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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, October 21, 2005

One more ('cause it beats thinkin') brace of Hot TV News Babes!

From KSL in Salt Lake come two Hot TV News Babes: Kerry Barrett (left) and Samantha "Purple" Hayes (right).

The cynical exploitation of women that is the Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest continues.

From WLWT in Cincinnati, here are Sandra Ali (above left) and Sheree Paolello (above right).

From WCVB in Boston, here's Rhondella Richardson (left).

WCSC in Charleston, SC gives us Amy Rydel (above) and Amy Lutz (below).

What they say about LA must be true...

KTLA's Hot TV News Babes: Marta Waller, (red head bonus points!)

Michaela Pereira,

Lu Parker, (why is she wasting that face on a newscast?)

Janet Choi, (oh my)

and Cher Calvin.

...if the WB station has this kind of talent!

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day.

From Sara Moulton and Food Network comes a delicious way to cook some cow Korean style.

Korean Beef

You probably already have most of the ingredients for this recipe's marinade in the house. If you can just manage to find yourself a skirt steak, you will really be in business. You may have loved skirt steak and not even known it when it was served to you at a restaurant and called fajitas. Now it's becoming much more readily available to the home cook. Skirt steak is long and thing and has great beef flavor. It is perfect for grilling or a quick sear in the pan. Tough but flavorful (like flank steak and hanger steak), skirt steak should never been cooked beyond medium-rare. Let it rest for a few minutes before you carve it, then slice it very thin and at an angle. If you don't find skirt steak at your supermarket, ask the butcher to get it for you. (You'll be surprised at how much power you can wield as a consumer.) Cellophane noodles, also called bean thread noodles, are made from the starch of mung beans. When they are soaked, they become soft, much like cooked pasta, and when quickly fried, as they are here, they puff up into crispy white strands. They absorb the flavors of the foods they are served with. Here they provide a dramatic-looking backdrop to the beef. If you can't find them, serve the beef on plain rice or on the boiled noodles of your choice.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 scallions, white and 2 inches of the green parts, finely chopped, plus additional chopped scallions for garnish
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying the noodles plus 3 tablespoons for sauteing the beef
1 1/2 ounces cellophane noodles (bean threads)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper flakes in a bowl. Whisk well to blend. Reserve 1/4 cup and set aside. Pour the rest into a plastic bag with a resealable closure. Add the skirt steak and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag often, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Fill a large deep saucepan to a depth of about 2 inches with vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fat thermometer reads 375 degrees F. (Alternatively, use an electric deep-fat fryer) Pull apart the clusters of noodles into clumps of about 10 strands each. Working in batches, fry the noodles, turning once, until they puff up and turn white, about 10 seconds. Use a slotted spoon or a spider (a slotted spoon designed like a spider's web used for deep-frying) to transfer to paper towels to drain.

Remove the skirt steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. (The drier the beef, the better it will sear.) Working in batches, heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook until seared on the outside and rare to medium-rare on the inside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining oil and skirt steak. Cut into very thin slices, holding the knife at an angle and cutting against the grain. Toss with the reserved 1/4 cup sauce in a large bowl until well coated.

Crumble the fried noodles and mound on individual serving plates. Top with equal portions of the beef and garnish with chopped scallions.

When the pink shirted goons of the totalitarian left kick in my front door and haul me off for political crimes against progress, I want my mug shot..

...to look like THIS!

Just to piss 'em off.

Fyodor's Pro Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.
Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

2) I am just a fan. I won't even keep track of these picks week to week if it gets too embarrassing.

3) There is no such thing as "inside information". Especially in the pros.

4) If those idiot touts on tv and in the paper were that good, they wouldn't go public with their genius. They'd sit at Harrah's sports book from open to close and then go out and buy $2,000 an hour hookers who dress like high school girls.

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

That being said, here are my NFL picks for this week.

FRIDAY 10/21

Kansas City (+1.5) at Miami
Does moving this to Friday because of Hurricane Wilma make a difference? Not to me. Take Miami.
FINAL: Chiefs 30 Dolphins 20 - Fyodor loses!

