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September 2006

WSJ tortures logic with editorial

(not that WSJ) From the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal

America's rejection of torture as a tool of law enforcement and military strategy is one of the many ways we distinguish ourselves from our enemies.

That is why the nation should thank dissident Republican senators for last week convincing President Bush to abandon his attempt to permit torture in the war against terrorism.

If you are going to accuse the President of advocating torture you might want to note when he ever did so. That is an inflammatory statement and the WSJ offers no explanation. The President asked Congress to enact legislation ensuring that the use of coercive interrogation techniques up to and including waterboarding were not considered grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

The president's allies, including Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, should now drop their support of legislation allowing torture, and Congress' final product should make it clear that the United States will not employ torture.

Not now. Not ever.

What noble rhetoric, it must have made their pride swell to take the strong moral position of condemning torture. Especially as they prove they are a true centrist, moderate publication, by castigating the President for a straw man claim that he advocated torture, one they conspicuously fail to identify. I will assume that they object to the coercive techniques including the belly slap and waterboarding. The problem is in identifying these as torture. If these constitute torture, then the US Congress has funded and every administration since the Vietnam War has conducted torture on US citizens. Impossible you say, well Congress approves the military budget and the very same techniques the WSJ uses to smear the president as a torturer are routinely applied to US military personnel. Now how can something the US Congress has approved for 40 years suddenly become torture when, instead of doing it to our own people, we use it on Khalid "Sheik Sheikh Sheikh" Mohammed?

The full smackdown here

I emailed the members of the WSJ editorial board with a link to my piece and asked them for space on the editorial page to retort. I will advise as to their response. The editor's name is Ellen Foley and her email is efoleyATmadison.com, if you have a connection to Wisconsin or just want to communicate displeasure please be reasonably polite. The WSJ is supposed to be our right of center or at least moderate paper in town with the Capital Times handling the Progressive propaganda, kinda sad to see them mouthing lefty talking points.


Recruiting Terrorists

Is it just me, or do you find it puzzling how people are unable to make the simplest of logical assumptions when it comes to just about anything in this country?  It seems that every day on the news we are treated to the results of some brilliant scientist's research study that states the obvious after spending millions in grant money.  Did you know that children who live in homes with alcoholic crack addicts who own guns are 10 times as likely to shoot themselves accidentally as  children that go to northeastern college prep schools?  Really, you don't say?

Should it come as any surprise then that after decades of cowering after terrorist attacks that when the US decides to fight back and take the battle to their home turf that more of them would get involved in the fight?  Just taking a wild stab in the dark here, but I would imagine that recruiting for the US military might have ticked up a bit after the 9/11 attacks.  I seem to remember a guy, Pat somebody, who blew off an NFL career to join the Army around that time. 

My question for these brilliant political scientists in the Congress and elsewhere would be, "What policy do you advocate that both reduces terrorism and recruitment of terrorists?"  Or how about, "Which priority is more vital to the security of the US, fighting terrorism or reducing recruitment of terrorists?  Because as I recall, the terrorists had no trouble recruiting when we were pulling out of Beirut or Somalia.  It seems that showing weakness in the face of enemy aggression is pretty good for recruiting too.  We could have continued this response to our enemy in perpetuity if they hadn't gone and killed 3000 of our people... but they did. 

The way I see it, we can concern ourselves with only one of these problems at the present time.  Until democracy breaks out in the middle east, theocratic nutburger regimes liberalize, and islam goes through a reformation we can either worry that more terrorists are being recruited or thank God that more American soldiers are joining up to kill those recruits.  I think I'll go with door number two.


The Generals' Revolt --- or Generally Revolting?

I've been reading the blogs, the transcript and some comments from some well-meaning and some irrational folks about the Generals' Revolt and their comments in front of a panel of Dhimmicrats in Congress. Many comments, and all the Dhimmicrats miss the point.

These Generals have gone to a partisan group and demanded action to remove the leadership of the Dept of Defense. Fine. Your points are noted with interest. If you read their transcripts they demand a dramatic increase in the commitment of troops, resources and money to the fight, and commitment to the conflict for the long haul. Again, fine.

