Snow Melt Glacier National Park wallpaper

Snow Melt Glacier National Park

Glenn Greenwald writes The truth about telecom amnesty,

The FISA law really makes it illegal for the phone companies to give this information to the Government, and what the Government does with it afterwards isn’t really relevant to our claim.

We have evidence of an NSA-controlled room in the Folsom Street AT&T facilities in San Francisco. We have evidence that AT&T diverted copies of everyone’s Internet traffic into that room. And we know that there’s very sophisticated equipment in that room that is capable of doing real-time analysis of the Internet traffic that is getting routed into there.

For most of our legal claims, that’s enough to win, and we’re done.

As usual Glenn is ahead of the conventional belt-way wisdom and the majority of the public agrees that there should be no amnesty for the phone companies,

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters reject amnesty for phone companies that may have violated the law by selling customers’ private information to the government, preferring to let courts decide the outcome. Again intensity favors opponents of amnesty, with 48% “strongly” opposed. Fewer than 1-in-3 (31%) support amnesty for the phone companies, with just 1-in-5 (22%) strongly supporting amnesty.

If Democrats want to be genuinely populist they might want to start listening to the public rather then their consultants.

Remember that guy, wha’is name Osama Bin Free Now For Six Years, How Osama Bin Laden Beat George W. Bush – War of Error

Yet, even as bin Laden contemplated his own death and Al Qaeda seemed on the verge of defeat, Gary Berntsen, then commander of CIA operations in eastern Afghanistan, was worried. A gung-ho officer who speaks Dari, the local Afghan language, Berntsen realized that Afghan soldiers were likely not up to the task of taking on Al Qaeda’s hard core at Tora Bora. In the first days of December, he had requested a battalion of Rangers–that is, between 600 and 800 soldiers–to assault the complex of caves where bin Laden and his lieutenants were believed to be hiding and to block their escape routes. That request was denied by the Pentagon, for reasons that have never been fully clarified. In the end, there were probably more journalists at Tora Bora than the 50 or so Delta and Green Beret soldiers who participated in the fight.

This is why those war bloggers and Republican pundits that yammer endlessly about being serious about the war on terror elicit little but eye rolling disgust from anyone that hasn’t drunk the kool-aid. It was a choice of putting resources into getting all the sociopaths responsible for 9-11 and gearing up to find some WMD that didn’t exist and the serious crowd chose the later.

Lake wallpaper Glacier National Park

Lake – Glacier National Park

Dissent from the Front Lines

When will we listen to the troops? I’m not talking about soldiers used as props for a George Bush photo op, telling reporters what Washington wants to hear. The military is disciplined and thus accustomed, from Gen. David Petraeus on down, to toeing the official line. But the Iraq war has also produced brilliant messages of dissent from the ranks that should cause us to stop in our tracks and reconsider what we have wrought. First, a group of sergeants came forward, and on Tuesday it was the captains’ turn to speak out.

In “The War as We Saw It,” an eloquent Op-Ed article published in The New York Times in August, seven sergeants summarized the futility of their 15 months of fighting in Iraq: “To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is farfetched.” After penning that crie de cour, two of the soldiers died in Iraq and a third was severely wounded.

On Tuesday, The Washington Post printed “The Real Iraq We Knew,” by 12 former Army captains, all of whom served in Iraq. It begins: “Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on Iraq is in shambles. As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we’ve seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it’s like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it’s time to get out.”

These soldiers and marines that keep speaking must not have gotten that memo from Bush’s dead end supporters. Iraq is an oasis, a tea room of lunch foliage and mint juleps. American should pack up and move to Iraq as the violence is a mere piffle compared to the violent video games being played out in real life daily on America’s city streets. Wait, it is all a rouse, a farce. Surely these must be those “phony soldiers” that Anal Cyst Limbaugh, Right Wing News and The National Review warned us about.