Sunday 10/23

Detroit (+2.5) at Cleveland
Lions on the grass of Cleveland? I'll take the Browns.
FINAL: Lions 13 Browns 10 - Fyodor loses!

Green Bay (-1.5) at Minnesota
Take the Pack.
FINAL: Vikings 23 Packers 20 - Fyodor loses!

Indianapolis (+15.5) at Houston
Another big number for the Colts. This time I'm going against them. Take Houston.
FINAL: Colts 38 Texans 20 - Fyodor loses! (Sorry, Mr. Manning.)

New Orleans (+3) at St. Louis
No Bulger. Take the Saints.
FINAL: Rams 28 Saints 17 - Fyodor loses! (No Bulger, no cry.)

Pittsburgh (+1) at Cincinnati
Steelers need this one and they know it. Pick Pittsburgh.
FINAL: Steelers 27 Bengals 13 - Fyodor wins! (Who cares about gambling?)

San Diego (+3.5) at Philadelphia
Eagles are hurting. Pick the Chargers.
FINAL: Eagles 20 Chargers 17 - Fyodor wins! (Hooray hook!)

San Francisco (+13) at Washington
Redskins should not have a number that big. I know the 49ers stink out loud, but please, 13? Take the 49ers.
FINAL: Redskins 52 (!) 49ers 17 - Fyodor loses! (Fyodor bows before the genius that is Joe Gibbs.)

Dallas (+3.5) at Seattle
Cowboys offense is banged up. Take the Seahawks.
FINAL: Seahawks 13 Cowboys 10 - Fyodor loses! (Vile, spiteful hook!)

Baltimore (+1) at Chicago
Chicago had their win. Pick the Ravens.
FINAL: Bears 10 Ravens 6 - Fyodor loses!

Buffalo (+3) at Oakland
Bills run all over Oakland. Take Bufffalo.
FINAL: Raiders 38 Bills 17 - Fyodor loses! (What was I thinking?)

Denver (+2) at NY Giants
Jake Plummer is due for a bad game. Take the improving Giants.
FINAL: Giants 24 Broncos 23 - Fyodor loses! (Ack!)

Tennessee (+3.5) at Arizona
Crummy Game of the Week. Take the Cardinals.
FINAL: Cardinals 20 Titans 10 - Fyodor wins!

Monday 10/24

NY Jets (+7) at Atlanta
I'll take the Falcons to cover.
FINAL: Falcons 27 Jets 14 - Fyodor wins! [The Falcons can win the Super Bowl if: 1) Vick cuts way down on the mistakes and turnovers. 2) Dunn stays healthy. 3) The defense improves. I am NOT holding my breath.]

Fyodor's College Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.
Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

2) I am just a fan. I won't even keep track of these picks week to week if it gets too embarrassing.

3) There is no such thing as "inside information". Especially in the pros.

4) If those idiot touts on tv and in the paper were that good, they wouldn't go public with their genius. They'd sit at Harrah's sports book from open to close and then go out and buy $2,000 an hour hookers who dress like high school girls.

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

That being said, here are my college picks for this week.

Saturday 10/22

Ohio State (+15.5) at Indiana
Hoosiers are bad. Take Ohio State.
FINAL: Ohio State 41 Indiana 10 - Fyodor wins!

Michigan (+2.5) at Iowa
I can't believe I'm taking Michigan.
FINAL: Michigan 23 Iowa 20 - Fyodor wins! (I can't believe Michigan won!)

Northwestern (+12.5) at Michigan State
Take Northwestern. They'll lose a close one.
FINAL: Northwestern 49 Michigan State 14 - Fyodor wins!

Syracuse (+13) at Pittsburgh
Syracuse is bad and Pitt could use a blowout. Take Pitt.
FINAL: Pitt 34 Syracuse 17 - Fyodor wins! (Panthers started slowly but came through in the end.)

Louisville (- 21.5) at Cincinnati
Take Louisville because they have a lot of offense.
FINAL: Louisville 46 Cincinnati 22 - Fyodor wins!

