Comments Posted By glasnost
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I thought it was interesting how you stopped answering Mike Reynolds as soon as he refined his argument to the point of real clarity.

So Ayers is nuts. And he has a rich fantasy life. He’s obviously an egomaniac. (Not that I’m in a position to criticize that.) And in Ayers’ little crazy-town mind he’s going to start a revolution. Do you honestly think Obama—the Obama we’ve all been watching closely for two years now—also believes in launching a revolution from the Chicago Public School system? Is there some evidence that Obama is crazy as well as liberal?

There is no evidence. Stanley Kurtz's description of the Annenberg Challenge and B.O.'s role in it is distorted to the point of absurdity. For Pete's sake, Annenberg was secretary of education in the *Reagan* administration.

Stanley Kurtz may have found a few grants here and there handed out to organizations that turned out to be flaky. Ever been involved in the management of a large city? That is inherent to the nature of handing out large piles of money inside a city. No vetting process is 100% perfect, *especially according to the standards of a conservative blogger.

In short, your equation of:

#1. William Ayers has radical views on education
#2. Ayers & Obama were part of the Annenberg challenge
#3. Somewhere some groups got some money and I have a document from them that demonstrates them using scary words and having a left-wing perspective in education

does not equal

#4: B.O. was pushing education 'radicalism'
#5. The Annenberg Challenge was pushing 'radicalism'
#6 The amount of money that made its way to groups who were radical, from within the constellation of groups asking for it, was non-trivial
#7 That "radical" here means anything more than "uses buzzwords and concepts I don't like."

Hell, this analysis is the kindest analysis possible* to your case. I haven't seen, and won't believe exists until I see it, that you even have any evidence of 'radical' groups in Chicago getting money from Annenberg at all. Where's the beef?

What you basically have so far is a) William Ayers, the man b) ignorance-fueled distortion of the typical froth that comes with handing out money c) well, there is no c.

Kurtz's examination of the record (as well as those reporters who bothered) reveal Obama to be a liar. Ayers was not "just some guy in the neighborhood." Funny you and other Obama apologists never mention that.

The ultimate question is why? Why all these radicals, bigots, anti-semites, and political kooks in his background. The list is impressively long. What is it about these people that attracted Obama?

Not a radical? We don't know. We know so little about this cipher thanks to a blackout of info from the campaign and the media that God knows what we're going to get when he takes office. The Annenberg challenge records show that there were a lot of screwy ideas for "reform" that were presented. The grant money was given with no strings and there were sevearl of these "small school" pilot projects that sought to radicalize students that were approved with Obama's help. You just can't dismiss this as unimportant.

You and Michael are saying Obama is going to govern in a boring, conventional way. I hope to hell that's true. But he will likely have a veto proof majority in the senate and a huge advantage in the House. What are those clowns going to send up to him to sign?

Should be interesting to see.


Comment Posted By glasnost On 7.10.2008 @ 13:25


Saw your comment on Newshoggers:

The gratuitous and dismissive way you approach the possibility that al-Qaeda indeed might want to kill the people on those tapes is outrageous.

It was dumb.
It was dumb for the fake assumption that Al-Quieda wants to kill CIA agents in videotapes more than it wants to kill random CIA agents, when it would kill either one happily given the opportunity, which it does not have.

It was dumb for the idea that, armed with... a picture of said CIA agents, Al-Quieda gains some ability to kill them that they did not previously have, as if Al-Quieda had a global net of recon drones and face-recognition cameras, or an interest in hunting down individual people in the US over mass attacks.

It was dumb, most of all, for the idea of a dualist choice between destroying the tapes and releasing them unedited. That would be, if the baloney above has even a hair of grounding in genuine risk from "Al-Quieda". Ever seen a videotape with a blurred face? How long have we been able to do that? Forty years?

I'm glad you agree that the people who did this should be punished. I'm not exactly sure why you felt the need to pick fights with liberals who agree with you over imaginary tonal nuances. Perhaps you feel psychologically uncomfortable agreeing with logical statements from people you don't like.
This is a weakness.

