“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Did the Chinese Hack the Pentagon?

Yesterday, a story appeared about the Chinese military hacking into Pentagon computers. Of course they deny it. Previously, there was the incident of the Chinese destroying an old communications satellite with a missile. China is intent on achieving some level of parity with the US military. The least expensive route is to focuse on the most vulnerable of the communications and control links used by the US military. It may be nothing more than a demonstration by the Chinese to sew doubt into the minds of Pentagon planners. It could be something far more sinister. I think I favor the sinister part.

Chinese military hacked into Pentagon
By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington and Richard McGregor in Beijing
Published Financial Times: September 3 2007 19:00 | Last updated: September 3 2007 20:53

The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American ­officials.

The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack.

Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army.

One senior US official said the Pentagon had pinpointed the exact origins of the attack. Another person familiar with the event said there was a “very high level of confidence...trending towards total certainty” that the PLA was responsible. The defence ministry in Beijing declined to comment on Monday.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, raised reports of Chinese infiltration of German government computers with Wen Jiabao, China’s premier, in a visit to Beijing, after which the Chinese foreign ministry said the government opposed and forbade “any criminal acts undermining computer systems, including hacking”.

“We have explicit laws and regulations in this regard,” said Jiang Yu, from the ministry. “Hacking is a global issue and China is frequently a victim.”

George W. Bush, US president, is due to meet Hu Jintao, China’s president, on Thursday in Australia prior to the Apec summit.

The PLA regularly probes US military networks – and the Pentagon is widely assumed to scan Chinese networks – but US officials said the penetration in June raised concerns to a new level because of fears that China had shown it could disrupt systems at critical times.

“The PLA has demonstrated the ability to conduct attacks that disable our system...and the ability in a conflict situation to re-enter and disrupt on a very large scale,” said a former official, who said the PLA had penetrated the networks of US defence companies and think-tanks.

Hackers from numerous locations in China spent several months probing the Pentagon system before overcoming its defences, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Pentagon took down the network for more than a week while the attacks continued, and is to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis. “These are multiple wake-up calls stirring us to levels of more aggressive vigilance,” said Richard Lawless, the Pentagon’s top Asia official at the time of the attacks.

The Pentagon is still investigating how much data was downloaded, but one person with knowledge of the attack said most of the information was probably “unclassified”. He said the event had forced officials to reconsider the kind of information they send over unsecured e-mail systems.

John Hamre, a Clinton-era deputy defence secretary involved with cyber security, said that while he had no knowledge of the June attack, criminal groups sometimes masked cyber attacks to make it appear they came from government computers in a particular country.

The National Security Council said the White House had created a team of experts to consider whether the administration needed to restrict the use of BlackBerries because of concerns about cyber espionage.


  1. I hope they did hack the Pentagon. When they see just how stupid that bunch of Clowns is, they'll quit worrying about them and concentrate on poisoning what dogs that Vick ain't hung, or drowned.

    We'll have "Peace" for a hundred something or others.

    I'm drunk; I'm going to bed.

  2. Them Vick Dogs been pre-tenderized for them, they'll filet them out quick-like.

  3. 2 in a row, Rufus, that's great!
    When you sleep it off, you can relink that San Fran one for those who missed it.

  4. China has much to worry about...

    But not from us...

    China is going to have problems with islam, tibet, and other areas seeking greater power and wealth..

    pollution, riots, healthcare, poisoned food supply, bad/unsafe construction, internet

    china has also issues with Nkor, Japan, Vietnam and others over borders...

    china also now will find it's citizens targets of kidnappings in nigeria & other places now that they are viewed as the "new americans"

    congrats to china with it's elevation from 3rd world example to 1st world rich super power, now you will have to PAY to be #1, get used to it..

  5. The vulnerabilites of the US to various asymetrical attacks is not well appreciated.

    Most of us old timers still thinking in terms of explosives, snipers or, at worse, aircraft being flown into tall buildings.

    Something "no one" could have fore seen as a possibility.

    Toothpaste, food products, pajamas not thought of as weapons by most of US.

    The battle over the world's natural resources not likely to be fought with conventional military force. But in the ideological and economic realms. When the Chinese sign a long term oil delivery contract with Senor Chavez, depriving the US of up to 5% of it's daily oil needs, the US response will not entail Carrier Groups and F22s.

