Friday, October 29, 2004

Peas in an Ideological Pod

So we have a new tape from Bin Laden threatening us and implying that re-electing George Bush would be a bad thing. Well, that's the usual from him and outside of saying he sorely needs a bullet in his head, there's not much to say about him.

What I did find very intersting in this new tape is that Bin Laden apparently makes fun of Bush for the "infamous" 7 minutes in the classroom on 9/11. Well, first of all, this is because Bush is a leader and not a "faceless coward" as he described Bin Laden, hiding in the mountians of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Really, though, why even waste electrons contrasting Bush with this man of evil? The interesting part is that Bin Laden seems to have taken this issue from Michael Moore.

Now Moore has two overt ideological connections with terrorists. Osama Bin Laden is using Moore's criticisms in his screeds against the United States, and Hezbollah loved "Fahrenheit 9/11" so much, it wants to distribute it in the Middle East. of course, Bin Laden doesn't need any help coming up with insane, angry rantings, but you'd think that if Moore has any sense of loyalty to his country, he would have to feel at least some remorse that his criticisms of this country have been embraced by the terrorists.

However, I get the feeling that Moore like this, because he believes that our enemies have legitimate reasons to hate the United States and that they are no threat to us. Why, then, wouldn't al Qaeda and Hezbollah want to distribute the message throughout the Middle East that America is brutal and wrong, and that terrorism is not a threat to the West, as the terrorists are simply "minutemen," as Moore has said?

Just like Ron Silver said in "Fahrenhype 9/11", Moore is in danger of (in other words, highly likely to be) beeing seen to history just like Lindbergh and the isolationists of the late 1930s and the Nazi-sympathizers of the 1940s. It's disgraceful, really. Of course it's his right ot hold those views and all that, but it doesn't make it any less disgusting and shameful.

What's even more shameful is that my alma mater, Lehigh University, will be hosting Moore and his lies tonight, after paying him $50,000 to come on Parents Weekend. Note that his fee is $20,000 more than the entire speaker budget of previous years. Mary, Kevin, Brian, go get him.

I Voted

I was quite pleased to drop off my absentee ballot at the Clerk & Recorder's office today, where early voting was still going on. They've had amazing turnout for that this year and I'm definitely pleased to hear that.

I'm sure everyone's (not at all) curious to hear about my votes. Nothing too special to report. Bush, Coors, Hefley, Republicans for State House, State Senate, CU Regents, State Board of Ed, and the two unopposed Republicans in Colorado Springs for DA and County Commissioner. Some of you may recall the DA race in the Springs from back in August when the two candidates were arguing over who has given longer multi-hundred year sentences. I believe it finallly ended at one with 854 years and the other with 768 years. All you conservatives living in liberal cities, see what you're missing?

I also voted against all the proposed amendments, which would have raised tobacco taxes, allowed more lawsuits, set mandatory enviro-energy goals for utility companies, and of course, split Colorado's electoral votes. All awful ideas.

I voted for a reorganization of the Colorado civil service and for a county-wide slaes tax increase for roads, only because the tax is to sunset in 10 years, the Chamber of Commerce and the Gazette endorsed it (the Gazette never endorses tax hikes), and because the city really, really needs this for its transportation problems.

They were nice enough to give me an "I Voted" sticker for dropping off my ballot, which made my day, until I got to talk to Hugh Hewitt.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Hugh Hewitt

I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet Hugh Hewitt and hear him speak tonight at a nice little gathering in Colorado Springs. He told us some great stories that he normally doesn’t get into on the radio and gave his usual insightful analysis of the election and other issues like the media and judges.

I found his comments on the media particularly interesting. He stated that he believes that 1992 was the first election overtly influenced by the media, as they decided to legitimize Ross Perot. It is certainly true that the media legitimized him and allowed him into the debates (him and his charts). It would seem, then, to be another indicator of the double standards in the mainstream media in that Perot was legitimized, yet Nader is marginalized.

Without question the media had a great deal of influence on the 2000 election, from the DUI story to calling Florida early, to the coverage of the recounts and all the other nonsense.

Hewitt thinks that 2004 may spell the end of this era, though, with the rise of the blogosphere and the spread of talk radio to all corners of the country. Rathergate was uncovered in less than 2 days, and the New York Times' missing munitions story has been thoroughly debunked over the last few days. So, the MSM can try, but they won't get away with it cleanly anymore.

