Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Prosecute N.Y. Times and Leakers

The New York Times recently revealed another classified program aimed at Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. This program tracked international financial transactions. The Times does not challenge either the usefulness or the legality of this program. In fact, the first article notes that the program led to the capture of a major terrorist who plotted the Bali bombings. Yet, the paper irresponsibly publishes the program's existence and workings anyway.

The Times claims its publication is justified because the matter is of public interest. The identity of the leakers is also a matter of public interest, but the Times refuses to publish that information.

The Times has gone too far. The First Amendment does not shield the press from prosecution. The Justice Department should undertake an investigation into the journalists' acts in this case for the purpose of criminal prosecution. The investigation and prosecution should extend to the leakers.

Congress not long ago called in oil industry executives for a hearing on oil prices. The damage done by the press in revealing classified intelligence programs causes far more damage to the nation and should receive greater scrutiny. Congress should hold hearings into the acts and motives of journalists who reveal classified intelligence programs. Call the reporters and their editors and publishers to testify before Congress. Let the public see what is happening and why.

Congress should also pass a resolution expressing its outrage at the New York Times. The resolution should encourage government prosecution.

Journalists are not above the law. Nothing short of criminal prosecution of the journalists and their sources will deter the continues leaking of classified information. The Bush administration, often wrongly portrayed by the press as fiercely partisan, has treated its critics far more kindly than did the Clinton administration. The Bush administration needs to take strong action now in order to protect all other intelligence programs.

No one elected or appointed the New York Times to determine what classified information should be published. The Times people are a self-anointed, arrogant caste.

The major news media used to act responsibly. That time has passed. Only strong corrective action can return responsibility to the New York Times and others who routinely break laws and cause damage to our efforts in the War on Terror.

Vacation Break

Posting will be light or nonexistent for the next couple of weeks while I am traveling and vacationing.

Posting has been light for the past week for a different reason. My DSL service has been troublesome. (If you considering DSL and cable for a broadband internet connection, cable is probably more reliable.)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Voter ID in Georgia

I listened to a part of Jesse Jackson's radio program this morning. His guest was the Georgia Secretary of State, who is running for Governor this year. The main topic was Georgia's new requirement that voters must present government-issued photo identification. Georgian passed the law early last year as a way to prevent voter fraud.

The Secretary of State is a Democrat, and she opposes the requirement for photo ID. She gave as one of her reasons that photo ID is too difficult to obtain. She cited as an example that several students at a Georgia college had attempted to obtain a Georgia photo ID. They presented valid evidence of Georgia residence, but all had been denied. I was surprised to learn this until the Secretary of State gave the reason. The students had refused to surrender their out-of-state driver's licenses.

I hate to be the one to break this information to the Georgia Secretary of State. It is illegal in both states for a resident of Georgia to have a driver's license from another state. A person can not have a primary residence in both states.

I have moved across state lines a couple of times. Every time I went for the first time to get an in-state driver's license, I was required to surrender the old license.

Requiring voters to present photo ID will help to prevent voter fraud. (Incidentally, Jackson and the Georgia Secretary of State never mentioned the issue of voter fraud.) Obtaining photo ID is not hard. Nearly everyone of voting age has obtained a driver's license, and states with a photo ID requirement for voting can make available a similar free photo ID for non-drivers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Al Qaeda Tortures and Kills American Prisoners

The bodies of the 2 soldiers captured by Al Qaeda have been recovered. (Hat tip to Power Line for the link.) The bodies were found near the place where they were captured Friday. It appears that the soldiers were tortured. "With great regret, they were killed in a barbaric way," said Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, the director of Iraq's defense ministry's operation room.

The International Red Cross (IRC) has not asked to inspect the places where the American soldiers were held. The IRC's response in this case contrasts starkly with its demands on the U.S. Other human rights groups have reacted similarly.

No soldier captured by the enemy in Iraq has been treated in accord with the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners. They have all been tortured and killed. Yet, the IRC makes no effort to inspect Al Qaeda's detention facilities. In part, the IRC understands that its own inspectors will be killed. Even Muslim inspectors will not be safe at Al Qaeda detention facilities, and the IRC knows this. On the other hand, IRC inspectors have no fear in American detention facilities, no matter what they report.

One argument made for treating Al Qaeda detainees as POWs under the Geneva Conventions is that this will encourage the other side also to abide by the Geneva Conventions. The U.S.'s good treatment of prisoners did not work with the Japanese in World War II. It did not work with the Chinese and North Koreans in the Korean War. It did not work with the North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War. It has no chance of working with Al Qaeda in Iraq or elsewhere.

We do and will treat Al Qaeda detainees humanely, of course. However, they are not POWs. Unlike American and Iraqi forces, Al Qaeda combat forces do not wear uniforms, they hide among civilians, they use civilians as human shields in combat, and they target civilians to terrorize them. Al Qaeda must follow the civilized world's rules of war before its soldiers can qualify as POWs.

