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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Justice is Ironic

The Federal Supreme Court recently decided to auction off the government's power to seize land to the highest bidder. In one of many absolutely terrible rulings from this past term, the Supreme Court held:
... We granted certiorari to determine whether a city’s decision to take property for the purpose of economic development satisfies the “public use” requirement of the Fifth Amendment.

Two polar propositions are perfectly clear. On the one hand, it has long been accepted that the sovereign may not take the property of A for the sole purpose of transferring it to another private party B, even though A is paid just compensation. On the other hand, it is equally clear that a State may transfer property from one private party to another if future “use by the public” is the purpose of the taking; the condemnation of land for a railroad with common-carrier duties is a familiar example. Neither of these propositions, however, determines the disposition of this

As for the first proposition, the City would no doubt be forbidden from taking petitioners’ land for the purpose of conferring a private benefit on a particular private party....

Nor would the City be allowed to take property under the mere pretext of a public purpose, when its actual purpose was to bestow a private benefit. The takings before us, however, would be executed pursuant to a “carefully considered” development


The disposition of this case therefore turns on the question whether the City’s development plan serves a “public purpose.” Without exception, our cases have defined that concept broadly, reflecting our longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments in this field.


Viewed as a whole, our jurisprudence has recognized that the needs of society have varied between different parts of the Nation, just as they have evolved over time in
response to changed circumstances. Our earliest cases in particular embodied a strong theme of federalism, emphasizing the “great respect” that we owe to state legislatures and state courts in discerning local public needs.

For more than a century, our public use jurisprudence has wisely eschewed rigid formulas and intrusive scrutiny in favor of affording legislatures broad latitude in determining what public needs justify the use of the takings power.

Those who govern the City were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to our deference. The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including—but by no means limited to—new jobs and increased tax revenue. As with other exercises in urban planning and development, the City is endeavoring to coordinate a variety of commercial, residential, and recreational uses of land, with the hope that they will form a whole greater than the sum of its parts. To effectuate this plan, the City has invoked a state statute that specifically authorizes the use of eminent domain to promote economic development. Given the comprehensive character of the plan, the thorough deliberation that preceded its adoption, and the limited scope of our review, it is appropriate for us, as it was in Berman, to resolve the challenges of the individual owners, not on a piecemeal basis, but rather in light of the entire plan.

Because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment.
With the utmost respect and care to the Court, "What a load of horse biscuits!" The government may take private land and give it to another party so long as there arrives from the taking a public benefit?!?! Sounds like the government can now make people offers they can't refuse. The Supreme Court just legalized stealing. This is what we get from a liberal court. I have been wanting to write an article for some time now about why Rhenquist won't step down. It seems painfully clear, to me at least, that he has no faith in the President, nor do I, and the Republican controlled Senate to replace him with another strict constuctionist (read conservative) justice. Bush can't even get his lower court apointees through... the MINORITY dems seem to have complete control. But that rant is for another time.

The Supreme idiots of the high court may find their decision does not sit as well with them as they may have thought. An enterprizing group decided to try to serve up a little justice of their own. A letter was recently sent stating:
Monday, June 27, 2005

Mr. Chip Meany
Code Enforcement Officer
Town of Weare, New Hampshire
Fax 603-529-4554

Dear Mr. Meany,

I am proposing to build a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill Road in the Town of Weare. I would like to know the process your town has for allowing such a development.

Although this property is owned by an individual, David H. Souter, a recent Supreme Court decision, "Kelo vs. City of New London" clears the way for this land to be taken by the Government of Weare through eminent domain and given to my LLC for the purposes of building a hotel. The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare.

As I understand it your town has five people serving on the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, since it will require only three people to vote in favor of the use of eminent domain I am quite confident that this hotel development is a viable project. I am currently seeking investors and hotel plans from an architect. Please let me know the proper steps to follow to proceed in accordance with the law in your town.

Thank you.

Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC
From which came forth the following press release seen on Drudge and others:
Press Release
For Release Monday, June 27 to New Hampshire media
For Release Tuesday, June 28 to all other media

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

# # #

Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC

Phone 310-593-4843
The courts are out of control. If something is not done about this soon, we may be forced to have a yearly national referendum to amend and fix the constitution. If these renegade activist judges want to continue expanding the powers of the government and just creating the rules as they go, then at least the people ought to be able to have a say in it. If they want a living and breathing constitution, why not let it breath the air of freedom for the people from unecessary government intrusion into their lives.

Didn't the Dems recently moan and whine about "changing the rules after the game has started?" (after they invented a few new rules of their own) - it seems the Supreme Court wants to change the Constitution even though it has already been implemented. I.e. The Supreme Court, (one part of the government) is changing the rules of the Government after the rules were already set in place. It is unquestionable that justice dictates minor changes to the rules when the rules are unfair, but this power should come in the form of Amendments to the Constitution. This should NOT be solely for the courts, this is a power that should be reserved for the people!!!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Rummy on Fox News Sunday

Read the transcript here.

I watched the interveiw and silently hoped that Rummy would run in 08. I think he would be one of the greatest Pesidents in our nation's history... if only he could be convinced to run.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Transcript: Rummy on "The Michael Smerconish Show"

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Tuesday, June 21, 2005


SMERCONISH: So, sir, when I saw the Time Magazine cover story last week about Detainee 063 and then saw that he was Mohamed Al-Khatani, that resonated with me and with my audience because we fully appreciate that this is a guy who arguably would have been on Flight 93 trying to cut somebody's throat with a box cutter, and that airplane perhaps would have crashed into the Capitol or the White House instead of a field in western Pennsylvania. He's the last kind of a guy that I or members of my audience have sympathy for.