Comment Posted By glasnost On 7.12.2007 @ 11:22


I don't entirely agree with you, Rick, but I applaud you for taking a step forward out of the dead-end.

The surge isn't the first positive blip we've seen in this war. We are not on the verge of winning. We must now think about good vs. bad ways to draw down forces in Iraq. The Army wants it, the public want it, everyone wants it.

Compromise from the White House may lead to a more permissive ability for a limited mission to keep an eye on Al-Quieda. A lack of compromise will only lead to further deterioration.

Comment Posted By glasnost On 1.05.2007 @ 16:46


We could go back and forth for days on what we think was and wasn’t disclosed by the story.


No, we know what was disclosed by the story. What was disclosed was that the Bush admin was skipping a secret court while using a publicly disclosed program and legal right to wiretap, as long as requests came from a secret court. You've thrown up no end of examples of the disclosure of specific, technical, national-security damaging data and they've all been shot down. Because it didn't happen.

Thanks for the legal arguments. We'll see it in court... unless the Republicans explicitly retroactively legalize it. If that happens, that will be a de facto admission that it was illegal when it was done. And you'll switch your argument from "this was perfectly legal" to, "screw legal, this was neccesary".

You're already preparing to do that now.
But I'll settle for "it's a constitutional question". We're a long way from "hang those treasonous NSA staffers from the nearest tree."
They had a point.

Comment Posted By glasnost On 21.02.2006 @ 17:08


You've amazed me.

"One Paul R. Pillar has just confirmed that no undue influence was exerted."

The exact opposite of both the specifics and message of his statements. Amazing.

You assume that no credible independent intel expert outside the Bush admin has come out saying this has damaged national security because they didn't know until Dec. 15? It's been !two months since then! You think they haven't heard about this yet? Pathetic.

And I don't know why you seem to have no idea what I'm talking about in the next two paragraphs. Let's try this again, god help me:

Sure, if everyone knows we spy with satellites, and the NYT published a 100-page technical report on the exact locations of every reciever and transmitter, their areas and coverage times and locations, geosynchronous orbital latitudes, frequency details, and directions on how to commercially buy the jamming equipment, that could infringe on national security. But that is surreally different from what actually happened.

What happened is:

PreNYTimes: the whole world knew we can tap phone lines by getting secret permission from a secret court.

PostNYTIMES: the whole world knows we have been tapping them without talking to the secret court.

you get it yet? There were NO 'methods' leaked. There was NO technical data leaked. There was nothing leaked except the information the the Bush Admin was skipping a secret court. Which was, if I have to use this word again, SECRET. So unless someone in the secret court permitting the wiretaps was passing info to Al-Quieda, then, guess what, nothing has changed.

The NYTimes revealed !nothing! in terms of methods and practices. They simply reported that a publicly known tactic was being used illegally.

Your ludicrious argument that this 'reminds' terrorists not to talk on the phone - so what? Showing old mafia movies on Showtime reminds terrorists that we can tap phones, as well. Shall we throw the cable companies in jail? Is this the same as revealing truly new information?

Sure, FISA is a statute. I don't need the link, thank you. Establishing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which is what I was talking about. I think that was contextually obvious. If I have that name wrong in some minor way, you still know exactly what I am talking about.

Lastly, How can I not have a shred of knowledge regarding the NSA's methods, S? I read the NYTimes story. Oh, wait, I guess the NYTimes story must not have revealed a shred of the NSA's methods. Thank you for confirming my point.

Comment Posted By glasnost On 16.02.2006 @ 14:12

My point was that your analogy relating the NYT leak to revealing the tapping of russian fiber-optic cables underneath the Barents Sea at the height of the cold war was logically unsound. My further point was that your blind acceptance of Porter Goss' opinion on this matter is an example of conservative lockstep.

