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Holder’s Hidden Agenda, cont’d . . . – Andy McCarthy – The Corner on National Review Online

Holder’s Hidden Agenda, cont’d . . . – Andy McCarthy – The Corner on National Review Online.

 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holder’s Hidden Agenda, cont’d . . .   [Andy McCarthy]

This summer, I theorized that Attorney General Eric Holder — and his boss — had a hidden agenda in ordering a re-investigation of the CIA for six-year-old alleged interrogation excesses that had already been scrutinized by non-partisan DOJ prosecutors who had found no basis for prosecution. The continuing investigations of Bush-era counterterrorism policies (i.e., the policies that kept us safe from more domestic terror attacks), coupled with the Holder Justice Department’s obsession to disclose classified national-defense information from that period, enable Holder to give the hard Left the “reckoning” that he and Obama promised during the 2008 campaign. It would be too politically explosive for Obama/Holder to do the dirty work of charging Bush administration officials; but as new revelations from investigations and declassifications are churned out, Leftist lawyers use them to urge European and international tribunals to bring “torture” and “war crimes” indictments. Thus, administration cooperation gives Obama’s base the reckoning it demands but Obama gets to deny responsibility for any actual prosecutions.

Today’s announcement that KSM and other top al-Qaeda terrorists will be transferred to Manhattan federal court for civilian trials neatly fits this hidden agenda. Nothing results in more disclosures of government intelligence than civilian trials. They are a banquet of information, not just at the discovery stage but in the trial process itself, where witnesses — intelligence sources — must expose themselves and their secrets.

Let’s take stock of where we are at this point. KSM and his confederates wanted to plead guilty and have their martyrs’ execution last December, when they were being handled by military commission. As I said at the time, we could and should have accommodated them. The Obama administration could still accommodate them. After all, the president has not pulled the plug on all military commissions: Holder is going to announce at least one commission trial (for Nashiri, the Cole bomber) today.

Moreover, KSM has no defense. He was under American indictment for terrorism for years before there ever was a 9/11, and he can’t help himself but brag about the atrocities he and his fellow barbarians have carried out.

So: We are now going to have a trial that never had to happen for defendants who have no defense. And when defendants have no defense for their own actions, there is only one thing for their lawyers to do: put the government on trial in hopes of getting the jury (and the media) spun up over government errors, abuses and incompetence. That is what is going to happen in the trial of KSM et al. It will be a soapbox for al-Qaeda’s case against America. Since that will be their “defense,” the defendants will demand every bit of information they can get about interrogations, renditions, secret prisons, undercover operations targeting Muslims and mosques, etc., and — depending on what judge catches the case — they are likely to be given a lot of it. The administration will be able to claim that the judge, not the administration, is responsible for the exposure of our defense secrets. And the circus will be played out for all to see — in the middle of the war. It will provide endless fodder for the transnational Left to press its case that actions taken in America’s defense are violations of international law that must be addressed by foreign courts. And the intelligence bounty will make our enemies more efficient at killing us.

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Washington “Shall” Control Your Healthcare…Thank you David Harsanyi…great piece

Washington ‘Shall’ Control Your Healthcare.

 

Washington ‘Shall’ Control Your Healthcare

By David Harsanyi

The King James version of the Bible runs more than 600 pages and is crammed with celestial regulations. Newton’s Principia Mathematica distilled many of the rules of physics in a mere 974 pages.

Neither have anything on Nancy Pelosi’s new fiendishly entertaining health-care opus, which tops 1,900 pages.

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David Harsanyi

Health care

 

 

RealClearPolitics

So curl up by a fire with a fifth of whiskey and just dive in.

But drink quickly. In the new world, your insurance choices will be tethered to decisions made by people with Orwellian titles (“1984” was only 268 pages!) like the “Health Choices Commissioner” or “Inspector General for the Health Choices Administration.”

You will, of course, need to be plastered to buy Pelosi’s fantastical proposition that 450,000 words of new regulations, rules, mandates, penalties, price controls, taxes and bureaucracy will have the transformative power to “provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending . . . .”

It’s going to take some time to deconstruct this lengthy masterpiece, but as you flip through the pages of the House bill, you will notice the word “regulation” appears 181 times. “Tax” is there 214 times. “Fees,” 103 times. As we all know, nothing says “affordability” like higher taxes and fees.

The word “shall” – as in “must” or “required to” – appears over 3,000 times. The word, alas, is never preceded by the patriotic phrase “mind our own freaking business.” Not once.