Arkansas (+19.5) at Georgia
Take Arkansas and the points.
FINAL: Georgia 23 Arkansas 20 - Fyodor wins!

BYU (+19) at Notre Dame
Irish cover at home because Charlie can coach.
FINAL: ND 49 BYU 23 - Fyodor wins! (Brady Quinn looks like a NFL draft pick now.)

Wyoming (+3) at Colorado State
Fyodor punishes the Cowboys by picking CSU.
FINAL: CSU 39 Wyoming 31 - Fyodor wins! (Ha! Take that, Wyoming!)

NC State (-3) at Wake Forest
I'm going with Wake at home.
FINAL: Wake Forest 27 NC State 19 - Fyodor wins!

Vanderbilt (+8) at South Carolina
Pick Vandy to keep it under 8.
FINAL: South Carolina 35 Vanderbilt 28 - Fyodor wins! (Why can't every week go this well?)

USC (-30) at Washington
Trojans will not cover this big number, no matter how bad Huskies are. Pick Washington.
FINAL: USC 51 Washington 24 - Fyodor wins!

Texas Tech (+17) at Texas
Looks big, but its not. Take Texas.
FINAL: Texas 52 Texas Tech 17 - Fyodor wins! (I cannot lose!!!!)

Tennessee (+4) at Alabama
Alabama should be wide awake after last week's squeaker. Take the Tide.
FINAL: Alabama 6 Tennessee 3 - Fyodor loses? (It was too good to last.)

Penn State (-18) at Illinois
Lions will win, but not cover. Pick the Fighting Illini.
FINAL: PSU 63 Illinois 10 - Fyodor loses! (What was I thinking?)

Auburn (+6) at LSU
Auburn has been good under the radar, but LSU will cover.
FINAL: LSU 20 Auburn 17 - Fyodor loses!

Washington State (+11.5) at California
Who cares? Fyodor and millions of gamblers, that's who. Take the Cougars and the points.
FINAL: Cal 42 Washington State 38 - Fyodor wins! (A nice way to finish up the college schedule for this week.)

Senator Ted Stevens (R - Alaska) shall henceforth be known as Senator Bridge Bitch.

Go ahead and resign, you ignorant thief! If there are any real men left in Alaska, your days as their senator are numbered. This pathetic old loser is a perfect example of why the Repansycans are the same as the Democrasses, only slower.

The president pro tem of the Senate got his $230 million bridge, but only after he threatened to quit if he didn't.

Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the chamber's senior Republican, became furious when Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican, offered an amendment yesterday that would have forbidden building the bridge and sent some of the money to rebuild the Interstate 10 bridge across Lake Pontchartrain, which was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

For every Tom Coburn, there are ten thousand Bridge Bitches.

"If the Senate decides to discriminate against our state, to take money only from our state, I will resign from this body," Mr. Stevens said. "If one senator can decide he'll take all the money from one state to solve a problem of another, that is not a union. That is not equality."

He was defending a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska, with a population slightly less than 15,000, to Gravina Island, with a population counted in the dozens.

Critics have dubbed it the "bridge to nowhere," but Alaska's congressional delegation said the bridge is the only way for the region to see economic growth because it would connect the only parts of the area that are still in private hands and can be developed.

Mr. Coburn wanted to shift $125 million from the bridge to the Lake Pontchartrain spans, and then send the rest of the money back to Alaska for other projects, as long as they don't go to pay for the bridge.

His amendment failed on an 82-15 vote, with 11 Republicans and four Democrats voting in favor.

Mr. Coburn, who has assumed the mantle of chief taxpayer watchdog in the Senate, said the bridge doesn't make sense.

"So you can get perspective on this, $230 million for 50 people, where there's a ferry service already running every 15-30 minutes that takes seven minutes to cross, is enough money to buy each one of them a Learjet," he said. "A bridge longer than the Golden Gate for 50 people to a small area in Alaska is enough money to buy every one of the inhabitants their own -- hundreds of speedboats, to cross any time they wanted."

The Senate then rejected another amendment that would have prevented any bridge funded under the federal highway bill's formula from being built until money is found to build the I-10 bridge. The vote on that amendment was 61-33.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Coburn has led a small group of Republicans who want to cut spending elsewhere to cover some of the federal government's costs, but they have yet to win a Senate floor vote.

Mr. Coburn recently lost an effort to end a defense travel program that he said has an overhead cost of more than $1,000 per ticket, not including the cost of the trip itself. Earlier in the day yesterday, he lost on an 86-13 vote another effort to shift money from parking garages in four states to Louisiana.

The 11 Republicans who voted to shift the bridge money to Louisiana were Sens. Wayne Allard of Colorado, George Allen of Virginia, Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, Mr. Coburn, Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, John E. Sununu of New Hampshire and David Vitter of Louisiana. The four Democrats were Sens. Evan Bayh of Indiana, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Russell D. Feingold of Wisconsin and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana. (Thanks to The Washington Times for the heads up.)

Fred Barnes: Why the good guys are mad at Bush.

From The Weekly Standard comes Fred Barnes' take on the war between real conservatives and the Repansycans.

WHY have so many conservatives suddenly revolted against President Bush, nearly five years into his presidency? I think their split with Bush is ill advised, counterproductive, and in some ways childish. But there's no doubt it's happening and it's serious. And there's more to it than disappointment with his nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. So why exactly has this revolt broken out now? I've come up with six reasons, and there may be more.

One, a revolt was inevitable, sooner or later, simply because Bush is not a conventional conservative. He deviates on the role of the federal government, on domestic spending, on education, on the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, and on immigration. Given this kindling, it took only the spark of the Miers nomination to ignite a conservative backlash.

Bush, of course, is a conservative, but a different kind of conservative. His tax cuts, support for social issues, hawkish position on national security and terrorism, and rejection of the Kyoto protocols make him so. He's also killed the ABM and Comprehensive Test Ban treaties, kept the United States out of the international criminal court, defied the United Nations, and advocated a shift in power from Washington to individuals through an "ownership society." On some issues--partial privatization of Social Security is the best example--he is a bolder conservative than Ronald Reagan, the epitome of a conventional conservative.

Who is Harriet Miers? Part 14

From NRO comes the latest on the trainwreck that is the nomination of The Most Qualified Broad Ever:

Byron York: The Miers team is gloomy and demoralized.

Strategists working with the White House in support of the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers are becoming increasingly demoralized and pessimistic about the nomination's prospects on Capitol Hill in the wake of Miers's meetings with several Republican and Democratic senators. On a conference call held this morning, they even discussed whether Miers should simply stop visiting with lawmakers, lest any further damage be done — and so that time spent in such get-acquainted sessions will not cut into Miers's intensive preparation for her confirmation hearing.

Rich Lowry: The White House out-stealthed itself.

Republican presidents have long been drawn to the “stealth strategy” on judicial nominations, picking conservatives, or supposed conservatives, without a public record so it will be harder for Democrats to oppose them. In the John Roberts nomination, a modified stealth strategy reached its height, giving the Court what is likely to be a conservative chief justice for the next 30 years. In the Harriet Miers nomination, the stealth strategy has all but collapsed, producing what might be the most catastrophic political miscalculation of the Bush presidency.

And, of course, Bench Memos: Will she or won't she is a must read.

Those folks on the Gulf Coast are our neighbors. You know what to do.

First, last, and always, PRAY. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the repose of the souls of those who were killed. Pray for the families and friends. Pray for the relief workers, the cops, the firemen, the troops, and the technicians. Pray for the volunteers.

It is time to step up once again, kiddies. "Do unto others", "I was naked and you clothed me", et cetera.

As time passes, the memory of these disasters will fade for those of us fortunate enough to live outside the devastated areas, but recovery and restoration will take years.

Please, whatever you do, don't become a cynic. (I know, I know. But I just play one on the computer.) Of course there will be more horror stories like the abuse of the debit cards and that $250-odd billion federal package will produce insane amounts of corruption, but our fellow Americans will be suffering from Katrina for a long time.

