Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

To torture or not to torture?

While writing the previous post, I found this article by Vladimir Bukovsky:

So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to “improve intelligence-gathering capability” by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some “cruel, inhumane or degrading” (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.

Mr. Bukovsky raises a number of very good points in his article, but he misses one: unlike Stalin’s “interrogators”, our anti-terrorist operatives are looking for some real information, not false “confessions”. I would imagine that they would know how to get the real stuff, as opposed to what their prisoners might think they want to hear. Mind games are necessary for interrogations. I don’t think real torture is productive tool for getting information. I also think that our operatives know that too.

January 1, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This is what is called “treason”

My friend George Mellinger of Old War Dogs posted about this article by Vladimir Bukovsky:

During the Cold War, the behavior of Western politicians in their contacts with the Soviets varied quite widely, from hostile polemics to shameless collaboration. What was Senator Kennedy’s place in this wide spectrum?

Of course, Kennedy was not the only U.S. senator to visit the USSR. A few exceptions aside, however, they usually came as a group. As far as we can see in the documents, Kennedy always came alone.

Then, no other senator contacted the Soviets as often as Kennedy did. Nor were his relations with Moscow at all restricted to official visits. His chief of staff, Larry Horowitz, would journey there on Kennedy’s instructions several times a year. No other U.S. senator had a similar envoy.
The document, first released in the Sunday Times by Tim Sebastian in 1992, reveals how Kennedy secretly offered the KGB to work together to undermine President Reagan. This proposal was conveyed to the Soviets by former senator John Tunney in 1983.

That was not the only time when Tunney got involved in Kennedy’s games with Moscow. Another top-secret KGB report, published in 1992 in Russian Izvestia newspaper, says that in 1978 Kennedy “requested the assistance of the KGB to establish a relationship” between a firm owned by Tunney and the Soviets. The KGB report recommended the CPSU Central Committee to agree, because Tunney’s firm was already connected to one David Karr, a KGB agent in France (See, for example: Ted Kennedy was a ‘Collaborationist,’ by Herbert Romerstein. Human Events, December 8, 2003).

More secrets about Kennedy’s collaboration with Moscow became known after the famous defector Vasiliy Mitrokhin smuggled his invaluable archive of secret KGB documents to the West. In 2002, he publicized some of them in The KGB in Afghanistan working paper, published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In 1980 Kennedy attacked President Carter over the latter’s tough opposition to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. As Mitrokhin reveals, the senator had evidently coordinated that with Moscow several weeks before — through Tunney and Egon Bahr, West Germany’s top Social Democrat who often had secret contacts with the KGB.

The article is pretty long. Read it in full, and you’ll be horrified that Ted Kennedy remains a prominent politician instead of roting in jail. Essentially, Senator Kennedy was an agent of influence for the Soviet intelligence. To be sure, he was not in direct employ of any Soviet intelligence organization. Rather, he was helping them in order to gain political advantage for himself. This is similar to the way the Germans and the Bolsheviks used each other during World War 1. In essence, instead of receiving a monetary reward for his work for the foreign intelligence, Kennedy worked for political reward. It is still treason.

January 1, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Newsflash: hacking is bad!

Those people, who know me, know that I am active in the San Diego Chapter of Protest Warrior, a national organization that counters leftist demonstrations in order to show the existence of the opposite opinion. About 2 years ago the Protest Warrior site was hacked by an “anarchist hacker”, and all the personal information of the members across the nation was stolen. I even talked to FBI because of that. After all, I was one of the victims. Well, recently a fellow Protest Warrior directed me to this:

In a victory for free speech and property rights, Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to two years in federal prison to begin in January 2007. He must also pay $5,250 in fines and restitution and is barred from consorting with other “hacktivists” for three years following his sentence. Despite the light sentence, Hammond’s imprisonment will undoubtedly send a message to would-be hackers that property rights and rule of law still apply.

The light sentence may be explained by unusual statements of fact and character that were made by Judge James B. Zagel during the sentencing hearing. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, Zagel brushed aside Hammond’s plans to rob victims out of millions of dollars as a lapse in judgment rather than willful and malicious credit card fraud, saying, “all 19-year-olds are idiots.” He also characterized the theft itself as “countering speech [Hammond] found wrong .” Considering Hammond’s history of violence and crime, Zagel’s bizarrely euphemistic characterization of Hammond’s actions reveals a misplaced compassion.

Before Hammond’s trial, he used the now-defunct website freejeremy — archived here — to plead with the Internet community for support. In his pathetic attempt to sway public opinion, he denied the allegations and claimed that he was “being targeted [sic] by law enforcement for his political activism.” Hammond even went so far as to accuse Protest Warrior of fabricating the entire story. Fortunately, the evidence against him was so strong that even the most “compassionate” judge couldn’t save him from a conviction.

During the course of the investigation, Protest Warrior intercepted a number of chat logs between Hammond and his anarchist cohorts. The logs include detailed plots to charge millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions, to publish personal and financial details of political activists, and to execute similar attacks on other conservative websites. Now that the trial is over and Hammond is about to be thrown in prison, Protest Warrior is preparing these logs for release to the public.

So, here is the moral of this story: protesting is OK, even if you hold brain-dead suicidal views of the Left. But hacking, stealing other people’s personal information and threatening them with violence is illegal. You will go to jail for that.

January 1, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Appeasing politicians who should know better

This is via Little Green Footballs:

On Christmas Day, Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) arrived in Damascus for meetings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior regime officials. He becomes the fourth senator in recent weeks to break an informal travel embargo and visit the Syrian capital, following visits this month by Sens. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), John Kerry (D., Mass.), and Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.).

When Specter announced his intention to visit, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned to ask him not to go, but the senator refused.

“I deferred to them a year ago, and I deferred to them last August,” Specter told the Associated Press. “If there were any signs the administration policy [in the Middle East] was working, I’d defer to them again.”

But is blind engagement any better? Specter’s trip was his 16th taxpayer-funded visit to Syria since 1984. While he may relish the image of statesman, Specter has little but failure to show for his efforts.

On each trip, Syria’s state-controlled television broadcast Specter’s meeting with the Syrian president. Specter may believe his words are tough, but the Syrian government twists them to imply endorsement. On Jan. 5, 2003, for example, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported that “the U.S. Senator… voiced the United States’ appreciation for Syria’s positions and efforts aimed at making the Middle East more secure and stable, adding that his country views Syria’s positions as principled and rational.”

On Dec. 26, 2006, Syrian television reported that Specter “stressed… Syria’s pivotal role in the region.” Bolstering the sense of importance and confidence of state sponsors of terrorism does not help regional diplomacy.

For all their travels, the senators who visited Damascus would be hard-pressed to name any Arab dissidents whose freedom they won. When Specter met Assad in January 2003, he did not raise the case of Ibrahim Hamidi, the Damascus correspondent for the London-based al-Hayat daily, whom the Syrian regime had ordered imprisoned just two weeks before for publishing material not cleared by state censors. Today, prominent dissidents such as Aref Dalila, Michel Kilo, Anwar al-Bunni, Mahmoud Issa, and Kamal Labwani remain imprisoned.

Senators conducting their own appeasement-oriented foreign policy that contradicts the policy of the Executive branch is bad enough. But Jewish politicians, like Arlen Specter, should know better.

January 1, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment