October 10, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 10/10/2007

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)
Thompson Timing 'About Right' - Fred Thompson delivered a gaffe-free performance at his first Republican presidential primary debate yesterday as he, Mitt Romney and Rudolph W. Giuliani all scrambled to assert themselves as the leader that Republican voters are looking for. (READ MORE)

General Rebukes Special Operations Forces - A crusading three-star general has sparked outrage within the Army Special Forces and Marine Special Operations Command by publicly condemning and twice bringing legal actions against members of their forces. (READ MORE)

Blogs Target Jihadis Online - Ordinary Americans are tracking down U.S. Web sites used by al Qaeda and jihadi sympathizers and then using the Internet to persuade the service providers to snuff out the sites. "I do this because it has to be done," says one blogger who calls himself a "counter-cyberjihadist" for his campaigns to post on the Web the Internet service providers (ISPs) that host the pro-jihad sites. (READ MORE)

House Moves to Limit FISA - House Democrats yesterday introduced a bill that would restrict the government"s power to eavesdrop on foreign terrorism suspects. The legislation calls for rolling back a temporary expansion of electronic eavesdropping authority that the Democrat-led Congress approved in August. (READ MORE)

Free Trade and Low Taxes Star in Republican Debate - On a day when stock indexes hit record highs, Republican presidential candidates gathered here Tuesday for a group defense of low taxes and free markets and warned that Democrats, particularly Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, pose the greatest danger to the nation's future ... (READ MORE)

Judge Orders U.S. Not to Transfer Tunisian Detainee - A federal district judge has ordered the government not to transfer a Tunisian detainee held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to his home country, over fears that he would be tortured or killed. The move marks the first time a court has prevented U.S. officials from making such a transfer... (READ MORE)

Pakistani Jets Bomb Insurgents As Clashes in Northwest Intensify - As many as 250 people, including at least 45 soldiers, have been killed in fierce fighting in northwestern Pakistan over the past four days, with Pakistani military jets bombing suspected insurgent hideouts as troops encountered strong resistance, officials and residents said Tuesday. (READ MORE)

Guards Kill Two Women In Iraq - Private security guards from an Australian-run firm opened fire on a white sedan in downtown Baghdad on Tuesday afternoon, killing two Iraqi Christian women who were driving home from work. The killings came at a time of unprecedented scrutiny into the behavior of Western private security guards, seen by many Iraqis as reckless mercenaries with little regard for Iraqi life. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
W. Thomas Smith Jr.: Black-Masked Commandos Training By The Sea - DBAYEH – Here on the seacoast between Beirut and Jounieh, a handful of men — dressed in black and brown utility uniforms, wearing black ski-masks (to conceal their identities), and armed with Fabrique Nationale P-90 submachine guns — rush into a small building and begin shooting terrorists. The terrorists aren't real (They are only paper targets): The bullets are. Clearing the rooms within seconds, the Fouhoud (Panthers), members of an elite 100-man Lebanese counterterrorist strike force, check their targets. (READ MORE)

Iraq Pundit: The Politics of Death - I must admit that I'm amazed by this sudden interest in the deaths of Iraqi civilians at the hands of security contractors. The Blackwater USA incident of last month and the Unity Resources Group incident of yesterday might lead readers to believe that this is unusual. While I'm glad it's in the news, I can't help but ask: What took you so long? (READ MORE)

Far From Perfect: Dust - Ok, so I guess its time to stop the freakish ramblings and give up some more ”Tales of Hell.” If you read my little post from the other day, then you’ll realize that not much has been going on that hasn’t been going on here for months. There just seems to be more of it lately, so I just picked a patrol hoping that something worth reading will pop out. It all started one dark and gloomy night. No, really it was a dark, cool, and generally pleasant real early morning. We were going out on some raids with the local IA unit. These things more often then not turn out to be wild goose chases, or more aptly, wild dog chases. (READ MORE)

Badger 6: The Story of a HET and Two Hercs - Part II - I woke up that Friday morning and for the first time in over a year; I did not have 100 men to worry about. My “show time” -- the time I need to be at the passenger terminal -- was not until almost lunch. I had time to have a relaxing breakfast and grab a latte. I went to breakfast with one of my former squad leaders. He had in fact replaced the squad leader that was injured when our three Badgers went down in February. We spent the time reliving the deployment. During breakfast the task force LNO (liaison non-commissioned officer) approached me. “Hey Sergeant, just the man I was coming to see after breakfast. Do I still have a 1030 show time?” “Uh – no Sir. 1645.” (READ MORE)

