Monday, 29 November 2010

TRANSLATING MAXINE WATERS

Ken Berwitz

Maxine Waters held a press conference this morning, about the house ethics committee's handling of corruption charges against her.

Here is what she had to say, via an excerpt from Susan Crabtree's blog at thehill.com:

Rep. Waters wants ethics trial now

By Susan Crabtree - 11/29/10 11:54 AM ET

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is calling on the ethics committee to hold her public ethics trial before the end of the year.

"I am here because I am disappointed that the committee has chosen not to hold my hearing," she said. "Since it has been canceled, I, like you am looking for answers."

Waters also used Monday's press conference to lash out at her hometown newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, refusing to answer a question from its reporter.

"I know where you stand," she told the reporter.

She repeated what has become a refrain when defending herself: the facts show no benefit; no improper action; no failure to disclose; no one influenced; no case, and stressed that her legal team acted in an open, transparent and accountable manner at every step along the way.

This type of behavior, lack of decency and professional decorum would not be accepted in a court of law, and it should not be accepted in the United States House of Representatives, the body responsible for making the laws, she said.

The ethics committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 
 

Now here is my translation of what Ms. Waters is really saying: 

"I am so busted. 

"When they postponed the investigation I thought I was home free, so I told everybody they didn't have a case.  But it turns out that the postponement was because they got even more evidence against me, and needed time to review it. 

"They're going to find me guilty.  That's a no-doubter.  But what makes it even worse is that, because of  the @%#$*&^% postponement, they're going to decide on my punishment next year, when - gasp!  arrgghhhhh! - Republicans rather than Democrats will be running the show.

"I have find a way to make this happen faster, so Democrats do the punishing, or I'm toast".

Ok.  You've seen them both.  Now tell me which makes more sense.

And please take into account that whining about the Los Angeles Times, as if it were anti-Waters.  The LAT is about as anti-Waters as mediamatters.org is anti-soros.  

Zeke .... .... Wasn't it Maxine Waters who claimed that the Watts rioters were not looting; .... ... they were merely getting baby diapers... .... (11/29/10)


iS PRESIDENT OBAMA COMPLICIT IN THE WIKILEAKS SCANDAL?

Ken Berwitz

julian assange is an obnoxious toad who is parsing out countless numbers of classified documents from the United States and other countries, without regard to the political damage it causes and the lives it puts in jeopardy.

But is the Obama administration complicit in assange's classified document dump?  Specifically, is his administration capable of preventing this from happening, but not doing so?

Read the following excerpt from Marc A. Thiessen's article in the Washington Post and decide for yourself:

Four months ago, the criminal enterprise WikiLeaks released more than 75,000 stolen classified documents that, among other things, revealed the identities of more than 100 Afghans who were cooperating with America against the Taliban. The Obama administration condemned WikiLeaks' actions. The Justice Department said it was weighing criminal charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Pentagon warned that if WikiLeaks did not stand down and return other stolen documents it possessed, the government would "make them do the right thing."

And then nothing happened.

Last month, WikiLeaks struck again - this time posting more than 390,000 classified documents on the war in Iraq. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responded with a Twitter post

Now, WikiLeaks has struck a third time with what may prove to be its most damaging disclosures yet - a cache of more than 251,287 American diplomatic cables and directives, including more than 117,000 that are classified. According to the New York Times, which was given advance copies of the documents, many cables "name diplomats' confidential sources, from foreign legislators and military officers to human rights activists and journalists, often with a warning to Washington: 'Please protect' or 'Strictly protect.' " Other documents detail confidential conversations with foreign leaders, including Arab leaders urging the U.S. to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Still others could hamper U.S. counterterrorism efforts - such as a cable in which Yemeni leaders say they lied to their own parliament by claiming that Yemeni forces, not Americans, had carried out missile attacks against al-Qaeda. If Yemen responds to this revelation by restricting U.S. efforts to hunt down al-Qaeda, the results could be devastating.

What action did the Obama administration take to prevent the impending release of such volatile information? State Department legal adviser Harold Koh sent a strongly worded letter urging WikiLeaks to cease publishing classified materials. I'm sure that made Assange think twice.

