Wednesday, 06 June 2007

LEWIS LIBBY

Ken Berwitz

It's a pretty sad trophy, isn't it?  Lewis Libby is nailed for 30 months for doing what?  Testifying about conversations from years ago that he remembered differently from someone else.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: 

Fitzgerald tried to get Bush and got nothing

He tried to get Cheney and got nothing

He tried to get Rove and got nothing

He tried to get Rice and got nothing

He tried to get Rumsfeld and got nothing.

So Fitzgerald was left with a crumb....someone not accused of anything relating to outing valerie plame - you know, the same valerie plame whose activities were so covert that she has a BOOK about to come out about them.  The valerie plame who got her proven liar husband joseph wilson the mission in Niger that he lied and said she didn't get him.  That one.

Nope, after years of trying, Fitzgerald wound up with......nothing.  So he nailed one guy no one ever heard of, for daring to discuss valerie plame - like so many others did during that period - and not remember the conversations the same way someone else did.  That's the big trophy.

Barry, of course, can't let this go.  He is obsessed with "getting" someone for it, preferably Bush and/or Cheney and/or Rove.  What the "it" is, no one knows, because Fitzgerald neither indicted anyone for outing plame or even showed that she was covert under the law he was investigating. 

We're at war.  Terrorists are trying to blow up our airports.  But this is what the hard core left wants to worry about.  Ok, let them.  But leave the rest of us to worry about the important things.

That's a good deal.


D-DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today is the 63rd anniversary of D-Day, the USA landing on Normandy. 

I've talked a great deal in the past about how today's media would have treated WWII.  And my conclusion has been that. by D-Day, they would have turned public opinion completely against the war - complete with howls from every quarter that Franklin Delano Roosevelt should be impeached and removed from office.

Well, D-Day took place well over 2 years after our full entry into the European Theater of Operations.  Think of it as the WWII version of a "troop surge".  Here's what happened on that day, courtesy of www.onwar.com:

-

On the Western Front... Operation Overlord begins. In Normandy, France, during the predawn hours, the US 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions are dropped inland from the right flank beach. The British 6th Airborne Division is landed inland from the left flank beach. These forces achieve their objectives and create confusion among the German defenders. The Allied Expeditionary Force lands in Normandy at dawn. Forces of the 21st Army Group (Field Marshal Montgomery) commands the US 1st Army (General Bradley) on the right and the British 2nd Army (General Dempsey) on the left. There are five invasion beaches: Utah on the right flank, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword, on the left flank. At Utah, the US 7th Corps (General Collins) lands with US 4th Division spearheading the assault. The troops advance inland against light resistance. Admiral Moon provides naval support. At Omaha, the US 5th Corps (General Gerow) lands. There is heavy resistance and by the end of the day the American forces have advance less than one mile inland. Admiral Hall provides naval support. At Gold, the British 30th Corps (General Bucknall) lands with 50th Infantry Division and 8th Armored Brigade leading the assault. There is reasonable advance inland although the assigned objectives are not met. At Juno beach, the British 1st Corps (General Crocker) lands with the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division and the Canadian 2nd Armored Brigade leading the assault. The tanks and infantry quickly push inland. Naval support is under the command of Commodore Oliver. At Sword beach, other elements of the British 1st Corps land. The British 3rd Infantry Division, 27th Armored Brigade and several Marine and Commando units lead the assault. The beach is quickly secured and bridges over the Orne River are captured but the first day objectives are not reached. The German 21st Panzer Division counterattacks in the late afternoon but does not dislodge the British defenders. Overall, the Allies land almost 150,000 men. Naval support and massive aerial interdiction prevents the German defenders from concentrating forces for a decisive counterattack.

In Italy... The French Expeditionary Corps (part of US 5th Army) completes the capture of Tivoli. Recent combat has depleted 4 German infantry divisions and reduced six of their panzer and panzer grenadier divisions.

From Berlin... General Lemelsen replaces General Mackensen as commander of the German 14th Army in Italy.

In New Guinea... On Biak, elements of the US 41st Division prepare to advance on Mokmer Airfield while other elements are engaged near Ibdi.

-

What would today's media say about that? 

