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July 30, 2005

More on Dems Roberts Strategy

Ed Whelan relays a reader's take on how the battle against John Roberts will begin to shape up this weekend. Sounds about right to me, unfortunately...

"The Left's strategy for attacking Judge Roberts should come into clearer focus as left-wing elites gather for an American Constitution Society for Law and Policy meeting in Washington this weekend. Prediction: the attack will be two pronged, at least initially. The first prong will be a character assault, led by former Democrat VP candidate John Edwards. Edwards will suggest that the public hasn't seen "the real John Roberts." Edwards — of "Two Americas" fame — seems to believe there's always two of everything, and will lay the groundwork for a broader future assault on Roberts' integrity and consistency.

The second prong of the attack will be an assault on Roberts' commitment to civil rights. Look for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund's Elaine Jones to lead the charge on this issue. You may recall that Jones was the lawyer who tried to fix the outcome of a federal affirmative action case, by delaying the appointment of a conservative judge to the 6th Circuit. Jones will focus in on Roberts' memos during the Reagan era on a range of civil rights issues. This is, of course, an attempt to relitigate the Reagan legacy — a legacy that the American public overwhelmingly supports.

My cynical view is that Jones and others know the attack on Roberts' commitment to equal rights will go nowhere, but will launch anyway in the hopes of energizing their political base for the 2006 elections."

The players might turn out differently, although I think that Elaine Jones is going to be right in the thick of it. I'm not so sure of John Edwards playing a central role, but someone will be doing exactly what the author says Edwards will do. If it is not a sitting Senator, it will probably be someone from outside Washington, DC. Within Washington, Roberts is well respected and liked. Heck, even Lawrence Tribe, one of the founders of the modern day Democrat obstruction game plan, likes and respects Roberts.

July 29, 2005

An Interesting Perspective on Terror

Dr. Judith Apter Klinghoffer, of the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University is guest-hosting over at She has an interesting post on David Ben-Gurion's opinion on terrorism. Ben-Gurion linkwas one of Israel's founders, and was Prime Minister of Israel at its founding in 1948. One of the excuses of the terrorists in the Palestinian Authority (and related entities) is that the terrorism that they espouse exists only to facilitate the founding of their nation. Did Israel promote terrorism during its founding?

"BEN GURION ON TERRORISM: Founding fathers leave an indelible mark on their countries. Israel was lucky to have an founding father who hated terror. How vehemently? I only discovered doing research for my article on "Jewish Terrorism." . I cannot forgo the opportunity to share a small part of it with you.

On December 18, 1946, in a closed meeting of the political committee of the Zionist Congress, Ben Gurion argued brilliantly against colleagues advocating terror. His words could not be more relevant today. He began by saying, "One thing is prohibited under any circumstances - murder. Murder - means spilling of innocent blood. Murder - No. I have to tell you that a soldier is a volunteer. I know what it means to be a soldier. The role of the soldier is to kill and be killed for a just cause. . . . But there is something else that is called murder. And there is not one of us who may permit it, and we may not give anyone permission to permit it, especially when it is done in our name." . . .

Ben Gurion believed that terror is self-destructive, especially to the youth engaged in it. "We may not permit within our ranks the demoralizing education of 'only thus,' only with the gun, as it undermines the foundation of our movement," he asserted. It is also wrong to underestimate the people's ability to combine building with self-defense: "As to the question, raised in the Congress at the end of the political debate by one of our best men: "How can we combine these things? - I must answer that we were forced to combine them in reality...I went to plow with a rifle on my shoulder in Segera."

Indeed, the alternative would result in the emergence of a generation which would lack the ability to handle peace: "Imagine: A miracle would happen tomorrow and we would receive a state on both sides of the Jordan, and all the earthly kings would ship Jews to the Land of Israel, and there will no longer be a basis for terror. I know that a few hundred or a few thousand Jewish boys and girls would be the most miserable. They have no other interest in life except to shoot people. They have not been educated for anything else. They will have no meaning to their lives. As this was all their purpose, dream, pathos and song." . . .