    The Chicoms will have their own series of hurdles to over come, as wi"o" aptly describes, but there is a high probability that they will. Their "boy bubble" combined with the higher societal value placed on the fewer children produced makes for different conflicting pressures on the possibilities of overt Chinese military adventures against US.

    The preponderance of young men supplies the manpower, the lack of depth to the families provides a higher societal value to them.

    Mao always thought that the Chinese cold absorb a nuclear first strike by the US. Could the US absorb the retaliatory srikes?

    Makes the elevation of "soft warfare" in the 21st Century all the more likely.

  6. A humorous tale, from the future can be read here.
    The Chips Are Down

    With our computers frozen, would the U.S. still be a superpower? China intends to find out.

    A tale of war over Taiwan and how Madame President, Chelsea Clinton, handles the situation.

    Thankfully, the battle for Taiwan unfolded only in this author’s imagination. But the scenario is not entirely outside the realm of possibility. It is time to finish the war in Iraq and hand the Iraqis responsibility for their land and their own future. It is also time to look ahead. Our competitors are.

  7. "Like a good number of the many links above, but Trish identifies them all as misinformed, or liars, in order to defend the red-headed step-child of either side, being enamored of neither side."

    You know, Doug, I always somehow imagine you as a nine-year-old sitting at a keyboard.

    And I don't know why I'm arguing with a nine-year-old.

    Nor do know why I'm attempting to explain agency planning to a guy who believes that the State Department be gotten rid of.

    (I do, on the other hand, know why War-for-Oil-Fuck-the-Motherfucking-
    Captains rufus gives me the impression of a steamy little pile of cat vomit.)

    I don't know why I come here. It's not entertaining save in a morbid curiosity kind of way. A maddening way.

    My husband, my son, my daughter certainly don't know why either, as each believes I'm conversing with fools and idiots. And in habu's case, the truly unhinged. Isn't that rather sad? ("Mom, get a hobby, for God's sake.")

    It's not simply that nothing said here will in any way make a difference in any matter of importance - it's only a bar, after all - nor is it simply my limited and by now exhausted power of persuasion - I don't think I've yet succeeded here in disabusing anyone of any particular notion - it's that it's not engaging in any positive sense. Or only rarely is.

    There. I'm going to pull weeds.

    Let us all know what Hugh Hewitt has to say today about the state of the world.

  8. westhawk latest thread revolves around conventional naval execisies being conducted with US allies in the Pacific and Indian Oceans and how these evolving alliances are aimed at containing Chnese expansionism, if it comes.

  9. I often imagine Doug as a precocious nine year old sitting at a keyboard too--a nine year old sitting at the beach with a keyboard, examining a shiny shell or something, with the whole cosmos around still unexplored--a little blogging Sir Isaac:) With an impish grin. Good image, Trish.

    Good lawyer joke, Ruf. Dad would probably agree, having died sorta disillusioned with the whole thing.

    Don't know if the Chinamen hacked the Pentagon, but they've hacked the Donks. We ought to have a rule that if it is shown that a politician has accepted foreign money from any source, they are out of the race, and HUNG.

    I read yesterday that the Chinese economic miracle will be coming to an end because of demographics--one child policy catching up with them--and pollution--parts of it are turning into desert, some places people topple over in the street from the smog, the water pollution is unimaginable--the environment just won't be able to handle any more abuse. Mother Gaia is getting pissed, in China.

  10. I don't know why I come here. It's not entertaining except in a morbid curiosity kind of way. A maddening way.

    Zoos are fun, Trish, and your family, they're just jealous. Besides, we love ya, and it feels good being slapped around once in a while. Kinda wakes people up! :)

  11. Trish,

    Just another red-headed step-child?

    'Israel gives US unreliable intel'
    Israeli intelligence about Palestinian groups that a US-based Muslim charity aided was often unreliable, a former senior US diplomat testified at the organization's trial on terrorism-support charges.
    Edward Abingdon, who served as US consul-general in Jerusalem during the 1990s, said the Israelis had an "agenda" and provided "selective information to try to influence US thinking."

