Posted: 08 May 2009 09:06 AM PDT
Jon Stewart thinks that George W. Bush is a war criminal, but cannot make up his mind about Harry Truman. I have made up my mind about Jon Stewart, that is for sure.
I am beaming with pride today because I made the front page of RealClearPoltiics yesterday, and today am listed on their site under "most read in the last 24 hours." This is a humbling honor.
I thank everyone that has helped me along the way, including the lovely Spree.
eric aka the Tygrrr Express
Posted: 08 May 2009 08:13 AM PDT
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee yet, but it seems to me after reading CNN's piece titled "Poll: Don't investigate torture techniques," that most Americans see the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics to be torture, but do not believe there should be an investigation into Bush administration officials that authorized it.
The kicker though is that 50 percent of Americans approve of the "Bush administration's decision to use of those techniques during the questioning of suspected terrorists."
A new national poll indicates that most Americans don't want to see an investigation of Bush administration officials who authorized harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, even though most people think such procedures were forms of torture.
They think it is torture but they approve of it.
I guess more Americans believe that doing anything to save lives is better than sitting down to tea and cookies with terrorists and asking them nicely to stop being stubborn and refusing to answer.
(Side Note: More on what Pelosi knew and when she knew it and she continues to try to lie... no one is buying it though.)
Posted: 08 May 2009 07:57 AM PDT
If you read nothing else today, read the words of Debra Burlingame, a former attorney and a director of the National September 11 Memorial Foundation, is the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
She describes a meeting between USS Cole and 9/11 victims' families and Barack Obama on Feb. 6, 2009, and concludes that while his words were pretty, they meant nothing and the families were lied to.
In February I was among a group of USS Cole and 9/11 victims' families who met with the president at the White House to discuss his policies regarding Guantanamo detainees. Although many of us strongly opposed Barack Obama's decision to close the detention center and suspend all military commissions, the families of the 17 sailors killed in the 2000 attack in Yemen were particularly outraged.
She gives examples and laments Obama's use of "swift and certain justice" and says "Given all the developments since our meeting with the president, it is now evident that his words to us bore no relation to his intended actions on national security policy and detainee issues."
From the last lines of her column, it is clear that not everyone was "had" though:
I asked Cmdr. Kirk Lippold why some of the Cole families declined the invitation to meet with Barack Obama at the White House.
The whole piece is a must read... every word, from someone who deserves justice and will never see it, despite the promises Barack Obama gave her.
Posted: 08 May 2009 07:17 AM PDT
GOP lawmakers introduced "The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act" and made the announcement at a press conference attended by ranking members of House committees.
The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act is geared to keep those held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from being brought onto U.S. soil if Barack Obama closes Gitmo.
In fact, monies asked for by Obama to close Gitmo, has been denied to him with Democratic House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey saying Obama has yet to submit a "concrete" plan on where the suspected terrorist detainees would go if released from there.
The bill did include an amendment offered by Obey to require Obama to give Congress a "comprehensive plan" explaining the future of the detainees and the prison as well as a "detailed analysis of the total, estimated direct costs of closing the detention facility.
Todd Tiahrt also proposed an amendment to the emergency spending bill, which would have specifically banned and Gitmo "detainee from entering the United States."
Congress actually rejected that amendment in a 21-36 vote, politicians voting along party lines.
After the failed vote, Tiahrt said that it's now "public record" that Democrats want to "transfer or release detainees on American soil with full knowledge that some will be released on our streets."
Heh, how does that sound? Taxpayers being responsible for paying for welfare and government benefits of suspected terrorists and al-Qaeda members?
Warm and fuzzy again yet?
Several GOP lawmakers on Thursday introduced the Keep Terrorists Out of America Act, which prohibits the Obama administration from transferring or releasing any suspected terrorists at Guantanamo to any state without expressed approval from the state's governor and legislature. The legislation also demands the administration certify to Congress that certain requirements have been met.
H/T Weekly Standard, we have a video of Peter Hoekstra, ranking member of the Intelligence Committee, explaining.
Greg Sargent provides the summary of The Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act:
For Obama to say he wants to close Gitmoto is just fine and dandy, whether he is being truthful or just posturing, but when his own party members agree that he hasn't got a comprehensive plan on how to do it, or where those suspected terrorists would go and even suggesting that detainees would get "U.S. assistance" to start a new life??
Imagine being on record though, voting against something called "Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act," talk about a career killer!
[Update] In case folks think it is only Republicans and Obey noting Obama's lack of a comprehensive plan.... not true.
Now Democrats are ganging up on President Barack Obama's plans to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison. Or rather, the president's lack of planning for how to shutter the prison and how to handle the detainees.
My answer to Levin: No shit Sherlock! How about you volunteer to house them in your house, with your family dude!
All these calls for the closure of Gitmo, yet I do not see anyone that is calling for it suggesting the suspected terrorists be housed in their town.
Posted: 08 May 2009 05:02 AM PDT
USS Philadelphia V
A note from Radarsite: Unfortunately, the treasures of history are fragile bequests. Had it not been for my chance encounter with 86 year old ex-Seaman Anthony L. Simone in the laundry room of the apartment complex we share, the illustrious and action-packed career of the WWII light cruiser USS Philadelphia V might, for all intents and purposes, have been lost to all but the most ardent naval historians. And that would be a travesty of justice. For me, the heroic exploits of this fine ship and her loyal crew symbolize the courageous actions of all of our fine American WWII troops, all over the world. Unfortunately, these noble warriors are fast becoming a dying breed. Like so many similar remembrances, this great epic saga has, over the years, been reduced to a handful of all but anonymous family histories, built around these precious but all-too-fragile personal memories. And if we're not careful, if we don't personally take the time to record these precious WWII memories, then these fascinating personal stories, and the greater histories which they entail, will be lost to us forever. Here, thankfully, is one that didn't get away. I feel humbled and honored to be able to bring to you this exclusive Radarsite interview with my friend, ex-Seaman Anthony L. Simone.