-Over two years after we jumped in, NO END IN SIGHT, and now we're ESCALATING?

-Nobody says Hitler is a good guy, he isn't.  But did he ever attack the USA?  Never, not for one second.  What are we doing fighting in Europe?  Let the Europeans settle their problems.

-What will that bloodthirsty idiot FDR do next?  How many of our boys are going to die on foreign soil to fight someone else's battle?

Do these arguments sound familar?  Of course they do. 

Now add in the fact that about 2,500 of our soldiers died on D-Day - that one day - just to establish a beachhead there.  Not to win a war, not to take a major city, not to drive Germany back within its borders, but just to establish a beachhead.

Add in the number of GI's who died on the TRAINING runs for D-Day, and you have as many or more as have died in the entire war in Iraq.  In total over 400,000 of our brave soldiers died in WWII.

Do me (and yourself) a favor:  Remember this the next time you hear the standard arguments against our involvement in Iraq.  Ask the person making them what he/she thought about WWII, especially about D-Day. 

I can't guarantee it, but it is an excellent bet that they don't know a thing about what happened then, have no idea of the parallels, have no idea of the body counts and will probably try to duck the question.  When that  happens, you will know, even if they don't, that it may be their voice talking, but it isn't their mind working.  They are reciting someone else's agenda without even knowing it.

Try it and see.

 


THE MIDDLE EAST DOUBLE STANDARD

Ken Berwitz

Is there a double standard in the way the world treats Israel versus other countries?  If you don't know by now you probably never will.  But just in case, here is a terrific article, courtesy of www.FrontPageMagazine.com,  laying it out in the context of today's events in Lebanon, compared to events in Lebanon during the fight between Israel and the terrorist group hezbollah:-

Terror and Double Standards
By Jacob Laksin
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 6, 2007


The fighting in Lebanon has drawn global condemnation. The Arab League has demanded an immediate halt to the violence, and denounced what it calls the armys disproportionate response. That a Lebanon-based terrorist group prompted the violence is irrelevant. The issue is not this faction or that, according to Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

Diplomats and heads of state have also lined up against the war. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has deplored the armys excessive use of force and insisted that the collective punishment of the Lebanese people must stop. European power brokers have delivered comparably stern rebukes, with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana voicing his vocal disapproval and French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy calling the armys bombardment an irresponsible act.

It will not be lost on the observant reader that the war in question is the Israeli armys counteroffensive last summer against Hezbollah. Triggered by the Lebanese terrorist groups illicit capture of Israeli soldiers, its naked violation of Israeli sovereignty, and its ceaseless shelling of northern Israel, the war made the Jewish state into an object of international vituperation. For daring to defend herself against terror, Israel, not for the first time, was all but banished from the society of civilized nations.

It is thus a commentary on the shameful double standards of the international community that the Lebanese armys ongoing efforts to root out the Palestinian terrorist faction Fatah al-Islam from the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon have met with an altogether different reception.

Take the Arab League. In contrast to its resounding silence on the criminal aggression of Hezbollah, the organization has leapt to defend Lebanon's right to act against terror. To that end, it has issued a statement in which it strongly condemned the criminal and terrorist acts carried out by the terrorist group known as Fatah al-Islam. In addition, the league has pledged to give its full support to the efforts of the army and the Lebanese government to impose security and stability in Lebanon, even promising military assistance the Lebanese army.

Equally, when Kofi Annans successor Ban Ki-moon recently denounced criminal attacks in Lebanon, he was referring to the Islamist assaults on the Lebanese military, rather than the other way around. Javier Solana has also condemned this terrorist group, committing the EU to full support for the Lebanese government. Even the Quai d'Orsay has shifted its views. Incoming French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has reportedly traveled to Lebanon to meet Prime Minister Fuad Siniora and "reaffirm France's solidarity with Lebanon." In short, the diplomatic establishments line on the fighting in Lebanon is precisely the inverse of what it was just one year ago.