    Abingdon's testimony Tuesday took dead aim at prosecutors' claims that the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development was knowingly funding terrorists instead of providing humanitarian aid.

    Holy Land, once the United States' largest Muslim charity, and five of its leaders are charged with funneling millions in illegal aid to Hamas, which the US government considers a terrorist organization.

    Prosecutors say Holy Land funded schools and hospitals it knew were run by Hamas. US agents raided Holy Land and shut it down in December 2001.

    In six weeks of testimony, the prosecution's key witness was an Israeli government lawyer who was allowed to testify anonymously. He said many of the Palestinian schools and charities to which Holy Land gave money were controlled by Hamas.

    Prosecutors presented bank records of transactions with a man who later became a Hamas leader, and secret surveillance including Holy Land officials at a Philadelphia meeting of Hamas supporters in 1993.

    Abingdon, whose post essentially made him the US ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, testified that he was privy to daily CIA reports in Jerusalem yet was never told that terrorists controlled the groups that got money from Holy Land.

    Abingdon, the first defense witness of the trial, said the US Agency for International Development gave money to some of the same groups. He added that he met many officials of the charities.

    The diplomat said he had heard of Holy Land "as a Palestinian-American charity that distributed assistance to needy families in the West Bank and Gaza."

    From 1993 to 1999, Abingdon was consul-general in Jerusalem, and like others he was under orders not to have contact with Hamas.

    Abingdon said the Israelis provided intelligence to the CIA, and defense attorney Nancy Hollander asked him if he found the Israeli information reliable. "No," he answered, and she asked why not.

    "I feel the Israelis have an agenda ... they provide selective information to try to influence US thinking," he said.

    Abingdon spent 30 years in the State Department. He resigned in 1999 and spent seven years at a Washington lobbying firm that represented the Palestinian Authority for as much as $750,000 a year. He said he never worked for Hamas.
    THE JERUSALEM POST Sep. 5, 2007

  12. My wife makes comments too about my 'home away from home not away from home', or sometimes more bluntly, 'are you ever going to get off your ass?', or sometimes, 'o, ho, ho, ho' imitating my deep throaty laugh. On the other hand, it keeps me out of trouble, away from the casino, and saves gas, so she doesn't complain too much.

    "Bob, you don't even know who those people are. They could all be criminals, for all you know, or perverts!"

  13. "Where are those missing weapons of mass destruction? They must be around here somewhere." GWB, looking between his legs, trying to be funny, and failing, at the White House roast-the-president press dinner.

    Nukes Go Missing, Briefly

  14. The Israeli do have an agenda, mat. To claim otherwise is foolish and indefensable.

    Did the US Government publicly announce that those schools and hospitials were a Hamas front?

    Obviously not. Especially if the CIA in briefings to US officials, in Israel, did not disclose that information. If they even had the proof of a connection.

    That the "US Agency for International Development gave money to some of the same groups" would indicate that those groups were not considered part of Hamas, at the time of those donations or grants.

    To look back, in retrospect, and declare it obvious ... unConstitutional, here in the US.
    No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    How much is the anonymous Israeli lawyer paid, annually?

    To claim that transacting business with a man who, at some later date, joins a criminal conspiracy makes that previous business criminal, not how the US system of justice works.

    The prosecution most prove that the Holy Land defendents knew, beyond a reasonable doubt, the connections betwwen the groups that recieved the charity and Hamas, while the US Government did not. Which would be hard to do.

    Looks like these Holy Land fellows will be walking, just as the young Marines of Haditha did. Persecuted by over zealous prosecutors, just like at Duke University. Mr Nifong going to jail, for a day, for that episode of prosecutorial misbehaviour.

    Trying to prosecute the non-War in the US justice system, that's just not going to get 'er done.

  15. We helped a little to stop the immigration bill, Trish, you got to give us credit for that. And noboby ever(or at least rarely, and slowly) changes anybody's mind on anything, I learned that years ago, one's own opinions being sacred, you know, and always right. Some good information gets transferred around though.

  16. After all, Trish, nobody has changed your mind on anything:)

  17. ”The Israeli do have an agenda, mat.”

    It is not to fabricate facts, dRat.

