Mark Steyn: Maybe The Germans Should Try Diplomacy

One day, Germany will have had enough

[T]he Germans [are] having the palpitations, after press reports that the Pentagon plans to pull out half its troops.

Right now, Germany plays host to 175,000 Americans – military personnel plus their families – and reducing that number to 80-90,000 would leave a big hole in an economy that’s already looking like a Swiss cheese.

Karl Peter Bruch, a state official in Rhineland-Palatinate who’s lobbying the Americans to change their minds, put it this way: “We realised that our installations are in grave danger. And then came the question, what can we do to make us more attractive?”

“Our” installations? As Daffy Duck famously remarked after losing yet another verbal duel with Bugs Bunny and getting his bill shot off: “Hmm. Pronoun trouble.” As to what Germany can do to make itself more attractive to the Yanks, how about this? Spend less time running around playing Mini-Me to Jacques Chirac’s Doctor Evil. Just a thought. And it seems to have occurred, somewhat belatedly, to Gerhard Schröder.

I thought the Germans were against the U.S. Military most of all. Why do the great pacifists need American troops? The Soviet threat is gone and surely allowing American troops to stay will only draw Islamic terrorists.

The Germans don’t want to play with us anymore, but they still want us to prop up their economy. I spent eight years in Germany. My kids practically grew up there. I liked it there. But I was there as part of a mutually beneficial agreement. They got something and we got something.

Now they want to retain the troops, but stymie any use of them.

Stick to making beer, bratwurst and BMW’s Herman.

Amazing.

Rep. Tom Lantos, (D-San Francisco) pens a column on dealing with the nuclear black market discovered after Libya decided to give up their programs.

Why is it amazing? Because he insists that the unforeseen turnaround by Libyan leader Qaddafi was accomplished by diplomacy and economic sanctions. No mention of the Iraq war, no mention of Qaddafi’s statement to Italy’s Prime Minister that he was “frightened” by what he saw happening in Iraq.

I just don’t know what to make of Lantos. He is a refugee from Communist controlled Eastern Europe. You would think that he would see the value of confronting despotic regimes. But at the same time, he seems to be as much a Party loyalist as any Soviet apparatchik.

Democrat Sabotage Crippled Counterterrorism Before 9/11

Holdovers Held Up Security Strategy

When former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke fingered President George W. Bush for having “botched the response to 9/11,” he and other critics left out a major point: Until just two months before the attack, nearly all the senior counterterrorism and intelligence officials on duty at the time were holdovers from the Clinton administration.

Insight often has reported on Clinton-era officials and Republican defectors who have tied Bush’s national-security strategy in knots since the beginning of his presidency [see “Blinded Vigilance,” Oct. 15, 2001; “Clinton Undead Haunting Pentagon,” June 17, 2002; and “Democrats Subvert War Intelligence,” Jan. 6-19]. Indeed, this magazine reported on Sept. 7, 2001, just four days before the terrorist attacks, that Clinton holdovers continued to run the U.S. intelligence community [see “Ground Down CIA Still in the Pit” at Insight online] without needed reforms to deal with post-Cold War threats such as international terrorism [see sidebar, p. 19]. Days after the carnage, even the president’s most bellicose critics in Congress, including Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.), were on CNN saying as publicly as they could that they were reconsidering their long-held positions that limited the fight against the terrorist enemy and piously alluding to the need to repeal a post-Watergate executive order banning assassinations abroad.

At that point the president’s own defense and security team was still taking shape. His top NSC special assistant for intelligence programs, Mary K. Sturtevant, had been on the job only eight weeks before the 9/11 attacks. For months, Sen. Levin personally had held up the confirmation hearings of Bush’s appointees who were to design the U.S. antiterrorism strategy – Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Programs J.D. Crouch and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Peter W. Rodman – refusing for apparently partisan purposes to allow them to take office until late July 2001. While Levin was holding up their appointments, the incoming Pentagon policy team had no legal or political authority to do their vital jobs – a fact that helps explain why it took eight months for the Bush administration to draw up a strategic operational plan to destroy al-Qaeda.

What do you think the reaction would be in the “mainstream” press if the Republicans did this to a Democrat President?

Yeah, it would be plastered all over the front pages of every newspaper in America, TV networks would be doing Special Reports and someone would have designed a new logo for the newscasters to use.

But as it was done by Democrats to a Republican President, it is only reported in a magazine labeled “right-wing” and therefore suspect.

al Qaida Disputes Clarke Testimony

Chicago, L.A. towers were next targets

LONDON — Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al Qaeda’s purported operations chief, has told U.S. interrogators that the group had been planning attacks on the Library Tower in Los Angeles and the Sears Tower in Chicago on the heels of the September 11, 2001, terror strikes.

Those plans were aborted mainly because of the decisive U.S. response to the New York and Washington attacks, which disrupted the terrorist organization’s plans so thoroughly that it could not proceed, according to transcripts of his conversations with interrogators.