No less revealing is what you wont hear from these sudden converts to counterterrorism. You wont hear, for instance, the Lebanese army assailed for its disproportionate response. This is despite the fact that the army has vowed to fight until Fatah al-Islam has been routed or killed, whichever comes first. As one Lebanese military insider said last week: It will only end with the final end of this gang. Parliament member Saad Hariri seconded the armys position, saying, We are not in a hurry. If Arab leaders fear that this is a prescription for a disproportionate response against Palestinian refugees, they have kept their concerns private. One need only recall the outraged censure directed at Israels comparatively halting and restrained strikes against Hezbollah targets to detect hypocrisy at work.

Nor will you hear every accidental tragedy held up as evidence of the injustice of military retaliation. Remember that during last summers war, Israel was widely accused of intentionally targeting Lebanese civilians, a claim that scanted the fact the Hezbollah terrorists were purposely positioned in civilian areas. Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth accused Israel of indiscriminate bombardment, while his HRW colleague Peter Bouckaert published an editorial with the jarringly incendiary, and wholly unjustified, headline, For Israel, Innocent Civilians Fair Game. HRW even published a lengthy report, Fatal Strikes: Israel's Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon, blaming Israel for allegedly targeting civilians.

Now that Israelis are no longer guiding the missiles, critics seem content to hold their fire. How else to explain that, despite the fact that at least 27 civilians have been killed and 125 injured since the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) began their offensive on May 20, neither HRW nor kindred human-rights watchdogs have directed the same level of scrutiny, not to speak of censure, at Lebanon?

 

Indeed, next to the relentless torrent of anti-Israel demagogy produced by HRW last summer, its judgment of the fighting in Lebanon is a model of judicious restraint: Fatah al-Islam militants must not hide among civilians, and the Lebanese army must take better precautions to prevent needless civilian deaths, is all the organization has had to say on the matter. Not even the fact that the Lebanese armys shelling has indeed been indiscriminate -- eyewitness accounts attest to countless missiles gone astray and the collateral damage from the current fighting has been said to match the worst days of Lebanons civil war from 19751990 -- has generated the antipathy with which Israel was forced to contend.

And what of the notorious cycle of violence? That thoughtless clich, intended to equate Israels defensive retaliation with the Islamic terrorism that makes it necessary, was invoked endlessly throughout last summers war. But when a member of Fatah al-Islam exploded his suicide belt in Tripoli last week, no one made the absurd suggestion that Islamic terrorism and Lebanons militarily response to it were essentially indistinguishable. Meanwhile, almost all Palestinian factions have distanced themselves from Fatah al-Islam. Suddenly, the cycle of violence has run its course.

Also vanishing in the fog of the current war is another anti-Israel talking point. While Israels detractors relish citing the alleged mistreatment of Palestinians as the chief source of regional instability, Lebanon has generally escaped such criticism. The irony is that Lebanons record in this regard is far worse. Whereas Israel has sought to extend full civic equality to Arab citizens -- even, until recently, going so far as to tolerate an Israeli-Arab parliamentarian, Azmi Bishara, who openly cheered for Hezbollah during last summers war -- Lebanon has unapologetically treated Palestinian refugees as a permanent subclass.

The reality is grim. Under Lebanese law, Palestinians are denied property rights, access to state schools and basic medical services, and even the right to legal work, with poverty rates as high as 60 percent the inevitable result. Theres just not much sympathy for Palestinians in Lebanon, says David Schenker, a senior fellow in Arab politics at The Washington Institute. Nor are Lebanese unmindful of the fact that extremism -- including support for groups like al-Qaeda -- is nurtured in the Palestinian environment. Unsurprisingly, the military campaign enjoys a broad consensus in Lebanon, and the LAFs [Lebanese Armed Forces] campaign ignites popular support, Schenker observed in an interview this week.

It does not follow from all this that Lebanon is wrong to bring its military might to bear on Fatah al-Islam. On the contrary, whether the army succeeds in destroying the al-Qaeda affiliated terror group has important consequences for US policy in the region. The United States has a strong interest in helping the Lebanese government root out Fatah al-Islam to prevent it from turning Palestinian refugee camps into bastions of support for al-Qaeda attacks on the U.S. and its allies, James Phillips, a Middle Eastern Affairs analyst at the Heritage Foundation, tells FrontPage. Phillips points out that, like the Taliban before it, Fatah al-Islam seeks to violently impose its radical Islamic ideology on Palestinians and Lebanese, disrupt Lebanons precarious stability, and use Lebanon as a base for terrorist attacks against Israel and the U.S.