Anyway, Hugh was extremely nice and was kind enough to stick around so everyone who wanted to meet him could. He asked me for the address of this blog and I gave it to him, so, Hugh, if you're reading, thanks for dropping by.

He also recommened the blogs of the Rocky Mountain Alliance to me. I'd forgotten about them because I became so enamored of the Northern Alliance (the group of Minnesota bloggers including Power Line, Captain's Quarters, Lileks, and others). In particular, he recommended checking out Clay Calhoun.

I wish I'd been reminded about them sooner, because then I would have had a place to turn to find out what's really going on with what Salazar's saying about Coors, instead of waiting for Coors' disjointed explanations.

Red Sox

I'm not at all happy about Boston winning the World Series, but I was very interested to see what the celebration would be like. With all that was built up about "the curse" and 86 years, and "oh woe is we the Red Sox nation" and "please once in my lifetime" and all of that, I was expecting the moment they won to be this amazing catharsis. A release of so many emotions and so much history and anticipation, it should have been the best on-the-field celebration ever.

And yet it was anticlimatic. They jumped around a bit and hugged and were happy, but they were more excited when they beat the Yankess. And even then, this celebration doesn't hold up when compared to the reactions to the last outs for the Yankees in 1996, the Diamondbacks in 2001, and the Angels in 2002. Surely, the Red Sox should be able to beat those...

Even more puzzling was the lack of emotion from the Red Sox radio announcer. ESPN likes to play reaction from the winning team's home radion station, for those unfamiliar with it, and it's usually some guy rightly going nuts. But the WEEI guy was pretty matter-of-fact about it, and barely sounded excited. Come on, this is BOSTON, winning the WORLD SERIES. This is pathetic.

I'll always remember the reaction of the local radio hosts when the Broncos were on the verge of winning the Super Bowl for the first time. The color analyst was clearly in shock screaming, "Do you believe this?! Oh, baby, they're gonna win this thing!!" Come on, Boston, get it together. There'd better be some crazy pictures of the streets on CNN tomorrow, or your "suffering" is officially overrated. I'd like to see the Cubs win and then compare reactions.

Lileks vs. Sullivan

Entertainment ensues.

Did Russia and Syria Have Hands in the Disappearance of Iraqi Weapons?

They did, according to this Washington Times story by Bill Gertz: Russia tied to Iraq's missing arms

Russian special forces troops moved many of Saddam Hussein's weapons and related goods out of Iraq and into Syria in the weeks before the March 2003 U.S. military operation, The Washington Times has learned.
Deacon over at Power Line thinks that if this is picked up by the mainstream media (MSM now being the accepted acronym for that throughout the blogosphere) it is very bad for Kerry.

(Via the Corner)

96-Hour Campaign

Blogging may be light here in the run-up to the election. I will be working the 96-Hour campaign in Colorado to get out the vote for President Bush and Pete Coors. Mary, Kevin, and Brian, I expect, will be similarly working on Pennsylvania's 72-Hour campaign.

Fear not, though. For all your election coverage, make sure you check out the Corner, Power Line, and RealClearPolitics for the latest polls. LGF is the best place to for news about Arafat's ailing health. Of course, all the other "Required Reading" blogs are excellent places to get news and information.

In other news, there is now a full high-res version of Stolen Honor available to view online. (Via LGF)

Also, I'll be seeing Hugh Hewitt when he gives a speech in Colorado Springs tomorrow. I wish I had something for him to sign, though...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

NY Times and 60 Minutes Collude to Mislead on Iraq Weapons Story

Only a month after getting caught red-handed with forged documents, 60 Minutes was trying to run this story about about tons of explosives missing from an ammunition dump in Iraq the day before the election. However, it was apparently determined that the New York Times could get the information out faster, and so that paper led with a huge front-page story yesterday. The problem? NBC news reported last night that the explosives were already gone when US troops arrived in April 2003.

This is almost as bad a case of partisan hackery as Rathergate. Both the New York Times and CBS News have been caught again, and of course John Kerry used this immediately to attack George Bush.

Rush was all over this this morning, and I'll have a link later in the day when he updates his site. Rush is also reporting that this story was apparently triggered by a letter from the United Nations.

Drudge has the main story about the media aspect here. Power Line has its own take and links to Wretchard's examination of this as it relates to the overall war as well as Roger Simon's on how this affects the New York Times.