"If you tell the youth . . . that the only thing to do is to shoot, it could no longer do anything else. It would be the worse exploitation of our brothers and sisters...who after 70 years of work in the land of Israel there are still poor neighborhoods to take their children, who do not have enough to eat, street children, and ...make into murderous bands with the help of the theory 'Only Thus!' (with a gun)."xi"

So there were some proponents of terrorism in the Zionist Congress, but they were quickly put in their place by Ben-Gurion. This is one of the many reasons why today there is an Israel and there is not a Palestine.

Thanks to Jonah at NRO for pointing out this piece.

Byron York - The ...aquiddick Suffix

Byron York has a great post on on today's The Corner over on NRO link. In short, he was asked by readers why scandals are usually referred to by changing the name to something with a suffix that usually contains something associated with a Republican scandal:

"Over the last several weeks, a number of readers have complained about my use of the word "Plamegate" to describe the Wilson/Plame/Rove/Novak, etc. investigation. The problem, they say, is the hoary old "-gate" suffix. But eliminating it would get rid not only of "Plamegate," but most other names for the investigation -- for example, "Nadagate." So a reader suggests an alternative:

The Left has gotten away with the term "-gate" for too many years, and it appears to have been adopted by most everyone. Perhaps using the term "-quiddick," or "-aquiddick," as may be the case, would be more appropriate....I suggest "Plamaquiddick.""

Great idea!

July 28, 2005

Democrats' Plan for Any Judicial Nominee

With thanks to Sean Rushton over at NRO's Bench Memos link, we have GOP pollster David Winston revealing the game plan for John Roberts, which can then be extrapolated to the next Bush nomination, and then the next, and then the next...

1. Nominee is named. Dems say they will be open-minded and fair but have important questions. (Honeymoon period.)

2. Dems express concern over “issues that have been raised.”

3. There will be a personal accusation, at first anonymous; Dems say the charge must be investigated and taken seriously.

4. First Dem senators will state they cannot support nominee.

5. On substance nominee is labeled “extreme,” with media and Hollywood now in full-throated opposition.

6. Dem senators say they need more time and information.

7. Leftwing groups demand filibuster.

July 27, 2005

Perspective on CIA Leaks

Interesting post by Stephen Spruiell at his Media Blog on NRO this morning. He recently interviewed retired Navy Admiral Bobby R. Inman, former DNSC and DDCIA about his feelings about the CIA leaks last year, specifically the Plame fiasco. He had some interesting comments, starting off with something that the media is ignoring about last year:

"I was utterly appalled during the 2004 election cycle at the number of clearly politically motivated leaks from intelligence organizations — mostly if not all from CIA — that appeared to me to be the most crass thing I had ever seen to influence the outcome of an election. I never saw it quite as harsh as it was. And clearing books to be published anonymously — there was no precedent for it. I started getting telephone calls from CIA retirees when Bush appointed Negroponte, talking about how vindictive the administration was in trying to punish CIA, and I was again sort of dismayed by the effort to play politics including with information that was classified. What is the impact on younger workers who see the higher-ups engaged in this kind of leaking?

Johnny Walker was probably the single most devastating spy to the Navy, maybe the country, and when he was caught he was asked, "Why did you do it?" He was working communications on the staff of a submarine and he owned a bar that was going broke, so he needed the money. He said one day he had handled and decoded a classified message and sent it off, and the next day he read the contents on the front page of the Washington Post. He said, “Well, if others are doing it, why shouldn’t I?”"

His response about Plame:

"[The leaking of Plame's identity] is still one I would rather not see, but she was working in an analytical organization, and there’s nothing that precludes anyone from identifying analytical officers. I watch all the hand-wringing over the ruining of careers… there are a lot of operatives whose covers are blown. It doesn’t mean the end of their careers. Many move to the analytical world, which is where she already was. It meant she couldn’t deploy back off to Africa, but nothing I’ve seen indicated that was possible in the first place."

Pretty interesting stuff.

Also, Stephen is getting married this weekend, and will be taking the next two weeks off from Media Blog. Congratulations and get back soon!

Followup on Clement 'Rope a Dope'

Yesterday I commented and linked to an article by Hadley Arkes on Joy Clement on NRO in reference to her being used as a decoy on the day of John Robert's nomination to the Supreme Court. That original post by Arkes received some harsh words from Matt Franck about the suspicion that Clement had been intentionally set up by the White House as a decoy. Now we have a little bit more information. Clement had been called by the White House at about 1:30pm on the day of the announcement to be given a heads up. And the White House is now denying that she was a decoy. Arkes refines his article here.

