Friday, November 18, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Finally on Monday, I found a tech with a clue. He went outside the box and found a solution. Naturally, once I was back on-line, two DSL modems arrived. I think I am going to keep them as compensation for my pain and suffering.
So as soon as I weed through a few thousand e-mails, I will be back up and posting. I will also have an announcement to make in a couple of days. Stay tuned for that. - Sailor
Friday, September 09, 2005
'Donate cash to:
American Red Cross1-800-HELP NOW (435-7669) English, 1-800-257-7575 Spanish;
America’s Second Harvest1-800-344-8070
Donate Cash to and Volunteer with:
Adventist Community Services1-800-381-7171
Catholic Charities, USA1-800-919-9338
Christian Disaster Response 941-956-5183 or 941-551-9554
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee1-800-848-5818
Church World Service1-800-297-1516
Convoy of Hope417-823-8998
Lutheran Disaster Response800-638-3522
Mennonite Disaster Service717-859-2210
Nazarene Disaster Response888-256-5886
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance800-872-3283
Salvation Army 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief1-800-462-8657, ext. 6440
United Methodist Committee on Relief1-800-554-8583 '
If you wish to volunteer your time, be sure to do that through one of the organizations listed. Do not just show up!
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
'The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his/her emergency operations center.
The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.
In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.'
'The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.
Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.
The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that "special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.
The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials." That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.
Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.
The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.'
Saturday, September 03, 2005
'PART 2: EVACUATION
The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning. Due to the geography of New Orleans and the varying scales of potential disasters and their resulting emergency evacuations, different plans are in place for small-scale evacuations and for citywide relocations of whole populations.
Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
Evacuation procedures for special needs persons with either physical or mental handicaps, including registration of disabled persons, is covered in the SOP for Evacuation of Special Needs Persons.
Major population relocations resulting from an approaching hurricane or similar anticipated disaster, caused the City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop a specific Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedures, which are appended to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
The SOP is developed to provide for an orderly and coordinated evacuation intended to minimize the hazardous effects of flooding, wind, and rain on the residents and visitors in New Orleans. The SOP provides for the evacuation of the public from danger areas and the designations of shelters for evacuees.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
The Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure is designed to deal with all case scenarios of an evacuation in response to the approach of a major hurricane towards New Orleans. It is designed to deal with the anticipation of a direct hit from a major hurricane. This includes identifying the city's present population, its projected population, identification of at-risk populations (those living outside levee protection or in storm-surge areas, floodplains, mobile homes, etc.), in order to understand the evacuation requirements. It includes identifying the transportation network, especially the carrying-capacity of proposed evacuation routes and existing or potential traffic bottlenecks or blockages, caused either by traffic congestion or natural occurrences such as rising waters. Identification of sheltering resources and the establishment of shelters and the training of shelter staff is important, as is the provision for food and other necessities to the sheltered. This preparation function is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.
The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning, evacuation, and sheltering.
1. Warning: Formulates a comprehensive system for public information, early recognition of impending storms, and dissemination of emergency warning.
2. Evacuation: Formulates an effective procedure for orderly evacuation of residents and visitors within available warning time.
3. Sheltering: Formulates a comprehensive system of accessible shelters of adequate size.
The SOP is limited as it is not designed to address the protection of personal and real property, yet is developed to cover the total New Orleans geographic area. The timely issuance of evacuation orders critically impacts upon the successful evacuation of all citizens from high-risk areas. In determining the proper time to issue evacuation orders, there is no substitute for human judgement based upon all known circumstances surrounding local conditions and storm characteristics.
Information received from the National Hurricane Center concerning the storm's tract will allow the focusing on either a landfall, paralleling or exiting storm scenario. Information involving local conditions such as pre-hurricane rainfall, tide schedules, and the amount of pre-storm publicity, must be taken into account, as are the various known circumstances that are explained in the information summary portion of the Hurricane Evacuation Plan, in determining when an evacuation order should be issued. Any assumption regarding where and how the storm will likely make landfall involves clear and constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the local office of the National Weather Service, State OEP and various local agencies that are monitoring either the storm's progress or other elements of the city's preparedness to weather the storm's passage.
The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.
Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall. Disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways so as not to impede evacuation. In local evacuations involving more than fifty (50) families (i.e. 50 single dwelling units), staging areas may be established at the closest available public area outside the threatened area. Upon arrival at the staging area, evacuees will be directed to the appropriate shelter facility. Evacuees will be encouraged to stay with friends or relatives in non-threatened areas whenever possible. Security measures will be employed to protect the evacuated area(s) in accordance with established procedures and situations.
The use of travel-trailers, campers, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., during the evacuation will be allowed so long as the situation permits it. Public information broadcasts will include any prohibitions on their use. Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area. (See Special Needs Transportation, ESF-1). An orderly return to the evacuated areas will be provided after the Mayor determines the threat to be terminated. Transportation back to the evacuated area after threat termination will be provided as available.
III. EVACUATION ORDER
As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness
The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
B. Issuance of Evacuation Orders
The person responsible for recognition of hurricane related preparation needs and for the issuance of an evacuation order is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Concerning preparation needs and the issuance of an evacuation order, The Office of Emergency Preparedness should keep the Mayor advised.
IV: HURRICANE EVACUATION PROCEDURES
It must be understood that this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is an all-hazard response plan, and is applicable to events of all sizes, affecting even the smallest segments of the community. Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken.
A. Evacuation Time Requirements
Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours. This is based on clearance time or is the time required to clear all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation from area roadways. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches its destination.