There is also a John Kerry angle here, but it's not quite clear what it is yet.

This is a big story, so things will be developing throughout the day.

Quote of the Day

Laura Ingraham discussed John Kerry's appearance on the Today Show with the "always perky" Katie Couric on her radio show today. Couric was pitching mostly softballs as usual, but she had this gem in there:

COURIC: "Do you ever feel inclined to-- to say to your wife what Archie Bunker used to say in that-- "Stifle yourself, Theresa?"
Hahaha, can you imagine that?

"I'm not sure if Laura Bush has ever had a real job..."

"Teresa, stifle yourself, huh?"

"But, the scumbags-"

"Stifle!"

And if not Kerry, I'm sure Begala et al would like to say that...

Links... of.... IMPORT

I wanted to do a few posts on these with some comments, but since it's late, I'm just going to link them all in my usual big link post. I higly recommend reading all of them, though, as they're all either very good or very important.

Let's start with the most important story of the day. Remember John Kerry claiming that before the vote on Resolution 1441 that he met with all the members of the Seucrity Council. Looks like Kerry was about as truthful about that as he was about being in Cambodia in December 1968, which is to say, not at all. Redstate has the details. If you read just one of the links in this post, read that one. (Via Power Line & Roger Simon)

Well, actually, I'd say read this one, too. The Democrats are squaking about a cache of explosives that disappeared in Iraq. However, Drudge reports that, according to NBC News, that these explosives were already missing in April 2003, before American troops even arrived! This is not a new story, though the New York Times has done its best to promote it as such.

Cox & Forkum, meanwhile, have the relevant info on Kerry's assertions about Tora Bora and turn to the one credible source, Tommy Franks, since he, you know, was in charge of the whole thing.

The resourceful Robert Novak decided to get to the bottom of the "Senator Lugar is unhappy with the administration" line the Kerry campaign has been peddling, resulting in his column for today. Novak recounts:

Lugar was more blunt with me last week. "The use of my remarks is an attempt to shore up a weak position on his [Kerry's] part," he told me, adding that Kerry "has tried to extend the failing of reconstruction to a more general criticism of the war."
Reading this makes me inclined to remove Lugar from our doghouse, but I still find it troubling that he apparently wasn't considering the political fallout when he chose those words.

Novak also reminds us that Kerry is on the Foreign Relations Committee with Lugar, but as one would expect his attendance record is just as abysmal as it is for the Intelligence Committee, missing "22 out of 23 committee sessions on Iraq." Can someone please explain to me why a senator who's too busy to attend hearings on critical national defense issues is suddenly qualified to be commander-in-chief?

Lileks has some thoughts on the Guardian's "apology" about the whole "advocating the assassination of the American president" thing.
You got caught, in other words. Look, you lackwits: we’re not that stupid. Of course it was an ironic joke, at least if you define “joke” as “mirthless adolescent japery along the order of drawing a Hitler moustache on your teacher’s yearbook picture.” What’s noteworthy is that it got through in the first place. Slid through like mercury down a mirror, probably. No one gave it a second thought. Stands to reason any sensible person would want the tosser done away with, no?
Read the whole thing, as always.

Finally, the brilliant Victor Davis Hanson has a very interesting column about John Kerry and Teresa. Hanson has this to say about teresa:
Mimicking Marie Antoinette, Ms. Heinz Kerry advises the hurricane refugees to go naked, asks who cares about Arizona, tosses out conspiracy theories about wars for oil and October surprises, and assures us that she counsels her husband on "everything" well outside women's issues — precisely what most of us suspected and thus feared. Add in her advice to "vote often," her praise in wartime for dissidents as the true patriots, and her earlier promises to tap her fortune if the campaign got rough and we are left with the image not of a kindhearted philanthropist (which she probably really is), but a headstrong, do-it-my-way heiress, using a deceased Republican's fortune to subsidize trendy Democratic causes while retaining the lifestyle of the true corporate capitalist.
To borrow a phrase from the Instapundit, ouch.

Congratulations

I just wanted to say congrats to some of my favorite blogs being honored in the Washington Post's Best Blogs contest.

The Corner on National Review won "Best Rant," "Best Democratic Party Coverage," "Best Republican Party Coverage," and "Best Inside the Beltway."