Eighty Deuce On The Loose In Iraq: What a wonderful day... - Well today started off with me waking up at 0700 in the morning. Considering I have not been working and have nothing to due but waste away on the internet or playing games or watching movies, my sleep schedule has been all wacked and I have been staying up late. This is no suprise to me though. Well late last night/this morning my old squad leader came back in off of leave. The reason I refer to him as my old squad leader is due to some shifting and changes that came about within our company within the past couple weeks while he was on leave. Ill talk about that another time. Anyways, he ended up stopping by and we ended up talking and whatnot for a while and by the time I finally went to bed I believe it was somewhere around 0300. Needless to say I was pretty tired when it came time to get up. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
Chuck Colson: Nietzsche Would Laugh - One of the biggest obstacles facing what’s called the “New Atheism” is the issue of morality. Writers like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have to convince people that morals and values are possible in a society that does not believe in God. It’s important to understand what is not in doubt: whether an individual atheist or agnostic can be a “good” person. Of course they can, just as a professing Christian can do bad things. (READ MORE)

Brent Bozell III: Rush Limbaugh, Vindicated - The ruckus over the Rush Limbaugh "phony soldiers" statement is dying down. It ought not to. There is a huge story here. What did Rush say? In a Sept. 26 conversation with a caller to his program who claimed the media never interview "real soldiers," but just people out of the blue, Rush added for emphasis, "the phony soldiers." (READ MORE)

Ben Shapiro: Hillary: Fake Hawk - Senator Hillary Clinton, D-New York, has positioned herself as the most right-wing Democratic presidential candidate on foreign policy matters. Her transformation from dovish First Lady to hawkish frontrunner has earned her the respect of many conservatives. Richard Perle, a prominent "neoconservative" supporter of the war in Iraq, apparently feels that a President Hillary would consider invading Iran: "If President Clinton is informed in March 2009 that we've got ironclad intelligence that if we don't act within the next 30 days it's going to be too late, I wouldn't begin to predict what she would do." (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Clarence Thomas: Part II - All that many people know about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas are the accusations against him by Anita Hill during his confirmation hearings in 1991. However, such subsequent events as the "rape" accusations against Duke University students last year and, before that, a similar hoax in the Tawana Brawley case, have belatedly demonstrated how mindless it is to automatically accept accusations, as many in the media did with Anita Hill. (READ MORE)

John Stossel: Medical Competition Works for Patients - Health-care costs overall have been rising faster than inflation, but not all medical costs are skyrocketing. In a few pockets of medicine, costs are down while quality is up. Dr. Brian Bonanni has an unusual medical practice. His office is open Saturdays. He e-mails his patients and gives them his cell-phone number. "I need to be available 24 hours a day," he says. "I want to be there when a patient has questions, and I want to be reachable." (READ MORE)

Jacob Sullum: Anti-Tobacco Crusaders Boldly Go into Smokers' Homes - During Prohibition, making and selling liquor was illegal, but drinking it was not. With tobacco, we are moving toward the opposite situation, where it will be legal to make and sell cigarettes but not to smoke them. A smoking ban recently approved by the city council of Belmont, Calif., a town halfway between San Jose and San Francisco, is so sweeping that saying where it does not apply is easier than saying where it does. Smoking will still be allowed in tobacco shops, in automobiles, in some hotel rooms, in private residences that do not share a floor or ceiling with other private residences, and on streets and sidewalks, assuming (READ MORE)

Walter E. Williams: Attacking Talk Radio - The major news media no longer have the monopoly they once enjoyed. The way millions of Americans get their news and news analysis is through talk radio. The Rush Limbaugh Show stands at the very top of talk radio, carried on more than 650 radio stations and listened to by an estimated 20 million people each week. As an occasional fill-in for Rush, and being a professor, I see the show as being my big classroom, but I learn a lot as well. (READ MORE)

Eugene Volokh: President Spock - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said he doesn't tell his wife he loves her any more, because "I love you" has become a substitute for "true love." The Illinois senator said he hopes to show his love by explaining his ideas about their relationship to her. Guess what the wife would think about that. Of course, the story (from the AP) is a little different: (READ MORE)

