August 2005

Steven Den Beste has been blogging on the disaster here.

He notes that “let’s just hope none of the levees on the river give way” and follows it with a map and a cross-section showing the problem. Kristina has heading north dumping water on the Mississippi’s catchment area. If that causes the river to flood, and the Mississippi levees to fail, New Orleans will be submerged. Maybe that’s why they want everyone out of the city, now.

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Captain Ed at Captains Quarters tears into the Commission for minimizing the role of Iran in the attacks. He quotes Kenneth Timmerman’s new book Countdown to Crisis extensively. The Commission ignored the role of Imad Mugniyeh, Iran’s point man for Iranian contacts with Al Qaeda. The Captain notes:

Mugniyeh didn’t make the cut, despite evidence that he facilitated more than half of the muscle hijackers’ entry during the late spring of 2001 into the United States for their 9/11 attacks. This, the CIA rationalized, only proved that the hijackers traveled through Iran, and not to Iran. However, that still leaves an open question about why their passports did not reflect those visits — a question that the Commission never bothers to bring up, let alone answer.

It get’s worse. The Captain again, quoting Timmerman:

On July 26, 2001, an Iranian intelligence agent walked into the American embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, and asked to see the CIA chief. He finally talks to two CIA functionaries: “Joan”, who assesses his story and decides it needs further review, and “George”, a CIA case handler who laughs Zakeri out of the embassy. The story?

There’s going to be a big attack on America on the twentieth of Shahrivar, Zakeri insisted. That’s the date my boss told us to be ready. Six people who have been trained as pilots have just left Iran. George consulted a calendar that gave the corresponding Western dates. So we’re talking about September 10, right? I’ll mark my date book, he added sarcastically. He paid Zakeri a few hundred dollars for his time and sent him away.

George was a day short.

The Captain moves on to Steven Haye’s latest piece that shows extensive Iraqi invovement in the 9/11 plot that the 9/11 commission either ignored or minimized. There is a straight line that can be drawn from the 1993 World Trade Center attack to 9/11. That line goes through Saddam’s Iraq, as Hayes explains:

AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR is a shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. Years before, he had received a phone call from the Jersey City, New Jersey, safehouse of the plotters who would soon, in February 1993, park a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center. The safehouse was the apartment of Musab Yasin, brother of Abdul Rahman Yasin, who scorched his own leg while mixing the chemicals for the 1993 bomb.

When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

Continuing his demolition of the 9/11 Commission, the Captainexamines the wall. His summary:

That same Great Wall also imprisoned the federal criminal-justice system itself: they were isolated, sequestered, and kept in the dark about the great and terrible events swirling around the country (and the world) from 1993 right up to when the hammer fell on September 11th… and even beyond, until Congress enacted the USA PATRIOT Act a month later.

In another sense, though, the critics are dead wrong: it is worth focusing on Gorelick because she wrote the clearest (though not the first) directive expanding the Great Wall — and because she was subsequently foisted upon the 9/11 Commission by the Democrats in a crass and blatant (and ultimately successful) attempt to ensure that none of this would come out in the commission’s final report.

Gorelick had the temerity to write a WPO op-ed piece defending her role, that I examined in this post. I concluded:

She admits there was a wall, and unless she is encouraging agents to flout the law, she is resorting to semantic nonsense — the wall was there, she acknowledged the impediment and excuses her explicit re-statement of the bricks in the wall by directing agents to shout loud enough to be heard over the wall? This makes no sense.

She goes on:

We set up special procedures because of the extraordinary circumstances and the necessity to prevent a court from throwing out any conviction in those cases.

The impact was worse; she and her boss hamstrung the whole system. You can’t jump walls when you’re hamstrung.

Watch for Able Danger to continue the process of destroying the 9/11 Commission’s surviving credibility. The DOJ/CIA cover up isn’t working very well.

Via Fox News, I found a list of the 30 most intense hurricanes to make landfall on the continental USA. If the slight global warming that has occurred over the last century was causing more intense hurricanes, then we would expect the later decades to have experienced more of them than earlier decades. That’s not the way the numbers pan out:

1900 – 1909 – 1
1910 – 1919 – 5
1920 – 1929 – 3
1930 – 1939 – 5
1940 – 1949 – 2
1950 – 1959 – 3
1960 – 1969 – 4
1970 – 1979 – 2
1980 – 1989 – 3
1990 – 1999 – 2

The most deadly hurricane – 8000 dead – hit Galveston in 1900. The most expensive, in terms of property damage, hit SE Florida and Alabama in 1926. Katrina is going to be a bad one, but that is because of where it made landfall, a city built below sea level.