Of equal significance is that the fighting in Lebanon could bear directly on the U.S.-led war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shihab Al-Qaddour, reportedly Fatah al-Islams second in command, recently explained his groups significance this way: We adopt guerilla warfare, which no army can vanquish as demonstrated in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Defeating Fatah al-Islam would do much to demonstrate that, contrary to popular belief, terrorist insurgencies are not invincible. 

That other countries have recognized the justice of Lebanons cause is a welcome development. Let it not be forgotten, though, that many of those now rushing to declare their solidarity with Lebanon turned their backs when it was the Jewish state in the terrorists sights-

 
As I said before, if you don't know by now you probably never will. 

Fortunately, in the USA most people are fully cognizant of the double standard.  But if you're one of those who pretends it doesn't exist, consider this another proof that you'll have to add to your "ignore" pile.


Let us all support Joe Wilson and get Rove, Cheney and others under oath

Barry Sinrod
 
 
 
Mr. Libby has been tried by a jury of his peers and yet people like Henry Kissinger, Mr. Disgrace Wolfowitz. and many other righties have said let him go.  Last night all of the Republican candidates said they would Pardon Libby.
 
He must be forced to serve immediately, so that he will be in jail for at least 18 months before Bush pardons him.  It will also give him a final opportunity to tell the truth.




See what's free at AOL.com.


THE ACCURACY OF LEFTWING BLOGSITES

Ken Berwitz

After my previous blog, it occurred to me that you might be wondering where an otherwise intelligent guy like Barry could possibly be getting such misinformation.  Interestingly, Brian Maloney, at www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com happens to have an excellent piece about this, specifically relating to the JFK terrorist plot.  Here it is:-

Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, JFK Terror Plot, Think Progress

IT WAS ON PAGE A30

Lefty Attack Against Talkers Over JFK Plot Coverage Backfires


Who are the real "big fat" liars?

After their assertion was refuted even by the New York Times itself, a nasty attack by liberal bloggers against conservative talk show hosts has backfired.

After Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and other hosts lambasted the Sunday New York Times for burying news of the JFK terror plot bust, Think Progress,
News Hounds and other lefties accused them of lying.

By claiming the story actually was covered on page one and even asserting that O'Reilly intentionally misled viewers by showing only the top part of the page on camera, these smear sites were truly pulling a fast one.

While Limbaugh said JFK terrorism plot coverage
was found on page A30, O'Reilly says he found it on A37.

From the
O'Reilly Factor:

Over the weekend, four Muslims were accused of planning to blowup JFK airport here in New York City. That comes on the heels of six Muslims arrested for planning to kill U.S. soldiers in New Jersey. But hey, don't be alarmed. According to John Edwards and The New York Times, this is no big deal.

In Sunday's Times, editor Bill Keller put the JFK story on, ready, page 37 right above a story about kids playing at a Fuddrucker's restaurant. Every other New York City paper had the Muslim suspects on page one, where they should have been.

Now apparently The Times isn't real concerned about Muslim guys allegedly trying to set up another 9/11. On page one of Sunday's New York Times was this story: some poor people in India making bricks.
And from Limbaugh's transcript:
RUSH: This terror plot. As I say, I found this on page 30 of the New York Times. They didn't think it was a big deal at all. Here's a report from CBS in New York: "Feds Say Terrorist Plot Poorly Planned -- In the latest terrorist threat to New York City, the alleged terrorists are all middle-aged men, the oldest 63-year-old Guyanese immigrant Russell Defreitas." It's not Russell. He calls himself "Mohammed." See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. One of these guys is a citizen.

These are homegrown, and whether or not their plot made any sense and whether or not it worked -- and it probably wouldn't have worked. The problem with blowing up jet fuel or gasoline is, jet fuel is essentially kerosene, and it burns in a very narrow range of fuel and air mixtures.