Laura Bush: Stop the Terror in Burma - It is 2 a.m. in Rangoon, Burma. In the middle of the tropical night, army troops pour into the neighborhood surrounding a peaceful Buddhist monastery. The soldiers occupy nearby homes, so that residents will not peek through their windows or go outside to witness the raid. Troops then storm the monastery, brutalizing, terrorizing and arresting the monks inside. Eventually the monks are imprisoned inside Rangoon's former Government Technical Institute. According to one eyewitness, hundreds are crammed into each room. They have no access to toilets or sanitary facilities. Many of the monks refuse food from their military jailers. There is no space to lie down and sleep. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Taliban, Pakistani Army battle in North Waziristan - Pakistan's insurgency in the Northwest Frontier Province intensified over the last week as major clashes are underway in the Taliban and al Qaeda sanctuary of North Waziristan. Upwards of 200 have been reported killed in the fighting, which includes artillery barrages and helicopter and attack aircraft assaults. The Pakistani military claims 120 Taliban and 45 soldiers have been killed in the fighting, but independent reports puts the number of soldiers killed much higher. Heavy fighting between the Taliban and the Pakistani military has been reported for the fourth day in a row in and around the town of Mir Ali, an al Qaeda stronghold. Pakistani fighter-bomber have been called in to conduct air strikes on Taliban positions in the region, while over 50,000 civilians are said to be fleeing the area. (READ MORE)

Elaine Donnelly: Kennedy Smears Military in Pursuit of “Hate Crimes” Bill - We have heard a lot about Rush Limbaugh's alleged insult about “phony soldiers,” but almost nothing about a genuine attack against our soldiers that was launched on the floor of the U.S. Senate. As reported by Byron York of NRO, on September 26 Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) was promoting his “hate crimes” amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. The legislation would expand legal sanctions against persons targeting a victim because of sexual orientation and “gender identity.” (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: The House As Arbiter Of History - Imagine, if you will, that in the middle of World War II, Congress decided to take under consideration the blame for the famine and hundreds of thousands of deaths during the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. Would a House Speaker with any sense of sanity allowed a measure to come to the floor which resolved that our key ally in wartime had committed a genocide and should be censured? What kind of fool would even propose that Congress should act as arbiter of history and chief blame-thrower of the world -- and direct that effort at our allies? Meet Nancy Pelosi. The House has taken under consideration a bill that would declare Turkey's guilt in the genocide of the Armenians in 1915 at the very moment we need them for our efforts in the Middle East. Even former Secretaries of State from Democratic administrations wonder what she's smoking: (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: It's a Small World - When the Burmese government shut down all the Internet Service Providers in the country in an attempt to silence its virtual opposition, they may have actually done the opposition a long-term favor. How can shutting down the Internet help the virtual resistance? Even John Palfrey of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School described the Burmese shutdown as a "nuclear bomb" in an interview with MIT Technology Review. “I've never seen anything like this cutoff to the Internet at such a broad scale so crudely and completely. They've taken the nuclear-bomb approach. We've witnessed what appear to be denial-of-service-type attacks during elections, for instance, but nothing so large-scale like this shutdown.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: "There Is Nothing So Powerful As Truth" - That's the slogan of New Hampshire's only statewide newspaper, the Union Leader. It's a truncated quote from one of our proudest native sons, Daniel Webster; the full quote is "there is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange" -- an early version of "truth is stranger than fiction." It's a great quote, and reminds me of a few others: "...and the truth shall set you free." "Truth will out." The sad thing is, there are a lot of people today who are afraid of the truth. (READ MORE)

Dave In Texas: DailyK: Democrats Have Marginalized Us Again - A week ago this past Sunday (nope, no link for goofballs), a Kos diarist bemoaned what has been painfully obvious for months, the Democrat leadership is abandoning their anti-war rhetoric. Having confirmed in words what they have confirmed in actions since the 06 elections when they took control of both Houses, they've conceded that not only is feeble obstruction counterproductive for them, even outright criticism of the war is a losing proposition with the American people. Perhaps it became painfully obvious in the last Democrat presidential debate, when not one front runner would commit to pulling out the troops by 2013. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: (Video) Whoopi calls on Sharpton to apologize to the Duke lacrosse players - Well, Whoopi Goldberg may yet prove to be a good addition to The View after all. No, I’m not a fan. That business with the Pelosis was revolting. But in this clip, not only does Whoopi not stick to the usual comfortable knee-jerk reactions to events, but goes out of her way to look up the facts before opining. She ends up calling out Rev. Al Sharpton for getting the Duke lacrosse story entirely wrong, and for not apologizing after it became clear that they were innocent. What a concept. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Verdict: Full of it - That’s a Brit court. The Nobel jury’s still out on the Goracle. Corner: “While Al Gore is the favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, a British court has found that his film is both partisan and contains no fewer than eleven material inaccuracies that need to be drawn to students’ attention if it is going to be shown in schools. The details will be on Planet Gore soon, but for the moment, you can go to Globalwarming.org for the full embarassing truth. One would hope that this result will provide impetus for legal challenges to it being shown in schools over here.’ Wheels of justice grind slow, but exceedingly inconveniently: (READ MORE)