Clearance time also includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (mobilization time); the time spent by evacuees traveling along the road network (travel time); and the time spent by evacuees waiting along the road network due to traffic congestion (delay time). Clearance time does not refer to the time a single vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.
> Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less
> Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued
> General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less
B. Evacuation Zones
Evacuation (vulnerability) zones provide a base to model traffic movements from one geographic area to another. It is necessary to revise the evacuation zones from time to time due to data generated by new generations of storm-surge modeling .
Evacuation zones are designed to meet several functions: (1) In coastal areas they must reflect the areas in each storm scenario which will need to be evacuated due to storm-surge inundation; (2) They should relate as closely as possible to available population data information, such as enumeration districts, census tracts, zip code areas, transportation analysis zones, etc.; and (3) They need to be describable in a manner that persons in the area will be able to understand.
Evacuation zones will be developed pending further study.
C. Evacuation Routing and Traffic Control
New Orleans is surrounded by water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway leads to the north, the I-10 twin spans head east, I-10 runs east-west and the Crescent City Connection and the Huey P. Long bridges cross over the Mississippi River. Evacuation presents unique and distinct challenges.
Principle traffic control is provided by the New Orleans Police Department. The movement of evacuating vehicles during a hurricane evacuation requires specific traffic control efforts to insure the maximum roadway capacity and to expedite safe escape from hurricane hazards.
1. Bridge closures will be announced as necessary.
2. NOPD officers will be stationed at critical intersections and roadway segments
3. All available tow trucks shall be positioned along key roadway segments, and disabled vehicles will be removed from traffic lanes. No repairs will be done to vehicles along the evacuation routes.
4. Manual direction of traffic will be supplemented by physical barriers that are adequately weighted and which are placed to channel traffic and prevent unnecessary turning and merging conflicts.
5. The movement of mobile homes and campers along evacuation routes will be banned after a hurricane warning is issued. A disabled mobile home could block the only escape route available. Such vehicles are difficult to handle late in an evacuation due to sporadic wind conditions.
6. Boat owners must be made aware of time requirements for moving or securing vessels. Optimally, industrial and recreational vessels should be moved to safe harbor during or before a hurricane watch.
7. Emergency Response to Accidents/Breakdowns - The intensity of traffic during a hurricane evacuation will always be accompanied by a certain number of traffic accidents and breakdowns. Although roadway shoulders are available for vehicles in distress, the movement of such vehicles to these areas is often difficult and disruptive. It is recommended that at least two traffic control personnel be positioned at each key roadway link/intersection so that one can assist disabled vehicles as needed. Two vehicles should also be positioned at each critical link to facilitate the removal of immobilized vehicles, however, as resources (two vehicles) are available.
8. Safe evacuation is predicated upon the movement of vehicles over critically low points on evacuation routes prior to the occurrence of flooding. Route blockages can happen prior to the arrival of a hurricane. Those roadways that historically experience flooding due to rainfall alone should be monitored for vehicle distress and help.'
'My daughter, her husband and their little baby managed to get out of the city ahead of the flood on Sunday, driving 14 hours into Texas with the few belongings they could stuff into their car. They have no idea what has become of their house and their possessions, not to mention their friends, their pets, their jobs, their way of life.
Tragedies happen, and my daughter and her family are happy just to be alive. Their losses and those of hundreds of thousands of other innocents deserve mourning, prayer and respect.
That is why the response of environmental extremists fills me with what only can be called disgust. They have decided to exploit the death and devastation to win support for the failed Kyoto Protocol, which requires massive cutbacks in energy use to reduce, by a few tenths of a degree, surface warming projected 100 years from now.
Katrina has nothing to do with global warming. Nothing. It has everything to do with the immense forces of nature that have been unleashed many, many times before and the inability of humans, even the most brilliant engineers, to tame these forces.
Giant hurricanes are rare, but they are not new. And they are not increasing. To the contrary. Just go to the website of the National Hurricane Center and check out a table that lists hurricanes by category and decade. The peak for major hurricanes (categories 3,4,5) came in the decades of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, when such storms averaged 9 per decade. In the 1960s, there were 6 such storms; in the 1970s, 4; in the 1980s, 5; in the 1990s, 5; and for 2001-04, there were 3. Category 4 and 5 storms were also more prevalent in the past than they are now. As for Category 5 storms, there have been only three since the 1850s: in the decades of the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s.
But that doesn't stop an enviro-predator like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. from writing on the Huffingtonpost website: "Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged. Our destructive addiction has given us a catastrophic war in the Middle East and - now -- Katrina is giving our nation a glimpse of the climate chaos we are bequeathing our children'
Nothing like some facts to get us through the bullshit the likes of RFK, Jr. spew out. Seems he and the left are not only on the blame Bush and those evil republicans for global warming, but he and they are still on that Blood for Oil kick. As for the charts mentioned, there are some Category 3, 4 and 5 storms that may not be listed. During the veryearly days of hurricane record keeping, storms that never came near land to be observed, would not be recorded. There are many, many factors invovled in the strengthing of hurricanes, not only warmer waters.
'The Kyoto advocates point to warmer ocean temperatures, but they ought to read their own favorite newspaper, The New York Times, which reported yesterday:
"Because hurricanes form over warm ocean water, it is easy to assume that the recent rise in their number and ferocity is because of global warming. But that is not the case, scientists say. Instead, the severity of hurricane seasons changes with cycles of temperatures of several decades in the Atlantic Ocean. The recent onslaught 'is very much natural,' said William M. Gray, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University who issues forecasts for the hurricane season.'"