True charity, (News Flash! Taxes ARE NOT charity.) like the money you donate to Catholic Charities will help the truly needy and will not foster dependency.

Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to Catholic Charities agencies’ emergency and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Mail Checks To:
Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

Call:(800) 919-9338

Contribute Now Online

10/20/2005 — Grace Amid the Devastation
10/14/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Voices Strong Opposition to Congressional Cuts to Social Service Programs to Fund Hurricane Recovery
10/11/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Provides More than $9.4 Million to Assist with Local Catholic Charities Hurricane Recovery
10/07/2005 — Head of Catholic Charities New Orleans Calls for Much More Federal Assistance for Hurricane Recovery
More news...

Poor and Vulnerable at Heart of Catholic Charities' Hurricane Recovery and Advocacy Efforts

FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief

Agencies Impacted:
Catholic Charities of Miami
Catholic Charities of New Orleans
Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge
Catholic Social Services of Houma-Thibodaux
Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi, MS
Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS
Catholic Social Services of Mobile, AL

How you can help:
Unfortunately, Catholic Charities USA is unable to accept contributions of food, clothing, blankets and other relief supplies. Monetary donations will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's and Rita's victims. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

About the Disaster Response Office
Catholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church's social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.

And, as always, give generously to the special collections for hurricance disaster relief in your local parish.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Ursula. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is Romans 7:18-25.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 12:54-59.

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A bunch of Hot TV News Babes from WNYW in New York.

Rosanna Scotto,

Lucy Noland,

Karen Hepp,

Lisa Evers, (wow)

Naamua Delaney, (Now that's a smile!)

Andrea Day,

Anne Craig,

and Reischea Canidate are WNYW's hopefuls in the Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest.

From KSDK in St. Louis...

...here are (from left to right) Erin O'Neill, Deanne Lane, and Leisa Zigman, hot babes all.

Man requests longer prison term to honor Larry Bird.

Thanks to SI.com for the heads up on this story of an exemplary criminal. Too bad he wasn't a Wayne Gretzky fan.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A man got a prison term longer than prosecutors and defense attorneys had agreed to -- all because of Larry Bird.

The lawyers reached a plea agreement Tuesday for a 30-year term for a man accused of shooting with an intent to kill and robbery. But Eric James Torpy wanted his prison term to match Bird's jersey number 33.

"He said if he was going to go down, he was going to go down in Larry Bird's jersey," Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott said Wednesday. "We accommodated his request and he was just as happy as he could be.

"I've never seen anything like this in 26 years in the courthouse. But, I know the DA is happy about it."

CongressMAN Curt Weldon delivers the beat-down of this young century to the fatheaded fatcats of the military and intelligence establishments...

...who care more about protecting their power and their pensions than killing the bad guys.

If you have any doubt we live in a cesspool of mendacity and lies, read this.

If you wonder why more and more good men refuse to serve their country, read this.

If you think a good man can't be slandered, defamed, and framed, read this.

If you wonder why evil men are triumphant, read this.

If you don't want to be bothered by the way the world really works, don't read this.

If you're fat, dumb, happy, complacent, naive, satisfied, grateful for what they allow you to have and to do, and fearful that they may take it from you, definitely do not read this.

I have posted every word of Mr. Weldon's speech here because every single one of them is important.


Last night, Congressman Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives decrying efforts within the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to smear the reputation and career of 23-year defense intelligence officer, LTC Anthony Shaffer. Congressman Weldon also brought forth new information on the destruction of data and findings of the Able Danger planning effort.

Below, is the full text of the floor speech as recorded in the Congressional Record.

ABLE DANGER FAILURE -- (House of Representatives - October 19, 2005)

Page: H8979
Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to talk to our colleagues and through our colleagues to the American people about an issue that troubles me greatly.

I have been in this institution 19 years, and during those 19 years I have been on the Committee on Armed Services. Currently, I am the vice chairman of that committee and chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the purchase of our weapons systems. In the past I have chaired the research subcommittee. I have chaired the readiness subcommittee, and I have spent every available hour of my time working to make sure that our military troops were properly protected and have the proper equipment and training.

