The Great Wall winds its way west Ward over the vast territory of China from the bank of the Yalu River and ends at the foot of snow-covered Qilianshan and Tianshan(mountains). It climbs steep mountains and cuts across pasturelands and deserts. A mostmassive barrier, it involves difficult engineering work and has a very long history. It is seldom that we see such a gigantic project in China or elsewhere in the world.
According to astronauts who looked back on earth from the moon, of all projects builtby man, the Great Wall is the most conspicuous seen in space. The magnificent Great Wallis a wonder of the world and pride of China/
There are some small, but good quality photos of the Wall (6,352 km (3,948 miles long). There is in fact some dispute over being able to see the wall from space, Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei has said he couldn't see the wall from space. While American astronaut Gene Cernan has said that it can be seen. At the very least you have to be looking for the wall, have good visibility and already have an idea where to look for it. There is a satellite image here, which suggests that if you weren't already very familiar with satellite imagery, you'd have a difficult time picking the Wall out. One last note, the gentleman that put up the site has a particular world and historical view that I don't completely endorse, the site is an interesting undertaking never the less.
Perrspective has fleshed out some details on yesterday's story from the NYT, White House Shelved Iraqi Trailers Report, in which they look at the findings of the Jefferson Project, Trailer Trash: Bush's Bogus Bio-Weapons Claims
The Bush administration shelved the report of the "Jefferson Project," as it was called, and continued its claims throughout the summer of 2003. On May 28th, one day after the technical team delivered its unanimous report, the CIA and DIA jointly issued a report ("Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants") ignoring their findings and stating their confidence that the trailers were used for "mobile biological weapons production." By June, Secretary of State Powell, who had vigorously made the case for the existence of the mobile bio-weapons labs during his February 2003 presentation to the United Nations Security Council, declared the American "confidence level is increasing." In September, Vice President Cheney declared the Iraqi trailers "mobile biological facilities" capable of producing smallpox and anthrax.
As it turns out, not so much. By October 2003, Iraq Survey Group head David Kay, who had not seen the classified report, reported to Congress that the ISG found no banned weapons in Iraq and could not verify the potential bio-warfare uses of the trailers. The final Duelfer Report from the Iraq Survey Group in October 2004 concluded definitively that the trailers were not in fact rolling bio-weapons labs:
Now Mr. Klein and a few company documents he saved have emerged as key elements in a class-action lawsuit filed against AT&T on Jan. 31 by a civil liberties group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The suit accuses the company of helping the security agency invade its customers' privacy.
Mr. Klein's account and the documents provide new details about how the agency works with the private sector in intercepting communications for intelligence purposes.
The documents, some of which Mr. Klein had earlier provided to reporters, describe a mysterious room at the AT&T Internet and telephone hub in San Francisco where he worked.
The documents, which were examined by four independent telecommunications and computer security experts at the request of The New York Times, describe equipment capable of monitoring a large quantity of e-mail messages, Internet phone calls, and other Internet traffic.
The equipment, which Mr. Klein said was installed by AT&T in 2003, was able to select messages that could be identified by keywords, Internet or e-mail addresses or country of origin and divert copies to another location for further analysis.
The security agency began eavesdropping without warrants on international phone calls and e-mail messages of people inside the United States suspected of terrorist links soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.
To me it seems counter intuitive to say that you're doing large scale data mining, while at the same time saying that you're just spying on suspected terrorists. If in fact the FBI or NSA has reason to believe that someone is engaged in some kind of suspicious activity that would indicate probable cause and sufficient grounds for a warrant and would also suggest that large indiscriminate data mining dragnets on domestic targets are an unneccesary breach of current wiretapping laws. Purely international calls and other communications outside the US is another matter, spy away. Being something of an iconoclast I would make the argument that we don't need "leaders" as much as we need competent insightful managers, perhaps one that would have made his case to Congress and the American people that in his and his advisor's opinion he needed a widening of surveillance powers. Invited Congress to have oversight and invited public opinion; rather then claiming unprecedented presidential powers. This cabal just keeps tripping over its own hubris. Some conspirical ghost of a liberal media that doesn't exist didn't force them to lie about bio-chemical trailers or treat the entire nation like a giant pool of suspects, they did that all on their own.
This was charming, no doubt; but they shortly found out
That the Captain they trusted so well
Had only one notion for crossing the ocean,
And that was to tingle his bell.
He was thoughtful and grave–but the orders he gave
Were enough to bewilder a crew.
When he cried "Steer to starboard, but keep her head larboard!"
What on earth was the helmsman to do?
from THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK by Lewis Carroll