    The facts are the facts. The facts were dismissed by the likes of Mr Abingdon, because the CIA and State Department is rife with people who pursue their own private agendas, sympathies and biases, rather than follow the agenda set by their superiors. What these personal agendas biased are, is it very clear to see.

    ”To claim that transacting business with a man who, at some later date, joins a criminal conspiracy makes that previous business criminal, not how the US system of justice works.”

    BS. He was already a member. He just moved higher up the latter. You don’t get to be a top member, just like that.

  18. Much of what Hamas did, and does, is charitable grass roots stuff. That is one reason why they have as much support as the do.

    On changing minds and the futility of arguing with ideologues - their minds may not change but the absurdity of their views are put in stark relief and other lurking minds do change...usually slowly, sometimes not, but much is gained through something like Socratic dialogue.

  19. Well then there is still hope for us all, Ash. :)

  20. O har de har--Craig leaves message to lawyer Billy on wrong phone--

    Hear Craig Here

    I got to tell you, I never did like the guy even though I voted for him. I'm getting great pleasure in seeing him twist slowly in the wind.

  21. "Massive" terrorist attack foiled in Germany.

    You can run, but you can't hide...

  22. But was that membership public knowledge, did the US government have him on a terrorist watch list, before his promotion, up the ranks?

    Can the US Government prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the Holy Land folks knew what the US Government did not?

    That is doubtful. If whomever the Hamas man was, if not on a list, it'll be hard to prove that the Holy Land people were either negligent or conspirators.

    If the US funded those same charities and organizations it is just as culpable, as Hoy Land, even more so. Owing to the US Governments greater store of knowledge as to who should be classified as a terrorist.

    How much does that anonymous attorney earn? If the billing amounts of a witness for the defense is applicable, to character and possible bias, the source and amounts of the earnings of the prosecution witness are as well.

  23. "Bob, you don't even know who those people are. They could all be criminals, for all you know, or perverts!"

    Or even worse, senators.

  24. If the World Bank funding of projects in Iran is not subject to US sanction,the US actually assisting in that funding, hard to say that others who do business in Iran are culpable, when the World Bank and the US is not.

    A goose and gander comparison that will work with a jury of peers.

    The War on Terror has evolved into a police matter, just as JFKerry desired.
    Score another one for the Boners.

  25. Changed minds are more often denoted with silence than outright affirmation.

  26. “did the US government have him on a terrorist watch list”

    Whether they did or did not, I cannot answer that. They certainly should have put him on a terrorist watch list, given the information was relayed to them by the Israelis. But perhaps they didn’t. Mr Abingdon deemed it unreliable and untrustworthy information since the surveillance video was made by the Israelis. I would hope a new investigation would to be conducted here. Specifically into Mr Abingdon's conduct.

  27. And the ideologists are almost always those other guys.

  28. “How much does that anonymous attorney earn? “

    That’s irrelevant. The attorney is there to vouch for the authenticity of the video tapes.

  29. Well then there is still hope for us all, Ash.

    Bob, you’re being strung along by a punk.

  30. yeah. especially those of us that don't know how to spell ladder. :P

  31. Then his character is rightfully questionable, as are his motives.
    It is a US Court where this prosecution is happening.

    If the defense witness is subject to having his finaces questioned.

    As a juror, the fact that the prosecution witness was anonymous would wiegh against his credibilty.
    Really would with real people.

    Why must he hide his identity, if he does not have a secret agenda?
    A reasonable question to place in the minds of the jurors. Who pays this anonymous witness, another reasonable question.
    If the defense witnesses, career Government Civil Servants are thought to be unreliable, the testimony of anonymous foreigners must be taken in a harsher light.

    US Courts are full of mistrials and aquitals, bet we see that here.

    Just as Mr Spector commented upon Mr Craig's case, this past weekend:

    I'd still like to see Senator Craig fight this case. He left himself some daylight, Chris, when he said that he intends to resign in 30 days.

    I'd like to see Larry Craig go back to court, seek to withdraw his guilty plea and fight the case.

    I've had some experience in these kinds of matters since my days as Philadelphia district attorney, and on the evidence, Senator Craig wouldn't be convicted of anything.

    And he's got his life on the line and 27 years in the House and Senate, and I'd like to see him fight the case, because I think he could be vindicated.