There is nothing 145,000 American troops in Iraq and 20,000 American troops in Afghanistan couldn't do and do better with twice or three times the on ground manpower, resources, and money than is already committed. So let's see the Dhimmicrats insist on that. When they insist on raising the size of America's military from 1.4 Million on active duty to 2.5 Million on active duty, add the required armor, intelligence, air, and naval assets required to meet that task, including raising the Defense budget from $400 Billion to $1.2 Trillion annually, THEN and ONLY THEN, will I believe they are serious about defense and intend to actually fight the Long War.

What these Generals are saying is that we are fighting the War on Terror on the cheap.... and we are still winning it. The cost in men and women's lives is being paid because our Republican leadership has not made a case, and has not even asked us to sacrifice ourselves to go all out for Victory in the war. Fine. I'm upset about that too. If we accept that because we are too lame to insist our leaders wage total war against Islamofascism, that is our fault, not the Republicans, whose basic principles are to insist that government do the job with just enough funding, just enough manpower, just enough regulation, and just enough gas and guns to get the job done and nothing left over for waste.

If the Dhimmicrats insist the war is about a failure of leadership, then they better start exerting some. I want to see massive headlines in the NY Times, WaPo, and every other news machine in America demanding major increases in military spending, major increases in manpower, demands that Iran stop enriching uranium or their asses will be turned to nuclear fused glass in a month, and Dhimmicratic constituencies loudly demanding that Congress raise the age of enlistment to 55 so both they, their children, and I can join up again and do something real again for my country.

When I hear cries for these massive warfighting efforts, including the rationing, draft, and hardship imposed on every American soul to support this war, then I will agree that Dhimmicrats are leaders concerned with my safety, Republicans are doddering fools, and the American people are super geniuses who should be the only authorized leaders of the world, and smash those stupid UN kleptocrats like bugs.

While I'm listening over the chirping of crickets for these cries of outrage, I'll be supporting the only people who are actually doing anything about kicking Islamic ass, however meager an effort it is, and shining a spotlight on the cockroaches of fascism living in the Dhimmicratic household... the Bush administration and Donald Frickin' Rumsfeld. They may be doing it on the cheap, but they are doing it.... and they are Winning.

It will take longer, cost more in the long run, and will demand smaller sacrifices instead of large ones, but the job will eventually get done. While the crickets are chirping over the cries for a larger military, I'll be praying that the Men and Women of the United States Armed Forces continue to show the guts, determination, and courage lacking in every other segment of American society...the Courage and Fortitude to do their Duty, even when it is unpopular, underfunded, underappreciated, and underplayed by Republicans, and disavowed by Dhimmicrats.

All of us need to get a grip. We either suffer with them and get it over quick. Or we suffer not at all, and let them do their jobs with what pittances we give them, and pray that they will forgive us when they grow old and forgotten by a citizenry which knows little of what they are actually accomplishing for the World and for America. Freedom from tyranny. Freedom of religion. Freedom from the burkha and for Women's rights. And freedom from the Knife and the Sword in the night. Freedom from Kristallnacht, Islam style. Let's get out of their way!

Press on, Men. To Victory.

Subsunk

UPDATE: While I was reading, typing and thinking, GRIM was already reading my mind.  All of you make sure you read the stuff GRIM has written as well.  It is integral to the discussion here.

Subsunk out.


Hospital Corpsmen Fight "The Hardest Battle"

From Marine 1st Sergeant Ben Grainger's daily reports (AmericantologyTM and the Fallujah Courant) comes this piece about the Marines fighting to save some innocent Iraqis:

The Hardest battle

            We had some civilians get hit by an IED yesterday as one of the battalions patrols went by. No Marines were hurt, but once again these people don’t care if they hurt, kill, or maim their own. The Company Commander, our react force, and Doc and myself with the ambulance ran out once again. We loaded up as many as we could at their hospital that wanted to go. One Iraqi for sure lost his arm probably as there wasn’t much left below the elbow, but Doc worked him enough to keep him alive and stabilized. He had another on the other side of the ambulance who I thought for sure would loose a leg but after surgery we were told they were able to save it. No doubt my Doc probably attributed to saving that limb as he has saved many already. We brought them to our hospital as the Iraqi ones aren’t really equipped to handle the severe casualty stuff. We don’t have to, but we do. The Iraqi Doctors just lay them in a bed and try and stop the bleeding until they die. We are their only real fighting chance in severe cases. There were some families that refused to let us take their kids to the hospital for whatever reason. We can’t save them if they won’t let us. We brought the father of the young guy who lost the arm with us to sit at the hospital. As we rushed to the hospital in the ambulance, which is really just a humvee that is modified to be an ambulance, doc hung on in the back. He treated the two casualties in the back, with the aid of two Marines, as I called turns and holes to him from the driver seat. Some how between keeping the bleeding in check, the stomach of one covered and moist, and bracing for bumps as we raced across the city of Fallujah Doc managed to keep both stabilized. AS we rolled into the Camp Fallujah Hospital the doctors were waiting and moved them right in. Within minutes they were in surgery. Looked like something out of a MASH episode. They sanitized and washed all the blood off of the stretchers and concrete as they had done so any times before there. How much of that blood had been my Marines blood I still remember. The Company Commander and I look at the concrete and remember every drop as if it were still there even though you can no longer see it. Connecticut , New Jersey , New York , Vermont , New Hampshire , Virginia and many more states have bleed on that concrete pad. This day it was not to be American blood, but the blood of some Iraqis who had been in the wrong place when insurgents had laid their IED’s. These people don’t care who they kill as we don’t care who we save. It is a life. Doc and a few Marines rescrubbed the stretchers and the back of the ambulance again today. They always have to scrub it out, but I don’t know if the stains even come out anymore. Every time we scrub it and park it we hope it is the last time for we know the road all to well. You can scrub the blood until you no longer see it, but it never really goes away. We have fought many battles in the city, but Doc and I, we  know the hardest ones have been fought in the back of that ambulance.   

1stSgt Grainger

Charlie Company,

1st Bn 25th Marines

UNIT 72190

FPO AE 09509-2190


Ad_jpeg

You see after the Arizona Republic newspaper cartoonist (traitor) ran his cartoon of accusing the USMC of being murders; I kind of got a red ass.  Now after proof this guy is by himself we had put out our own ad in his paper and the American people, Marine supporters helped pay for it. Just to show the few idiots out there, you shouldn’t mess with what you don’t know about.

We couldn’t use the desired picture because, Acliam.com wouldn’t give me the rights to use it, commies! This one is of some warrior friends of mine! Better anyway!

If you send needed items to troops, print this off and include it in your next pkg. Let them know, we are thinking and support them while fighting the nations wars!!!

To all who donated, I say two powerful words, Thank You!

God Bless all who appears on the ad, I’ll have a cigar in your name!

Maj Pain


So What About This?

The Commissar links to an LA Times piece stating that Rumsfeld is in an unprecedented dispute with the Army Chief of Staff, General Schoomaker

The Army’s top officer withheld a required 2008 budget plan from Pentagon leaders last month after protesting to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the service could not maintain its current level of activity in Iraq plus its other global commitments without billions in additional funding.

The decision by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army’s chief of staff, is believed to be unprecedented and signals a widespread belief within the Army that in the absence of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq, funding assumptions must be completely reworked, say current and former Pentagon officials.

Does anyone know anything about this that would shed some light on it?  As a long-time supporter of Rumsfeld, watching the same US Marines now into third and fourth tours, I'm starting to think we really do need to rethink force structure in a big way if we're going to maintain operational tempo for years to come.  If Iran will have to be dealt with on the mid-term horizon, for example, we might well need more units for the rotation.


"The Blog of War" eBook free for Enlisted Military

In negotiations for "The Blog of War", one of the issues on the table was that I wanted the eBook version available for free for all of our deployed enlisted troops.  However, managing the distribution of that process would have been too difficult.

So, Simon & Schuster, to their credit (and having gone through the arduous book deal process with them, I can tell you that they are an amazing group of people) decided to put up a link to the PDF version of the eBook for Enlisted members to download for free.  We decided to provide it on the honor system and not spend time authorizing people to download the PDF file. 

This offer is only good until the end of October.   

You can use this link to Simon & Schuster's download page.  The password to unlock the download is blogwar .