Al Qaeda's treatment of captured soldiers is one more example of how purely evil the people in the organization are. For all the complaints about the way the U.S. treats detainees at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other places, not a single complainer would prefer to be captured by Al Qaeda rather than by the U.S. The contrast could not be greater.

The War on Terror is a war between Good and Evil. The battle for Iraq has become part of that war, whether or not you believe it was when we invaded the country. Al Qaeda is in Iraq today and is trying to force us to leave. Anyone in the U.S. who wants our armed forces to leave Iraq before the victory is won is, knowingly or not, wanting Al Qaeda to win a battle in the War on Terror. Iraq has become an important battleground in the War on Terror. The killing of the 2 captured American soldiers reveals to the world again the true nature of the enemy and reminds us of why we must defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq and in the larger War on Terror.

Monday, June 19, 2006

NSA Surveillance and Planned Terrorist Attack

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, appeared Sunday morning on CNN's Late Edition.

... [Host Wolf] Blitzer opened by quoting a TIME mag story about the subway cyanide attack called off by Ayman al-Zawahiri. Roberts said that he couldn't say anything, he had been briefed "on these kinds of threats," and that the terrorist surveillance program worked.

Blitzer then tried to get something from Di Fi [Feinstein], saying that two former intelligence officials had confirmed the plot to CNN. Feinstein did not budget [sic], saying that the terrorist surveillance program "is an important tool."

The strong suggestion by Roberts and apparent confirmation by Feinstein is that the NSA surveillance program, which has been heavily criticized by Democrats, helped to stop Al Qaeda's planned poison-gas attack on the New York subway system.

The NSA surveillance program works to increase our security in the U.S. Why would any sane and reasonable person, regardless of political affiliation, want to stop a program that saves American lives?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Senate Rejects Troop Withdrawal

In the Senate, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) had drafted a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2006. Kerry was not pushing for a vote on his resolution. Republicans wanted a vote on the measure and therefore introduced an identical resolution. The Senate rejected the resolution by 93-6. (Hat tip to Power Line.) The 6 votes in favor of the resolution, all Democrats, were Kerry, Barbara Boxer (D-Cal.), Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Kerry called the Republican tactics political games. He said he wants a "serious debate" on the resolution "that bears my name". Does Kerry mean that he himself did not seriously debate this identical Republican resolution? Did Kerry treat the identical Republican resolution differently because it did not bear his name? Is Kerry a petty man who elevates form over substance?

House Declares Support for War on Terror

The House of Representatives voted today 256-153 in favor of a resolution supporting our side in the War on Terror. After all the "whereas" clauses, the resolution asks for support of the following:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

To put it another way, over 3/4 of Democrats voted declared with their votes that:

(1) Democrats do not honor "all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror".

(2) Democrats do not honor "the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle".

(3) Democrats do want "to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq", a cut-and-run strategy that would put our good Iraqi friends in peril and would make America's international commitments worthless.

(4) Democrats are not "committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq". That is, Democrats do not care whether Iraq is free and secure.

(5) Democrats do not congratulate "Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution".

(6) Democrats do not want "the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom".

(7) Democrats refuse to declare "that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary".

House Democrats and Republicans have gone on the record with this vote on supporting the War on Terror. (Hat tip to Power Line.) Republicans voted 214-3 for the resolution. Democrats voted 149-42 against the resolution. One independent, a socialist, voted against the resolution. The parties have made clear which one vigorously supports the War on Terror and which one opposes the War on Terror.

This is an amazing vote. The War on Terror is the nation's top priority and will continue to be for a long time, and over 3/4 of House Democrats are not willing to support the War on Terror and to do what is necessary to protect America and its citizens from a repeat of 9/11. A vote for a Democrat candidate for the House of Representatives this fall is a vote against vigorous prosecution of the War on Terror. Take note of this vote, America, and remember that your vote this fall will have consequences.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Zarqawi Information Found and Used

Iraq's National Security Advisor confirmed that the military forces found important documents in the debris after the deadly air strike on Zarqawi's final safe house. The military found "a laptop, flashdrive and other documents". Among the items found was a thumb-nail drive, which was in Zarqawi's pocket. The National Security Advisor cited the thumb-nail drive as proof that the information found was authentic.

In follow-up raids, more information was discovered. The military has made nearly 500 raids since Zarqawi's death. The forces killed 104 and captured 759 in those raids.

