Saturday, May 12, 2007

nuclear manpacks

* did Tenet coin a new term in his new book? From Jonathon: "nuclear manpacks" - I guess it's like a backpack, except you put it on your man, instead of on your back.

* everyone is laughing at Perle's WaPo piece about Tenet, for obvious reasons. At the end of the piece, Perle is identified as "The writer was chairman of the Defense Policy Board from 2001 to 2003." Fair enough. As far as I know, however, he is still on the board.

* xymphora has a post about the possible suiciding of the DC Madam:
"Using such information to blackmail the Establishment carries with it the huge risk that the embarrassment will simply be suicided. You thus need a second plan to ensure that there is no advantage to murdering the defendant. Setting up an arrangement with a web site published in a safe place like Russia to automatically publish all the names in the event of the ‘suicide’ of the defendant, and letting the existence of this ‘dead man’s switch’ be known to the Establishment, would do the trick."
I can only imagine/hope that Sibel has the same sort of insurance. Let's hope all relevant parties are aware of the insurance.

* RObin NIblett on Lehrer (director of Chatham House, a British foreign policy think-tank):
"I think my biggest criticism (of Blair) would be, on the one hand, that he bought so much into a global sense that all terrorism was the same, that Iraq was the same as Afghanistan, that al-Qaida somehow and the terrorists there were the same as the insurgents, or are the same as the insurgents who are operating in Iraq.

And he's still using this blended language, which most Europeans -- and I'd say the Brits, as well -- do not sympathize with or really agree with. So I think that was a fundamental problem, that problem of analysis."

* Lenin:
"The sleazy low-rent moralising blood-soaked mountebank scumbag (ahem, blair) is announcing his resignation at noon. Can't help but notice that the assiduous drip-feeding and dragging out of the inevitable has been carefully coordinated to produce the least possible reaction - because the Prime Minister knew it would be street celebrations and antiwar protests the second he finally hit the fucking road. There is, of course, a low chorus building up among Blair's supporters, which includes the phrases "some mistakes", "leaving at a time of his own choosing", "history will be kind", "unprecedented third term" etc. It's remarkable, the latter. The assumption seems to be that if Blair benefited from an anti-Tory animus so stupendous that even the support of a quarter of voters could put him back in power, even when he is deeply unpopular and his policies hated, then that's okay. That miserable fact, with everything it says about the growing unresponsiveness of parliament, is seen as an achievement. Some commentators, some cheeky bastards actually, have the gall to speak of the Prime Minister having pushed 'humanitarianism' to the fore. Oh, to be sure, the PM's lachrymose humanity was much in evidence when he insisted on helping Israel fry up Lebanese council estates. And when British-made weapons are thrust into the hands of terror squads in Colombia, there is always a note attached asking that they be used with kindness. When Blair made his apologetic speech on behalf of Putin's slaughter in Chechnya, I detected moisture in those smarting eyes."

* larisa:
"Murdering journalists is like killing the people they represent, because journalists are the true representatives of a nation and its people. Journalists, are, therefor given safe passage as a matter of policy by all civilized countries. But when the so called leader of the free world targets journalists as a matter of policy, plans to bomb the headquarters of a network, and is allowed to walk free, then there is no freedom to be had, not anywhere, because there is no example and their is no accountability. The fact that two UK government officials have been found guilty for making something this illegal public and UK publications are banned from reporting on the documents requires the public to stand up and all over the world.

Support your journalists people, because that is the last and most sacred front left protecting the people from their government."

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