David Kirkpatrick

May 5, 2010

OBL in WDC

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:29 am

Ahmadinejad is crazy … crazy like a fox. Check out this exchange with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: One final question. There’s a new documentary out that says that Osama Bin Laden is living in Tehran. And the subject of the documentary, a man named Alan Parrot, one of the world’s foremost falconers living in Iran, says he’s spoken to Osama bin Laden several times since 2003. Is Osama bin Laden in Tehran?

AHMADINEJAD: Your question is laughable.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why?

AHMADINEJAD: The U.S. government has invaded Afghanistan in order to arrest Bin Laden. They probably know where Bin Laden is. If they don’t know he is, why did they invade? Could we know the intelligence?

STEPHANOPOULOS: I think if they knew, they would find him. They would get him.

AHMADINEJAD: First they should have tried to find his location, then invade, those who did not know about his location first they invaded and then they tried to find out where he is, is that logical? Do you think this is logical?

STEPHANOPOULOS: What I think is that you didn’t answer my question. Is he in Tehran or not?

AHMADINEJAD: Our position is quite clear. Some journalists have said Bin Laden is in Iran. These words don’t have legal value. Our position towards Afghanistan and against terrorism is quite clear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is it true or not?

AHMADINEJAD: Maybe you know, but I don’t know.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m asking you. You’re the President of Iran.

AHMADINEJAD: I don’t know such a thing, you are giving news which is very strange.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, let me ask it a different way. If you did know that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran, would you show him hospitality? Would you expel him? Would you arrest him?

AHMADINEJAD: I heard that Osama bin Laden is in the Washington, D.C.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, you didn’t.

AHMADINEJAD: Yes, I did. He’s there. Because he was a previous partner of Mr. Bush. They were colleagues in fact in the old days. You know that. They were in the oil business together. They worked together. Mr. Bin Laden never cooperated with Iran but he cooperated with Mr. Bush–

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’ll ask one more time and then I’ll let you go. If you knew that Osama bin Laden was in Tehran, which you say you don’t. If you knew, would you expel him? Would you arrest him? Would you show him hospitality?

AHMADINEJAD: Our borders, our borders are closed to the illegal entry of anyone. Anyone who that may be. Whether it’s the three American mountaineers, Mr. Bin Laden or anyone else. The borders are closed. Our position is clear.

I’m quite surprised, to see that you adjust your daily lives based on the news that is being broadcast. I’m concerned that the government of the United States takes positions based on such news. If it is so, it is too bad. The news must be accurate and accountable, otherwise it will disrupt the relations between the nations. Just like this, did the government of the United States knew about the location of Mr. Bin Laden? And you said, “No, they went to find out.” Well, first you locate–

STEPHANOPOULOS: They lost the trail.

AHMADINEJAD: –to find out they have invaded Afghanistan. First they have to find out his location and then invade. It’s like for a judge to arrest someone and then go after the evidence.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you deny categorically that he’s in Tehran today? He is not– Osama bin Laden is not in Tehran today?

AHMADINEJAD: Rest assured that he’s in Washington. I think there’s a high chance he’s there.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I don’t agree.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

(Hat tip: Mike Allen’s Playbook)

December 2, 2009

Obama’s Af-Pak speech

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:56 pm

I don’t have too much of an immediate reaction other than to say it’s a good sign both political extremes are for the most part very unhappy with the plan.

Here’s the text of the speech:

Good evening. To the United States Corps of Cadets, to the men and women of our armed services, and to my fellow Americans: I want to speak to you tonight about our effort in Afghanistan–the nature of our commitment there, the scope of our interests, and the strategy that my Administration will pursue to bring this war to a successful conclusion. It is an honor for me to do so here–at West Point–where so many men and women have prepared to stand up for our security, and to represent what is finest about our country.

To address these issues, it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people. They struck at our military and economic nerve centers. They took the lives of innocent men, women, and children without regard to their faith or race or station. Were it not for the heroic actions of the passengers on board one of those flights, they could have also struck at one of the great symbols of our democracy in Washington, and killed many more.

(head below the fold for the rest … ) (more…)

August 2, 2009

Joe Queenan is an idiot

Queenan was funny at one point. Now, not so much.

His bizarre appearance on the July 31 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher was head-scratchingly inane. He came off like a dusty old fart, made nonesensical non sequiturs, injected off-topic points into actual interesting and enlightening discussions and displayed the body language of a crackhead after nineteen hours without a glass pipe in his mouth.

The crowning achievement of stupid was interrupting Michael Ware, an Australian journalist who’s been kidnapped three time while reporting the Middle East, while he was making a point, albeit drawnout, on the state of affairs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the likelihood of actual talks between the US, those governments and the Taliban. During this cogent bit of analysis from someone with intimate knowledge of the region, Queenan saw fit to leap in with a defense of the rights of women in Afghanistan. What?