Al Qaeda has suffered a blow. How severe a blow is not yet clear. Al Qaeda will spend some time and effort recovering from the death of Zarqawi and its losses in the follow-up raids. In the last few days, the number of attacks is way down. Do not expect that to continue. The road to complete victory may be shorter than it was a few days ago, but the road is still long and difficult. Al Qaeda and the Baathist remnants can not win unless the U.S. cuts and runs before Iraq is ready to defend itself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kerry Changes Mind Again

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) now says that his vote to authorize the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Kerry was the Democrats' candidate for President in 2004. During the campaign, he famously said, "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

In 1991, Kerry voted against sending troops to liberate Kuwait from Saddam's Iraq after Saddam attacked Kuwait without provocation. Iraq appeared poised to invade eastern Saudi Arabia. If successful, Saddam would control 25% of the world's oil. Even the U.N. authorized the use of force to liberate Kuwait. However, the liberals could only think of Vietnam. The U.S.-led effort succeeded, and the short Gulf War was remarkably one-sided. Democrats came away looking weak on national security issues.

By 2002, the political landscape had shifted. In the wake of 9/11, the successful invasion of Afghanistan, and Iraq's continued refusal to allow WMD inspections by the U.N., Pres. Bush asked the Senate to authorize the use of force to invade Iraq if Iraq did not cooperate fully with the U.N.'s WMD inspectors. Kerry, wanting to run for President in 2004 and not wanting to look weak on the use of force backed by a majority of Americans, voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

After the Iraq invasion, Pres. Bush asked Congress to fund the troops and equipment in Iraq. The Democratic presidential primaries were close, and most Democrat voters opposed the war in Iraq. Kerry voted against the funding, which totaled $87 billion.

During the campaign, Kerry famously explained, "I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it." His remark cemented his reputation as a flip-flopper.

Now, Kerry changes his mind again. Kerry opposed the use of force in 1991, favored the use of force in 2002, opposed funding our military in Iraq, tried to claim he favored the funding, and now says his 2002 vote was a mistake. Consistency will never be Kerry's strong suit. He well deserves his reputation as a flip-flopper.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Texas Democrats Oppose Voter Choice

After winning a March primary, Tom Delay has resigned from Congress and has notified the Texas Republican Party that he will be a resident of Virginia and therefore ineligible to run for reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas. Last week, the Texas Democratic Party filed suit in Travis County, Texas to prevent the Texas Republican Party from naming a replacement candidate. If successful, the effect will be to deny the voters of Delay's district a choice in the November general election. Apparently, the Democrats do not believe in giving voters a choice.

You may remember that New Jersey Democrats replaced Sen. Toricelli as their U.S. Senate candidate about a month before the general election. Toricelli resigned his candidacy when polls showed he would lose because of the allegations of criminal conduct hanging over his head. However, the date set by New Jersey law to replace him on the general election ballot had passed. This did not prevent the Democrat-controlled New Jersey courts from allowing the Democrats to replace their tainted candidate and to force the state of New Jersey to pay the expenses of changing the ballots. The law in New Jersey was very clear, but the courts ignored the requirements of the state statute anyway. At least the voters of New Jersey had a choice on election day.

Texas Democrats oppose giving voters a choice. Rather than allowing the voters to choose between a Democrat and a Republican, Texas Democrats resort to the courts to deny the voters a choice. Remember that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi's Last Deeds

Zarqawi, the recently deceased leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was busy in his final days. Less than 10 miles from where Zarqawi met his end, Iraqi police found 9 cut-off human heads, some still blindfolded. Another 8 were found a few days earlier in another town in the area. The U.S. military had noticed a jump in the number of beheadings in the past few weeks. Beheadings, of course, were a Zarqawi specialty.

Beheadings are Zarqawi's legacy. Despite his barbaric cruelty, Hamas, the governing party in Palestine, declared Zarqawi a martyr of the Arab nation. The Iraqi daily newspaper Al-Rafidain responded by telling Hamas and Zarqawi to go to hell. The Iraqis, having seen Zarqawi's deeds up close, know where he belongs. If Dante could add another chapter today to his Divine Comedy, Zarqawi would be occupying a special place in Hell where 72 beheaded demons take turns repeatedly sawing off Zarqawi's head for the rest of eternity.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi Is Killed

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in Iraq by American forces. Zarqawi was in a house 30 mile north of Baghdad when air forces bombed the house and killed him. Zarqawi's spiritual adviser was also killed in the bombing.

Congratulations to our military in Iraq for a job well done.

To see the reaction and commentary from around the blogosphere, check out Pajamas Media.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

6/6/6 Omen

Mothers-to-be across the country avoided giving birth on 6/6/6 (June 6, 2006), a date associated with the Antichrist. Caesarians were rescheduled for 6/7, 6/5, or even the prior week. Some women, planning to give birth naturally but not wanting to take any chances, scheduled the birth for a date before 6/6.

I wonder if any baby born on 6/6 was named Damien. If so, is that an omen?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

No Common Denominator?