Fjordman: The Age of White Masochism - Imagine if you planned a country’s economic future using calculations exclusively based on even numbers. For ideological reasons you excluded odd numbers because you declared that they represent bigotry and have divisive nature since they cannot be divided equally in half. Absolutely all calculations for the future would then end up being wrong. This sounds insane and improbable, but what we’re doing now in the Western world is exactly this naïve. In the name of Multiculturalism we completely ignore all ethnic, religious, cultural and, yes, racial differences, because we have decided that these things don’t matter. But in real life, ethnicity, culture, religion and race do matter. Doesn’t that mean that all our projections for the future by necessity will end up being wrong, since they fail to take important factors into account? (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: The Failure of Government - Dymphna’s post yesterday about Ayaan Hirsi Ali generated a lot of controversy among our commenters. Before I wade into this free-for-all, I want to emphasize that I am not arguing about Ayaan Hirsi Ali, her character, her deeds, her opinions, her philosophy, or anything else about her. She is a brave and intelligent woman and is serving the cause of the Counterjihad, but this is not about her. This is about the failure of our governments, the democratically elected governments of the West, to carry out faithfully one of their primary duties: to protect their citizens. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Pelosi swamped - Having had the worst 10 months for a House speaker in recent memory, Nancy Pelosi is patting herself on the back — to a fawning press. She told the Swamp blog (irony alert) at the Baltimore Sun: “We have drained the swamp. We have passed historic legislation.” Well, if you mean by draining the swamp declaring it a wetland and moving on, sure. Not only does Jack Murtha’s Earmarks Inc. continue, but it welcomed a new franchisee: (READ MORE)

McQ: Emotional arguments and the gilded cage - I’m not at all surprised that the SCHIP story has taken the turn it has. That’s the story about the Balitmore MD family which has come under scrutiny from opponents of the expansion of the SCHIP program after their 12 year old son was used by Democrats to make an emotional appeal for passage. The most interesting thing has been the reaction of the left blogosphere. Those of us opposing this expansion and raising questions about the family in Baltimore are automatically "attacking children". Of course, given the use of the 12 year old boy, not a word mentioned about exploiting children, but that really comes as no surprise. In fact this isn’t about the Frost children at all. It is about a program Democrats want to expand well beyond its original concept. It is incrementalism at its finest. (READ MORE)

Douglas V. Gibbs: The Legend of the Honest Politician - Okay, kids, today we are going to talk about the definition of oxymoron. No, that is not a moron dependent upon extra oxygen. An oxymoron, according to Yahoo Education, is, and I quote: "A rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined, as in a deafening silence and a mournful optimist." So, it seems that Honest Politician is an oxymoron, or so it seems. Well, maybe there are a few honest ones out there, but they aren't running for any office. And this difficulty with honesty does not inhabit just one party. Both of the major parties, anyway, seems to be plagued with dishonesty. (READ MORE)

John Hawkins: Why So Many Conservatives Don't Like Ron Paul - It's no secret that I don't care much for Ron Paul, but after reading some of the hurt and angry responses from Ron Paul fans to his first place finish in the Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select Their Least Favorite People On The Right (2007 Edition) poll, I thought it might be worth taking the time to explain to them why Paul is so unpopular with mainstream conservatives. In an effort to be polite, I am not going to be snarky about it, but I should forewarn Paul's fans and, for that matter, any "Big L" Libertarians who may be reading, that they are probably not going to like what they read. I'm not trying to be insulting, but without a certain amount of bluntness, it's impossible to get some of these points across. (READ MORE)