First, the history of the ship. Then, the personal remembrances of one of her brave and highly-decorated crewmen. - rg
The fifth Philadelphia, a light cruiser, was laid down 28 May 1935 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard; launched 17 November 1936; and commissioned at Philadelphia 23 September 1937, Captain Jules James in command. After fitting out, the cruiser departed Philadelphia 3 January 1938 for shakedown in the West Indies followed by additional alterations at Philadelphia and further sea trials off the Maine coast. Philadelphia called at Charleston, S.C. 30 April 1938 and hosted President Roosevelt the first week of May for a cruise in Caribbean waters. The President debarked at Charleston 8 May and Philadelphia resumed operations with Cruiser Division 8 off the Atlantic coast. She was designated flagship of Rear Admiral F.A. Todd, Commander Cruiser Division 8 Battle Force, 27 June. In the following months she called at principal ports of the West Indies, and at New York, Boston, and Norfolk. Transiting the Panama Canal 1 June 1939, Philadelphia joined Cruiser Division 8 in San Pedro, Calif. 18 June for Pacific coastal operations. She departed Los Angeles 2 April 1940 for Pearl Harbor, where she engaged in fleet maneuvers until May 1941.
Cruiser Philadelphia stood out of Pearl Harbor 22 May 1941 to resume Atlantic operations, arriving Boston 18 June. At this point she commenced neutrality patrol operations, steaming as far south as Bermuda and as far north as Halifax, Nova Scotia. She entered Boston Navy Yard 25 November for upkeep and was in repair status there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Eleven days after the Japanese attack, Philadelphia steamed for exercises in Casco Bay, after which she joined two destroyers for antisubmarine patrol to Argentia, Newfoundland. Returning to New York 14 February 1942, she made two escort runs to Hafnarfjordur, Iceland. She then joined units of Task Force 22 at Norfolk 16 May, departing two days later for an ASW sweep to the Panama Canal. She then returned to New York, only to depart 1 July as an escort unit for a convoy bond for Greenock, Scotland. The middle of August found her escorting a second convoy to Greenock. Returning to Norfolk, Va. 15 September, she joined Rear Admiral H. Kent Hewitt's Western Naval Task Force. This force was to land some 35,000 troops and 250 tanks of General Patton's Western Task Force at three different points on the Atlantic coast of French Morocco. Philadelphia became flagship of Rear Admiral Lyal A. Davidson, commanding the Southern Attack Group. which was to carry 6,423 troops under Major General E. N. Harmon, USA, with 108 tanks, to the landing at Safi, about 140 miles south of Casablanca.
Philadelphia's task group departed Norfolk 24 October and set course as if bound for the British Isles. The entire Western Naval Task Force, consisting of 102 ships and spanning an ocean area some 20 by 40 miles, combined 450 miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland 28 October. It was to that time, the greatest war fleet sent forth by the United States. The task force swept northward 6 November, thence changed course toward the Straits of Gibraltar. But after dark a southeasterly course was plotted towards Casablanca, and shortly before midnight of 7 November, three separate task groups closed three different points on the Moroccan coast.
Philadelphia took up its fire support station as the transports offloaded troops in the early morning darkness of 8 November. Shore batteries opened fire at 0428, and within two minutes Philadelphia joined New York (BB-34) in bombardment of Batterie Railleuse [manned by our good friends, the Vichy French!] which, with four 130mm. guns, was the strongest defense unit in the Safi area. Later in the morning, Philadelphia bombarded a battery of three 155mm. guns about three miles south of Safi. Spotter planes from the cruiser also got into the act by flying close support missions. One of Philadelphia's aircraft discovered and bombed a Vichy French submarine 9 November in the vicinity of Cape Kantin. The next day the Vichy submarine Medeuse, one of eight that had sortied from Casablanca, was sighted down by the stern and listing badly to port beached at Mazagan, north of Cape Blanco. Thought to be the same submarine previously attacked off Cape Kantin, Medeuse was again spotted by a plane from Philadelphia and was subsequently bombed.
Read the rest at Radarsite.
Posted: 07 May 2009 06:28 PM PDT
Everyone knew Nancy Pelosi was lying through her teeth when she said "In that or any other briefing . . . we were not, and I repeat, were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation techniques were used. What they did tell us is that they had some legislative counsel . . . opinions that they could be used, but not that they would."
According to a report from the Director of National Intelligence's office and obtained by ABC News, not only was she briefed, but the description of that briefing is as follows:
Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of particular EITs that had been employed
EITs stand for "enhanced interrogation techniques," a classification of special interrogation tactics that includes waterboarding.
Pelosi is still trying to deny it and here is the most entertaining part yet... according to her spokesman, Pelosi's "recollection" is different from the report about the meeting.
Make sure to read the whole article, linked above, to see the other people that were briefed on this as well.
Posted: 07 May 2009 06:22 PM PDT
This is unfortunate because the initial polling numbers just from word that it was a consideration were good, but reports now say Tom Ridge will not be running for the U.S. Senate next year.
Ridge's full statement:
"After careful consideration and many conversations with friends and family and the leadership of my party, I have decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Senate.
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