Good ol' Instapundit took home "Most Likely to Last Beyond Election Day" (although Glenn Reynolds was blogging well before election season) and "Best Outside the Beltway."

Little Green Footballs won "Best International" and Honorable Mention in "Most Original."

The Kerry Spot on National Review took "Best Campaign Dirt."

And finally, my hero of the written word, James Lileks, won "Most Original" and Honorable Mention in "Best Rant."

Blog readers know quality when they see it, and if these blogs are not regular stops on your journeys around the internet, you're really missing out.

International Elections?

This election period has seen many different types of international outlets become involved and offer their opinions in areas where it is not necessary. Many foreign outlets are voicing their opinions on the US Election. We saw a “World Wide Election” where 30 out of 35 countries voted for John Kerry. In the course of the questions that were filled out for the president of the united states all pertained to foreign policy issues. I have a news flash for the rest of the world. The President of the United States while important to what happens in world politics also handles domestic situations in the US which these people have no business in talking about. France does not care about social security in the US. All France cares about is that they are still treated like a world power.
There was a discussion held between 5 journalists representing the countries of China, Turkey, France, Italy, and Egypt (I wonder which way they lean??). This discussion focused on their respective countries responses to the US election. Mostly it focused on the ABB (anybody but Bush) theme which I find particularly disheartening as that shows a total breakdown in the electoral system. It would be nice to have positions where people actually support their candidates. I may not agree with what George Bush does but he is a man of strong moral character and I know where he stands on issues. It is as Zell Miller said in his speech to the Republican National Convention “Who do you and your family feel safer with? George W. Bush.” These journalists however do not look at that perspective and only see their countries as being snubbed. I do not deny that world opinion and major allies will be necessary to win the war on terror but there were two points brought up in this discussion that I found particularly distasteful. One was by the French representative who insisted on calling the coalition in Iraq the “coalition of the coerced” This particular statement of the left drives me insane. We may not be seeing large amounts of troops from our allies but how many allies can Trinidad really contribute. There is no reason to belittle or demean the contribution being made by these countries. Our coalition may not be as expansive as the first gulf war but it still contains 30 countries and helps support the war effort in Iraq. The second point was made by the representative from China encouraging Kerry’s idea of bilateral talks with North Korea. I agree with President Bush that this will only sideline and delegitimize the six party talks that are currently going on. We have worked very hard to bring these groups together and I believe that China will need to use more of its influence over north Korea to keep the talks going and keeping them on an international level not a bilateral level.
The final point to mention is the London’s “The Guardian” who has shocking attacked Bush on many levels. The Guardian had a campaign where it provided the addresses of people in Iowa and told its readers to write them and tell them not to vote for President Bush. This was taken off their website after hacker attacks and letters to the editor. Finally in a recent article references were made saying where are John Wilkes booth and Lee Harvey Oswald in today’s world. This is simply disgusting and while I am glad to see the comments have been retracted I am still in awe that they were even printed in the first place. I can only hope that we will not see any more international attempts to help the US election along (with benefits for John Kerry).
As long as we are keeping score on a global scale as to who is supporting who you can look at the following.
Leaders who support Kerry: Gerhardt Schroeder (Germany), Jacques Chirac (France), Zapetero (Spain), Kim Chong Il (North Korea).
Leaders who Support Bush: Tony Blair (Great Britain), Vladimir Putin (Russia)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Airline Article

What Happened on United Airlines Flight 925?This is Part IX of the ongoing series entitled,