    WALLACE: Are you suggesting that if he could fight the case and could be vindicated that he should then rescind his resignation?

    SPECTER: Well, he hasn't resigned. Bear in mind, Chris, if you look closely -- listen closely to what Senator Craig said, he said he intends to resign. Once you resign, you're out. But when you have a statement of intent to resign, that intent can change.

    And if he could change the underlying sense of the case, feel of the case -- listen. You can go to court and you can withdraw a guilty plea. Of course, disorderly conduct is not moral turpitude and wasn't the basis for being very excited.

    The underlying facts, OK, question of what happened and what was intended, and if that case goes to trial -- and I say I've seen matters like this since my days as a prosecutor -- he wouldn't be convicted of anything.

    And if he went to court, was acquitted, all of this hullabaloo would have no basis. It doesn't have a whole lot of basis to start with.

    It is the United States the Holy Land Charities are being tried in, where Justice often prevails, or not, dependiing upon one's perspective. But here in the US, it's policy that is better to let the guilty go free, than to convict the innocent.

    A former college professor was found not guilty Tuesday of key charges linking him to a Palestinian terrorist group that allegedly operated an underground cell in Florida, ending a lengthy trial that balanced allegations of terrorist-related acts against assertions of abused constitutional rights.
    After 13 days of deliberation, a federal jury acquitted Sami Al-Arian, once a computer sciences professor at the University of South Florida, of eight of the 17 charges against him -- including a charge that he conspired with other leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad to murder and maim people in Israel.
    The 12-member jury deadlocked on the nine other counts against him, including charges that he aided terrorists.
    Al-Arian wept in relief as the verdicts were read. One of his attorneys, Linda Moreno, hugged him.
    ''I'm so grateful to God because He's the one who showed my husband's innocence,'' said Nahla Al-Arian, the defendant's wife. She also thanked the jury ``that showed there was no case and my husband was innocent.''
    Two other pro-Palestinian activists, Sameeh Hammoudeh and Ghassan Zayed Ballut, were found not guilty of all charges. The fourth man ensnared in 2003 by the federal government's sweeping 51-count indictment, Hatem Naji Fariz, was acquitted on 25 charges, with the jury unable to decide on eight others.

    The Police Chase on Terror

  32. ”As a juror, the fact that the prosecution witness was anonymous would wiegh against his credibilty. Really would with real people.”

    It shouldn’t.

    The credibility of the witness is based on the fact that s/he is entrusted by the Israeli government to vouch for the authenticity of the evidence sourced in Israel. The surveillance tapes should speak for themselves.

  33. Simply put, the Holyland Foundation guys are on tape in arabic saying how funds raised have provided the direct killing of israelis, and that additional fund would be for specific bombings..

    There is not this blur of grassroots fundraising verses terrorism as an issue..

    look for the evidence to point to pointed direct funding and directions to commit murder.

  34. And the Defense witness was entrusted by the US Government

    Between the two, to a US citizen, the US government is much much more a reliable source of reliableinformation.

    After all the Israeli have run spies in the US and then denied it, before they admitted it, in May of 1998. When Mr. Netanyahu acknowledged that Mr. Pollard had worked as "an Israeli agent." He was granted Israeli citizenship in 1996

    Creating a void of credibilty as far as Israel verasity is concerned, as regards US Security issues.

    By Caroline Glick
    The Jerusalem Post

    Jerusalem - April 28 ...... Jonathan Pollard is one of the most polarizing figures of our times. Pollard, a former intelligence analyst in US naval intelligence, has now served 20 years of a life imprisonment sentence following his conviction for transferring classified US intelligence materials relating to Arab ballistic missile and nonconventional weapons programs to Israel from May 1984 until his arrest in November 1985.

    For his contribution to Israel's security and for his long suffering in prison, Israel considers Pollard a national hero. He is commonly considered the source of Israel's preparedness for the Iraqi missile attacks during the Gulf War. Israelis across the right-left and religious-secular divide are basically unified in their hope to greet Pollard in Israel as a free man. For many American Jews, Pollard is reviled as a traitor.

    No anonymous agent of Israel is more credibile than a known US Civil Servant, in a US Court.