An article on TCS quoted Gray last year as saying that, while some groups and individuals say that hurricane activity lately "may be in some way related to the effects of increased man-made greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide,…there is no reasonable scientific way that such an interpretation…can be made."
Indeed, there is no evidence that hurricanes are intensifying anyway. For the North Atlantic as a whole, according to the United Nations Environment Programme of the World Meteorological Organization: "Reliable data…since the 1940s indicate that the peak strength of the strongest hurricanes has not changed, and the mean maximum intensity of all hurricanes has decreased."
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
We will play all requests from those overseas, as well as play any audio files with messages for loved ones you send. Let me stress again, there is no profit or any money in this. It is simply a way for us here at home to spread a little happiness. - Sailor
Monday, August 29, 2005
'The following letter was written in response to a public "Die-In" held at the front gate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, this past April. Its author, Marc Fencil, would have been on campus at the time, but, as a Marine, he was stationed in Iraq. OU's official student publication, The Post, ran his letter on April 8, 2005. We were as inspired by his forthright invitation to the antiwar protestors as we are grateful for his service. If only every college student -- let alone professor -- were endowed with as much patriotism and common sense. -- The Editors.'
'To the editor:
It's a shame that I'm here in Iraq with the Marines right now and not back at Ohio University completing my senior year and joining in blissful ignorance with the enlightened, war-seasoned protesters who participated in the recent "die-in" at College Gate. It would appear that all the action is back home, but why don't we make sure? That's right, this is an open invitation for you to cut your hair, take a shower, get in shape and come on over! If Michael Moore can shave and lose enough weight to fit into a pair of camouflage utilities, then he can come too!
Make sure you all say your goodbyes to your loved ones though, because you won't be seeing them for at least the next nine months. You need to get here quick because I don't want you to miss a thing. You missed last month's discovery of a basement full of suicide vests from the former regime (I'm sure Saddam's henchmen just wore them because they were trendy though). You weren't here for the opening of a brand new school we built either. You might also notice women exercising their new freedom of walking to the market unaccompanied by their husbands.
There is a man here, we just call him al-Zarqawi, but we think he'd be delighted to sit down and give you some advice on how you can further disrespect the victims of Sept. 11 and the 1,600 of America's bravest who have laid down their lives for a safer world. Of course he'll still call you "infidel" but since you already agree that there is no real evil in the world, I see no reason for you to be afraid. Besides, didn't you say that radical Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance?
I'm warning you though -it's not going to be all fun and games over here. You might have bad dreams for the next several nights after you zip up the body bag over a friend's disfigured face. I know you think that nothing, even a world free of terror for one's children, is worth dying for, but bear with me here. We're going to live in conditions you've never dreamt about. You should get here soon though, because the temperatures are going to be over 130 degrees very soon and we will be carrying full combat loads (we're still going to work though). When it's all over, I promise you can go back to your coffee houses and preach about social justice and peace while you continue to live outside of reality.
If you decide to decline my offer, then at least you should sleep well tonight knowing that men wearing black facemasks and carrying AK-47s yelling "Allahu Akbar" over here are proud of you and are forever indebted to you for advancing their cause of terror. While you ponder this, I'll get back to the real "die-in" over here. I don't mind.
Marc Fencil, a senior majoring in political science, criminology and Spanish at Ohio University, is currently serving in Iraq. Send him an e-mail at mailto:email@example.com.'
'Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells: View from the ground
Much has been and continues to be accomplished in Iraq. It would be a mistake to withdraw.
Because I have been serving for nearly 18 months in Iraq, I have a greater sensitivity to the debate in the media about the war.
It seems it is an obligation that I should share a different perspective from what the media focus on. My views are not those of someone who has "visited" Baghdad for a few days, as some pundits have. I serve in the day-to-day, sometimes monotonous battle for freedom. As a simple grunt colonel, I don't have the power of the press, but I certainly have the power and responsibility to express my perspective and opinion.
So many of those writing negative stories about Iraq, have never left the safety and comfort of their own beds. Take some one like Frank Rich, for example. Here is a leftist drama critic who now fancies himself an expert on military and foreign affairs matters. He is totally clueless and really should stick to reveiwing plays. As far as I know, he has never stepped foot in Iraq.
I'm concerned by the recent wave of attacks on President Bush, Congress and others for going to war and, now, for pursuing it to a successful conclusion. Several factors seem to be contributing to the criticism, including the political motivation of the critics and the "instant news" in this shake-and-bake, ever-flattening world.
It has been nearly 28 months since Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
But insurgencies take years, not months, to overcome – and Iraq is different from your garden-variety insurgency. Most of the various enemies/opponents have no plans to govern, only plans to disrupt, create chaos and gain from that imbalance. Iraq is also different in that it serves as the battleground in a much larger war of worldwide terror.
Remember now, Sheehan and her leftist friends call these terrorists "freedom fighters". Natuarlly these same leftists do not consider this one of the battles in the larger war on terror. Some of them, like Fat Mikey Moore, claim there is no terrorist threat.
The tools of war are another factor in this insurgency. Our ability to concentrate the fight and limit fratricide and collateral damage continues to improve. This allows for fewer soldiers to do the job – but that has the effect of making this "someone else's war." Only 138,000 soldiers are serving in Iraq, which pales in comparison with, for example, Gen. John Pershing's command of 2 million soldiers in World War I.
The impact at home certainly pales as well. Folks back home seem more interested in the saga in Aruba than in the development of successful governance and essential services in place like Fallujah, Najaf and Sadr City.