Please forward this to any enlisted people you think might be interested.


Armed Liberal wants questions for Warren Christopher

Armed Liberal, one of my favorite thinkers among the many, from Winds of Change has a request

Monday night, I'm going to hear Warren Christopher talk about "The Iranian Hostage Crisis and the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal: Implications for International Dispute Resolution and Diplomacy"

I may get a chance to chat with him. My impressions of the US response to the Iran hostage crisis are pretty bleak.

So - what should I ask him? What should I read tomorrow?

I would ask him "Do you know who MSG Tim Martin is?"

I do because "Griz" was a Team Sergeant in Okinawa when I was there, not that we were buddies or anything. I was a punk ass cherry and he was one of the most experienced Special Operators around. He was known as "Griz" because he was on Operation Eagle Claw, the too little, too late attempt to rescue the hostages Iran held after capturing the US Embassy in Iran in 1979. Jimmy Carter allowed this invasion of sovereign territory and subsequent hostage crisis to go on for 6 months and then instead of a bold plan involving paratroopers taking the airport in Tehran to support a Spec Ops raid, we tried a Hail Mary plan involving convoys of helicopters poorly suited to desert travel. This also required multiple refuelings and landing at a staging point inside Iran to have them scramble around before heading on to the actual target.

The military had plenty of other options, but resistance from Mr. Christopher's State Dept. took all the more direct and forceful plans off the table. Their faith in diplomacy led to the crisis stretching 6 months while America looked helpless to the world, our territory invaded, our people held hostage. Then when they decide to take action the State Dept's need to make sure we don't anger anyone overcame the military reality. This called for Rangers on the airfield and a bunch of helos hitting the Embassy with exfil via the airport. Instead the best Spec Ops troops we had at the time took the only military option Carter and his diplomats would allow and gave it a helluva go.

Unfortunately things went to hell in the desert and when a helo hit a C-130, "Griz" got a wicked burn on his face, hence the nickname, and 8 others were killed. Ask Warren Christopher if he thinks it was wise to hamstring this operation and allow this crisis to eventually stretch out to 444 days. His bio on Wikipedia says this.

Christopher was sworn in on February 26, 1977, as the Deputy Secretary of State and served in that position until January 20, 1981. As Deputy Secretary, he is credited with skillfully negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran

444 days later, 8 of our finest dead, American power around the world self-emasculated, is skillfully? MY ASS!

Sadly this was not Tim's last chance to be poorly served by Mr. Christopher's diplomatic failings. He was back with Delta for Christopher's tenure as WJB Clinton's Secretary of State and a member of the contingent memorialized in Black Hawk Down.

This time "Griz' didn't make it, neither did 18 others. The commanders on the ground had been asking for armor because their canvas-covered trucks and humvees were extremely vulnerable to ambush in the narrow streets of Mogadishu. This very scenario played out as MSG Martin was killed by an RPG while attempting to reinforce the Rangers in a convoy of thin-skinned vehicles with no fire support.

So given the chance, I think you should ask Mr. Christopher if he still believes that making diplomacy so pre-eminent and forcing our military to fight with one hand tied behind it's back is a good idea. Since he wants to talk Iran, you could follow up with his thoughts on the current Iran crisis. Does he think we should keep sipping tea and conducting formalized lying in formal wear, while the Iranians continue to laugh at our weakness and their nuke program steams ahead? Should we keep negotiating with people who have not lived up to any agreement they have ever made about their nuke program? Should we extend this dance until it's too late and then send in a half-assed, hamstrung, military response? Should we continually kow tow to the whims of the so-called Arab street which, near as I can tell, has hated us pretty consistently for my four decades on this planet?

Ya' know screw all that, I know what he would say and his answers would be a waste of oxygen.

Just ask him if he knows who MSG Tim Martin is.

UPDATE: It's been too many moons since I read Charlie Beckwith's "Delta Force". Reader Mario Mirarchi points out another glaring example of Christopher's naivete.

Read Charlie Beckwith's book Delta Force for a description of Christopher's contributions to Operation Eagle Claw. As Beckwith is briefing the NSC, Christopher expresses his horror that Delta plans on actually killing the hostage takers, and he asks Beckwith why don't they shoot them in the shoulder instead.