Is the Obama administration going to do anything - anything at all - to stop these serial disclosures of our nation's most closely guarded secrets? Just this past week, the federal government took decisive action to shut down more than 70 Web sites that were disseminating pirated music and movies. Hollywood is safe, but WikiLeaks is free to disseminate classified documents without consequence.

The very existence of WikiLeaks is a threat to national security. Unless something is done, WikiLeaks will only grow more brazen - and our unwillingness to stop it will embolden others to reveal classified information using the unlawful medium Assange has built.

The Obama administration has the ability to bring Assange to justice and to put WikiLeaks out of business. The new U.S. Cyber Command could shut down WilkiLeaks' servers and prevent them from releasing more classified information on President Obama's orders. But, as The Post reported this month, the Obama administration has been paralyzed by infighting over how, and when, it might use these new offensive capabilities in cyberspace. 

Can this possibly be true?  Can President Obama and his administration "bring assange to justice" and "put wikileaks out of business"?

If so, then what can he possibly be waiting for?  The next round of damaging material to be dumped?  Maybe a few assassinations, based on the information already out there?

Do we or do we not have a President who will act in the interests of this country?

free` Why doesn't the cia just assassinate this guy? (11/29/10)


WIKILEAKS

Ken Berwitz

Wikileaks.com is a web site run by someone named julian assange, which is devoted in large part to obtaining classified documents and making them public. 

We do not and cannot know what discretionary criteria, if any, are used in the exposure of these documents (i.e. is anything withheld?  If so, is it withheld based on assange's political views?  Out of fear (i.e. that some countries - Russia, for instance, which seems to have a propensity for it these days - would assassinate him)? 

What we do know is that the release of these documents are putting individuals and entire governments at risk.

A few observations:

-Every country has classified documents which contain embarrassing information.  No exceptions.  Every country has for-its-eyes-only evaluations of the people it is dealing with, what it might or might not do to protect its interests in given scenarios, how it deals with internal issues, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  Any countries that have been spared, either have not had their classified documents made available to wikileaks (not yet, that is), or assange has decided for his own reasons to exempt them.

-Who is julian assange?  He is a career misfit who had a lousy childhood, failed relationships and is an accused rapist and molester. 

Now he has combined an undeniable talent for hacking, with an unaparalleled level of arrogance and self-righteousness, to literally put the world at risk.  I wonder if he ever thinks about this - or about anything besides himself. 

Who is assange getting back at?  His parents who wound up hating each other?  His mother, in particular, who ran away with him and hid for five years on behalf of his half-brother?  His ex-girlfriend and mother of his child who he had a huge custody battle with?  Or the world in general.

-Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is demanding that, because wikileaks has made enormous amounts of classified USA information available to our enemies, it should be declared a terrorist organization - and that it should be treated accordingly by the administration and our federal law enforcement apparatus.  Mr. King is 100% correct.

It seems very likely that we will know a lot more about this situation in the days and weeks to come.  I'll try to keep on top of it.

Zeke .... .... And, what about that PFC who actually used his security clearance to gain access and download those documents ? .... .... .... Seems like he did it for the hell of it ... .... or for a huge payoff .... .... or, he was a plant ..... put in place by ? ? ? China ? ... al Qaida ? Iran ? (11/29/10)


WIKILEAKS AND THE IRAN THREAT

Ken Berwitz

Among the classified documents released by wikileaks, are a number which indicate that not just Israel, but much of the Arab world, express the hope that Iran's nuclear capability can be terminated. 

Yaacov Katz, writing for the Jerusalem Post, has a nation-by-nation rundown, which is excerpted below:

Analysis: Wikileaks vindicate, dont damage, Israel

For years now, top Israeli political and defense leaders have warned the world that a nuclear Iran is not just a threat to the Jewish state but is a threat to the entire region.

If only we could say publicly what we hear behind closed doors, Israeli officials would comment, following off-record talks they held with Arab leaders throughout the Middle East.