To vote for the bill, a legislator must believe a $1 trillion price tag is “revenue neutral,” or that it alleviates any of the pain higher costs bring to the average American. This would require alcohol.

Real competition, as far as anyone can tell, is antithetical to the authors of this bill. Remember, you can purchase oranges from Florida and whiskey from Kentucky, yet you’re prohibited from buying health insurance from anywhere outside your state . . . so sayeth Nancy Pelosi.

Instead of creating a new market with interstate trade, what we get is the institution of the pleasant-sounding “Health Insurance Exchange,” which exists, it seems, only to accommodate a non-competitive, government-run insurance option.

Now, finding a name for a state-run program without offending the lingering capitalistic sensibilities of bourgeoisie has been problematic. So Pelosi went with the innocuous “consumer option” – known for a fleeting moment as the “competitive option” and popularly as the “public option.” Whatever your preference is, it’s the option that leads to a single-payer insurance program.

Democrats say we can save billions by funding a plan that uses billions of wasted tax dollars from another public plan that we already supplement with billions. Make sense?

In actuality, we pay for all this by “cost sharing,” or “sharing the cost” of insuring everyone through higher prices and taxes. But no fear. The legislation taxes “the rich.” The bill doesn’t index the tax to inflation so more of you will be on the hook as inflation rises due to the tragically irresponsible behavior of Congress and the White House. The rich – many of them small-business owners – are already set to see their rates go up in 2010.

Hey, who needs those jerks to create real jobs when we have Washington pretending to do it?

All of this, as Madame Speaker says, constitutes a “a historic moment for our nation and families.” True. No legislation in modern American history compares when in comes to injecting itself into the everyday decisions of the citizen.

And few can compete with its deception. The bill’s intentions are cloaked in euphemisms and it is teeming with ulterior motives, all cobbled together in closed-door meetings where industry payoffs are offered using taxpayer dollars to facilitate a power grab of unprecedented cost.

All of it, rolled right into a neat 1,900 pages.

Reach columnist David Harsanyi at dharsanyi@denverpost.com.

Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

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The Gathering Storm

September 13, 2009
The Gathering Storm
By David Warren

Today is the eighth anniversary of the day after 9/11. This newspaper being an artifact of modern printing, I am of course filing this column on the anniversary of the day itself. In my first column on the terror attacks, written on the day, for the day after, I quoted Rudyard Kipling:

“Our world has passed away, / In wantonness o’er-thrown. / There is nothing left today, / But steel and fire and stone.”

It is from a poem written at the outset of the First World War. Kipling was prophetic.

That poem begins (and is entitled) For All We Have and Are. It was quite frankly a call to arms, such that the line immediately preceding the passage I quoted reads: “The Hun is at the gate.” It tells Englishmen they are now at war, that they must stand and fight, and that even if everything dear to them is lost, the old Commandments stand. “In courage keep your heart, / In strength lift up your hand.”

So far so “war-mongering,” and I am perfectly aware that far fewer of my own contemporaries have the stomach for this kind of instruction, than had Kipling’s. Part of the reason is our taught memory of that First World War. It has been presented in our schoolbooks as a great waste of lives.

It was not. The challenge to Europe of Prussian militarism was not an illusion. Germany’s bid for the mastery of Europe was faced down, at terrible cost in human lives, exacerbated to be sure by terrible mistakes on the battlefields. We judge the generals only in smug hindsight, however.

The real, excruciating tragedy was that Germany, after the rise of Hitler, had to be defeated again. We’re taught, falsely, to blame the “mistakes of Versailles.” The implied lesson — that we must never again impose such harsh reparations on a defeated enemy — is nearly the opposite of the one we should have taken away.

The mistake we actually made was not pursuing that war to its conclusion, with a full invasion of Germany, to obtain an unconditional surrender. Such an invasion would have visited reciprocally on the people of Germany the experience of the people of France: the total violation of their security and dignity by German invaders; the humiliation that contributed to the pusillanimity of France in the next generation.

Germans were left with the possibility of believing that they hadn’t really lost the war, that they had been somehow cheated at Versailles, that in the upshot of their military aggression they were somehow victims not perpetrators; that scores remained to be settled.

This is precisely what made the Hitler phenomenon possible in Germany. And it was the bitter experience of 1945 — the unconditional surrender of Germany, in the ruins of Berlin — that ultimately cleansed the German nation of militarist ambitions.

