‘regularize’ the unregularized and bring in hundreds of thousands of extra foreign guest workers on top of the ones who are already here or have been waiting for approval for years.” (READ MORE)

Patrick Ruffini: Taking On Chuck Hagel “A few days ago, I had a chance to catch up with Nebraska attorney general Jon Bruning, who recently announced he was challenging Senator Chuck Hagel in the Republican primary. Hagel's positions against the war in Iraq and for the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill have placed him at odds with most conservatives. Read on to see Bruning explain why ‘conservatives need a voice,’ share some of his campaign's internal polling, and talk about his own record, one he says consists of ‘zero maverick moments.’” (READ MORE)

Ken Blackwell: Sicko Guides Liberals’ Health care Agenda “Michael Moore got slammed by Larry King tonight. The outlandish documentarian was bumped from the ‘The Larry King Show’ by none other than an ex-con, Paris Hilton.” (READ MORE)

Bruce Bartlett: Climate History “Many people are worried about global warming today. They fear that the polar ice caps will melt, raising sea levels and creating environmental chaos. Such concerns are not new. The historical record tells us of many warming episodes - and subsequent cooling periods - that have bedeviled humans for thousands of years.” (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Straight Thinking 101 “Just about the most difficult lesson for first-year economics students, and sometimes graduate students, is that economic theory, and for that matter any scientific theory, is positive or non-normative.” (READ MORE)

Paul Weyrich: Unions, Senator Reid - the Right to a Secret Ballot or an Election Issue “Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-NV) is about to bring a so-called Card Check Bill to the Senate Floor. In short this bill would deprive workers of the right to a secret ballot when determining whether to have union representation at a person's work place.” (READ MORE)

Austin Bay: Palestine's Crooks And Kooks “Pity the Palestinians. Their crooks -- the corrupt Fatah -- and their kooks --Islamist Hamas -- both rule by the gun, not law. They had an election in 1996 where the crooks prevailed. In 2006, the kooks took control of the state-let.” (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: The Big Lie About The Great Depression “Ignorance of basic economics -- and the concurrent attempt to obfuscate that ignorance by employing class-conscious demagoguery -- remains the staple of the Democratic Party.” (READ MORE)

Terence Jeffrey: A Congress of Fools “Americans may have a low opinion of their own Congress, but one wonders what they would think about the congress in Baghdad if they ever paid close attention to it.” (READ MORE)

Tony Blankley: Iraq's September Diagnosis “Come September, not only Gen. David Petraeus, but also many other designated experts will deliver their report cards on Iraqi progress -- or lack of it.” (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Attention-Getters “People can get attention either from their accomplishments or from their deliberate attempts to get attention. Today, almost everywhere you look, people seem to be putting their efforts into getting attention.” (READ MORE)

Fred Thompson: Duplicating Disaster “We're hearing those phrases again; national health care, universal health care, socialized medicine.” (READ MORE)

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann: Starving the Mullahs “The conventional wisdom says that we have two choices in confronting and containing Iranian nuclear ambitions - United Nations sanctions and diplomacy, or a military strike to knock out key nuclear sites.” (READ MORE)

Scott Garrett: Earmark Reform: A Victory for Taxpayers “House Republicans have been working hard to fight for the American taxpayer. As you may know, we recently stood firm and forced the new House leadership to stick by their promises of transparency and accountability in federal spending; specifically, to stand by their promises of earmark reform.” (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Remote control “It amazes me that some conservatives who preach against ‘big government’ control of our lives think nothing of rushing in to ask big government to control our entertainment choices.” (READ MORE)

WSJ Review & Outlook: Immigration and the GOP “Immigration reform stayed alive in the Senate yesterday, albeit not without continuing rancor among Republicans. Restrictionists seem to believe the issue will harm the GOP if it succeeds, but we think the political reality is closer to the opposite: The greater danger for Republicans is if it fails.” (READ MORE)

Joshua Spivak: Two's Company “With the news that he has dropped his Republican affiliation, New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg continues to play a public game of flirting with an independent presidential run. This meshes with the years-long speculation that a noted political figure, be it the self-financing Mr. Bloomberg or someone else, like the antiwar Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, will jump into the 2008 presidential race with either an independent or third-party bid. Pundits argue that for a host of different reasons, such as the growth of Internet fund raising or the mood of the country or because of the impending death of the campaign finance system, now is the time that a third-party candidate has a chance of winning.” (READ MORE)