I am a strong supporter of our military. Whether it was in the last 2 years of the Reagan administration, the four years of the Bush administration, the 8 years of the Clinton administration, or the current administration of President George W. Bush, I have been a strong supporter of our military. I am a strong supporter of President Bush. I campaigned for him. I am a strong supporter of Secretary Rumsfeld. I say all of that, Mr. Speaker, because tonight I rise to express my absolute outrage and disgust with what is happening in our defense intelligence agencies.

Mr. Speaker, back in 1999 when I was Chair of the defense research subcommittee, the Army was doing cutting-edge work on a new type of technology to allow us to understand and predict emerging transnational terrorist threats. That technology was being done at several locations, but was being led by our Special Forces Command. The work that they were doing was unprecedented. And because of what I saw there, I supported the development of a national capability of a collaborative center that the CIA would just not accept.

In fact, in November 4 of 1999, 2 years before 9/11, in a meeting in my office with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, Deputy Director of the FBI, we presented a nine-page proposal to create a national collaborative center. When we finished the brief, the CIA said we did not need that capability, and so before 9/11 we did not have it.

When President Bush came in after a year of research, he announced the formation of the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, exactly what I had proposed in 1999. Today it is known as the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center. But, Mr. Speaker, what troubles me is not the fact that we did not take those steps.

What troubles me is that I now have learned in the last 4 months that one of the tasks that was being done in 1999 and 2000 was a top-secret program organized at the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carried out by the general in charge of our Special Forces Command, a very elite unit focusing on information regarding al Qaeda. It was a military language effort to allow us to identify the key cells of al Qaeda around the world and to give the military the capability to plan actions against those cells so they could not attack us as they did in 1993 at the Trade Center, at the Khobar Towers, the U.S.S. Cole attack, and the African embassy bombings.

What I did not know, Mr. Speaker, up until June of this year, was that that secret program called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda in January and February of 2000, over 1 year before 9/11 every happened. In addition, I learned that not only did we identify the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, but we identified Mohamed Atta as one of the members of that Brooklyn cell along with three other terrorists who were the leadership of the 9/11 attack.

I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, again, over 1 year before 9/11, that Able Danger team attempted on three separate occasions to provide information to the FBI about the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, and on three separate occasions they were denied by lawyers in the previous administration to transfer that information.

Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday on ``Meet the Press,'' Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, was interviewed by Tim Russert. The first question to Louis Freeh was in regard to the FBI's ability to ferret out the terrorists. Louis Freeh's response, which can be obtained by anyone in this country as a part of the official record, was, Well, Tim, we are now finding out that a top-secret program of the military called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta over a year before 9/11.

And what Louis Freeh said, Mr. Speaker, is that that kind of actionable data could have allowed us to prevent the hijackings that occurred on September 11.

So now we know, Mr. Speaker, that military intelligence officers working in a program authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the general in charge of Special Forces Command, identified Mohammed Atta and three terrorists a year before 9/11, tried to transfer that information to the FBI were denied; and the FBI Director has now said publicly if he would have had that information, the FBI could have used it to perhaps prevent the hijackings that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in Pennsylvania and perhaps saved 3,000 lives and changed the course of world history.

Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight because we have been trying to get the story out about Able Danger and what really happened. Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, I have to rise tonight to tell you that as bad as this story is, and as bad as it is that the data was not transferred to the FBI, and as bad as it is that the 9/11 Commission totally ignored this entire story and referred to it as historically insignificant even though it was authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even though Louis Freeh has now said it could have provided information to prevent the attack against us, the 9/11 Commission ignored it. Not because the commissioners ignored it, but because someone at the staff level on the 9/11 Commission staff decided for whatever reason that they did not want to pursue the Abel Danger story.

Mr. Speaker, in August and September I met with the military officials involved with Abel Danger and one by one they told their story, until, Mr. Speaker, leaders in the Defense Intelligence Agency, including the deputy director, decided they do not want the story told. I think because they perhaps are fearful of being embarrassed and humiliated.