The leftist media tried to portray Fallujah as victory for the terrorists, until they could no longer sustain that line because of the facts. So, you cannot expect them to show the turn around in Fallujah. After all, it would not fit with their quagmire rants.
I have been fighting alongside troops, diplomats and civilians from Iraq, Britain, Denmark and dozens of other nations. I am convinced we are like-minded in the just cause of this conflict. Seeing the combat from this side of the argument tends to bring some things into greater focus.
The naysayers continue to press the legitimacy of the war, but let me say that the legal aspects of this conflict are indeed just. There were and continue to be a just cause, the right intention and the legitimate authority to initiate and prosecute this conflict after a reasonable exhaustion of peaceful remedies. And there is a reasonable hope of success.
Some people attempt to fit the assumptions of 2005 into the questions of 2003. In doing so, they feel justified advocating that the U.S. abruptly withdraw from Iraq and leave the Iraqi people to fend for themselves. To do so plays into the terrorists' hands.
Iraqis are tired of the Baathist regime's – and now the terrorists' – use of torture, executions, rapes and bullying. They are in the good hands of competent Iraqi leaders who are marching forward in the face of intense adversity. It is we, as freedom-loving Americans, who should be shoulder to shoulder in supporting them.
Once again, these are the very some miscreants that Cindy Sheehan and her ilk, support as "freedom fighters". "Freedom fighters" do not intentionally target civilians, women and children, mosques, markets funerals or weddings. Terrorists do that. Murderers do that. These people that Cindy Sheehan is throwing her support behind, killed her son.
To do otherwise is less than honorable, panders to the terrorists and has slim legal underpinnings.
Col. Jimmie Jaye Wells is a long-time San Antonio resident, commander of the 208th Regional Support Group and a U.S. Army War College graduate. His current assignment is Deputy for Operations Support in the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His son is serving in the U.S. Army Reserves in Al Asad, Iraq. Col. Wells' e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.'
Sunday, August 28, 2005
' Countless numbers of illegal aliens pass through our Mexico borders every day. If a truck filled with migrant workers can pass undetected across the border between Mexico and the US, who's to say that al Qaeda can't easily sneak in terrorists and weapons. The fact is, they can, and they DO!
The Washington Times has noted the testimony of a Homeland Security Department official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding al Qaeda and America's southern border. The official told the committee:
"Several al Qaeda leaders believe operatives can pay their way into the country
through Mexico, and also believe illegal entry is more advantageous than legal entry for
operational security reasons."
In particular, the border between the U.S. and Mexico stands ready as a huge
"welcome mat" for terrorists, weapons, and equipment. It's time that someone
puts two and two together and sees that a real war on terror includes stopping
terrorists before they actually enter the country.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said there's "no secret" that al Qaeda will try
to get into America "by any means that they possibly can." Secretary Rice added,
"That's how they managed to do it before and they will do everything that they can to cross borders."
She noted that Americans should not be "alarmist" or "surprised" by this news, but should react to it.
I agree, and the best way to react to this information is to get serious about border security and put politics aside. Waging a real war on terror depends on us securing our borders. However, one of the primary problems in addressing border security is that it is immersed in the politically-charged, overall issue of illegal immigration. This predicament leads to many problems in dealing with border security because there are so many other questions involved:
What does America do with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the country?
What does America do to the employers who hire illegal workers?
Why does America promote a "guest worker" program on one hand, while fighting a war on terror on the other?
More roadblocks to a serious discussion about border security have been set up by traditional conservative publications like the Wall Street Journal and leaders such as Jack Kemp who have labeled those who support stricter controls on the border as "anti-immigrant" and racist.
It is a ridiculous notion that ILLEGAL immigration, and LEGAL immigration are the same thing. They are not! Anything that is “illegal” is against the law. Enforcing that which is “against the law” is certainly NOT racist or anti-immigrant.
Although it is true that in our nation’s history we have often looked the other way as hoardes of illegal aliens crossed the border into our country, in these frightening times of terrorism it would be a very foolish thing for us NOT to do everything possible to close our borders.'
Just one comment from me. If we are really serious about securing our borders, we must crackdown and crackdown hard on those who hire illegals. - Sailor
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
' Though newspapers around the country carried wire service stories of the Pentagon's Aug. 10 announcement, there wasn't a peep from The New York Times, The Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times on the subject.
Recruits in July totaled 109 percent of the Army's goal, the second straight month above target. In aggregate, the four services were 4 percent over (the Navy fell 1 percent short).
The Pentagon says the Army will still fall short for the fiscal year, and reserve components are still not signing up enough new members (though re-upping targets are being met by the National Guard units of the Army and Air Force). Still, the enlistments ought to prove that America's young men and women still believe in their country and its difficult mission in Iraq, despite all that Cindy Sheehan and her band of like-minded demonstrators can do.
The New York Post dug a little deeper than the bare-bones announcement. Every one of the Army's 10 combat divisions has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the fiscal year so far. The 1st Cavalry Division was at 136 percent; the 3rd Infantry Division at 117 percent. As author Ralph Peters noted, "This is unprecedented in wartime."'
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
'Cindy Sheehan, the so-called Peace Mom seeking a second meeting with President Bush in connection with the Iraq War death of her son, says terrorists killing Americans are "freedom fighters."
She made the remark during her trek earlier this month to Crawford, Texas; but her equating the enemy with freedom fighters has not been highlighted by the mainstream media, despite her telling it directly to a reporter for CBS News. '
'"You know that the president says Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism, don't you believe that?" asked Mark Knoller of CBS, surrounded by a host of other reporters.