Kim Jong-Il on Torture

B5 reader and part-time channeler of despots JihadGene has a message from the pompadoured poofter of Pyongyang himself chiming in on torture and his magic powers.

HELLROW Uncle JimBlow and Flends of Brack Five, from The Great Reader of Norf Korea and Pretty Boy of Pyongyang!!!

Floor God's sakes! Howze ablout give Senator John McWayne (D-Arizona) a blake.
You can WHATA-BOAD me all you wont but I never give in to torture. Sunny bleechin, mudder pucker, George Bloosh!!! You want torture? I glive yoo torture!!! Watch dis video of me more than once if you got da glownads!!!

Love U Looooong Time Uncle JimBlow!!!
SCUDIALLY, KIM J.I.

I am honored to make the radar screen of one of my favorite petit tyrants, thanks for keeping up with the King of Kimchi Gene.


Torture deal done- Belly slaps for all my friends

Well it looks like W has managed to wrangle maverick John McCain and the other torture dissenters back into the herd. As I understand it we will codify the acts that are considered grave breaches, well let’s have Byron York of NRO do a better job of explaining that.

How did that come about, giving the president what he wanted while still addressing McCain/Graham/Warner’s concerns? The key to the deal was the decision to have Congress define, in U.S. law, what are called “grave breaches” of the Geneva Convention. “We recognized that the president has the authority to interpret treaties,” says the source aligned with McCain/Graham/Warner, “but Congress now has the authority to define ‘grave breaches.’” In doing so, the negotiators enumerated nine offenses that everyone agreed constituted a grave breach of the treaty: torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, performing biological experiments, murder, mutilation or maiming, rape, causing serious bodily injury, and sexual assault or abuse, and taking hostages.

The importance of delineating these offenses is to ensure that any actions taken that do not rise to this level are permissible.

“But what is clear is that, after defining grave breaches, Congress gave the administration significant leeway to define non-grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. “Grave breaches are crimes,” the source says. “Non-grave breaches are something else….We are going to spell out grave breaches, and then it is up to the administration to come up with sanctions for violations that are less than grave breaches.”

The end result is that US law wil now determine the legality of any actions taken by US personnel anywhere around the world and that interpretation of our obligations under the Geneva Conventions was jointly determined by the two branches of government elected by the people and most representative of the country’s will. This was necessary to ensure that Human Rights watch or another fellow traveling NGO doesn’t sue a CIA interrogator and venue shop untl they find an amenable judge. The ACLU came out against it about 5 minutes after it was announced, which is a good sign. It appears that all of the evil coercive interrogation techniques would be allowed, although there is some quibbling about waterboarding. Having personal experience with waterboarding in training (I signed zee papah!) I was heartened to see this clip of ABC’s Brian Ross confirming that Khalid “Skeikh Sheikh Sheikh” Mohammed took a waterboarding, caved quickly and gave up a bunch of actionable intel. From HotAir which has the vid.

Anti-”torture” absolutists like Sullivan adamantly deny that harsh tactics produce reliable information. It’s their way of avoiding the moral dilemma presented by a ticking time-bomb scenario. But they’ll have to face it now, because in four short minutes Brian Ross utterly explodes that particular article of quasi-religious faith as fantasy. Not only did they break Khaled Sheikh Mohammed; not only was the information he gave them valuable; not only did it save lives; but Ross’s sources include people within the CIA who are opposed to the practices.

I say again, coercive interrogation works and is not torture, just being very mean to bad guys for a short time. The best part of this deal, I think, is that it legally authorizes our intel folks to do what they have been, which has been effective. Plus it completely destroys the Dems wails about TORTURE, and they not only lose it as a trumped-up issue, but they get zero credit for helping fight terror AND you just know some of them will fight it and make the rest look weak on terror. This is a masteful peace of political judo where the Dems leaned much farther than the American public on how nice we have be to bad guys, and then W turned and whomped them to the mat with Johnny Maverick as his second. Not only have they ensured we can effectively and legally interrogate bad guys, but Republicans had an actual substantive debate and showed that they are not a monlithic block, but representatives of voters all over America who want to be safe.