My impression remains the same, although I'm glad that the White House wasn't as determined to play the decoy as I had originally thought. Someone still leaked Clement's name to the press and the press went with it. After seeing that, the White House contacted Clement. And that they should have done. Any other confusion that day was caused by the press itself by continuing to run with the story. The end result was the same - the press and the Left made fools of themselves attacking the wrong person.

July 26, 2005

The New York Times Lies??!!

Over the weekend I saw a headline in the New York Times titled "Government Defies an Order to Release Iraq Abuse Photos". I had heard a while ago that some judge, probably liberal, had ordered the release of the Abu Ghraib photos and videotapes in their entirety to the public. This was in response to a suit by the ACLU (who else). This struck me as incredibly stupid, and only of use to our county's enemies, the Main Stream Media, and the Democrats on the Hill (I know, they're all about the same!). Look at what they did with a false report of flushing a Koran down the toilet, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this would just inflame things.

As to the NYT's story by Kate Zernike, I paid no attention, since I don't really believe much of what I read in that newspaper anymore. Imagine my lack of surprise when I find out that her story was, in fact, a lie. And not just a little lie. The whole premise of the story, which was obviously fed to her by the ACLU, was false.

You see, the court never actually ordered the stuff to be released on Friday. They only ordered that the images be redacted - blur the images of the captives in the picture. Then the court would then decide if and when they should be released. In the meantime, the Government had filed an appeal using much the same 'Inflammation of a Bad Situation' argument that I used above. So there was no defying of a judges order at all, contrary to what the NYT's claims.

The New York Times, to its credit, offered a correction, which it has attached to the story. What's funny about that is that the correction in essence refutes the entire story. And as John at Powerline asks us, what percentage of the readers of the original story know of, let alone read, the correction?!

"Every once in a while you see a correction in a newspaper that doesn't quite do justice to the magnitude of the error committed--one where the correction really should say that the article in question never should have been written. This morning's New York Times corrections section offers an example:

An article on Saturday about a federal judge's order regarding photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal misstated a deadline and the response by Defense Department lawyers. The government was given until Friday to black out some identifying details in the material, not to release it. Defense Department lawyers met that deadline, but asked the court to block the public release of the materials. They did not refuse to cooperate with an order for the materials' release.

In order to understand the magnitude of the Times' error, you have to read the original article. As noted, it was published on Sunday, when the Times' circulation is by far the highest. The "fact" that the Times has now corrected was the entire substance of the article. The headline on the story read: "Government Defies an Order to Release Iraq Abuse Photos." The article began:

Lawyers for the Defense Department are refusing to cooperate with a federal judge's order to release secret photographs and videotapes related to the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal.
The lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan late Thursday that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material, which they were to have released by yesterday.

The Times reporter, Kate Zernike, managed to locate a representive of the American Civil Liberties Union, whom she quoted in the article:

The A.C.L.U. accused the government of continuing to stonewall requests for information "of critical public interest."

"The government chose the last possible moment to raise this argument," said Amrit Singh, a staff lawyer with the A.C.L.U.

But Ms. Zernike quoted no representative of the government, and apparently talked to none; if she had, she would have realized that the entire premise for her story was incorrect. So millions of people were wrongly told that the "Government"--i.e., the Bush administration--had "defied" the order of a federal judge. If true, this would have been a noteworthy story. But it was a complete falsehood. What percentage of the readers who saw the Times' headline on Sunday do you suppose read the correction in today's paper? I'd be surprised if the number was as high as 1%.

It's great to print corrections, but there is really no substitute for getting the story right in the first place. And it's hard for a correction to be adequate when the fact is that the story never should have been written at all."


Victor Davis Hanson Says It Best, As Usual...

Cliff May points out this essay by Victor Davis Hanson at NRO on much the same subject as Dennis Prager's column which I wrote about in a post earlier today.