Well, now they can. According to one cable published by WikiLeaks on Sunday, Saudi King Abdullah frequently exhorted the US to attack Iran to put an end to its nuclear weapons program and to cut off the head of the snake.

According to another cable, King Hamad of Bahrain, a country with a majority Shiite population, urged in a meeting with former CENTCOM commander Gen.

David Petraeus that action be taken to terminate Irans nuclear program.

That program must be stopped, Hamad said, according to the cable. The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.

Jordan, another country that voiced concern, is uncomfortable with the possibility that a nuclear Iran would provide an umbrella for opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt is also challenged by Irans continued nuclear development, as shown by the conviction in April of 26 men who were spying for Hizbullah and plotting attacks in Egypt.

From an Israeli perspective, therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that WikiLeaks may have done the country a service on Sunday. By presenting the Arab leaders as more extreme in their remarks than Israeli leaders, the cables show the dissonance in the region and the danger involved in allowing Iran to continue with its nuclear program.

So, as can be seen, Israel is far from alone in fearing a nuclear Iran.  Much of the Arab world (Iran is not an Arab country) is at least as fearful as Israel.  And with good reason.

-Even if Iran launched a nuclear attack only on Israel and no other country, what would happen?  What would the response from Israel be?  Where would the bombs fall?  Would one or more Arab countries be targeted by Iran or Israel?  Even if they only targeted each other, would every bomb hit only those two countries?  And even if they did, where would the nuclear fallout drift? 

-How many Arabs would die?  How many Arab leaders would die?  Which side would the radical factions in some Arab countries support (think, for example, of hezbollah in Lebanon and the muslim brotherhood in Egypt.)?

Now the big question:  What are the United States, and Israel, and the Arab countries, going to do about it? 

Actually, maybe someone has already done something about it.

As you may be aware, a computer virus, called "Stuxnet", recently has done incalculable damage to the Iran nuclear program.  This virus may (we hope) be saving the countries mentioned above from having to deal with nuclear Iran for an extended period of time.

Who virused Iran's nuclear program?  The USA?  Israel?  One or more Arab countries?  Someone else - maybe an internal faction among the many Iranians who despise what its government is doing and long for its demise?  We don't know - yet.

But whoever it is, let's thank them for what they've done.  Let's also hope that, if and when Iran overcomes Stuxnet, there will be a significant strategy in place to deal with its nuclear threat.

Nothing important at stake here; just the future of the world as we know it.

free` Why don't those arab countries mentioned go to war with iran if they are so worried. (11/29/10)


LESLIE NIELSEN, R.I.P.

Ken Berwitz

Leslie Nielsen, the long-time actor who started as a TV performer, then became a dramatic lead, and wound up featured in some of the silliest (but often funniest) movies of all time, has died at his home in Fort Lauderdale Florida, at the age of 84.  Though not official, several sources indicate that the cause of death was pneumonia.

Nielsen was born and raised in Canada.  But his career took off in New York during the early TV years.  From 1950 through the mid 1970's, he was first a staple in live TV dramas, doing well over 100 of them in just a few years, and then was a supporting cast member/guest star in countless TV shows.  Somwhere in there, he also found time to play Debbie Reynolds' love interest in "Tammy and the Doctor", followed by other dramatic and romantic movie parts.

But Nielsen's most famous career path started when he played a doctor/passenger in the hilarious spoof, "Airplane!" ("Surely you can't be serious".  "I am serious.  And don't call me Shirley").  Then he became the idiotic Detective Frank Drebin in "Naked Gun", and its two sequels. 

There were some awful flops too (Mel Brooks' "Dracula - Dead and Loving It" among them), but by then Mr. Neilsen's reputation was made and secure.

Off-screen, he was quite a rip - in more ways than one.  Nielsen was known as an avid prankster, and someone who turned a very unfortunate gas problem into something of a trademark (simply stated, he could fart on command at any time in any place - and did). 

Mr. Nielson, who continued working right up to the end, gave us 60 years of quality entertainment in a variety of mediums.  He was a true professional who will be greatly missed. 

May he rest in peace. 


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