Michael Young: Taking Refuge in Dangerous Passions “Bernard Rougier is the kind of scholar of political Islam that 9/11 should have created. A Frenchman who teaches political science at the Université d'Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand, he is fluent in Arabic and is willing to supplement his theoretical knowledge with analytical creativity and intrepid reporting. His "Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam Among Palestinians in Lebanon" looks at a fascinating, under-investigated microcosm of the Islamist landscape.” (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Gas riots “The president’s energy policy is a complete mess. There has not been a new refinery built since the 1970s. The nation still imports 40% of its gasoline. And overnight, gasoline has been rationed to 26 gallons per month. The riots have already begun. In Iran.” (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Operation Fahrad Al Amin: the Anbar Offensive “As operations north of Baghdad in Baqubah and south in Babil province have taken center stage, the third theater in eastern Anbar province has received little attention in the reporting from Iraq. The reporting has been so sparse that the name of Multinational Forces West's operation has yet to be released. In an interview with Brigadier General Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general of Ground Combat Element, Multi-National Force-West, The Fourth Rail has learned the name of the operation is Fahrad Al Amin, or Operation Safety and Security.” (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: Iranians torch gas stations after surprise rationing announcement; Update: Iran blames U.S. for torchings “Hope springs eternal for the revolution that never comes but without which peace in the Middle East is impossible. Especially among righty bloggers: I’ve been reading and writing blogs for five years and every time there’s a convulsion of violence in Iran there’s an equal and opposite, and understandable, convulsion of is-this-it optimism within the ’sphere.” (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Cloture succeeds: Where do we go from here? “The “comprehensive immigration” shamnesty is closer to passing through the Senate thanks to 16 Republicans who switched their votes from nay to yea since the last cloture vote. That doesn’t mean it’s the law of the land, or even that it’s out of the Senate yet, but it’s a good indicator that the Senate is listening not to the 75% of Americans who oppose the bill, but to the 25% who support it. And it’s a good indicator that those 16 senators who switched sides got some promise or incentive to do so.” (READ MORE)

Blacksmiths of Lebanon: Haret Hreik Rehabilitiation Hindered by Hizballah “At the height of the July War this blog came into being with a series of posts that attempted to outline the corrosive nature of Hizballah's monopoly over the Shiite sect, and the need for the government and civil society as a whole to take strong, decisive action to put an end to the extra-institutional state the group has been operating in Lebanon for approximately two decades now.” (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: The MSM’s war on gun owners “I’ve reported before on the newspaper campaign against gun owners with concealed carry licenses. The war continues. The Buckeye Firearms Association sends word of another news outlet, the Sandusky Register, which has published a list of concealed handgun permit owners in Erie, Huron, Ottawa, Sandusky and Seneca counties in Ohio. BFA reports a citizen revolt and backlash against the paper’s actions:” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: Underpants, lies, and statistics “I don't regularly watch ‘South Park,’ but I do recognize that the creators are brilliant -- and have presented some remarkable insights into human nature. I think my current favorite example of this is the ‘underpants gnomes,’ a group of gnomes who stole underpants from sleeping children. This was part of their grand plan for making their fortune, as summed up in their business plan: 1. Collect Underpants 2. ? 3. Profit!” (READ MORE)

Kim Priestap: The Senate Votes for Cloture on the Immigration Bill “The Senate managed to get cloture for the immigration bill that the vast majority of Americans don't want. What happened to the ‘will of the people’ that Harry Reid repeated ad infinitum when he wanted to retreat from Iraq. Suddenly, when it comes to the immigration bill, the will of the people doesn't seem to matter anymore. The Republicans who didn't sell out but, instead, maintained their principled positions against the bill managed to temporarily stall its movement forward. From the AP:” (READ MORE)

DJ Drummond: This War is Right “America is at war. There are millions of people in the United States who are upset about that, some to the point that they are demanding we simply give up and leave Iraq, and hoping we just cut out and leave everywhere else we have troops. Others have grown tired of the war and quit the cause because it is not fun for them anymore, an option not available to the men sent to do the actual fighting. The President is unpopular, in part for doing the right thing and sticking to the commitment, knowing that many millions of lives depend on his decisions. The troops are largely well-motivated and determined to stay in Iraq and Afghanistan until those countries can defend themselves, and not succumb to the raging tide of Islamists who would kill or enslave all who stand in their way.” (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Sicko Needs Prozac? “I've been reading reviews of Michael Moore's new film, ‘Sicko’, which extols the virtues of a universal health care system, funded and run by the government. The best of the reviews comes from Helen Evans, director of Nurses for Reform, a pan-European network of nurses dedicated to consumer-oriented reform of European health-care systems, and can be found in the Chicago Tribune. Another good, though not online review was in the News Sun, a local affiliate of the Chicago Sun Times.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Working With The Mob: Your Government Dollars At Work “The CIA has started its release of hundreds of documents revealing illegal activities during the Cold War, the so-called ‘family jewels’ that cast the agency in its poorest light yet. Not only does this release demonstrate violations of the laws forbidding domestic spying by Langley, it also shows how inept the agency was at times. The multiple attempts at assassinating Fidel Castro are a case in point:” (READ MORE)