"No, because it's not true," Sheehan replied. "You know Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean they're not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9-11, Iraq was not a terrorist state. But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open, freedom fighters from other countries are going in, and they [American troops] have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country. The terrorism is growing and people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their country."
I guess some one has not told Sheehan that Saddam harbored terrorist such as Abu Nidal, who was responsible for the murder of Leon Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer was an American, confined to a wheelchair, when he was murdered during the Achilli Lauro hijacking. Nor has any one infromed her that Saddam also paid a stipend to the families of suicide bombers. As for the killing of innocent civillians, Sheehan must be turning a blind eye to all of the suicide bombings of civilian targets in Iraq by her and Fat Mikey Moore's "freedom fighters".
Of course the leftist media has buried this. Remarks such as this would expose Sheehan not as a grieving mother, but as a tool of those that support these terrorists. - Sailor
Monday, August 22, 2005
Once again another group is going to have me using sailorish language. The International Freedom Center (IFC) is at it again. This time they are seriously considering taking advice from a global network of so called human rights groups to down play America at the 9/11 Memorial. What the fuck are these idiots thinking at the IFC? Last time a I looked, Ground Zero was in Lower Manhattan, not Bangladesh. So if these so called human rights groups and the IFC want to down play America, let them find another venue for their anti-American bullshit. Douglas Heiden reports on this outrage in his article.
'A global network of human rights museums is urging the International Freedom Center to downplay America in its exhibits and programs at Ground Zero, the Daily News has learned.
The outrageous request is the latest controversy to torment the Freedom Center, whose leaders have tried to dispel the perception that it would be a home for America bashers.
"Don't feature America first," the IFC has been advised by the consortium of 14 "museums of conscience" that quietly has been consulting with the Freedom Center for the past two years over plans for the hallowed site. "Think internationally, where America is one of the many nations of the world."'
Think internationally? Listen up, this attack was on American soil. This memorial is to remember the almost 3000 people murdered there, the vast majority, Americans. If you want to place your anti-American displays at Ground Zero, think again. Find another venue or quite frankly, you can shove your anti-American hogwash up your collective asses.
'Those words rang hollow with some 9/11 family members.
"I can't think of a greater insult than to invite museums from other countries of the world to come and exploit what should be America's memorial," said Jack Lynch, who helped carry the body of his firefighter son Michael, 30, out of the rubble.
"If you're going to explore slavery, the Holocaust or women's rights, you should do it at Chelsea Piers or on the East River waterfront - anywhere but Ground Zero," said Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles, 51, was the pilot of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
"After all, it was not slavery that caused the terrorists to attack us," said Burlingame, who has led the fight to bar the IFC.
Under fire from 9/11 family members and Gov. Pataki, the IFC on July 6 pronounced itself proudly patriotic, vowed never to "blame America" and said it would celebrate the nation's "leading role in the global fight for freedom."
In April, however, the Freedom Center said on its Web site and newsletter that it had "drawn inspiration" and received "important practical advice" from the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.'
I have some advice for Gov. Pataki and all of New York's elected officials. Tell the IFC to pack it's bags and find another site for their exhibits and set up a new group to plan out the 9/11 Memorial.
Here is an excerpt from a New York Daily News editorial on this matter:
'The International Freedom Center, which proposes to run a museum at Ground Zero, announced in April that it has "drawn inspiration and received some important practical advice" from a group of so-called museums of conscience around the world.
The IFC's organizers have also cited plans to host exhibitions by members of the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience as a reason why the Freedom Center would be a perfect fit for the hallowed ground where 2,749 people were murdered. To which we can only say that IFC leaders Tom Bernstein and Richard Tofel must be nuts. The advice the coalition gave them is neither inspirational nor practical. It is pure anti-American hogwash.
The coalition's wisdom, as spelled out in its 2004 annual report, begins by expressing concern about how religious Muslims would view the Freedom Center and climaxes by offering Bernstein, Tofel & Co. an offensive prescription: "Don't put America first." The coalition also worries that "the average Bangladeshi" feels "his/her human rights have been violated by the U.S." Come again? Exhibits on what amounts to a mass grave of slaughtered Americans will be decided by what the average Bangladeshi feels? Not bloody likely.
Consider this, too: "The Freedom Center is a caricature of the typical American response to everything (telling every story from an American viewpoint)." Exactly what viewpoint is an American museum on American soil marking an American tragedy supposed to express? Oh, right. Bangladeshi.'
It is high time that the IFC is given the old boondocker in the ass and thrown out of the door. You can help make this happen. Be sure to sign the "Take Back the Memorial" petition. You can also demand that your elected Federal officials demand the same thing. Federal monies are also involved in the creation of the 9/11 Memorial. Let's all support Debra Burlingame in her fight to see that the 9/11 Memorial is a fitting tribute to those that were murdered on 9/11 and not just another Bash America venue. - Sailor
Thursday, August 18, 2005
'REVIEW & OUTLOOK
She Does Not Speak for Me
My son died in Iraq--and it was not in vain.
BY RONALD R. GRIFFIN
Thursday, August 18, 2005 12:01 a.m.
I lost a son in Iraq and Cindy Sheehan does not speak for me.
I grieve with Mrs. Sheehan, for all too well I know the full measure of the agony she is forever going to endure. I honor her son for his service and sacrifice. However, I abhor all that she represents and those who would cast her as the symbol for parents of our fallen soldiers.