The Second World War was the unfinished business of the First World War; just as in our own time the second Iraq War was the unfinished business of the first.

Again: I know that most of my readers will flinch from such an assessment. This is the flinch that has made it impossible to pursue the unfinished business of 9/11. We have dawdled bloodily and painfully in Afghanistan and Iraq, to no foreseeable conclusion. The forces of Islamist chauvinism have not been defeated. They have instead revived, in Iran, Syria, Libya, and many other Middle Eastern nations, cowed at first by the sight of American arms. Even the Taliban have revived, to threaten Pakistan as well as Afghanistan, in the end thanks to our own pulled punches.

It is much worse than that. We have the spectacle of open co-operation between enemies of the West across ideological boundaries. We see this in the alliance between Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela and Ahmadinejad’s Iran; in constant significant diplomatic exchanges between all the enemies of the U.S.; in renewed Russian and Chinese malice.

And when we turn to the United States itself, we have the spectacle of the Obama administration, now seeking to prosecute the very people — very decent people so far as I have met them myself — who had the unwelcome job of protecting Americans from fresh domestic terror strikes. We have innumerable signals of apology and weakness from the same administration on almost every international front. And this further compounded by many naïve acts of economic self-immolation, from the extravagant bailout schemes to massively bureaucratic “health-care reform.”

The U.S. is once again shrinking its military, and piling up debt — the latter on an unprecedented scale. America’s allies have meanwhile shirked their own responsibilities, leaving the U.S. to carry all bags, first in Iraq and soon in Afghanistan.

We are courting catastrophe on a scale vastly larger than 9/11.

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/09/13/the_gathering_storm_98290.html at September 15, 2009 – 07:09:59 AM CDT

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What Obama Says vs. What He Does

September 8, 2009
What Obama Says vs. What He Does
By Thomas Sowell

The most important thing about what anyone says are not the words themselves but the credibility of the person who says them.

The words of convicted swindler Bernie Madoff were apparently quite convincing to many people who were regarded as knowledgeable and sophisticated. If you go by words, you can be led into anything.

No doubt millions of people will be listening to the words of President Barack Obama Wednesday night when he makes a televised address to a joint session of Congress on his medical care plans. But, if they think that the words he says are what matters, they can be led into something much worse than being swindled out of their money.

One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation’s medical care before the August recess– for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years– more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?

If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next Presidential election?

If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don’t we have time to go through the normal process of holding Congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions? What sense does it make to “hurry up and wait” on something that is literally a matter of life and death?

If we do not believe that the President is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it.

Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be.

Unfortunately, this way of doing things is all too typical of the way this administration has acted on a wide range of issues.

Consider the “stimulus” legislation. Here the administration was successful in rushing a massive spending bill through Congress in just two days– after which it sat on the President’s desk for three days, while he was away on vacation. But, like the medical care legislation, the “stimulus” legislation takes effect slowly.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will be September 2010 before even three-quarters of the money will be spent. Some economists expect that it will not all be spent by the end of 2010.

What was the rush to pass it, then? It was not to get that money out into the economy as fast as possible. It was to get that money– and the power that goes with it– into the hands of the government. Power is what politics is all about.

The worst thing that could happen, from the standpoint of those seeking more government power over the economy, would be for the economy to begin recovering on its own while months were being spent debating the need for a “stimulus” bill. As the President’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, you can’t let a crisis “go to waste” when “it’s an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”

There are lots of people in the Obama administration who want to do things that have not been done before– and to do them before the public realizes what is happening.

The proliferation of White House “czars” in charge of everything from financial issues to media issues is more of the same circumvention of the public and of the Constitution. Czars don’t have to be confirmed by the Senate, the way Cabinet members must be, even though czars may wield more power, so you may never know what these people are like, until it is too late.

What Barack Obama says Wednesday night is not nearly as important as what he has been doing– and how he has been doing it.

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Copyright 2009, Creators Syndicate Inc.

Page Printed from: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/09/08/what_obama_says_vs_what_he_does.html at September 12, 2009 – 07:16:39 AM CDT

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Republicans in the Wilderness

Republicans in the Wilderness

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Obama’s curiously close labor friendship – Los Angeles Times

Obama’s curiously close labor friendship – Los Angeles Times

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Cap-and-Trade Is About Power and Control – Glenn Beck – FOXNews.com

Cap-and-Trade Is About Power and Control – Glenn Beck – FOXNews.com

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