    Israel does have it's own agenda and it's agents do lie and dissemble in and to the United States as suits that agenda.

  35. Well, dRat, the evidence is there. Motive is irrelevant as it regards this evidence. This is not a "subjective" testimonial. This is a video surveillance tape. But motive is not irrelevant as it regards Mr Abingdon from the State Department. Mr Abingdon, who dismissed this evidence, and then goes on to represent the Palestinian Authority for as much as $750,000 a year.

  36. Well knock me over with a straw. Mr Hsu(pronounced shoo, I read) Hightails it again. I'm coming to the realization that the world is filled with a lot of scoundrels, and it's a lucky day when one finds an honest man.

  37. Bob,

    The name of the game is corruption. That’s how Arafat got a clean bill of health by the State Department. That’s how Mr Hsu and others got a clean bill of health by the CIA and the FBI.

  38. That's a pretty strong and damning claim there Mats. Have you any evidence at all to back up your assertion that the CIA, FBI, and Department of State are rife with corruption?

  39. Video is no proof, in and of itself.
    I've seen Forest Gump speaking with a President, on video.

    So, dear mat, character and credibility are still all important in a digital age.

    If the Israeli Government wished to doctor or create such a video, it is well within their capabilities to do so.

    So the credibility of the witness is still all important.
    That is a fact.

  40. No agent of the Israeli Government can be assumed to be truthful, when the agenda of that government is imperilled.

    Trust but verify are the by-words when dealing with known liars.
    Anonymous Israeli gents as witnesses do not bring much credibilty to bear.

    Not as much credibility as a life long US Civil Servant, not in US Courts, not to the jurors, US citizens loyal and true, judging the truth, to a standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Heck of a way to fight a war, but ther you have it, it's not much of a war.

  41. If Mr Hsu should be picked up again, it's unlikely he would be offered bail again, I'd wager. Likely itinerary, Mexico or Canada, then Hong Kong or some other point east perhaps. He seems sort of a likeable scoundrel, usually has a smile on his face. I bet he has a considerable 'emergency fund'.

  42. dRat,

    According to your argument, the character and credibility of ANY evidence presented by the State of Israel is already worthless. (See Liberty redux). Why should Israel even bother with the exercise of information sharing is beyond me. Especially when these US agents and agencies are really in the employ of the arabs. I mean, they don’t even bother to keep it a secret, it’s out in the open. The whole situation is contemptuous.

  43. Bob,

    The CIA and FBI should have been on top it, already during the arrest. The blogs were. They weren’t. This tells me all I need to know.

  44. mats,

    Your refusal to back up your assertions is testament to how asinine they really are. You should stick to memorizing biology textbooks.

  45. Not worthless, just requiring credible verification, which anonymous testimony does not deliver.

    The USS Liberty just another episode in the history of Israeli deceptions and prevarications.
    Now that you've brought it up.

    All in the advancement of the Israeli agenda.

    Not justice American style.

    The Chinaman, Mr Hsu, made his $2 million dollar bail and hit the highway. The California Court is responsible, not the CIA or the FBI. It was not a Federal matter, but a State issued warrant. The California judge set the bail amount and terms. If there is an issue of corruption, it is with that Court, not the FBI nor the CIA.

    The CIA is prohibited from actions within the United States, you propose that the CIA should violate it's charter and Federal law?

    Was there ever a Federal Warrant for Mr Hsu? I think not, so the FBI would have had no jurisdiction, either.

  46. Interesting! Even the Iraq the Model boys have fled Iraq

  47. He got, well the gettin' was good.

    Rest of the family vacations in Syria, then Omar hits the highway for New York City!

    When his country needs patriots, he flies like an eagle, beyond the sea.

    Matter of priorities, I guess.

    Leaves it to foreigners, like the rest of the Iraqis, to solve his country's problems.

    Supposedly he and his brother were well paid for their blogging, out of that US slush fund of cash that was spent, early on. If it was, money well spent.
    Recycled now to the USA, good show!

  48. Anybody with any brains would flee Iraq, even if it were peaceful and serene. Too damned hot, and the religion is nuts. Why stay? I hope I would hit the road too. I kinda had those boys figured as CIA someway, hard to say I quess.