The fallen heroes, until now, have enjoyed virtually no individuality. They have been treated as a monolith, a mere number. Now Mrs. Sheehan, with adept public relations tactics, has succeeded in elevating herself above the rest of us. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida declared that Mrs. Sheehan is now the symbol for all parents who have lost children in Iraq. Sorry, senator. Not for me.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times portrays Mrs. Sheehan as a distraught mom standing heroically outside the guarded gates of the most powerful and inhumane man on earth, President Bush. Ms. Dowd is so moved by Mrs. Sheehan's plight that she bestowed upon her and all grieving parents the title of "absolute moral authority." That characterization epitomizes the arrogance and condescension of anyone who would presume to understand and speak for all of us. How can we all possess "absolute moral authority" when we hold so many different perspectives?
I don't want that title. I haven't earned that title.
Although we all walk the same sad road of sorrow and agony, we walk it as individuals with all the refreshing uniqueness of our own thoughts shaped in large measure by the life and death of our own fallen hero. Over the past few days I have reached out to other parents and loved ones of fallen heroes in an attempt to find out their reactions to all the attention Mrs. Sheehan has attracted. What emerges from those conversations is an empathy for Mrs. Sheehan's suffering but a fundamental disagreement with her politics.
Ann and Dale Hampton lost their only child, Capt. Kimberly Hampton, on Jan. 2, 2004, while she was flying her Kiowa helicopter. She was a member of the 82nd Airborne and the company commander. She had already served in Afghanistan before being deployed to Iraq. Ann Hampton wrote, "My grief sometimes seems unbearable, but I cannot add the additional baggage of anger. Mrs. Sheehan has every right to protest . . . but I cannot do that. I would be protesting the very thing that Kimberly believed in and died for."
Marine Capt. Benjamin Sammis was Stacey Sammis's husband. Ben died on April 4, 2003, while flying his Super Cobra helicopter. Listen to Stacey and she will tell you that she is just beginning to understand the enormousness of the character of soldiers who knowingly put their lives at risk to defend our country. She will tell you that one of her deepest regrets is that the world did not have the honor of experiencing for a much longer time this outstanding Marine she so deeply loved.
Speak to Joan Curtin, whose son, Cpl. Michael Curtin, was an infantryman with the 2-7th 3rd ID, and her words are passionately ambivalent. She says she has no room for bitterness. She has a life to lead and a family to nurture. She spoke of that part of her that never heals, for that is where Michael resides. She can go on, always knowing there will be that pain.
Karen Long is the mother of Spc. Zachariah Long, who died with my son Kyle on May 30, 2003. Zack and Kyle were inseparable friends as only soldiers can be, and Karen and I have become inseparable friends since their deaths. Karen's view is that what Mrs. Sheehan is doing she has every right to do, but she is dishonoring all soldiers, including Karen's son, Zack. Karen cannot comprehend why Mrs. Sheehan cannot seem to come to grips with the idea that her own son, Casey, was a soldier like Zack who had a mission to complete. Karen will tell you over and over again that Zack is not here and no one, but no one will dishonor her son.
My wife, Robin, has a different take on Mrs. Sheehan. She told me, "I don't care what she says or does. She is no more important than any other mother."
By all accounts Spc. Casey Sheehan, Mrs. Sheehan's son, was a soldier by choice and by the strength of his character. I did not have the honor of knowing him, but I have read that he attended community college for three years and then chose to join the Army. In August 2003, five months into Operation Iraqi Freedom and after three years of service, Casey Sheehan re-enlisted in the Army with the full knowledge there was a war going on, and with the high probability he would be assigned to a combat area. Mrs. Sheehan frequently speaks of her son in religious terms, even saying that she thought that some day Casey would be a priest. Like so many of the individuals who have given their lives in service to our country, Casey was a very special young man. How do you decry that which someone has chosen to do with his life? How does a mother dishonor the sacrifice of her own son?
Mrs. Sheehan has become the poster child for all the negativity surrounding the war in Iraq. In a way it heartens me to have all this attention paid to her, because that means others in her position now have the chance to be heard. Give equal time to other loved ones of fallen heroes. Feel the intensity of their love, their pride and the sorrow.
To many loved ones, there are few if any "what ifs." They, like their fallen heroes before them, live in the world as it is and not what it was or could have been. Think of the sacrifices that have brought us to this day. We as a country made a collective decision. We must now live up to our decision and not deviate until the mission is complete.
Thirty-five years ago, a president faced a similar dilemma in Vietnam. He gave in and we got "peace with honor." To this day, I am still searching for that honor. Today, those who defend our freedom every day do so as volunteers with a clear and certain purpose. Today, they have in their commander in chief someone who will not allow us to sink into self-pity. I will not allow him to. The amazing part about talking to the people left behind is that I did not want them to stop. After speaking to so many I have come away with the certainty of their conviction that in a large measure it's because of the deeds and sacrifices of their fallen heroes that this is a better and safer world we now live in.
Those who lost their lives believed in the mission. To honor their memory, and because it's right, we must believe in the mission, too.
We refuse to allow Cindy Sheehan to speak for all of us. Instead, we ask you to learn the individual stories. They are glorious. Honor their memories.
Honor their service. Never dishonor them by giving in. They never did.
Mr. Griffin is the father of Spc. Kyle Andrew Griffin, a recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star, who was killed in a truck accident on a road between Mosul and Tikrit on May 30, 2003.