It's got to be frustrating when you see the splash that they gave this thing.

RUMSFELD: Well, it really is interesting. I noticed the other day that the wonderful historical David McCulloch pointed out, he said basically that if the Revolutionary War had been covered the way we're covering this war and people had seen how difficult the conditions are and how badly things were run and the soup, the difficulty of the task, that people would have tossed it in.

You're right. The people down there at Guantanamo Bay, under the President's orders, have been treated humanely and they should be treated humanely. But these are terrorists, trainers, bomb makers, suicide bombers, UBL's bodyguards, the 20th hijacker as you point out, recruiters, facilitators. These are bad people. These are people who want to go out and kill innocent men, women and children.

We've been letting a number of them go back to their home countries in the custody of their countries, and already we've found 12 back on the battlefield trying to kill our people that were let go by mistake, probably because they used an alias and we weren't able to sort it out.

So this is a tough business. It's a difficult world. The struggle against extremists is not an easy thing. Those that are suggesting that the management or the handling by our military of what's going on in Guantanamo Bay is not the way it should be, are just flat wrong.

SMERCONISH: Sir, I had an interesting experience in that I read some of the reaction from Amnesty International before I was able to get my fingers around a copy of Time Magazine. Then I'm reading the magazine and it was like that old Peggy Lee song, "Is that all there is?" I'm reading that we played Christina Aguilera music, that we interrogated this guy in a room that had 9/11 victim photographs on the wall, and I'm saying to myself, pardon me, but where in the hell is the torture?

RUMSFELD: Yeah. There's no torture going on down there and there hasn't been.

SMERCONISH: Do the techniques that are used down there, do they provide results? Are you getting a net effect?

RUMSFELD: There's no question but that the United States is learning a great deal. We've learned the organizational structure of al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. We've learned the extent of terrorist presence in Europe and the U.S. and the Middle East. We have information about al-Qaida's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, information on recruiting and recruitment centers, on terrorist skill sets, financing. This information has saved American lives, the information that's being gained down there. No one wants to hold these people. No one wants to spend time interrogating these people, but we simply have to do it.

We're in a long struggle against violent extremists that are anxious and financed to go out and kill innocent men, women and children in our country and other Western countries across the globe.

SMERCONISH: Mr. Secretary, I have on the back of my pickup truck, one of those yellow ribbons and it says in the middle of it, "Never forget" with regard to September 11. We're not even at the fourth anniversary. Are you worried as the Secretary of Defense that indeed a significant number of Americans have already forgotten?

RUMSFELD: You know, I'm not worried. I guess the reason I'm not worried is I've been around a long time. I'll be 73 next month. And I have so much confidence in the basic, good center of gravity of the American people. They seem to have a good inner gyroscope that centers them. And it can be blown off to the side for awhile in a rash of bad news, but it doesn't take long for them to get re-centered and to understand what's important and what isn't.

As a matter of fact I was with Congressman Gerlach the other day who was here for breakfast with us.

SMERCONISH: Good fellow, by the way.

RUMSFELD: He is, indeed. He understands the importance of what the United States is doing in the global war on terror.

I go visit the families of the wounded in Bethesda and Walter Reed, in hospitals. Those families, here their young ones are injured and in some cases with a leg off or an arm off or blinded in one eye, and the families are so strong and so supportive and understand from their soldiers, their sons and daughters who are soldiers, they understand from them what's actually happening, how well they're doing, the importance of what they're doing.

I'm absolutely convinced that in five, ten years people will look back and be so proud of what they've done in that conflict, the men and women in uniform. We're so fortunate to have them.

SMERCONISH: I was on Hardball last week with Chris Matthews trying to articulate the administration's point of view on these matters and someone debating me said, well, the net effect of what's going on at GTMO Bay is to create hostility toward us in certain segments of the Arab world.

My response, Mr. Secretary, was to say those folks already hate us. What are we supposed to do, give them a piece of quiche and a warm blanket?

RUMSFELD: [Laughing].

SMERCONISH: What's the response to those who say we ought to close it because it's become a focal point of hostility in the Arab world?

RUMSFELD: Then the question is what's the alternative? He who would tear down what is has a responsibility of recommending something better, and I haven't heard anybody who's said anything like that who has any idea at all, unless you want to just let all these people go so they can go out and kill 3,000 or 10,000 more Americans.

SMERCONISH: So you're reaching today Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and to those who are watching the newscasts, seeing the magazines like Time Magazine, the message that the United States Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wants them to appreciate is what with regard to Guantanamo Bay?

RUMSFELD: This facility is needed. It is housing people that have done great damage to our country, who are determined to go out and kill additional people if they have the chance. Bomb makers, terrorist financiers, suicide bombers, and they need to be kept off the street, and they are being kept off the street in Guantanamo at a facility that is being operated by young men and women from our armed services who are doing a fine job. They're treating them in a humane way but they're keeping them off the street and they're interrogating them to find out additional information so we can prevent future terrorist acts.

SMERCONISH: One final question, sir, and then I'll let you go. I read with interest the account of how we are treating Saddam Hussein. Humane is indeed the world that comes to mind. I mean not a hint of torture. This is a guy who's treated with the utmost of dignity and respect, if you've had a chance to see that most recent story.

RUMSFELD: No, you're quite right. We have an obligation. The President's said that from the beginning of the global war on terror, and after September 11th. He said as we detain people we're going to treat them humanely, but we're not going to let them loose, we're going to keep them off the street so they don't kill more of our American people.

SMERCONISH: I think somebody said at one of the events during the campaign that the choice is either to fight them over there or to fight them here. I'd rather fight them over there.