[excerpted]

Everybody's downplaying this as, "Well, this wouldn't have worked," and, 'These guys are just a bunch of idiots." But that's not the point of this. The point of this is, here we have the report. How many people now are going to be even more nervous than they are about flying?
From there, Think Progress accused them of lying, singling out O'Reilly here:

Bill OReilly calls the New York Times quasi-socialistic and has placed the newspaper on his enemies list. Last night, he devoted an entire segment of his show to attacking the Times for not covering the arrests made in an alleged JFK airport terrorist plot on the front page.

In Sundays Times, editor Bill Keller put the JFK story on ready page 37, right above a story about kids playing at Fuddruckers restaurant, OReilly said. He claimed the Times isnt real concerned about Muslim guys allegedly trying to set up another 9/11.

[excerpted]


One problem: the New York Times did cover the JFK terror plot on the front page of its Sunday edition. You wouldnt know it from watching OReilly, who chose to show only the top fold of the front page during his broadcast. Now Im not making this up, he told his viewers. You see it. This is not the Colbert Report. This is The Factor and this is the fact. But OReilly is lying.
The real problem is that O'Reilly isn't lying and neither was Rush. In the "evidence" provided by Think Progress, they point to a tiny, one paragraph teaser found in the right sidebar.

Not in a million years would that qualify as front page coverage!

In fact, two Think Progress commenters were quick to bust them:


Please dont call me a troll or a Republican for this but, he is right - the article is not headlined on the front page. Theres a small reference to the story on the interior page (metro section).

I receive the print version of the Times. I remember thinking, thats good - theyve put this on page 37 instead of on the front page, because, if previous terror scares are any indication, within 48 hours this will have been downgraded from the end of the world to cheesy.

Think Progress can do better, and 99 percent of the time does.

Comment by eddy tompkins June 5, 2007 @ 12:35 pm


Im not a fan of OReally or Faux, but from the picture given us of below the fold I cannot make out much of a headline or whether the story is covered on the front page.

Comment by leftcoast June 5, 2007 @ 12:37 pm
From there, it gets worse: even the New York Times admits it buried the story! But it does have an excuse, though it seems weak. This is from a reader Q & A with National Editor Suzanne Daley:

The J.F.K. Airport Bomb Plot

Q. I live in California and was astounded yesterday to look at my print edition of The Times for the article on the J.F.K. bomb plot and to find it back on page A30!

What has happened with the news judgment of your colleagues? A terrorist plot that could have badly damaged the entire economy of the nation, including those of us who live in the Bay Area, and it's relegated to the level of bridge club reports. You might wish to suggest to your editors that your readers do not live in a vacuum, that we do have alternative sources for news and they only make The Times look foolish with such ineptitude. No wonder your circulation and advertising are falling; your editors are turning a once-honored newspaper into a dinosaur in the electronic age.

-- Richard Godfrey, San Francisco

Q. Could you offer some insights on how The Times decided to play the story about the alleged J.F.K. terror plot? It was noticeably different than the way the other leading national papers played it; your placement (Metro) and coverage have been more skeptical. I'm particularly curious about why it was not considered a national story, but rather, a local one. Thanks.

-- Barbara, Manhattan

A. Here's the basic thinking on the J.F.K. story: In the years since 9/11, there have been quite a few interrupted terrorist plots. It now seems possible to exercise some judgment about their gravity. Not all plots are the same. In this case, law enforcement officials said that J.F.K. was never in immediate danger. The plotters had yet to lay out plans. They had no financing. Nor did they have any explosives. It is with all that in mind, that the editors in charge this weekend did not put this story on the front page.

In truth, the decision was widely debated even within this newsroom. At the front page meeting this morning, we took an informal poll and a few editors thought the story should have been more prominently played. Some argued it should have been fronted, regardless of the lameness of the plot, simply because it was what everyone was talking about.

Will O'Reilly, Limbaugh and the other hosts who made this point get an apology from the smear websites? Don't hold your breath. -
-

The problem?  If someone only reads LAMB** sites like the ones cited by Maloney, their frame of reference for news is entirely distorted by the ideologies of those sites.

Are there rightwing sites that exaggerate and lie also?  Sure.  That's why people who want to know what they're talking about may read them, but will not rely 100% on them to the exclusion of  every other source of information. 

You don't get a well rounded education by looking at a semi-circle.

--------------------------------------------------

**Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade


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