  49. In political news, from Ohio:

    Representative Paul Gillmor, Republican from Ohio’s 5th Congressional District in the Bowling Green area, was found dead in his apartment this morning.
    Mr. Gillmor, 68, was found after he failed to come to work, according to Associated Press:

    Mr Gilmor was elected with a 4 to 3 majority margin for the last couple of cycles. Wonder who will replace him, another loss for the GOP.

  50. bobalharb said...

    Anybody with any brains would flee Iraq,

    How then is it that you are still conflicted about withdrawing US boys from that place?

  51. Ohio's governor is a democrat. If I were governor I'd replace him with 'Marvin', my mother-in-laws old handyman. Honest man, and could fix anything.

    Because they aren't all going to leave, Ash, and there are some people we definitely shouldn't want running the place.

  52. Doesn't say much for a country's future, bob, when their citizens abandon it, for whatever the reasons, in times of trouble and turmoil.

    Leaving other men to stand in their stead. Then, mark my words, they'll complain about the politics of their country, while hiding under the bed, elsewhere.

    Looking out for their personal well being, while their homeland goes to hell in a handbasket.
    While their country is threatened from within and without, they'll bang the drums of discord and discontent, from the safe environs provided overseas, by others.

  53. You do not mean to say, bob, that we in the US and the patriots in our miltary are brainless, do you?

    That the future of Iraq is more important and more vital to the people of the US than it is to Iraqi natives?

  54. Word and semantic games don't make much good policy.

  55. All I'm saying Rat is if I were an Iraqi I'd want out. But then if I were an Iraqi I wouldn't think the way I do from over here about it. Until they get rid of the book all those places are lunatic asylums,IMHO. Doesn't mean we don't have some national security concerns in the area.

    Build nuclear generating plants, my mantra.

  56. "Supposedly he and his brother were well paid for their blogging, out of that US slush fund of cash that was spent, early on. If it was, money well spent."

    According to who?

  57. It was blogged for a while, that when the US arrived, in 2003 or 04 the brothers were paid by US. The third brother had a falling out and bailed over the payments, supposedly.

  58. The brothers at one point admitted to receiving funding at one point in their careers. Spirit of America was one source I believe. They were brought to the US at one point as well. There were allegations of CIA backing and all that as well.

  59. Ali (the smartest bro) split over the trip to the US and the political skulduggery involved

  60. A quick google search provides this here it is and more. The truth of the report is not known to me, but it is realitvly old news

    For anyone not familiar with the story, which is a long-running saga on this blog, Omar and Mohammed Fadhil run a blog called Iraq The Model (ITM). They have a brother named Ali Fadhil who angrily departed the blog under very odd circumstances just before the 2004 US election, when Omar and Mohammed went to Washington to meet with Bush and Wolfowitz in the Oval Office. The White House meeting was organized by a bogus US "charity" called Spirit of America (SoA), whose CEO Jim Hake was also present.

    Ali Fadhil alleged that the SoA staff were using the Fadhil brothers for propaganda purposes. He said that SoA CEO Jim Hake and his former "Director of Logistics and Procurement" Kerry Dupont were "stealing donors money" and lying to both Iraqis and Americans. He said Dupont offered the brothers $300,000 "that we could use to do what we want".
    Mohammed seemed to recall her saying tht it was Kerry's personal money while I recall her saying it wasn't.
    As I have said previously:
    Three hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money to be throwing around, folks. And let's remember, this was happening while Paul Bremer was (supposedly) running Iraq and US$800 million was disappearing! Add two and two together and you would have to think that the money Dupont was offering came from those same taxpayer-funded coffers. But how the hell did Kerry Dupont get authorised to hand it out? Prior to her (extensive) involvement with Iraq The Model, Dupont was (as far as I can tell) just a plain old mother of two from Topsham, Maine. What happened on the way to Baghdad, Kerry?
    When Ali complained to Jim Hake about Dupont's behaviour, Hake dumped him from the trip to the USA. Afterwards he promised Ali "any position I wanted and any salary I would find suitable". Instead of taking the offer, Ali went public with a barrage of blog posts exposing SoA projects where he claimed money had gone missing and SoA's claimed goals had proved illusory. Then suddenly - after discussions with his two brothers - Ali deleted his blog posts, aplogized for causing any trouble, and refused to discuss his allegations any further.