I don't believe anything Porter Goss says. I've read any number of articles making it very obvious that he was a 70's CIA renegade, then a partisan hack in the House of Representatives, then appointed to gut the CIA in favor of thinking in lockstep with anything Dick Cheney suggests. Quite frankly, I accuse him of being appointed to the position not to produce sound intelligence, but to enforce the White House's political prefernces on intel analysis. Period.

I haven't heard any credible independent intel who are not Bush-appointed agency heads claim that this leak has damaged national security in any way. If you came up with one, I would give him a fair hearing. But I'd still use my own brain to judge, "what, exactly, new information did I, a U.S. citizen, and therefore Al-Quieda, learn as a result of this leak? - and how important was it to intel methods?"

"I concede AQ is likley aware that we are watching in a nebulious sense, but announcing our methods is tantamount to aiding and abetting."

This is wrong. Logically fallacious. The methods are the exact same as the FISA methods. The only difference is the target sample, and the original target sample was known to no one but FISA and the intel agencies. The new target sample, aside from being illegal, was known only to the intel agencies. And the only thing that was revealed was that FISA was cut out of the loop. And Congress. So unless you think either FISA or Congress was passing intel along to Al-Quieda on the names of the individuals being secretly wiretapped, this is bullshit.

Gentle reminders that we wiretap phones were available in 1001 public news stories and information sources between 2001 and now. All you're complaining about is the increased media attention given to a publicly known method - oh, and the fact that GWB was using that publicly known method in a non-publicly known, illegal manner. You know what? That may be in some nebulous manner unhelpful, but it sure doesn't sound like a crime to me.

Lastly, I am not arguing that VP was more damaging than the NSA leaks. THAT would be a level of detail I don't have. I would probably argue that neither one are more than minorly damaging to the US as a whole, although VP may be damaging to several patriotic individuals. If either one broke the law, let them go to jail. (After all, civil disobedience requires that). I doubt the NSA leakers broke the law. I don't think you can break the law reporting an illegal act. And if you can, the law needs to be changed.

Lastly, Democratic politicians aren't hysterical due to political cowardice. But I predict the middle ground will be that this is folded back into FISA, or to be less diplomatic about it, shut down after a legal ruling.

Is the NSA really full of screaming leftists? Why would they leak something if they thought it would jeopardize their fundamental mission in any way?

Comment Posted By glasnost On 14.02.2006 @ 11:55


Your thinking in your last line is a particularly good example of Glenn's original point in the blog post that started this conversation.

"As for NSA - only a fierce partison could concieve that outing VP is the equivilant of outing the NSA program. NSA is akin to revealing that we were tsapping the Russian cables in thre Barents sea during the cold war."

Care to back this up.

To me it looks like slavish devotion to the party line and demonization of dissent. Because, when I think of the Barents sea situation, I think that we were competing against a foreign intellegence agency funded by billions of dollars and armed with thousands of nuclear missiles, one that had already penetrated our intelligence services. I think that our tapping of the cables was something that could never have been found out by any other method- something truly unknown, a penetration of a high-technology defense presumed perfect. Most of all, it was a completely legal surveillance act against an unquestionably and uniquely foreign agent.

Whereas, in this example, we were already wiretapping phones without Bush's program. That's what FISA was for. And Al-Quieda already knew we were wiretapping them. Al-Quieda has been avoiding electronic communications to the greatest extent possible since the late 1990's, and this is also commonly known. Al-Quieda training manuals from the late 90's teach Al-Quieda members to assume that their phone lines are being tapped. The only thing that the NYTimes outing revealed was that GWB was using a publicly known technique in an illegal manner.

New information revealed to Al-Quieda: virtually 0.

And yet, the conservative armada gladly glosses completely over this elementary, obvious logical assessment and screams for prosecution. It's completely political. It's completely revenge for exposing Bush's illegal behavior. Honest natural security never enters the picture.

Come on, S, or anyone else. Man up to this fight. Why don't you detail exactly what new information Al-Quieda gained from this that they didn't already know. Why don't you back up your comparison to the Barents tapping, even for a moment.
Bring it on.

Comment Posted By glasnost On 13.02.2006 @ 14:28

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