Blonde Sagacity: Marching for the Terrorists “I realize that I have posted about this tons of times in the past, but I STILL don't get it. I don't get the people that believe the terrorists housed at Club Gitmo should have all the protections of a US citizen (they're NOT). but I really don't get the people that would take off work and take time from their lives and families (assuming they have any of the aforementioned things) and march for these men that are detained for treachery against America and American troops. The same terrorists who have in the past been released from Gitmo only to be captured AGAIN trying to kill American troops. Please tell me what logic these people are using...” (READ MORE)

Dafydd: Avoid Labor-Day Rush; Panic Today “A number of Republican senators and representatives seem to be in a powerful hurry to declare the ‘surge’ a failure -- nearly three months before the military assessment of its success. It truly makes one wonder what they fear most: defeat or victory? The newest to join the parade of victory deniers (who predict doom and defeat but refuse to vote for timetables for withdrawal) are Sens. Richard Lugar (R-IN, 64%) and George Voinovich (R-OH, 56%). Previous timorous lawmakers include Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME, 36%), Susan Collins (R-ME, 48%), Chuck Hagel (R-NE, 75%), Gordon Smith (R-OR, 72%), Norm Coleman (R-MN, 68%), and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John Warner (R-VA, 64%).” (READ MORE)

Grim @ Blackfive: A Continuing Education in Military Science “Colonel (and Ph.D.) David Kilcullen has a piece up explaining the current operations in Iraq from a COIN perspective. Dr. Kilcullen is, as BlackFive readers know but Pandagon readers probably do not, an Australian officer who has rewritten much of current COIN theory. He is currently serving as General Petraeus' senior advisor on COIN in Iraq. He is posting to the web in order to talk to you, the citizens of Coalition nations, to tell you what we are doing in Iraq -- what the plan is, and why that is the plan.” (READ MORE)

War Historian: Strategic Reset “The Center for American Progress, a progressive/liberal think tank, has released a new assessment of Iraq prepared by Brian Katulis, Lawrence J. Korb, and Peter Juul. Entitled Strategic Reset: Reclaiming Control of U.S. Security in the Middle East, it predictably excoriates the Bush administration’s program and offers its own prescription for what amounts to damage control. Here’s the gist of the summary: ‘The current Iraq strategy is exactly what Al Qaeda wants:’” (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Bearings “Although Richard Lugar may believes the war in Iraq is lost, reality, like the waves of the sea, is usually a little more complex. Pajamas Media has been following the troubles in Iran, the latest of which is apparently the rationing of gasoline, a matter that may be related to reports of gas stations being set alight. The incidents may not constitute an existential threat to the regime, but its a reminder that the enemy is also under stress. Bill Roggio follows the offensive, one of several simultaneous and ongoing ones, in Anbar. It is codenamed "Fahrad Al Amin" or Operation Safety and Security. It is a Marine show.” (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Anyone Who Follows Islam is an Idiot (and wrong) “I am sorry to have to say it but someone had to. The religion of pieces is full of idiot leaders and by extension, those who follow the leaders are idiots as well. This video comes courtesy of Plank’s Constant and it clearly demonstrates why Islam is full of idiots. It also clearly shows that we will be screwed if we do not get a handle on this “religion” and the followers of the child molester Mohammad.” (READ MORE)

Flopping Aces: Place The Blame Where It Belongs “What! You mean the terrorists are responsible for bringing those towers down and creating all that dust to be breathed in by rescue workers? Get outta here: ‘Facing an onslaught from House Democrats over air quality around Ground Zero, former EPA boss Christie Todd Whitman fired back yesterday that "the terrorists that attacked the United States" were to blame - not the government. In a politically charged and sometimes circus-like congressional hearing into contaminants in downtown Manhattan in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Whitman blasted lawmakers who accused her of misleading the public that the air was safe - while she was hit with hisses, boos and catcalls from the crowd.’” (READ MORE)

Orlando: The Impotent Buriers of Digg “Conservatives on Digg.com know them well. You submit a conservative-based article and it is buried.** These liberals are “The Impotent Buriers.” Why impotent? Impotent refers to sterility, weakness, inability, gutless, and ineffectual. The Impotent Buriers, you see, lack the ability to effectively communicate their ideas on an equal level with Conservatives. Because of this impotence, this inability to defend their position based on facts, they must resort to a function authorized by Digg.com that allows them to censor others. It is pure weakness!” (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Sir, Have You No Shame? “President Bush has been seduced by the dark side of the Force. That’s the only explanation I can think of. He will speak tomorrow at the Washington Islamic Center, the most prominent Saudi-funded mosque in Washington DC. Not to mince words, it’s a Wahhabist mosque. The speech is at 11:30 AM, so time is short.” (READ MORE)