RUMSFELD: That's exactly right. I quite agree.

SMERCONISH: Mr. Secretary, Godspeed. We really appreciate having you doing the job you're doing.

RUMSFELD: Thank you so much. I sure appreciate having a chance to visit with you and I look forward to doing it again sometime.

SMERCONISH: Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Thank you, sir.

Those Wild Dems

From the Inbox:
Yesterday's era of Democrats like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy brought real ideas and solutions to the table in an attempt to make a better life for the American people. Unfortunately, today's Democrat Party is not the one your parents knew. Instead, today's Democrats are singularly focused on obstruction and over-the-top rhetoric, adding nothing to raise the level of discourse and address the concerns of Americans.

The RNC's latest web video illustrates how far the Democrats have gone in debating the people's business in Washington, D.C. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says Republicans are pretty much all "white Christians." Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also show that Democrats are without a plan but not without unhelpful rhetoric.

See for yourself. Watch the newest RNC web video on!

Ken Mehlman
RNC Chairman

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rummy Interview with David Kelso

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

KELSO: Good morning Mr. Secretary, how are you today?

RUMSFELD: I'm fine.

KELSO: Sir, I have interviewed governors, senators, representatives, quite a few rock stars and even a Beatle once, but I don't believe that I've ever stood in cotton quite this tall, so let me thank you for the honor and the opportunity to interview you.

RUMSFELD: [Laughter] Well, thank you so much. That's very nice of you.

KELSO: Recently, sir, I was in Iraq back in April, and while we were there, we toured Fallujah and were able to see some of the reconstruction efforts going on over there. It's been since April since I was there, but I would be very interested to know how that effort is going today and what sort of progress has been made.

RUMSFELD: Well, they've been making progress across the country, but of course understandably it tends to go in fits and starts. What happens is, the government and the coalition forces are anxious to see the reconstruction take place, the services improve, whether it's sewage or water, electricity, hospitals, schools and the like. Simultaneously, you've got the insurgents who recognize, just as we do, that all three things need to proceed apace. The economic and reconstruction side, the political development, and the security. And that if one gets way out ahead of the other, it tends to lose.

So we've seen, for example, the insurgents attempting to delay the reconstruction efforts and going after some electrical activity or water systems to try to slow them down. Then they'll do the same thing with the Iraqi security forces. They'll try to delay that progress and they'll go after a police station or something. And the same thing they'll do on the political side. They'll go out and try to assassinate a provincial governor or a police chief in a way that frightens people.

So it's a give and take, and what we're going to have to do is to see that all three of those move forward between now and the end of the year when the Iraqi government elections take place under their new constitution, and more and more Iraqis recognize the fact that they do have a free country, a liberated country, and that if it's going to be successful they're going to have to pitch in and make it so.

KELSO: How is the training of our Iraqi friends coming?

RUMSFELD: Well, it's coming along very well. It's easy to cite numbers. The current level is about 169,000 Iraqi security forces have been recruited, trained, equipped and deployed. There are a number more in training. We expect to be up over 200,000 by the time of the constitution, the referendum on the constitution and the election that's coming up.

The problem areas are not the numbers. The problem is the soft things -- the strength of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior, how competent are those people, how well developed are their linkages to each other and to the intelligence community? What does the chain of command look like? How effective is it? Are there good non-commissioned officers? All of those kinds of things that are
less easy to develop metrics for. Those are the things that are going to have to develop for them to really be able to operate independently.

KELSO: Now while I was in Iraq we got to see firsthand some of the great projects that are going on over there. We heard about Hadifa Dam and the electrical grids and water supplies and entire city infrastructures being rebuilt or in some cases built from nothing. We rarely, if ever hear about this on the 6 o'clock news and I want to know if you're worried that this flood of bad news is having a negative effect on our mission in the Middle East.

RUMSFELD: You know, it's an interesting question. I assume that most people, your listeners, have heard of David McCulloch, the historian, who writes wonderful history, biographies and stories of historical things of importance.

The other day he was asked on Meet The Press, I believe, what he thought about what was going on and he said, "I have to say this, too. If that war, meaning the Revolutionary War, had been covered, particularly, this is the most important year in the most important conflict in history, and if it had been covered by the media and the country had seen how horrible the conditions were, in the Revolutionary War, how badly things were being run by the officers, and what a very serious soup we were in, I think that would have been it, as well."

Now his point being that there's a tendency to emphasize the negative and that's understandable. I suppose people think that's more newsworthy, but the reality is, solid progress is being made. They have had elections. They have developed a transitional government. They are working on a constitution. The winners in the election, the Shia, have not said to the Sunnis who didn't participate fully, that they're just out of it. Instead they've reached out to them. The Sunnis, instead of saying, well, we're not going to play, said we made a mistake by not getting involved in the elections and now they're leaning forward, so a lot of good things are happening despite the fact that it's a very tough business and it isn't going to be an easy, smooth road between here and December.

KELSO: I also understand, and this is one of the things you don't hear much about on the news, that recruitment in the Army is down, but reenlistments are up. Do you think this has anything to do with this flow of negativity coming from CNN and Michael Moore?

RUMSFELD: Well, it's possible. I'm not in a position to go in and disaggregate and identify all the things that may affect people's decision-making, but you're quite right. The Air Force and the Navy recruiting and retention are just fine. And in the Army, the retention is good and interestingly, the people who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the retention is even higher than it is for the force in general. So clearly the people there recognize that they're doing noble work, that it's important, they know without being told in the press or the media what's going on because they're there, they see it. They're proud of it. Darn proud of it.