'Families of the 9/11 victims have been rocked by revelations that the elite military intelligence unit Able Danger had identified four hijackers more than a year before the attacks — but were blocked by Pentagon lawyers from sharing their information with the FBI.
A coalition of family members known as the Sept. 11 Advocates blasted 9/11 commission leaders Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton for pooh-poohing Able Danger's findings last week as not "historically significant."
"They somehow made a determination that this was not important enough. To me, that says somebody there is not using good judgment. And if I'm questioning the judgment in this one case, what other things might they have missed?" Mindy Kleinberg, a member of the Sept. 11 Advocates, told The Post.
"I don't think you can understate the significance here. You're talking about the four lead hijackers. If we shared information and did surveillance on them, there is no telling what we could have uncovered and what we could have thwarted.
"I think we do need a new commission, and that's really sad."'
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
'August 17, 2005 -- The Uniformed Firefighters Association's decision yesterday to withdraw support for the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, citing two controversial museums proposed there, may have ended the threat of institutionalized activism at Ground Zero.
Good for the UFA.
The union's "membership and our 9/11 families believe that the memorial design will take away from the memory and sacrifice of the firefighters who bravely gave their lives during the most horrific terrorist attacks our country has had to face," UFA President Steve Cassidy said.'
'Plus, folks all over have joined the movement; 40,000 have signed its petition. (Indeed, grassroots America is taking note: Today, the tiny town of Anthony, Kan., will join in a "Take Back the Memorial" rally. Way to go, Anthony!)
At home, three local congressmen have threatened to work to bar federal funding for the memorial. Philanthropists, too, are balking — as Whitehead relentlessly reminds everyone.
So it's hardly just Burlingame and family members. And now add the UFA, representing 22,000 firefighters and wielding exquisite moral authority, as a foe.
Ironically, the Times, for all its personal vitriol toward Burlingame, essentially admitted she's right: that a chief concern is that the center will be "a place where people engage in free speech."
Now, three cheers for "free speech."
But there's a place for unfettered, raucous, rollicking, disrespectful-for-effect political debate — and that place, purely and simply, is not at the Ground Zero memorial.
To be sure, the Times got one thing right yesterday: It decried Pataki's lack of strong leadership regarding the two museums. He should have pulled the plug on them weeks ago.
So here's hoping the UFA's announcement will give him the cover he apparently feels he needs to do the right thing.
Which is to exorcise the IFC and the Drawing Center from Ground Zero, once and for all.'
You can help, sign the "Take Back the Memorial" petition. If you can, plan on attending the "Take Back the Memorial" rally on 10 September 2005 in New York City, at the corners of Church and Liberty Streets, from 9:30am to 10:30am, rain or shine. If you cannot attend, send an e-mail to email@example.com. Stand up and be counted!
Just a note to the NY Times, your continued trashing of Debra Burlingame, is just another indication of how you believe that free speech is only the right of the left. - Sailor
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
'Recent revelations about covert "Able Danger" operations are forcing certain people to deal with subjects that they had thought swept under the rug. Despite apparent attempts to conceal the fact, the 9/11 Commission has had to admit it was informed that government agents knew of Mohammed Atta's affiliation with al-Qaeda two years before 9/11, that Clinton-era policies prevented intelligence officials from sharing that information with the FBI, that the amended time frame would allow Mohammed Atta to have made contacts with Iraqi intelligence, and -- most damningly -- that it kept all this out of its final report.
Rep. Curt Weldon, R-PA, has done praiseworthy work in drawing attention to the recently released "Able Danger" report. Former CIA operative and terrorism expert Wayne Simmons has described the "Able Danger" operation as "one of our best covert operations" run by the intelligence community. The operation, he continues, was expert at "using open source intelligence," including data mining techniques, "to locate and identify Islamic terrorists," specifically al-Qaeda operatives in the United States. This operation identified 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta and three of his fellow hijackers as members of an al-Qaeda cell located in New code named (and codenamed "Brooklyn") in 1999. We can only surmise that a gold mine of information lies yet unrevealed.'
'Faced with these revelations, commissioners first claimed Rep. Weldon was not telling the truth, that the 9/11 Commission had never been presented with this vital information. Early last week, commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said, "The name 'Atta' or a terrorist cell would have gone to the top of the radar screen if it had been mentioned." Former Congressman and commissioner Lee Hamilton, D-IN, echoed Felzenberg, saying last Monday: "The September 11 commission did not learn of any U.S. government knowledge prior to 9/11 of surveillance of Mohammed Atta or of his cell. Had we learned of it obviously it would've been a major focus of our investigation." The New York Times notes that just a few days later, "Mr. Felzenberg said the uniformed officer who briefed two staff members in July 2004 had indeed mentioned Mr. Atta." Hamilton, too, quickly "readjusted" his initial comments to admit that, indeed, the commissioners heard of Atta after all. Felzenberg acknowledged the commission had been briefed on this information but rejected the testimony of a uniformed officer on the grounds that his evidence did not match their preconceived timeline; it indicates Atta was active from February-April 2000, whereas the commission believed Atta entered the United States for the first time that June.
There are several factors -- none flattering to the Commission -- that might explain this appalling lapse. John Podhoretz neatly summaries them: "So was the [9/11 Commission] staff a) protecting the Atta timeline or b) Jamie Gorelick or c) the Clinton administration or d) itself, because it got hold of the information relatively late and the staff was lazy?"'