GayPatriot: Senate’s Drive To Amnesty Creates Wedge With America “Nothing has troubled me more since the Illegal Amnesty debate (or lack thereof) began in the Senate, than the “we know best” attitude taken by Sens. Reid, Lott, Graham, McCain, et. al. Why for example, Senator Reid, do you claim the high ground on Iraq because public opinion polls show frustration with the war…. yet you tell us meaningless peons outside the Empire walls to hush-up when public opinion is dramatically opposed to the Senate Amnesty bill? Are public opinion polls only useful when they are on your side of an issue?” (READ MORE)

Donald Sensing: Israel bracing for summer war “OHC contributor Daniel Jackson blogged earlier today from Israel that talk among his friends (and one presumes most all Israelis) is whether the unfinished business in southern Lebanon fvrom last summer’s Israel-Lebanon war will reignite this summer. 'Whatever is coming this summer will not have the same misdirected response of last summer. For Iran, Hizbullah, and Syrian to assume that the next round will be like last summer is simply not realistic.'” (READ MORE)

Scott Johnson: Is the fix in on the immigration bill? “Virtually everything important that is happening with respect to the immigration bill seems to be happening under the surface, away from the eyes of prying journalists and concerned citizens. The procedural maneuvering is incomprehensible. The substance of the amendments before the Senate is extraordinarily difficult if not overwhelming given the limited time allowed for their consideration. I have only my intuition to go on. My intuition tells me that it is impossible to be cynical enough about what is transpiring here, that the second cloture vote is the last chance to kill the bill in the Senate if the fix is not already in, and that the bill's passage is assured in the House if it makes it out of the Senate.” (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: "Understanding Current Operations in Iraq" “This is one of the best summaries of what's going on now in Iraq that I've seen recently (h/t NRO). The following is an excerpt from a post on Small Wars Journal by David Kilcullen called ‘Understanding Current Operations in Iraq’. Kilcullen, one of the contributors to SMJ, is identified on the site as a ‘Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser, Multi-National Force—Iraq.’ and that the it represents ‘his personal views only.’ ‘I’ve spent much of the last six weeks out on the ground, working with Iraqi and U.S. combat units, civilian reconstruction teams, Iraqi administrators and tribal and community leaders. I’ve been away from e-mail a lot, so unable to post here at SWJ: but I’d like to make up for that now by providing colleagues with a basic understanding of what’s happening, right now, in Iraq.’” (READ MORE)

Right Truth: Hello Americans, you are now officially obstacles “The Senate takes up revised immigration bill, but obstacles remain. Those obstacles are American citizens. I didn't read that in the New York Times article. Opponents of the bill were graciously given ‘overnight to study the package of amendments.’ Nothing like putting a lot of time and thought into something we will be stuck with for ... another 20 years or more. It seems several of the Senators took the $4.4 billion bribe they were offered to switch sides. President George W. Bush kept up the pressure, hoping the bill would be passed by Friday. As my hubby said:” (READ MORE)

Stop the ACLU: Having opinions about race is not the same as racism “The article below is a typical rant about racism from a Left-leaning Australian newspaper. Typically, it makes no distinction between opinions about race and racism. To do so would deprive the author of much of the warm inner glow of righteousness she got from writing it. But, as any psychologist can tell you, attitudes are not the same as behaviour and it has been known since the 1930s that, in this field particularly, attitudes and behaviour are often very different. My favourite example of the disjunction is a neo-Nazi I once knew who was great friends with a very dark-skinned Bengali. I also once knew a very kind man who spoke very ill of Asians but who was in fact happily married to one.” (READ MORE)

The Tygrrrr Express: Chief Justice Roberts and General Petraeus–The Best and Brightest Do Matter “Leaders do exist. Some are born, others are made, but successful leaders truly are the best and brightest. It can be book smarts, street smarts, or a combination of both, but there is no substitute for those that apply their skills in an intelligent fashion. Twenty two liberals in that bastion of mediocrity known as the United States Senate voted against confirming John Roberts. I can honestly understand why. He is an intellectual heavyweight, one of the finest legal minds of our time. He is respected, brilliant…and conservative. The left needed to defeat him because he would have moved the Supreme Court towards a strict constructionist path, which coincidentally is what the Supreme Court is supposed to do.” (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.

Linked with:
Iran, the emperor has no clothes from Right Truth

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