“Terror in the Skies, Again?”10/18/2004

Flight attendants, pilots, Federal Air Marshals and other airline industry personnel continue to contact me with their stories of possible terrorist probes on commercial aircraft. Their first-hand accounts all involve unusual and suspicious in-flight behavior by Middle Eastern men. For months now, I've been compiling these incidents. But because airline employees, as well as Federal Air Marshals, are strictly forbidden to speak to the press, it's been a slow, uphill climb to collect the information. But just recently, several courageous individuals agreed to let me tell their story about a United Airlines flight which flew this past June. Most were nervous to talk to me -- all United Airlines employees sign strict non-disclosures stating that under no circumstances can they discuss "accidents and incidents" with the press. But the incident they were involved in was so threatening, and the way it was handled so appalling, they felt compelled to speak out.June 13, 2004At London's Heathrow airport, the crew of United Airlines flight 925 was busy helping the last of its passengers settle into their seats. It would be about an 8-hour flight -- 3,677 miles direct to Washington's Dulles airport. Flight attendants conducted last minute safety checks and readied the massive Boeing 777 and its nearly 400 passengers for take-off. Then, just minutes before the aircraft doors were set to close, ground agents hurried down the jet way with a group of late arrivals.According to the ground agents, the nine men had arrived independently on separate itineraries from various Middle Eastern countries. The flight crew was told that one man came from Lahore, Pakistan, another from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, another from Afghanistan. Several of the men had no carry-ons, which one of the flight attendants found unusual. Most passengers embarking on a long, international flight carry at least something with them. The flight attendant took the ground agent aside and said, "something's not right."The ground agent told the flight attendant she was being paranoid. The men, purportedly all Pakistani nationals, had been through secondary screening and had been swabbed for explosives. A heated discussion between the United Airlines ground agent and the flight attendant took place. The flight attendant inquired about what, if any, additional security measures could be taken; the ground agent pressed for an on-time departure. No additional security checks were made and the flight left on time.Once the flight was in the air, a flight attendant in the coach class cabin noticed a bag in the aisle. She asked that the owner of the bag identify him or herself at once. No one came forward to claim the bag. One of the late-arriving Middle Eastern men was seated nearby. The flight attendant asked the man pointedly if the bag was his. He replied "no" in English. Later, this same man approached the flight attendant and said that the bag in the aisle was his bag and that he wanted it back.It soon became apparent to the flight crew that at least some of the men knew each other. During the flight, several of the men walked to the mid-section of the plane and stood in a group by the aircraft door. The lead flight attendant notified the Captain. The Air Marshals on board had already been made aware. About the same time, two of the Middle Eastern men, seated in the far rear of the plane, started taking photographs of the aircraft interior.The flight attendants now began closely monitoring what the men were doing. One of the men carried a hand-held mirror as he walked around the plane. According to one flight attendant, the man "was holding [the mirror] and moving it around so he could see what was going on behind him. What he was doing was very suspicious."Another flight attendant noted that the men had electronic gadgets with them. "They were not Game Boys or computers," said the veteran crew member, "but small electronic devices. I didn't recognize what they were." Other flight attendants took notice of the electronic equipment as well -- some of which was being passed among the men. "They started passing this one electronic device back and forth," said another flight attendant. "It looked like a transistor radio, only it wasn't."The crew took turns walking the aisles and monitoring the suspicious activity. "Every time one of the flight attendants walked by, they [the Middle Eastern men] watched us. We were watching what they did and they watched everything we did. I noticed they constantly had their eyes on a crewmember," one of the flight attendants noted.Meanwhile, the Captain radioed in to Heathrow airport, asking that the men's names be re-checked against the terrorist "no-fly" list. Word came back from the Captain to the crew that two of the nine men were on the "no-fly" list."We were horrified," one flight attendant told me. "I heard the Captain wanted to divert -- I don't know why we didn't. We made sure the passengers didn't notice but we were all horrified."According to members of the crew, the Air Marshals were keenly aware of the situation. "The Air Marshals were ready and prepared," said one flight attendant. "Apparently, they had their guns out under their blankets."The Captain requested that FBI meet the plane in Washington. But when the plane landed at the nation's capital, not a single law enforcement officer met the aircraft. No FBI, no Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), no airport police. Instead, there was one United Airlines supervisor with a clipboard.According to the flight crew, the Captain was furious. "The pilot went ballistic," said a flight attendant. "The Air Marshals went ballistic. The Captain had requested law enforcement -- two of those guys were on the "no-fly" list and they [United Airlines] disobeyed Captain's orders!"Without a single law enforcement officer to question the men, all nine suspects -- two of whom were possibly a threat to national security -- walked off the plane and disappeared into the crowds.Flight Crew Threatens To SueWhen the flight crew of United Airlines flight 925 landed safely in the nation's capital, they kissed the ground. Then they got angry. One flight attendant explained: "When we landed at Dulles, we expected a whole fleet of people [FBI] to meet the plane. Instead, this regular United [Airlines] supervisor turns up. He stands there with a clipboard and says, 'I'm sorry guys.' He was pathetic. After what we went through! And the fact that we all had to fly the next day -- that didn't matter to him. He says, 'world headquarters says, we're sorry.' Sorry? They say safety and security is their priority. Well, it's not."The crew decided to take action. They got together and compiled a detailed account of the entire series of events -- from the pre-flight conversations with ground agents at Heathrow, to the minute details of the in-flight suspicious activity. "We asked, why wasn't the FBI