'And here we get to the crux of the matter. The movements of Atta prior to the terrorist attack as detailed by "Able Danger," if acknowledged, would support statements by the Czech Republic that link Atta, and hence the al-Qaeda attack on America, irrefutably to Saddam's covert intelligence operatives. This is something that surfaced shortly after 9/11. A former Czech deputy foreign minister, later ambassador to the UN, gave statements that he personally expelled a high raking Iraqi embassy official in Prague for being a covert foreign intelligence agent after the latter was discovered to have met with Mohammed Atta in the international lounge at the Prague airport in August 2001. There the Iraqi transferred a large amount of cash to Atta, sufficient to fund the completion of the September 11 attack. Despite cruel pressure from mainstream media, the hard Left, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA, the Czechs insisted that their report was correct. Former Congressman John LeBoutellier was furious at the Bush administration for bowing to CIA pressure to discount the Czech report because it verified a vital deadly connection within the covert terrorist community. Now it appears as if the Czechs -- and those who supported their account -- were right.
This Atta-Iraqi meeting did not track well with some of the 9/11 Commission's pre-ordained agenda and had to be firmly discounted. They were able to accomplish this through a lame credit card receipt that could have been signed by any of Atta's cell. But a report with the weight of the Department of Defense and highly credible intelligence operatives behind it would expose the flimsy nature of the evidence that Atta was in the States. Hence, as Flzenberg said, with unflappable arrogance, "if we missed anything we will say so, but we doubt that we did." '
'This inaction seemed to fall into line with the Clinton administration's general disregard for terrorism. Although the discredited former National Security Council staffer Richard Clarke presented President Clinton as an anti-terrorism warrior, former intelligence officer Ralph Peters tells a much different story. "Admitting that [terrorist] threats were real, threatened to destroy the belief system the Clintonites had carried into office," Peters detailed. In regards to the entire terrorist network, methodology, and ideology, the Clintons were "a textbook case of denial." It was bad enough, as the "Able Danger" reports indicate, that the Clintons were willfully ignorant of the threat but their criminal negligence was compounded by a sleazy attempt to pass the buck on the Bush administration. Bill Clinton never made any serious retaliation for any of these provocations, nor the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, emboldening these terrorists, assuring through his "intelligence wall" that 9/11 terrorists could not be properly identified and apprehended, and passing the blame for the inevitable outcome of his policies to the nascent Bush administration.
If there was, in fact, covert direction from the top of the Commission to key members of its staff to cloak any link between Saddam and the September 11 attacks, to obfuscate evidence tying the Iraqi regime to al-Qaeda and Mohammed Atta, and to paint the most positive possible picture of the Clintons as implacable terror-warriors, then "Able Danger" had to be ignored and covered up. It fits the pattern of revisionist historical interpretations that seems to be the only authentic legacy from the Clinton years. Further, in Washington staffers tell their bosses what the latter want to hear. They are not rewarded for initiative. As Peters says, when told to think outside the box by a superior, a subordinate knows his job is to "come back with fresh reasons why the in-house position was right all along."
By acknowledging the Iraq/al-Qaeda ties, not only to terrorism in general but to the September 11 attack, the war becomes completely justifiable as exactly what the Bush administration claimed it was: a defensive, if preemptive, war to protect the United States from a regime with cordial ties to anti-American terrorists. This outcome is so repugnant to the hard Left that it will justify even the most extraordinary suppression of evidence or promulgation of an outright lie in order to achieve its ends.
This is a critically important story that demands public attention. It will not be seriously investigated by many reporters, because the mainstream (read: leftist) media is not interested in exposing how its favorite president in decades enabled terrorists to pull off the worse act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. '
All in all, this commentary raises some serious allegations, allegations that need the full light of public scrutiny. This is a must read! - Sailor
Sunday, August 14, 2005
'The report of the 9/11 commission, once a best seller and hailed by the news media as the definitive word on the subject, must now be moved to the fiction shelves.
The commission concluded, you'll recall, that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon couldn't have been prevented, and that if there was negligence, it was as much the fault of the Bush administration (for moving slowly on the recommendations of Clinton counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke) as of the Clinton administration.
Able Danger has changed all of that.
Able Danger was a military intelligence unit set up by Special Operations Command in 1999. A year before the 9/11 attacks, Able Danger identified hijack leader Mohamed Atta and the other members of his cell. But Clinton administration officials stopped them -- three times -- from sharing this information with the FBI.
The problem was the order Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick made forbidding intelligence operatives from sharing information with criminal investigators. (Gorelick later served as a 9/11 commission member.)
"They were stopped because the lawyers at that time in 2000 told them Mohamed Atta had a green card" -- he didn't -- "and they could not go after someone with a green card," said Rep. Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania Republican who brought the existence of Able Danger to light.'
'It was in October 2003 that Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger stole classified documents from the National Archives and destroyed some. Berger allegedly was studying documents in the archives to help prepare Clinton officials to testify before the 9/11 commission. Was he removing references to Able Danger? Someone should ask him before he is sentenced next month.
After having first denied that staff had been briefed on Able Danger, commission spokesman Al Felzenberg said no reference was made to it in the final report because "it was not consistent with what the commission knew about Atta's whereabouts before the attacks," the AP reported.
The only dispute over Atta's whereabouts is whether he was in Prague on April 9, 2001, to meet with Samir al Ani, an Iraqi intelligence officer. Czech intelligence insists he was. Able Danger, apparently, had information supporting the Czechs.
The CIA, and the 9/11 commission, say Atta wasn't in Prague April 9, 2001, because his cell phone was used in Florida that day. But there is no evidence of who used the phone. Atta could have lent it to a confederate. (It wouldn't have worked in Europe anyway.)'