“Afterwards, we never got time to catch our breath, we were immediately on the run,” Mohammed is quoted as saying.

Al Qaeda’s communications network was severely disrupted, he said. Operatives could no longer use satellite phones and had to rely on couriers, although they continued to use Internet chat rooms.

They were expecting more talk and less action. A week long discussion with the Security Council and maybe a resolution or two.

Instead, they were harassed and targeted. What a change from Clinton.

Tell me again how Clinton took them more seriously than Bush.

Thomas Lifson Compares The Treatment Of Richard Clarke And Linda Tripp

The American Thinker

Democrats, it would seem, have developed a sudden new sense of protectiveness for those who tell tales out of school. Anyone who remembers the name Linda Tripp cannot help but be amused at the Democrats rushing forward to decry the “trashing” of Richard Clarke. Where were these same Democrats when Linda Tripp was vilified on a daily basis?

U.S. News and World Report Says Condi Uppity

Bush’s national security adviser is suddenly in the eye of the storm (4/5/04)

“This is the most dysfunctional NSC that ever existed,” says a senior U.S. official. “But it’s not Condi’s fault. The person that’s made it so dysfunctional is Cheney.” For the first time, a vice president is sitting in on meetings with other NSC principals and is constantly involved in the policymaking.

And would that “senior U.S. official be Richard Clarke?

Imagine. A Vice-President taking part in the administration. Totally new and unprecedented.

The only thing missing is a pat to her head.

Over the years, Rice’s predecessors–including Sandy Berger under President Clinton and Brent Scowcroft under George H. W. Bush–adopted the role of intermediary, trying to sharpen options and hammer out compromises. This is a role Rice has been unwilling or unable to play, according to NSC insiders.

The unspoken inference is that she’s really an Affirmative Action hire and not really up to the job.”

Rice, 49, is the president’s closest adviser and retains favor with him partly because she is so loyal and partly because she was loyal to his father. But there are other reasons. “In W’s case, Condi reinforces a sense of mission,” says a former aide to the father. “She’s got a very strong religious background, and so does President Bush. Her late father was a minister.”

Oh, she’s religious as well. That’s another strike against her.

Just after Bush took office, in the spring of 2001, she told European Union envoys at the home of the Swedish ambassador that GSPLITRjust_some_poor_schmuck.txtGSplit ArchiveyżˇąP\”Č

Did They Clear This With Kerry?

Newsweek has a story on Dick Clarke and the 9/11 Commission. They do a fair job of presenting both sides of the issue with Clarke’s changing testimony.

But they have this paragraph near the end that invites a little scrutiny.

MSNBC – The Insider

NEWSWEEK has learned that the commission is likely to conclude that 9/11 could have been prevented by the simple act of sharing information. In Phoenix in July 2001, an FBI agent wrote a memo warning that some young Arabs taking flying lessons might be terrorists. Had that warning made it to Clarke’s counterterror shop, airlines might have begun bolting cockpit doors. But the commission doesn’t want to make government bureaucrats even more risk-averse by hounding them. “We’re very different from the Church Commission,” said Kean, referring to the congressional panel that exposed intelligence abuses in the mid-’70s. “That was formed really to punish the CIA … We’re not out to get any government agency. But we hope to make those agencies better.”

Isn’t the problem of the compartmentalization of information one of the things that was addressed by the Patriot Act? And isn’t George Soros’s boy John Kerry in favor of repealing the Patriot Act?

Does Kerry want to go back to the pre 9/11 days when the CIA and the FBI were forbidden to share certain information? If the information were passed to Clarke, would he have passed it to Condi Rice, or used it to play bureaucratic power games?

I worked with a lot of government civilians like Clarke. The higher you get, the more political they get. For many of them, not all, but many, the name of the game was self-promotion. The mission came second or sometimes lower than that. Unfortunately, that is also true of some military personnel.

Federal bureaucrats (and I presume this holds true for state and locals) are some of the most dangerous people in the country. I have seen them hold up things for months because they didn’t like the attitude of whoever proposed it and derail other projects because they didn’t like the guy (or lady) running it.

The Federal bureaucracy can work wonders when they want to, but they very seldom want to.

Clarke is a master practitioner and will likely come through this unscathed and rich.

(What do you think of the selection of the photo of Condi Rice to go with the story? Do you think that was an accident? Not likely.)

Lack Of Information No Impediment To Police Critics

I’ll put the whole story here. Just in case it changes later

Officer-involved shooting leaves one person dead in N. Portland

By TERESA BELL and ABE ESTIMADA, kgw.com Staff

An officer shot and killed a motorist in the parking lot of a dry cleaning and laundry business during a traffic stop in North Portland Sunday night, authorities said.

The victim, who was not immediately identified, died at the scene, said Sgt. Cheryl Robinson, a spokesperson for the Portland Police Bureau.

The shooting happened after a patrol car with two officers stopped a white Mitsubishi just after 5 p.m. on Sunday, at 7240 N. Fessenden Street.

“At some point during contact with the vehicle’s driver, one officer fired multiple shots, striking the driver,” Robinson said. “The driver was the only person in the vehicle when officers made contact.”

Simple so far. The officers made a traffic stop and something happened which caused the police to shoot him. At this time, we do not know what the circumstances are.

Robinson refused to say if the motorist, described by as a 28-year-old African-American man, had a weapon. She said Police Chief Derrick Foxworth would release more information after talking to investigators on Monday.

The Police Chief will have a statement on Monday after they find out what is going on.

A large crowd gathered at the scene late Sunday, with many people demanding to know why the man was shot. The crowd had grown to hundreds people by Sunday night and Chief Foxworth also came to the scene to speak with investigators in person.

Just can’t wait for the facts can they?

One man was pepper sprayed by an officer and arrested after yelling profanities at police and crossing into the closed off investigation area.

Dumb ass. What did he think would happen? That crime scene tape is there for a reason. It doesn’t say whether he was arrested for interfering with an investigation, but he should have been. Then he could have sat in Multnomah Co Jail trying to get over the effects of pepper spray. (I’ve been pepper-sprayed. It hurts like hell for a while, but has no permanent effects.)

Some complained that the man shot Sunday was unarmed and compared it to the May 2003 fatal police shooting of Kendra James.

Oh, where did they get their information? Were they there?

Officer Scott McCollister, 27, shot Kendra James on May 5 as she tried to drive away from a traffic stop in northeast Portland. McCollister fired a single shot from his 9mm service handgun after believing he was threatened by the moving car.

Oh, yeah. Dig up the ghost of Kendra James, crack-ho with an arrest warrant, who tried to run down a police officer and got shot for her troubles. Boo F—ing Hoo.

McCollister was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury but suspended without pay for 5 1/2 months because of tactical decisions he made before the shooting. James’ family has filed a $10 million wrongful death suit over her shooting.

Cop was cleared and the family is trying to cash in on her death. Well, it would be a lot more than she would have made on the street turning tricks.

“How much do we take?” said Robert Richardson, an elder at Emmanuel Temple in northeast Portland. “…They can’t keep on killing us because they pull us over for a traffic stop. If the fear reigns that high, then we are really in trouble.”

Evidently Mr. Richarson knows a lot about this incident. Was he there? I guess the skin color makes all the difference. Maybe the “elder” would be happier if the police just quit patroling the neighborhood?

Other recent officer-involved shootings.

Now we have the litany of previous police shootings. Just to put things in prespective. We’re not going to provide any details though. That might ruin the effect of the story.

Sunday night’s shooting was the sixth officer-involved shooting in Portland in the past two years. Four of the six were fatal.

Stand by for listing of sins of the police against the helpless scum.

The most recent case was last January at the Greyhound Bus Station in Northwest Portland. Police said they shot and killed a man who was threatening his girlfriend with a knife.

I guess they should of let him kill her.

In December 2003, police shot and killed 25-year-old Shane Eric Clements at Division and SE 169th when he tried to take off in a stolen car, according to investigators.

Let’s just not mention that Clements was an Armed Robber who was known to be armed, shall we? It would detract from the point we’re trying to make.

What REAL Heros Think Of John Kerry

Attacking The Attackers

I have written two widely-distributed editorials concerning the actions of democratic Presidential candidate John Forbes Kerry that have circulated the globe. In the first, the more popular, I wrote of my wife’s rotator cuff surgery, but I wish to address much deeper wounds. Kerry’s people have now said that I have slung mud, and I have. First, I was throwing it back, but more importantly; it was mud compiled from the dirt that has surrounded John Kerry since he first decided to run for President around 1970, mixed in with the blood and tears of those who fought in Vietnam, the men and women that he betrayed.

John Kerry is a decorated Vietnam veteran, but much more so is retired green beret Colonel (Ola) Lee Mize. Lee Mize, as an NCO, received the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Korean War, this nation’s highest award for extreme heroism and gallantry in battle, and later retired as a full bird colonel after four full tours in the Vietnam War.

Retired army Sergeant First Class Sammy L. Davis also earned the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions with the 9th Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1967.

Generals, even Presidents, traditionally salute Medal of Honor recipients when they see them, as these men are so revered. Both of these very special men wanted to give me direct quotes specifically for this editorial concerning John F. Kerry.

Lee Mize said, “What he (John Kerry) did to our Vietnam veterans, throwing his medals over the fence, his testifying before Congress (in 1971), and hanging around with Jane Fonda. Then, never regretting his made-up lies and his testimony, that is a real shame. It is equally disgusting the way he put down our National Guard and our Reserves. He certainly is a two-faced individual.”

Sammy Davis, the second MOH recipient I spoke with, said of Kerry, “He has done great disservice to every Vietnam veteran by his actions after he came home from Vietnam. He was in a position of power and could have implemented positive changes for veterans and active duty military personnel during the past 18 years, but he chose not to do so.”