there? Why couldn't the pilot divert?' We wanted real answers.""You know what they told us? They [United Airlines] said, 'Forget about suing. Those guys were FBI plants.' They [United Airlines] put it in an email. It was ridiculous. But what can you do," the flight attendant said.Did United Airlines Disobey Captain's Orders?Jeff Green, Head of Media Relations for United Airlines, confirmed the broad details of United Airlines flight 925: suspicious behavior by a group of men, congregating near the aircraft door, taking photographs inside an aircraft cabin.I asked Green how it was possible that not a single law enforcement agent met the plane. "Wouldn't this have been disobeying the Captain's orders," I asked the airline's spokesman. Green's answer: "There are times when law enforcement is requested, but they don't show up." Green also told me that the flight was determined to be a "level one threat" and that law enforcement isn't necessarily required to show up for a "level one threat." I asked what "level one" meant, and Green said, "you'll have to ask DHS," referring of course to the Department of Homeland Security.David Mackett, President of the Airline Pilots Security Alliance (APSA) and also a Captain for a major airline, finds Green's reasoning hard to believe. "If a Captain requests law enforcement, law enforcement always shows up, and usually in droves." Mackett said, adding "The Captain is completely responsible for the safety of the flight, its passengers and crew."To me, hearing that the Captain of flight 925 requested law enforcement and got an airline supervisor with a clipboard sounds like a surgeon requesting an anesthesiologist and getting the parking lot attendant instead.I asked Green about the Captain's statement that two of the men were on the "no-fly" list. Green confirmed that in the Captain's written report, the Captain stated that two of the men were on the "no-fly" list. But Green also told me that the Captain's information did not match up with the information other United Airlines employees had. According to Green, the names of the nine men were checked against the airline's "no-fly" list before the plane left London. And then, at the Captain's request, the names were re-checked against the "no-fly" list while the flight was over the Atlantic, but "the information did not match up.""So where did the Captain get his information?" I asked. Green told me he didn't know but again repeated, "United re-checked the list, and the information did not match up."Green's words, the information did not match up, sounded uncannily familiar to me. The morning of my conversation with Green, the AP Wire had quoted him saying essentially the same thing about another United Airlines, London-to-Washington flight --- the one from which Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was removed.Instead of landing in Washington as scheduled, the flight carrying Islam was diverted to Bangor, Maine where the British national was removed from the plane by FBI agents. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Islam was on the "no-fly" list. Publicly, both DHS and TSA (the division of DHS that handles airline flights) pinned the blame for the security debacle squarely on United Airlines, saying its employees had failed to properly check the "no-fly" list. But Green fiercely defended the airline's position, telling the press that United Airlines employees did check Islam's name against the information on their list, but "the information did not match up."Checking with DHSI asked Green if the DHS was notified of the incidents on United Airlines flight 925. Green assured me they were. "We did follow through with DHS," Green said, "We followed procedure."The DHS refers all airline related questions to the TSA, so I called Mark Hatfield, Director of Communications for the TSA. I asked Hatfield why law enforcement did not meet United Airlines flight 925 despite Captain's orders. I asked Hatfield whether or not the two men onboard were on the "no-fly" list. He promised to "get on it." The next day, Hatfield sent me an email, saying: "I'm waiting for my ops folks to get back to me. Please stand by. Thanks -- Mark." Despite many follow-up calls (8) and emails from me (4), no word from Hatfield for nearly three weeks.I called Hatfield one last time before going to print with this article. He took my call and apologized for not getting back to me earlier. Here's what he said about United Airlines flight 925:"We got no reports on that day on that flight. I went to various offices who receive incident reporting - and there's a lot of it - but going back through the tapes and records, on that day for that flight, there's nothing.""So you're saying United didn't report flight 925 to you?" I asked. Hatfield said no, that there was nowhere else the information could have gone.I asked Hatfield if the men on the flight really were FBI plants. He said, "I have no knowledge of that. It's not something I've heard about around here." I asked Hatfield what constituted a "level one threat." He said off the top of his head he didn't know, but he'd look into it.With no word back from Hatfield, I called Green at United Airlines again and I left a detailed message. Later in the day Green left me this voice mail message: "Annie, hi. This is Jeff Green with United Airlines. Got a message that you had called and I talked with Mark Hatfield with the U.S. Government and did indeed find out that level one threat is a term that United [Airlines] uses, not necessarily one that TSA uses to determine different threat levels based on what's going on on the airplane. I see that you are calling to confirm that and you want to know what a level one threat entails. I'm not going to provide you with that information. That's information that we don't provide publicly because it is secure and sensitive. When we determine certain levels of threat, we're not going to share that outside the company. Unfortunately, I can't give you any more info on the subject. I think we've talked about it enough."Thanks, Jeff. The fact that a "level one threat" is a United Airlines only term is an important detail, and one that I'm surprised you didn't know during our first conversation. That says to me that someone at United Airlines, the person who categorized the flight as a level one threat, decided that their opinion regarding what was happening on flight 925 was more important than the Captain's opinion, despite the Captain's insistence that something dangerous was occurring on board, and despite his request to have FBI meet the plane.It also makes me wonder...if the situation wasn't deemed enough of a threat to have someone of importance meet the plane, why would United Airlines file any paperwork with DHS? Sorry, Jeff, something just doesn't match up.[Annie Jacobsen writes about business, finance and terrorism for a variety of national and international magazines and webzines. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and son.]