Meryl Yourish: A UC-Davis student speaks - From the comments: "I am a UC Davis student and have been doing some research into the strong anti-semitic problem at this campus. In 2001 the UC Davis Hillel was SET ON FIRE. There is a history of strong anti-semitic and/or anti-zionist speakers coming to the UC Davis campus. However the upcoming speaker being brought by 'Students for Justice and Peace' takes the cake: Ward Churchill." Olivia, you are wrong. There is a way to fight this. I know that anti-Semitism is rampant on more than a few University of California campuses, but you can’t just lie down and accept it. Publicize the hate attacks. Mount a campaign of writing letters to the various media in your area. Get fellow students, teachers, deans to write about the anti-Jewish hate attacks. Point out that anti-Zionism on your campus has become synonymous with anti-Semitism. Get an op-ed in your college paper. Explain what a sukka is, and point out that your religious symbol was desecrated by people who have an anti-Israel agenda—which makes it anti-Semitism. They’re not defacing something Israeli. They’re defacing something Jewish. (READ MORE)

TigerHawk: Graeme Frost and collateral damage in political discourse - Regular readers of political blogs other than this one have been following the Graeme Frost episode, in which the anecdotal healthcare experiences of a particular child and his family were cited by Democrats as evidence in favor of a specific social program (the details of which hardly matter). Righties responded that his case is quasi-fraudulent political showmanship and responded with anecdotes of their own, namely that the Frost family was more affluent than portrayed by the Democrats. Lefties, including thoughtful and respectable lefties, regard this as yet another example of right-wing "smear" tactics. The New York Times described some of the back-and-forth on this morning's front page. Frankly, I think virtually everybody involved has behaved, well, disingenuously and hypocritically. (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Fearing November 2008 - As the 2008 election approaches, it is easy to be afraid, very afraid, of what lies ahead. One has only to listen to the politicians to see how the upcoming election will prove pivotal in the future of our Republic. Fighting a nearly unilateral world war, years of bankrupting fiscal policies, an entitlement society, and a lack of understanding of the philosophy that was the foundation of our nation, we face choices that may change America into something it was never meant to be, at great loss to us all. One has only to look at the current coterie of politicians seeking the presidency to realize how this election more than any before will set America's course for the rest of the millennium. Most distressing is that the choice that seems to be coming is deciding who we fear more and voting for the least objectionable for President. (READ MORE)

Right Wing Nut House: A Debate That Never Was but Needs to Happen - I believe it entirely appropriate that we conservatives criticize little Graeme Frost – an injured boy of just 12 years old – for…well, I’ll think of it in a minute. I know we should be skewering him for something. Maybe we should go after him for getting in front of the car that caused his injuries? How about for not being born with a silver spoon in his mouth? Perhaps we could come down on him for giving a poor performance during his response to the President for vetoing SCHIP? I know there’s something that we should be hammering the kid for. After all, if liberals accuse conservatives of something, it’s got to be true. They never exaggerate. They never lie. They never twist words or make outrageously stupid analogies. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: A faux "gotcha" moment - There's little doubt that Rudy Giuliani had an excellent debate yesterday. Moreover, although Mitt Romney did well too, it's pretty clear that he had a bad moment when, in his answer to the question of whether he would need authorization from Congress to take military action against Iran's nuclear facilities, he focused on consulting with lawyers. Finally, we all understand the urge of a candidate's operatives to want to convert a less than well-stated answer into a "gotcha" moment. Nonetheless, the Giuliani campaign is over-the-top in claiming (in one of its many emails about the debate) that Romney's references to lawyers constitute a "lawyers' test for national security." Even worse is the suggestion that Romney's answer is akin to that of John Kerry, "another Massachusetts politician," who proposed a "global test" for use of force by the U.S. ere is exchange in question: (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: MSM admits ignoring good news in the GWOT - You gotta love the liberal MSM mindset. Not only are they dead set against reporting success in Iraq and Afghanistan, they really get irked and tapdance like crazy when it happens. Howard Kurtz host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” interviewed WaPo’s Robin Wright and CNN correspondent Barbara Starr on the lack of media attention regarding the good news out of Iraq; the dramatic decline in casualties, increase in stabilization, and the defeat of al Qaeda insurgents. Both of them condone the censorship of positive news. Kurtz asked, “Robin Wright, should that decline in Iraq casualties have gotten more media attention?” Her response: (READ MORE)

Euphoric Reality: Haditha Engineered by Al-Qaeda - I am trying as hard as I can to not scream “We TOLD you people!” but it refuses to stay under wraps. So…We told you so. In fact, we told you on 22 June 2006–over a year and a half ago–that the Haditha incident was nothing more than al-Qaeda setting up our Marines, and the media/politicans were falling for it. Now a new report shows that we were right all along. Our Marines aren’t “cold-blooded killers,” they’re heroes who did the best they could in the middle of trying to keep themselves alive while fighting a war that our own country won’t let them win. (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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