"First the terrorists of the Middle East went after the Israelis. From 1967 we witnessed 40 years of bombers, child murdering, airline hijacking, suicide murdering, and gratuitous shooting. We in the West usually cried crocodile tears, and then came up with all sorts of reasons to allow such Middle Eastern killers a pass.

Yasser Arafat, replete with holster and rants at the U.N., had become a “moderate” and was thus free to steal millions of his good-behavior money. If Hamas got European cash, it would become reasonable, ostracize its “military wing,” and cease its lynching and vigilantism.

When some tried to explain that Wars 1-3 (1947, 1956, 1967) had nothing to do with the West Bank, such bothersome details fell on deaf ears.

When it was pointed out that Germans were not blowing up Poles to get back lost parts of East Prussia nor were Tibetans sending suicide bombers into Chinese cities to recover their country, such analogies were caricatured.

When the call for a “Right of Return” was making the rounds, few cared to listen that over a half-million forgotten Jews had been cleansed from Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, and lost billions in property.

When the U.N. and the EU talked about “refugee camps,” none asked why for a half-century the Arab world could not build decent housing for its victimized brethren, or why 1 million Arabs voted in Israel, but not one freely in any Arab country.

The security fence became “The Wall,” and evoked slurs that it was analogous to barriers in Korea or Berlin that more often kept people in than out. Few wondered why Arabs who wished to destroy Israel would mind not being able to live or visit Israel.

In any case, anti-Semitism, oil, fear of terrorism — all that and more fooled us into believing that Israel’s problems were confined to Israel. So we ended up with a utopian Europe favoring a pre-modern, terrorist-run, Palestinian thugocracy over the liberal democracy in Israel. The Jews, it was thought, stirred up a hornet’s nest, and so let them get stung on their own.

We in the United States preened that we were the “honest broker.” After the Camp David accords we tried to be an intermediary to both sides, ignoring that one party had created a liberal and democratic society, while the other remained under the thrall of a tribal gang.

Billions of dollars poured into frontline states like Jordan and Egypt. Arafat himself got tens of millions, though none of it ever seemed to show up in good housing, roads, or power plants for his people. The terror continued, enhanced rather than arrested, by Western largess and Israeli concessions.

Then the Islamists declared war on the United States. A quarter century of mass murdering of Americans followed in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, East Africa, the first effort to topple the World Trade Center, and the attack on the USS Cole."

Read the whole thing. And recognize how foolish we've been. As VDH points out, we did not give billions to the former Communist countries until after the Wall fell. Implicitly, after they had given up belligerent action against the West as a means to their ends. Why have we done differently with the Arabs? And what has it gained for us?

The 'Inside' Story of the Clement 'Rope a Dope'...

Hadley Arkes has an interesting piece on his part in the Joy Clement decoy proceedings with the press last week before John Roberts nomination for the Supreme Court over at NRO. It is good reading, and I agree with Arkes that it will be studied for years to come as one of the greatest 'pull the wool over there eyes' moments that the MSM and the Left has ever been put thru!

It is unfortunate that it was necessary that this be done. I can only imagine how Joy Clement feels. She reads the story in the Washington Post about her imminent nomination, listens to it all day on cable news (if I were her I'd of had the TV off), and never gets a call. But her day may soon come. When the first President Bush nominated Judge Bork for the Supreme Court, he was not prepared for what was about to happen. As the nomination went thru the normal channels for that time, leaks happened, and the abortion lobby on the left (the entities who really control the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee) gave their marching orders to Ted Kennedy. Before Bork was even announced, Kennedy was on the Senate Floor (and the TV News) claiming that Bork would kill thousands of women by making them have abortions in back alleys. Kennedy, along with a liberal media, succeeded in publicly defining Robert Bork. It didn't matter if it was false - that was the image that was out there. Bork never stood a chance after that.