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Algore

Drudge links to this AP story where Algore told voters frustrated over his LOSS four years ago, "Don't turn it into angry acts or angry words... Turn all of that energy and all of these feelings into a nonstop effort between now and the time the polls close."

This from the man who has spent the last four years telling everybody who will bother to listen how George Bush "betrayed this country" and whose supporters are commiting acts of vandalism all across the country.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Guardian: Kill Bush

I figured it was only a matter of time before someone on the Left began openly calling for this. There was a fiction book published earlier in the year with a plotline that revolved around assassinating the current president, but that got very little attention (surprise, surprise). Since we all saw this coming, is it any surprise that it came from the Guardian?

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that we need you?
Okay, I'm a little surprised that Michael Moore didn't say it.

Here is Instapundit's post about this. Power Line weighs in here.

I don't think this really requires all that much commentary. The Left incriminates itself.

Late-Night Linkage

Let's start with some humor tonight. Right-Wing News has an interview with Ann Coulter on their site. Read this and understand why I love her.

Meanwhile, a friend pointed me to a social experiment taken on by a Slate writer. He decided to wear a Kerry shirt into deep Red territory and then a Bush shirt ins deep Blue territory and see what sort of reactions he got from passersby. I'm pretty sure everyone can guess that the conservatives mostly ignored him while the liberals barely contained their visible hatred. His accounts are definitely worth a read.

If you're not a regular Instapundit reader, you're missing out on so much information, it's just insane. Professor Reynolds links to this liveblog of an Al franken appearance. Luckily for the blogger, he/she was not turned to stone by gazing upon Franken's hateful visage.

He also links a very interesting column by Charles Krauthammer (Warning: Washington Post link), where Krauthammer speculates that the bargaining chip Kerry is planning to use with the rest of the world on Iraq is to throw Israel to the wolves.

Another link from Instapundit worth reading is John Leo's column on the Moore Democrats.

Charles of LGF has discovered Kerry's real band of brothers.

Over at Power Line, which you should also be constantly checking, they've got a good example of what some Republicans are doing to combat the destriction of campaign signs. In Colorado Springs, they made a list of all the large signs that were vandalaized and then this week, they went out and put up huge signs reading, "The Bush/Cheney sign at this location was destroyed by Kerry supporters." The delicious irony, of course, is that these are much more effective than the signs that were originally there.

The violence and vandalism continues, though. Drudge notes that a Bush headquarters in Cincinatti was robbed and a GOP headquarters in Flagstaff was vandalized. That's not all. Power Line has details on an attack at a Bush office in Oregon. Hinderaker sums it up nicely, "We're Democrats, so violence is OK."

deacon of Power Line has some comments worth reading on this Op-Ed in the Telegraph, which was sent to me by the same friend who found the Slate piece.

Finally, I want to point to another excellent column by Jonah Goldberg that he wrote earlier in the week, defending the much-maligned electoral college. He's a man after my own heart here. Anyone voting in Colorado needs to read this and then vote No on 36.