And I'll say this. They're going to look back in five or ten years and see a free Iraqi people, that's a country at peace with its neighbors, that's respectful of women and respectful of all the minorities in that country, and they're going to be darn proud of their service in the United States military.

KELSO: Sir, I couldn't agree with you more.

Now with any luck, moving on to a different subject here, I'm going to be able to go to Guantanamo Bay and see Camp Delta and that. I've read that Camp Delta is probably the most open prison around. Foreign leaders are able to see their people, the press, the House, the Senate, me, even Dick Durbin is allowed to go down and see for himself what's going on.

RUMSFELD: [Laughing].

KELSO: In light of this openness, how do you personally handle comments like Nazi and Pol Pot and concentration camp?

RUMSFELD: Well, I think that fellow's going to have to live with those words for the rest of his life and I don't envy him.

The thing I would say is that you're quite right. A great many members of the House and Senate have been down there. I think something like 77 members of the House and the Senate, something well in excess of 100 staff members. There have been any number of foreign diplomats who have gone down to meet and interview the nationals from their countries. There have been hundreds of people from the press that have one down there, all kinds. It is a very transparent situation. Something like media, 400 visits by a thousand national and international journalists. The International Committee of the Red Cross has full access in there, any time of the day or night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I am really struck by the -- I was going to say the apparent lack of knowledge or the ignorance that people are reflecting in their comments about Guantanamo Bay.

It is a --- people can disagree legitimately with the idea that these are people who have not had Article 3 of our Constitution process, and they've not been processed through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and for good reason. These are not prisoners of war in the normal sense that you just want to take them off the battlefield. These are terrorists. This is the 20th hijacker down there. These are suicide bombers, bodyguards for Osama bin Laden, people who have been providing important information that has enabled us to stop additional attacks. And it seems to me that if you've got trainers and financiers and bomb-makers and recruiters and facilitators, that the goal is to keep them off the battlefield so they don't go out and kill more innocent men, women and children in the United States, and that's what's being done.

Furthermore, a great deal of information is being gleaned from them through perfectly proper humane interrogation procedures.

KELSO: Hear, hear.

Sir, finally my last question. There are bumper stickers just about everywhere that say "I support our troops", "Support our troops." Besides voting and taking part in the freedoms these kids are risking their lives for, there are some other great ways to help show support for our soldiers, and I want to know if you can tell us about America Supports You and the web site.

RUMSFELD: I'd be happy to. As a matter of fact I've got my pin on which I try to wear every day. What this web site offers is anyone who goes onto it,, it gives you examples of some of the hundreds of things that people are doing all around the world to support the troops, and how important it is to do that. It's been a wonderful success and I certainly appreciate your mentioning it because I think a lot of people feel well, what can I do? On that web site they're going to find dozens and dozens of things they can do individually or with their families or with their schools or their businesses, their organizations, and I certainly encourage folks to do that.

KELSO: Mr. Secretary, thank you very very much again for the honor and the opportunity to interview you. I have about 3,995 more questions, so maybe if you can find time I hope that you can come on with us again.

RUMSFELD: [Laughing]. Well, listen, I notice that your father had served in the military.

KELSO: Yes sir. He did.

RUMSFELD: That's a wonderful thing. Do express our appreciation to him.

KELSO: I can't wait to see him and tell him that the Secretary of Defense told him that.

RUMSFELD: Okay. Thanks so much. Good to visit with you.

KELSO: Sir, thank you very much. Have a pleasant afternoon.

RUMSFELD: Thank you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Rummy on the Tony Snow Show June 21 2005

NEWS TRANSCRIPT from the United States Department of Defense

DoD News Briefing
Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

SNOW: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, welcome.

RUMSFELD: Thank you so much, Tony. It's good to be with you.

SNOW: Senator Chuck Hagle last week said we're losing the war in Iraq. Is he right?

RUMSFELD: No. We're not losing the war in Iraq at all, and I don't think there's any military commander or person who's involved over there who believes that's the case. I've not heard that from anyone who's knowledgeable and engaged in it on a continuing basis.

It's a tough business and people are being killed and there are ups and downs and good days and bad days, but if one thinks about it, the schools are open, the hospitals are open, the textbooks are there, the court system's functioning, the political process is moving forward and the Iraqis went out, eight million people went out and voted and elected a transitional government. They're now working hard to draft a constitution. They're going to have elections under that constitution in December and they'll have a new, free Iraqi government.

SNOW: So you expect them to go ahead and finish the constitution on time and have votes. Because some people are now, as they were before, calling to push these things back.

RUMSFELD: There's always going to be somebody. You know if you're in a football game, you're on the 20 yard line heading for the goal, you wish the game were longer. And you'll hear the same thing between now and the time the constitution's drafted and the referendum is voted, and then you'll hear it between then and December when they actually vote under the new constitution. It's going to be the people who think they can get more advantage if it went on longer.

SNOW: But you think it's all going to happen on schedule.

RUMSFELD: Absolutely. It has to. The more they delay the greater the damage and my view is that it must go forward on schedule. That's the President's view. And I predict that's what will happen.

SNOW: So Senator Joe Biden who is recommending that it be deferred, what you're saying is if it's deferred it makes the situation more dangerous in Iraq.

RUMSFELD: Absolutely. These things have to go together in tandem, Tony. You've got to have progress on the economic side, you've got to have progress on the political side, you've got to have progress on the security side. And they've all got to move forward and that's what's happening. You have good political process with that election, good economic progress with things that have happened. They've got a stock market that's open, they've got an economy, the dinar is strong. And the security forces, the Iraqi security forces are now up to something like 169,000 and they're strengthening their ministries and they're improving their linkages to intelligence and they're increasingly taking on more and more of the security responsibilities in the country.