So in order to have a respectful introduction to his nominee, we had the Clement story. It probably didn't take much - one staffer mentioning something to a Washington Post reporter. I would bet that that staffer is probably a known leaker, and didn't even know that the Clement rumor was false. But it forced the opposition to waste a day sliming the wrong person. Arkes writes:

"Clement had been used as a decoy — in a ploy that deserves now to take its place in the political handbook. The objective was to draw off the attention, and the fire. It worked: By the time it became clear last Tuesday evening that the choice was John Roberts, the opposition had exhausted itself in drumming up a package of arguments and hyperbole over . . . Joy Clement. They were caught entirely off balance. Research had evidently gone on for months, and John Roberts had been an immensely plausible target. But no one was ready to come forth with a measured, rhetorical attack on John Roberts. It fell to the president to introduce him to the larger public on television. There would be no chance for Ted Kennedy or Chuck Schumer to taint Roberts in language colored, grotesque, untethered. The media ended up drawing the first reactions from those who knew the nominee best — and those reactions testified to his elegance, his remarkable craftsmanship and art as an appellate lawyer."

Thanks to the Left for Modern Day Terrorism...

A great column by Dennis Prager over at this morning. He correctly reminds us to look back at the Palestinians and their apologists on the Left for giving us today's suicide bombers in the name of Allah. After a period of silence about suicide bombing, there has recently been a spat of books and articles recently attempting get into the 'mind' of suicide bombers. To get the focus off of religious bombers who belong to Radical Islam, they point to the Tamil suicide bombers in Sri Lanka, who are not Muslim. Prager points out that those secular bombers are confined to a particular area against a particular government. Palestinian Muslims were the first to claim that intentionally blowing up the most innocent women and children that you could gets the bomber on the quick track to Heaven, complete with the 72 virgins and all that. And note that there have been no Palestinian Christian suicide bombers. It is only the Islamic Allah that appreciates the corpses of dead innocents, apparently.

For years and years, no major Islamic organization has condemned suicide bombing against Israel as un-Islamic or immoral. Most justify it. Champions of the suicide bombers like Yasser Arafat were greeted as heros by the Left and such despicable organizations as the United Nations. He even 'won' a Nobel Peace Prize. The Palestinian cause is celebrated on campus' across the United States.

And to this day, individuals such as British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Pope Benedict, when they unbelievably leave out the Israeli victims of suicide bombings when decrying the deaths via suicide bombers in the United States, Britain, Russia, and Egypt, give tacit approval to the techniques of the Palestinians. The leaving out of Israeli victims cannot be anything other than an intentional act - perhaps in some illogical attempt not to 'inflame' the Palestinians and the Islamic 'street'. There's another term for it - cowardice of leadership who should know better. Here's Prager:

"What therefore happened was that the religious justification for murdering innocent people took hold in the Muslim world. It apparently never occurred to Muslim leaders that once you justify evil, that evil will eventually be unleashed against you, too. If blowing up Jewish children is OK, so is blowing up Egyptian, Moroccan, Iraqi, British, Spanish and Russian children.

And that is where the Left comes in. They have provided the secular and universal justification for Palestinian Islamic terror against Jews.

According to the world's Left, it's OK for Palestinians to put bombs in an Israeli student cafeteria because:

1. Israel occupies Palestinian land (even though a leftist Israeli government offered 97 percent of it to Yasser Arafat)

2. Therefore, Palestinians are engaging in legitimate resistance

3. Since Palestinians don't have sophisticated weaponry, they use their weapon, the suicide bomber

4. Israelis kill Palestinian civilians, so there is a moral equivalence between Israel and the Palestinians (even though the Palestinians target Jewish innocents and the Israelis do not target Palestinian innocents)

But, alas, the anti-Israel Left (an almost redundant description), too, did not understand the genie it had helped unleash onto the world. Why is it all right for Muslims to blow up Israeli children, but not Russian children? Israeli buses, but not British buses? Jews in Israel, but not Muslims in Iraq?

Actually, for many on the Left, it is all right. The socialist mayor of London himself blames the terror in his city on British support for America and Israel, not on Islamic terror-theology.

Like London's mayor, the Left around the world blames Israel for the Palestinian suicide bombers, and blames America for those in Iraq. Without the Left around the world, the Palestinian God-based mass murder through suicide would have been an isolated phenomenon, universally condemned as the evil it is.

And who is to blame for the Muslim terror in other Muslim countries such as Morocco and Egypt? Here, the leftist and Muslim apologists for Palestinian terror enter cognitive dissonance.

The next time you read of men, women and children blown apart by a young Muslim praising Allah, you can thank Palestinians and the Left."