So, when someone tries to tell you that global warming is causing more intense hurricanes, point them to the links in this post.

Update: Jim Miller links to another useful table here. Click more to see the table.

Decade Saffir-Simpson Category All
1 2 3 4 5
1851-1860 8 5 5 1 0 19 6
1861-1870 8 6 1 0 0 15 1
1871-1880 7 6 7 0 0 20 7
1881-1890 8 9 4 1 0 22 5
1891-1900 8 5 5 3 0 21 8
1901-1910 10 4 4 0 0 18 4
1911-1920 10 4 4 3 0 21 7
1921-1930 5 3 3 2 0 13 5
1931-1940 4 7 6 1 1 19 8
1941-1950 8 6 9 1 0 24 10
1951-1960 8 1 5 3 0 17 8
1961-1970 3 5 4 1 1 14 6
1971-1980 6 2 4 0 0 12 4
1981-1990 9 1 4 1 0 15 5
1991-2000 3 6 4 0 1 14 5
2001-2004 4 2 2 1 0 9 3
1851-2004 109 72 71 18 3 273 92
Average Per Decade 7.1 4.7 4.6 1.2 0.2 17.7 6.0

Robert Spencer, writing in Frontpage Magazine, notes that:

Another, Imam Fawaz Damra of Cleveland, a former high-profile “moderate” who has recently been deported for failing to disclose his ties to terrorist groups on his visa application, declared: “The first principle is that terrorism, and terrorism alone, is the path to liberation.”

Damra, incidentally, was one of the signers of the recent fatwa condemning terrorism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America under the auspices of the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Damra’s name among the signatories lends credence to the view that this fatwa, despite the enthusiastic praise it has received from the mainstream media, is in fact another exercise in the deception that Damra and others so skillfully practiced in America for so long, while continuing behind closed doors to support terror.

Damra is closely linked to Al-Arian, currently on trial in Florida on terrorism charges.

Jim Miller understands NYT Star Columnist Paul Krugman:

As usual, Krugman had many of his facts wrong

What a surprise! While Kugman, Rich, token female Dowd, token black Herbert, and most of their reporters, remain at the NYT, the “Old Grey Lady” will continue to lose readership.

Prime example: A dear friend was a leading light in the Nuclear Freeze movement. Her idea of an ideal Sunday morning was reading the Times over breakfast. Post 9/11 she reads blogs and the WSJ. The NYT is top of her s**t list.

In his WPO column, Krauthammer writes:

What follows is the world saying, almost in unison, that the Gaza evacuation is just the beginning of a total Israeli retreat, one Dunkirk to be followed by many more. What follows is Condoleezza Rice declaring that “it cannot be Gaza only,” a thrilling encouragement to the Palestinians jeering the Israeli withdrawal with chants of “Gaza today, Jerusalem tomorrow.”

Unfortunately, the astute Charles Krauthammer assumed that the NYT actually reported what Rice said. Not true. The quote was Dowdified. Jewish Current Issues has the goods:

Instead of manufacturing a lead quote to fit their own priority, the Times might have informed its readers that Rice emphasized the dismantlement of Palestinian terrorism four times — in response to questions from the Times that sought to emphasize next steps by Israel:

“[T]here is an obligation in the roadmap to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism, not just coexist with it”

“[A cease-fire] isn’t a substitute for the dismantling of the terrorist organizations”

“So the answer to the question, what comes next, is . . . the Palestinian Authority is going to have to deal with the infrastructure of terrorism, that’s one of its obligations.”

“[T]he obligation of the Palestinians has to do with the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and organizations and they’re going to have to do it.”

That would have been news that was fit to print.

I know a lot of good people who rely on the NYT as their sole source of news. It’s a public duty to point out to them how the NYT’s agenda (“the real war is against Bush”) distorts their reporting. Blogs picked up the discrepancy between what Rice said and what the NYT reported. One hopes Dr. Krauthammer realizes that the NYT led him astray. He is one of the best columnists out there, but it is distressing that he uses the NYT or a derivative report as a reliable source.

Powerline hits the nail on the head:

The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.

Will the MSM provide that context? Will Hell freeze over?

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