SNOW: Quoting Senator Biden again, he says, "The insurgents are more dangerous than they were a year ago and they're shaping the political landscape." Your reaction.

RUMSFELD: Well, I don't know what that means. Insurgents are shaping the political landscape.

SNOW: I was hoping you'd be able to tell me because I'm not quite sure either.

RUMSFELD: It sounds like words to me. But I suppose you could say there are lots of things shaping the political landscape and the reality of an insurgency is one of them, but so too is the political process, and so too is the development of the Iraqi security forces. There are a great many things, factors, entering into it and I suppose anyone can reach in the middle of that long list and isolate one or two and claim they're factors, and not be wrong.

SNOW: We seem to be coming to the conclusion now that many of the insurgents are coming from Syria and they're getting paid. Is that correct?

RUMSFELD: There's no question that insurgents are being paid and so are criminals being paid. That's a fact, and it's also true that a lot of people are coming through the border of Syria. That's notably unhelpful.

SNOW: Who's paying them?

RUMSFELD: Well, there's all kinds of money available, I suppose. The al-Qaida network, the Zarkawi network, the other places that funds come from. If you'll recall, Saddam Hussein stole hundreds of millions of dollars out of the Central Bank of Iraq before the war ended. I'm confident that a lot of that money's still around and Iraqi insurgents are using it.

SNOW: What about the Iranians?

RUMSFELD: Well, Iran is clearly putting money into the country and it's clearly trying to influence the elections and the constitution. The Shia holy places, of course, are in Iraq, not in Iran. They've got a very active interest. They've not been helpful either. They've harbored some al-Qaida as well.

SNOW: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with us.

Senator Biden, and I'm going to toss in a couple of more proposals Senator Biden's made and then we're going to move on. He says that we need to take advantage of foreign offers to train Iraqi security forces outside of Iraq, mentioning the French have offered to train 15 hundred gendarmes, the Jordanians and others. Do we in fact need to be training Iraqi police forces using other governments outside Iraq?

RUMSFELD: Sure. Some of it's done inside Iraq. Some of it's done outside of Iraq. We've been doing that for a couple of years. We have a training center in Jordan and there are other countries. We've got NATO, a number of countries in NATO have agreed to train and equip Iraqi security forces of different types -- border patrols, police. No, there's nothing new to that. That's been going on for months and months.

SNOW: So in other words he's ratifying the status quo.

RUMSFELD: Apparently.

SNOW: Mr. Secretary, I continue to get calls every day, people saying the administration lied about weapons of mass destruction. The most common focal point is the Vice President. I want you to walk people just very quickly through what we thought going into the war and whether we made a mistake or whether you still think there may be weapons of mass destruction that can be traceable to Saddam Hussein.

RUMSFELD: We know for a fact, I know for a fact that no one in the Administration lied about weapons of mass destruction. The U.S. intelligence community and the intelligence community of other countries believed, apparently inaccurately, but believed sincerely, that they would find weapons of mass destruction. Now it was based on a lot of information that they had that may eventually prove to be wrong. We haven't found weapons of mass destruction so one has to assume that.

Now how does that happen? Well, we know that Saddam Hussein, for example, used chemical weapons against his own people and against his neighbors. We had intelligence that talked about the reconstitution of various capabilities in that country or the ability to reconstitute. They made those conclusions.

The other thing that was going on at the same time was that Saddam Hussein had refused to comply with 17 UN Resolutions. He was given a last chance to comply with those Resolutions and he filed fraudulent, what's known to be fraudulent declarations with the United Nations.

What's all that mean? It certainly doesn't mean that anyone misled the American people. It means that the world of intelligence is imperfect, as it is, and that the information was, at least thus far has not been proved to have been the case, and that's the way it is in life.

SNOW: Let's now talk about Guantanamo. I think the facts are more ascertainable here.

Senator Richard Durbin, you know what he said. Your reaction.

RUMSFELD: Anyone who says something like that is going to have to live with those words the rest of their lives.

SNOW: I'm trying to get you to continue now.

RUMSFELD: Well, that will not be a happy prospect for a person.

SNOW: Former President Clinton speaking to the Financial Times the other day said Guantanamo needs to be closed down or cleaned up. I want to ask you a question from a different angle.

Guantanamo Bay, people working at Guantanamo Bay have extensive regulations in everything from food preparation to how to handle the Koran to dealing with prisoners. Could one make the argument that far from being a charnel house on the order of Auschwitz, that in fact Guantanamo Bay may be the most humane prisoner of war camp ever?

RUMSFELD: I can't speak for POW camps throughout history, but I can tell you that the men and women who are operating Guantanamo were told by the President, they were told by me, to conduct it in a humane manner. They have been doing that. I saw someone on one of the television shows yesterday who said there had been 100 people killed in Guantanamo. Just totally untrue. It's factually wrong. That place is, as you suggest, a model detention facility.

Now why does it do that? Why is it there? These people who say well, we shouldn't have it, what do they recommend? The people who are there are terrorist trainers, bomb makers, suicide bombers, UBL's bodyguards, financiers, recruiters, facilitators. These are bad people. These are people who want to go out and kill innocent men, women and children. And the idea that people would let those people loose is just unthinkable.

What are we learning from them? Well, we're learning a lot. One of them was the 20th hijacker, everyone is convinced of. But we've learned a great deal about al-Qaida's terrorist network and its presence in Europe, the U.S., the Middle East, their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, their methods of recruitment, their terrorist skill sets, we've learned a great deal through the interrogation process which has been humane.

SNOW: Mr. Secretary, would you then maintain that we in fact have saved lives as a result of the intelligence gathered at Guantanamo?

RUMSFELD: There is no doubt at all but that American lives and Western lives have been saved because of those detentions.

Now, what's going on? It's transparent. We've had the International Committee of the Red Cross has been down there from day one. They have full access to the place. They've had a permanent presence for months and months and months. The media. There have been 400 visits by over 1,000 national and international journalists who have been there. Lawyers for the detainees have been there. Eleven senators and 77 congressmen have been down there, with 100 congressional staff members.

The idea that there is some mystery about this or that it needs to be cleaned up, it couldn't be cleaned up any more than it's been cleaned up. It is operating in a manner that's consistent with the correct principles of detention.

SNOW: Mr. Secretary, are you aware of any human rights abuses that have taken place at Guantanamo Bay?

RUMSFELD: I think that there have been several investigations and they have looked into things and found allegations where people have conducted themselves in a manner that was inconsistent with the policy and the rules that they were given. In those cases they have been prosecuted and convicted where appropriate or acquitted where appropriate.

SNOW: In other words, American service men and women seeing something gone amiss have in fact turned in their own people.

RUMSFELD: Absolutely. They have absolutely turned in their own people and those people have been prosecuted.

There's one ongoing investigation that's still underway, and we'll learn more. That's the way it ought to work. But most of what's been coming out in the press recently is because of Freedom of Information requests and the press plays it as though it's something brand new and different when in fact it's mostly repetition of things that have already been investigated and prosecuted.

The other thing you ought to remember is that these detainees, we captured a document called the Manchester Document. These detainees are trained to lie, they're trained to say they were tortured, and the minute we release them or the minute they get a lawyer, very frequently they'll go out and they will announce that they've been tortured, and the press carries it and says another example of torture, when in fact they've been trained to do that and their training manual says so.

There's one other thing. These photographs from earlier. Apparently there's going to be, some judge is now requiring that they be released I think later this month possibly. What are they going to be? They're going to be the same things that were already investigated, that were already part of the investigation, that were already delivered to the Congress, the House and the Senate, and it's going to come out and people are going to see them and say oh, my goodness, it's something new. More examples of this.

Of course what you had was a group of people on the midnight shift in Iraq who, as the Schlessinger report, behaved in a way that was inconsistent with how they should have behaved, but it wasn't true of the shift before and it wasn't true of the shift after.

SNOW: You know what's interesting is I haven't seen people demanding Freedom of Information Act requests to see the photos of the people who have been tortured by the bad guys.

RUMSFELD: That's true. That's exactly right.

SNOW: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with us here on the Tony Snow Show.

Mr. Secretary, earlier you said of Richard Durbin and his comments that you wouldn't want to be in his place. Why?

RUMSFELD: Well I think that nobody's perfect, some people always in their lives say something they wish they hadn't said. We've just watched Jane Fonda run around trying to recover from the things she did and said during the Vietnam War. I just think that that's about all I have to say about him, is that he said some things and he's going to have to live with them. I think that that's not a happy prospect for a person.

SNOW: Mr. Secretary,

RUMSFELD: These troops,

SNOW: Go ahead.

RUMSFELD: The men and women in uniform are doing a superb job and their families are supporting them. And their performance and their skill and their professionalism and their courage and their sacrifice is truly impressive. And to suggest that the American men and women in uniform, in Guantanamo Bay, are doing things that equate to the things that what's his name, the Senator Durbin suggested, I think is so far beyond anyone's understanding of what's going on. I don't believe he's ever even visited there.

SNOW: As far as we can tell he hasn't.

Mr. Secretary, in previous wars, especially World War II, people talked not about exit strategies but victory. The other thing you saw was a concerted effort of the American people to maintain solidarity. Now at the Pentagon, you guys are working on something called the "America Supports You" effort. I think it's one of those things that perhaps deserves more attention simply because it does once again draw that connection between the public and the people doing the fighting.

RUMSFELD: Well you're exactly right. It's a wonderful arrangement because, spontaneously, people around the country are doing wonderful things to help the troops and support the troops and support their families. Someone devised the idea of having a web site called, where anybody can go on the web site and find out examples of things that people are doing. Some people are doing them individually, others are doing it with their families or their classroom and school or businesses or organizations they belong to, and it's been just a terrific thing.

If you think about it, these folks are over there doing a superb job for our country. They're fighting terrorists there so we don't have to fight them here at home. They're doing it in a highly professional and successful way. They're making progress. They're making progress politically and economically and they're going to make progress from the development of the Iraqi security forces. And when they look back in five to ten years they're going to be so proud of the noble work they've done to help liberate 25 million Iraqi people, and turn a country that was sponsoring terrorism into a country that's respectful of women, respectful of the various minority groups and that's at peace with its neighbors. I think all Americans would like to find that web site so that they can find ways to be supportive of the people that are doing that and particularly their families that are so far away here at home.

SNOW: Absolutely right.
Mr. Secretary, as always, a pleasure. Thanks for joining us.

RUMSFELD: Thank you, Tony. It's good to be with you.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

E*D response to Michael Jackson Trial

This isn't something I'd blogged about, and I suppose I've waited long enough to hear what everyone else thinks... Here is my take:

Michael Jackson seems to be a very strange - possibly sick - man, and he very well may be a pedophile; however, based on what little evidence was presented against him coupled with the shakey source of the allegations, it seems very likely he was innocent in this particular case.

All of the "conservatives" I usually find myself in agreement with were very quick to judge Jackson. Many seemed to think that even if he weren't guilty this time he should have been convicted for the prior allegations. It doesn't work that way. I think the lambasting of Jackson that followed the verdict was a bit over the top.