And that was the reaction from Maher and the rest of his panel. Uh Joe, I hope you find an appropriate treatment for whatever brand of idiocy that’s afflicted you.

March 18, 2009

Sully on Cheney

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:35 pm

Sullivan sees both evil and incompetence. Can’t say I disagree.

There’s one semi-plausible/semi-joking theory on Cheney. I first read it in the New Republic a ways back in an article by Michelle Cottle. There’s a condition known as “pump head syndrome” that afflicts people who have undergone surgery where your circulation is taken over by machines and blood is pumped into your body with a different level of force than typical. Some people have very debilitating effects from this process. It’s possible that Cheney — and Bill Clinton for that matter — suffers from pump head, thereby explaining the gross incompetence, the evil and the outright lack of concern for anything beyond his narrow, narrow goals.

From the first link:

The torture of individuals whose guilt or innocence is unknown is the mark of barbarism. The treatment of human beings as sub-human is equally the mark of the forces of anti-civilization. From the beginning in this struggle against evil, Cheney has been, as he proudly declares, on the dark side. And operating from within.

His post was built on this quote from Lawrence Wilkerson:

The fourth unknown is the ad hoc intelligence philosophy that was developed to justify keeping many of these people, called the mosaic philosophy. Simply stated, this philosophy held that it did not matter if a detainee were innocent. Indeed, because he lived in Afghanistan and was captured on or near the battle area, he must know something of importance (this general philosophy, in an even cruder form, prevailed in Iraq as well, helping to produce the nightmare at Abu Ghraib). All that was necessary was to extract everything possible from him and others like him, assemble it all in a computer program, and then look for cross-connections and serendipitous incidentals–in short, to have sufficient information about a village, a region, or a group of individuals, that dots could be connected and terrorists or their plots could be identified.

Thus, as many people as possible had to be kept in detention for as long as possible to allow this philosophy of intelligence gathering to work. The detainees’ innocence was inconsequential. After all, they were ignorant peasants for the most part and mostly Muslim to boot.

Here’s more from the Wilkerson link:

Another unknown, a part of the fabric of the foregoing four, was the sheer incompetence involved in cataloging and maintaining the pertinent factors surrounding the detainees that might be relevant in any eventual legal proceedings, whether in an established court system or even in a kangaroo court that pretended to at least a few of the essentials, such as evidence.

Simply stated, even for those two dozen or so of the detainees who might well be hardcore terrorists, there was virtually no chain of custody, no disciplined handling of evidence, and no attention to the details that almost any court system would demand. Falling back on “sources and methods” and “intelligence secrets” became the Bush administration’s modus operandi to camouflage this grievous failing.

But their ultimate cover was that the struggle in which they were involved was war and in war those detained could be kept for the duration. And this war, by their own pronouncements, had no end. For political purposes, they knew it certainly had no end within their allotted four to eight years. Moreover, its not having an end, properly exploited, would help ensure their eight rather than four years in office.

February 29, 2008

Matt Drudge …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:31 pm

is an “honourless shit” according to Samizdata’s Perry de Havilland. Drudge was the most prominent “outer” of a British royal, Prince Harry, serving on the front in Afghanistan.

This revelation obviously seriously endangers Harry’s entire unit since one member would certainly be considered a “high value target” for the gang of Islamic fools, otherwise known as the Taliban, fighting against UK forces.

Here’s a graf from the link concluding with Perry’s apt epitaph for Drudge on this one:

Matt Drudge and the German Newspapers were not the first to mention where Prince Harry had been deployed, that dubious ‘honour’ goes to the Australian publication New Idea, who have at least expressed regret that they blew Prince Harry’s cover, suggesting they may be guilt of a lack of thought rather than callous disregard for someone’s safety in a war zone. The MoD kept quiet when New Idea first broke the story, suggesting they rather sensibly assumed an Australian woman’s magazine was probably not high on the reading list of many Muslim fundamentalists and indeed it took over a month for it to get picked up elsewhere. But the person who really moved this into wider circulation and got the story picked up globally was Matt Drudge. Although the Berliner Kurier and Bild also reported this, Drudge was at some point claiming this as an ‘exclusive’ and claiming the ‘credit’ for himself, so I will take him at his word and call him an honourless shit in that case.

January 24, 2008

Afghani justice

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:18 pm

Here’s a post from Jacob Sullum over at Reason mag’s Hit and Run on a blasphemy case in Afghanistan. In no way can this action from Afghan officials be considered part of the enlightened, modern world.

From the article:

An Afghan court has sentenced Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, a 23-year-old journalism student, to death for downloading and distributing an article critical of Muhammad’s views on women’s rights. Disturbing as that news is for anyone who thought the U.S. had freed Afghanistan from the oppressive rule of brutal theocrats, the reaction of Kambakhsh’s defenders is in some ways even more troubling ( )

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