The Weekend Rant
Patterns are a major tool for intelligence analysts and criminal investigators. You gather as much data as is possible and you study it to look for the connections.
When it came to this new revelation about the Able Danger
data mining task force I ignored it because it was being pushed by Curt Weldon [R-Fantasyland] who has grown hoarse crying "Wolf!".
Maybe I was wrong. Now it turns out that the Able Danger
warning was suppressed by the Commander of the Special Operations Command who was leery of becoming involved with the FBI. He should have been leery: his last interaction is known as Waco
or Branch Davidian
. The word is that he didn't want another disaster associated with his name.
He needn't have worried, after all, his former Congressman is now the Vice President of the United States, and he got called back from retirement to become the Army Chief of Staff.
Yes, folks, Lt. General William "My G-d is bigger than yours" Boykin's boss for the Waco adventure was General Peter Schoomaker, who went on to head the Special Operations Command, and is currently the Army's Chief of Staff.
Maybe they should give Pete a couple of weeks of R&R down at Club Gitmo to see if he can remember anything about this little project.
While on historical things, yesterday was the 59th
birthday of our last elected President: William Jefferson Clinton. You remember those days: the stock market and your paycheck went up faster than gas prices, and the deficit went down.
I opposed the Iraq invasion for a very simple reason: the US and British air forces were a large brick over that cockroach, Saddam. If he moved the wrong way he knew he would be crushed, first by the those air forces, then his neighbors.
During the last election I wanted to get more troops into Iraq to stabilize the area and start the reconstruction. With someone other than the Shrubbery in charge there was a possibility that the US might get some support from the rest of the world to fix what W had broken.
Now there is no reasonable choice but to withdraw according to an announced plan. If the US announces a timetable and sticks to it, the insurgents will probably give it the ceasefire necessary for an orderly retreat.
There is no country or organization left in the world willing to come into this mess. It would require a massive number of infantry divisions to bring order and countries are not willing to sacrifice their soldiers in the disaster that is Iraq. The UN has no credibility in Iraq and no desire to risk more personnel in this lost cause.
For those who don't get it: the one problem that the majority of Iraqis agree on is that their country is under foreign occupation - changing the foreigners won't make a difference.
For all of those who claim that withdrawal means Osama wins I would point out that Osama can't win more than he did when Shrubbery withdrew the troops hunting him in the mountains of Tora Bora to invade Iraq.
Osama escaped because Bush was more interested in attacking Iraq than catching the scum that attacked the United States. Osama's greatest victory was escaping from the might of the world's only superpower. That was like Peewee Herman lasting 15 rounds with Mike Tyson and not ending up in intensive care.
[Minor celebrity: No link, but the BBC posted my e-mail in From the editor's desktop
column. It was a response to an e-mail accusing the BBC of various misdeeds, including pandering to advertisers.]