I don't think Michael should be allowed to be around young children. I think parents who allow their children access to Michael Jackson's bedroom are insane. I think stupid parents should be tried for putting their children in dangerous situations.

Thats my take on this case.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Incase you missed it: Rumsfeld on BBC News

The following snippet came from the BBC News interview of Donald Rumsfeld by Sir David Frost:
Frost: Do you think Deep Throat was a hero or a villain?

Rumsfeld: Oh, goodness. I'm in charge of a large government department and certainly my hope and prayer would be that any employee of this department who sees something illegal or wrong or improper would report it to the Department of Justice or the proper authorities. It seems to me that that's what our obligation is as a government official, serving the American people.


Frost: Do you think, when you fought for a leaner, smaller, high tech war as it war, less soldiers, that you were right as far as the war went but wrong as far as the aftermath went?

Rumsfeld: I don't think I even agree with the way you've constructed the question. Let me first say that --

Frost: Transformation will take place.

Rumsfeld: First let me say that it was not Don Rumsfeld or the President of the United States who decided the size of the forces, either during the war or after the war. The general officers and the people responsible for conducting the war, in that case General Franks and General Abizaid and General Delong and the division commanders, told us what they recommended and they got exactly what they recommended. As the war ended they told us what they recommended, and today they have told us what they recommended, and they have exactly what they're recommended.

So the answer to your question, it seems to me, is not whether we were right; whether or not the people who have the principal responsibility for making those kinds of judgments were correct, and the answer is I believe they were. The war, in the first instance in terms of the conduct of the war was completed with dispatch and with minimal collateral damage and with minimal loss of life. Probably never been a war quite like that where anyone has moved that fast from outside the country to Baghdad and defeated what was reputed to be an impressive army that rapidly and that skillfully with that few loss of life.

In terms of the post major combat operations efforts, the tension is this, and it's important to understand it. On the one hand if you have a very very large force you have a problem with force protection, you have a problem with logistics, you become a bigger and bigger target, and most important you become a bigger occupying force. You're more intrusive in the country, which makes for greater hostility against that occupying force. If you have a smaller force there's less force protection, less logistics, less of a footprint, less of an occupying force, intrusive circumstance, and you're more likely to get the population leaning forward, working with you.

So you have to have enough to do the job but you don't want any more than enough to do the job. There have been observers from the outside who have said oh, my goodness, there should be more people, it won't work, going into the war. Well, they were wrong. In fact General Franks was correct.

Subsequently there have been people who have said there should be more and there are people arguing now that there should be fewer. The reason for fewer is because ultimately it's going to be the Iraqi people who are going to prevail in this insurgency.


Frost: And we've ruled out military action against Iran in the foreseeable future?

Rumsfeld: That's something that, when you say we, you don't have military power, I don't have military power. Nations do. Most nations make a practice of not ruling things out. They do that almost as a matter of principle, that there's a linkage between these things. But obviously the path that the President has chosen is one of a diplomatic path and the North Koreans; obviously the path that's been chosen with Iran has been a diplomatic path.
Wow, what great answers! I have nothing but respect for Rumsfeld. I think he is perhaps the most competent person in Washington. I wish he would run for President.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Guantanamo Provides Valuable Intelligence Information

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense

No. 592-05
Jun 12, 2005

Guantanamo Provides Valuable Intelligence Information

In response to recent media interest and the disclosure of a classified interrogation log from Guantanamo, the following information is provided.

The compromised classified interrogation log is in reference to a single individual, Mohamed al Kahtani, a detainee believed to be the intended 20th Hijacker in the 9/11 attack that killed more than 3,000 innocent people and injured countless others. He was captured on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border after fleeing the fighting in Tora Bora. In February 2002, due to his affiliation with al-Qaida, he was transported to Guantanamo for detention.

He is an al-Qaida operative with strong ties to senior al-Qaida leadership, including Osama Bin Laden. He trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan and tried to enter the U.S. in August 2001. His attempt to enter the U.S. from the Middle East on a one-way airline ticket and $2,800 in cash was foiled by immigration officials at the Orlando International Airport. Instead of meeting Mohamed Atta, the lead September 11th hijacker who was waiting for him at the airport, Kahtani returned to the Middle East. Had Kahtani succeeded in entering the U.S., it is believed he would have been on United Airlines Flight 93, the only hijacked aircraft that had four hijackers instead of five.

The interrogation of Kahtani has enabled the Department of Defense to gain a clear picture of Kahtani's strong connection to al-Qaida leadership to include Osama Bin Laden. For example, while Kahtani repeatedly offered various cover stories ranging from claims of being in Afghanistan to buy falcons to claims he was coming to the U.S. to buy a used car, interrogations were able to uncover the truth.

Kahtani's interrogation during this period was guided by a very detailed plan and conducted by trained professionals motivated by a desire to gain actionable intelligence, to include information that might prevent additional attacks on America.