From Little Green Footballs, we learn that the Toronto Star and the Canadian police can not find anything that the 17 terrorist suspects have in common. The paper quotes the police as saying, "They represent the broad strata of our community." The paper summarizes, "Aside from the fact that virtually all are young men, it's hard to find a common denominator."

News flash to the Toronto Star and the Canadian police: All 17 suspects are Muslims. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Political correctness can be carried too far.

No Common Denominator

Monday, June 05, 2006

Internet Monitoring Saved Lives

The terrorist plot in Canada was uncovered through the monitoring of Internet chat rooms. In this country, less intrusive surveillance and data-collection programs have come under intense criticism. However, the critics of the U.S. programs are not voicing criticism of the Canadian program that foiled a terrorist plot to kill many.

Criticism of a program that prevents widespread death would put the surveillance issue in proper perspective. The next time this issue arises, remember that lives may be in the balance.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Real Situation in Iraq

The mainstream news media can not be trusted to present a true picture of how things are going in Iraq. To see what Iraq is really like today, read this email from a First Lieutenant in Samarra, Iraq. The email is long, but reading it is worthwhile if you want a true picture of the situation in Iraq. Bottom line: We are making gradual progress, and we can not afford to leave.

Police Foil Terrorist Attacks in Canada

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have foiled terrorist attacks planned for southern Ontario. The RCMP arrested 12 adults and 5 youths on charges relating to terrorism, including "training and recruitment, firearms and explosives offences and providing property for terrorist purposes". The raids also uncovered 3 tons of the fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing. (One ton was used in Oklahoma City.)

Power Line adds that, according to preliminary reports, the suspects are Muslims and may have links to Al Qaeda.

Friday, June 02, 2006

New Military Ethics Program

The government announced that members of the military will take a new ethics training program. The timing of the announcement appears aimed at blunting the media coverage of the allegations of the murder of civilians in Haditha, Iraq. The timing of the development of the program, which occurred in the last couple of months, appears to be a response to the Haditha allegations before they became widely publicized.

Ethics training of adults rarely, if ever, improves the ethics of the trainees. Individuals learn their ethical principles earlier in life.

A few years ago amid concerns of low ethics among attorneys, Texas tripled the required annual ethics education for attorneys. There is no evidence that the increased ethics education has reduced the instances of unethical conduct by Texas attorneys. Even with the increased ethical education, a few lawyers steal from their clients and fail to do what they agreed to do. However, we all learned in our youth that stealing is wrong and breaking your promise is wrong. People prone to steal will do so with or without ethics training in adulthood.

Texas was not alone. Many other states also increased ethics education requirements for attorneys. Just as in Texas, there is no evidence that the increased ethics education has reduced the instances of unethical conduct by attorneys. The ethics education requirement gives the impression that something is being done, and it feels good and looks good to the public, no matter how ineffective it may be.

Whether we are discussing a profession or the military, ethics training will not change the ethics of the trainees. Members of the military know that murder is wrong. No amount of ethics training will suddenly make the few prone to do so less likely to murder innocents.

Screening the initial applicants will be more effective. Let me give you an example from my own experience. When I was preparing to take the bar exam many years ago (passing the bar exam is required before a person can practice law), I took a review course and sat near a small group of people from another law school for one session. I overheard their conversation. One of them had been caught cheating on a law school exam. Because of that, he had to request special permission from the Texas State Bar to take the bar exam. If the State Bar permits known cheaters to practice law, why should we be surprised when lawyers cheat in the practice of law.

Similarly, screening out applicants with known ethical problems will be more effective than an ethics training program. Also, since the allegations regarding Haditha concern what happened after the group leaders were put out of action by death and injury, an even greater emphasis on discipline in basic training might have a positive effect.

A military ethics training program is not the answer.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Haditha: Rush to Judgment

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) has publicly accused Marines of the murder of unarmed civilians in Haditha, Iraq and of covering up the incident. (The city of Haditha is on the Euphrates River northwest of Baghdad.) The military is investigating what happened at Haditha. Whatever happened occurred after an explosive device killed one of the Marines.

Murtha's rush to judgment is unseemly. The military investigation is underway. As the military showed in the Abu Ghraib case, the military can and will conduct a full and fair investigation of allegations of misconduct. This is more than can be said about Murtha and others like him who are more interested in partisanship than in truth.

We do not know now what happened at Haditha. When the military completes its investigation, all the facts, whether good, bad, or ugly, will be made public. If the Marines did in fact kill innocent Iraqi civilians, they should be and will be severely punished. If the Marines in fact did not commit the alleged acts of murder, they should be and will be absolved of blame. Until the facts are fully investigated, all of us should withhold judgment.

Any Members of Congress who rush to judgment before the military completes its investigation are acting irresponsibly. Murtha expects the military in combat in Iraq to determine all the facts and to hold its fire when not under attack. In far less trying circumstances in the U.S., Murtha failed to determine all the facts and to hold his fire.