Author: BooMan


[title changed at Galiel’s request]

I banned Galiel.

He was specifically banned for breach of trust.  But I hope it’s obvious that I made a serious effort to allow him to discuss his disagreement with my policies, and to accommodate his personality.

I have received 14 separate emails urging me to ban him.  I have received two emails where the sender claimed to have banned him personally from their site in the past.

I understand Galiel has his supporters, and he always raised legitimate arguments.  So, if anyone wants to talk about the points he raised or register their dissatisfaction with his banishment, do it here.

I did not want to ban him.  But I felt he left me no choice.

Saturday Night Open Thread

“It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.”

-Bush in Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

HOTLIST ENABLED and some other changes

I never used HOTLIST at dKos. Let me know if it is working right.

Also, on the top menu there is a new box called ‘Recent Comments’. It will show you the last 10 comments made on the site. That way you know who’s posting and where.

It replaces the box to look at your own comments. That can be done by clicking on the hyperlink in your userbox.

And I don’t think you can recommend your own diaries anymore.

An Officer in Iraq

I would like to welcome Lieutenant C to the site.

He is stationed in Iraq. He has self-identified himself as a Republican, and has offered to answer questions, either here, or by email:

Please remember he is an officer, and treat him with the utmost respect.

Ask him a question and he’ll try to respond when he has the chance. Bookmark this thread to make sure you get his responses.

Latest Outrage: Smearing a Journalist

William Arkin is a former Army intelligence analyst and consultant, who has written extensively about military affairs, including columns in the Washington Post, and has recently published the book: Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World.

Someone is out to get him.

A purported Defense Intelligence Agency cable, leaked to the Washington Times, states: “preliminary reporting . . . indicates possible US citizen William Arkin received monthly stipend for period 1994-1998 to report on quote United Nations Special Commission activities unquote. Entry in SSO [special security organization] ledger captured in Baghdad, no additional information.”

In other words, the cable accuses Arkin of having been an intelligence asset in Saddam Hussein’s employ.

Howard Kurtz reports:

Arkin said he did look into the U.N. operation known as UNSCOM, but as a consultant to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. “Someone who put this together obviously tried to make it plausible enough to do harm and endanger me,” he said. Arkin found, and U.S. officials later confirmed, that the Clinton administration had eavesdropped on Iraqi communications through equipment carried by UNSCOM weapons inspectors.

The purported cable also says that “CIA exploitation of Source 8230 from Office of President SH confirms Arkin traveled to Baghdad February 1998 and November 1998 to provide information about UNSCOM plans and to discuss Desert Fox targeting,” a reference to the 1998 U.S. bombing of Iraq. Arkin said he did not visit Iraq in 1998.

At the Defense Department, spokesman Bryan Whitman said: “The Pentagon has looked into this and does not believe the document to be authentic.” Larry DiRita, the department’s chief spokesman, added that “we certainly appreciated the fact that the journalist who had it in his possession took the time to seek a better understanding of it before filing a story on it.”

Arkin cited several technical reasons why the cable is fake, mainly having to do with military addresses and abbreviations, and a reference to “proctor canular procedures.” Canular, he discovered through a Google translation service, means hoax in French.

In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Arkin said: “I am extremely concerned that someone familiar with Defense Department classified reporting has forged this document and given it to the press in the hope that it would be reported as genuine. Such an action raises deeply troubling questions about the integrity of the department’s processes and raises the possibility of an organized effort to intimidate me as a journalist.”
Washington Post

Despite the fact that the Pentagon has someone using its resources to intimidate an American journalist, the Pentagon is remarkably unconcerned:

The prospects of an internal investigation to find the culprit are “not likely”, DeRita said, “it is probably not possible to determine the source of such a matter, and I am unaware of any involvement in it by someone inside the department that would warrant a further look.”

I encourage everyone to raise hell about this. This is an even more brazen stonewall than the administration’s ostensible approach to the Valerie Plame affair. At least Bush pretended to want answers to who leaked Plame’s name:

BUSH: Listen, I know of nobody — I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action. And this investigation is a good thing.

And again I repeat, you know, Washington is a town where there’s all kinds of allegations. You’ve heard much of the allegations. And if people have got solid information, please come forward with it. And that would be people inside the information who are the so-called anonymous sources, or people outside the information — outside the administration. And we can clarify this thing very quickly if people who have got solid evidence would come forward and speak out. And I would hope they would.

Now they are not even pretending.

Frivolous Friday: 20 Years Ago: How much has changed?

Twenty years ago we were engaged in a secret illegal war in Central America, and a secret legal one in Afghanistan.  There are a lot of things that haven’t changed in the intervening years (and a lot more that changed, and then changed back).  So, here’s a trip down memory lane courtesy of the peerless original ‘paper’ blogger: Paul Slansky’s The Clothes Have No Emperor.

March 1985: In Which the President Shows How Much He’s Forgotten About the American Revolution

3/1 Desperate to win Contra aid, President Reagan says the Nicaraguan rebels are “the moral equal of our Founding Fathers.”  Historical novelist Howard Fast calls this “an explosion of such incredible ignorance that…he is not fit for public office of any kind.”

3/6 “Nuclear war would be the greatest tragedy, I think, ever experienced by mankind in the history of mankind.” -President Reagan demonstrating his awareness of just how serious it would be if he pushed the button.

Geraldine Ferraro’s Diet Pepsi ad- for which she is reported to have been paid over $500,000- premieres on The Fall Guy.

More on the flip:

Another Give Each Other Mojo Thread

“They said, ‘You know, this issue doesn’t seem to resignate with the people.’ And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn’t matter to me, because I stand for doing what’s the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work.”

-Dubya in Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 2000

The fact that the Bush administration is criminal in nature doesn’t seem to resignate with the people either.

Perhaps some mojo will resignate with you all.