To understand Kahtani's interrogation, it is important to remember the post-9/11 environment during this period.
+ There had just been anthrax attacks in the U.S. in December of 2001.
+ Richard Reid tried to blow up a U.S. airliner with a shoe bomb.
+ Over the spring and summer, there were deadly attacks in Tunisia and Pakistan.
+ In October 2002 al-Qaida leader Ayman Zawahiri released a tape recording stating "God willing, we will continue targeting the keys of the American economy."
+ In September and October, the FBI broke up the Lackawana Six cell in New York.
+ On October 6, 2002, al-Qaida attacked a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen, an attack that harkened back to the killing of 17 service members on the USS Cole.
+ On October 8, 2002, al-Qaida gunmen shot and killed a US Marine in Kuwait.
+ On October 12, 2002, al-Qaida affiliate Jemaah Islamiya bombed a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, killing more than 200 and injuring about 300.
+ On November 28, 2002, al-Qaida fired two anti aircraft missiles at a Boeing 757 aircraft flying from Mombassa, Kenya to Israel; suicide bombers also attacked the Paradise Hotel in Mombassa, Kenya killing 15 and injuring 40.
+ On December 30, 2002, three U.S. citizens were killed in Yemen during an attack on Baptist Missionary Hospital.
The United States was clearly a country on high alert during this period and Kahtani -- a known al-Qaida terrorist -- was being held at Guantanamo and was believed to possess information essential to preventing future terrorist attacks. Using approved and monitored interrogation approaches, including additional authorities approved by the Department of Defense in December 2002, Kahtani admitted he had been lying. He also admitted:
+ He had been sent to the U.S. by Khalid Sheik Mohamed, the lead architect of the 9/11 attack;
+ That he had met Osama Bin Laden on several occasions;
+ That he had received terrorist training at two al-Qaida camps;
+ That he had been in contact with many senior al-Qaida leaders.
More importantly, he provided valuable intelligence information helping the U.S. to understand the recruitment of terrorist operatives, logistics, and other planning aspects of the 9/11 terrorist attack. He also provided information that:
+ Clarified Jose Padilla's and Richard Reid's relationship with al-Qaida and their activities in Afghanistan
+ Provided infiltration routes and methods used by al-Qaida to cross borders undetected
+ Explained how Osama Bin Laden evaded capture by U.S. forces, as well as provided important information on his health
+ Provided detailed information about 30 of Osama Bin Laden's bodyguards who are also held at Guantanamo
Guantanamo houses enemy combatants ranging from terrorist trainers and recruiters to bomb makers, would-be suicide bombers and terrorist financiers.

Guantanamo provides a strategic interrogation center where enemy combatants can be questioned and where the results of those interrogations has undoubtedly produced information that has saved the lives of U.S. and coalition forces in the field as well as thwarted threats posed to innocent citizens in this country and abroad.

The Department of Defense remains committed to the unequivocal standard of humane treatment for all detainees, and Kahtani's interrogation plan was guided by that strict standard. The very fact that an interrogation log exists is evidence his interrogation proceeded according to a very detailed plan, which was conducted by trained professionals in a controlled environment, with active supervision and oversight.

When there have been credible allegations of abuse they are investigated aggressively and individuals are held accountable for their actions.

Guantanamo is also a facility under constant external oversight and supervision. The department works closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and representatives visit detainees in our charge at their discretion. There have been 187 members of Congress and congressional staff who have visited Guantanamo to include 11 Senators, 77 Representatives and 99 Congressional staff members. There have also been some 400 media visits consisting of more than 1,000 national and international journalists.

The Department of Defense does not wish to hold detainees longer than necessary and effective processes are in place to regularly review the status of enemy combatants. More than 68,000 detainees have been held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo and the vast majority of them have been released. There are only approximately 520 detainees in custody in Guantanamo. While more than 200 detainees have departed Guantanamo, detainee releases or transfers are not without risks. There have been approximately a dozen former detainees who were released from Guantanamo and have since taken part in anti-Coalition activities.

The Enemy Combatant Status Review Board was a formal review of all the information related to a detainee to determine whether the individual meets the criteria to be designated an enemy combatant. Every detainee at Guantanamo has been evaluated against those criteria. Additionally, an Annual Review Board periodically assesses whether an individual should be released, transferred or continued to be detained based on threat or continued intelligence value.

The joint team at Guantanamo, including military and civilian men and women, supports a vital mission guarding known terrorists. This mission includes extended separations from their families, and requires a great deal of dedication and professionalism necessary to carry out this important part of the ongoing war on terrorism.

These interrogation logs are classified for security reasons; however, Kahtani's interrogation is one of the subjects of the FBI e-mails that U.S.

Southern Command is investigating in the Schmidt-Furlow investigation ordered by General Craddock, the Combatant Commander at SOUTHCOM. Additionally, the Department of Defense has notified the relevant committees of Congress of this latest information. A classified briefing was also provided to the HASC and SASC staff on the logs in March.

Dem ol' Dems

Submitted by Russ Vaughn
"[I]n a decade as Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean did not appoint a single minority, single African-American, to his administration. I mean that's not his problem. It's a 98.5% white state. But a guy in that position isn't perhaps the best man to go around bemoaning the lack of diversity. Today, for example, a Republican judge was confirmed, who's the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers. And we have to say, why, if the Democratic Party is supposedly so diverse, why is the Democratic Party leadership apparently homogenously white? I mean the Democratic Party looks like an antebellum plantation from 150 years ago. You got the big, white owner and the white family in the big house, and thousands of black workers in the fields. Whereas the Republican Party...where's the Democrats' answer to a figure like Condoleezza Rice?"

Mark Steyn, here

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The White Christian Party

Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, unapologetic in the face of recent criticism that he has been too tough on his political opposition, said in San Francisco this week that Republicans are "a pretty monolithic party. They all behave the same. They all look the same. It's pretty much a white Christian party."

"The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people," Dean said Monday, responding to a question about diversity during a forum with minority leaders and journalists. "We're more welcoming to different folks, because that's the type of people we are. But that's not enough. We do have to deliver on things: jobs and housing and business opportunities."

Full Story
Well if you aren't white and Christian I guess you better leave the GOP before Howard Dean gets you...

I happen to know of many blacks, gays, women, and non-christians who consider themselves conservative (both fiscally and culturally)... a lot of them are bloggers who helped blog for Bush (and helped google bomb kerry)

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