    Ali maintained a blog of his own for a while, but the URL later pointed to a porn site and now suggests that Ali may be living in "freedom" in Germany. His brothers quickly removed Ali's blog link from their Iraq The Model site and no longer even mention his name.

    That's just the start of it! When you look at the people who were behind setting up Iraq The Model and Spirit of America, a whole new ball game opens up.

    There is more at the link, but as I say, the trutjfulness of the story is unknown, to me.

  61. $300,000 USD, to spread the good word

    Good work if you can get it

  62. That's the trouble with the place, there aren't any, or damned few, 'Iraqis'. There are Shias, and Kurds, and Sunnis, and Turkmen, and tribes and families, but not many Iraqi.
    The Sadrs and the Hakims are both Shias and they are having it out. There never really has been an Iraq, just chaos, and mutual butchery, pretty much all the way through.

    Summer vacation is over. We'll see if they get that oil sharing bill passed.

  63. And if it works as well as US immigration laws, what then, bob?

  64. My hunch is that's just about the optimal of how it would work, Rat.

  65. I always wondered about that damned Nagging feeling of JEALOUSY I've always had about Rufus.

  66. I almost feel like yesterday's blogging was worth the effort!

  67. "There is more at the link, but as I say, the trutjfulness of the story is unknown, to me."

    Probably time to post our favorite Bernard Lewis quote again.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Sure hasn't been much news or commentary about that 9th Circuit Court BITCH that says don't send out the non-matching Soc Sec Numbers, has there?

  70. You gotta cat, AlBob?
    That's the closest I come to your description above:
    Stare in wonderment and gratitude that I get to share my day with such a remarkable work of God, man, and nature.
    Sharing your house with a beast, of sorts, but a domesticated one who appreciates being spoiled.
    Blood Brothers with Wretch in that way, if nothing else.

  71. Global Warming Could Pose Heart Threat

    VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Global warming may be melting glaciers and forcing polar bears onto land, but doctors warn it could also affect your heart. "If it really is a few degrees warmer in the next 50 years, we could definitely have more cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Karin Schenck-Gustafsson, of the department of cardiology at Sweden's Karolinska Institute.
    On the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology's annual meeting in Vienna this week, some experts said the issue deserves more attention. It's well-known that people have more heart problems when it's hot.

  72. That does not seem to be viable diagnosis, doug
    here is infor from the CDC.

    Arizona, one of the "hottest" States has Heart Disease death rates lower than the US average.

    If there was a cooraltion between heat and heart disease, we'd be droppin' like flies. Not be under the National Average.

    Mortality Rates, 1995 and 2001
    *rates per 100,000
    1995 - US = 280.7, AZ = 242.6
    2001 - US = 245.8, AZ = 199.5

    Plus we have a higher than average number of Seniors, so the heat may just be therapeutic.

  73. Up to a point I think old folk take the heat better. When it was hot as hell my old aunt was 'just comfy',

  74. “If there is an issue of corruption, it is with that Court, not the FBI nor the CIA. The CIA is prohibited from actions within the United States, you propose that the CIA should violate it's charter and Federal law? Was there ever a Federal Warrant for Mr Hsu? I think not, so the FBI would have had no jurisdiction, either. “


    It’s more than an issue of simple corruption. You know it. I know it. And anyone with half brain who is familiar with the case would know it. So I'll say it again. That the CIA and FBI have not been on top of this, tells me all I need to know.

  75. The Justice Department is looking into Mr. Hsu’s fund-raising activities. One unknown is the source of his money.

    In campaign finance reports, he lists a number of companies related to the apparel industry, but efforts to verify his involvement in them have been fruitless. An address he gave for his office in New York appeared to be little more than a mail drop, and people who work nearby said they had rarely seen him.

    Since word of Mr. Hsu’s fugitive status became known, Democratic candidates have been rushing to rid themselves of Mr. Hsu’s money — among them Senator Barack Obama of Illinois; Gov. Eliot Spitzer of New York; Al Franken, the comedian and political commentator who is a Minnesota senatorial candidate; and Representatives Michael M. Honda and Doris Matsui of California.

    Fugitive Again