So what direction had they taken, Mr. Speaker?

They have gagged the military officers. They have prevented them from talking to any Member of Congress. They have prevented them from talking to the media. And the Defense Intelligence Agency has began a process to destroy the career and the life of Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer.

Now, it might be easy for us to ignore this, Mr. Speaker. We all have busy careers and worry about reelections every 2 years and worry about our own families and our jobs. But I cannot do that in this case and neither can this body, and neither can the other body. You see, Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer took an oath to defend our Constitution. He took the words ``duty, honor, country'' seriously and devoted 23 years of his life in four deployed intelligence operations of our military to protect America.

During the time he served our country, he has received the Bronze Star, an award that does not come easily, for showing acts of courage, leadership, and bravery in the course of his activities.

He has received public commendations from previous directors of the Defense Intelligence Agency, including General Patrick Hughes, including generals at Special Forces Command, and including Admiral Wilson of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has received dozens of letters and commendations for his work. The laudatory comments I reviewed in his files are unbelievable.

But, you see, Mr. Speaker, there is a problem. The Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was in a meeting with Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer almost a year before 9/11, and Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer showed him a disk in his office with information about al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta, and the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency stopped the briefing and said, you cannot show me that. I do not want to see it. It might contain information I cannot look at.

Now, Tony Shaffer was not in the room alone, Mr. Speaker. There were other people, and we know their names. So we have witnesses. Now, the Deputy Director has denied that meeting and denied he was there and denied this particular story, but the fact is he knows that we are going to pursue it.

So what has happened to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, Mr. Speaker? The Defense Intelligence Agency has lifted his security clearance. One day before he was to testify before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, in uniform, they permanently removed his security clearance. And now our Defense Intelligence Agency has told Colonel Shaffer's lawyer that they plan to seek a permanent removal of his pay and his health care benefits for him and his two children. Why, Mr. Speaker? Because Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, like Commander Scott Philpot of the Navy, like J. D. Smith, and like a host of other Able Danger employees, has told the truth.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I sat here in the 1990s and I sat here during the 9/11 investigation and watched a ridiculous situation develop with Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser under President Clinton. He walked into the National Archives before he was to testify before the 9/11 Commission looking through documents. He took documents out of the archives and stuffed them in his socks and pants so that no one would see them as he left the National Archives. Now, that is a felony, tampering with Federal documents and removing classified information regarding our security and information that the 9/11 commission needed to see.

Sandy Berger initially lied about it. He said he did not do it. Then he admitted it, and he was given a punishment. And, oh, by the way, his security clearance was temporarily lifted, but he will get it back again, for lying, for stealing, and for committing an act of outrage against our country's security. Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, a Bronze Star 23-year military veteran, simply told the truth and now his life is being ruined.

His career is ended. He is no longer in military intelligence. They have taken his security clearance, and they are about to destroy him as a person. They are about to deny him the basic health care and the salary that he has earned, and they are doing it in this way. This is outrageous. It is evil. They do not want to fire Tony because they also do not want him to talk to the media. So by suspending him and removing his pay and his health care, they hurt him bad, but he cannot talk because he is under suspension and his lawyer has advised him that to talk to the media, to talk to Members of Congress, even when he is not being paid, would cause him further problems and totally prevent him from ever having this gross problem reversed. Mr. Speaker, this is outrageous. Mr. Speaker, this is not America.

Over my 19 years in Congress, I have led 40 delegations to the former Soviet Union. I have sat in the face of the Soviet Communists and confronted them on full transparency. I sat at the table with President Lukashenko of Belarus, who has been called by our Secretary of State the last dictator in Europe. I took both delegations to North Korea, Mr. Speaker, and sat across the table from Kim Gye Gwan and I told him we abhor the way they treat their people, the way they lie about what is happening, and the way they distort information.

Mr. Speaker, I took three delegations to Libya to meet with Qadhafi, and I told him that we are absolutely outraged at what Libya did in helping complete the Lockerbie bombing and the bombing of the Berlin nightclub.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I never thought I would have to take the floor of this Chamber and make the same statements about the Defense Intelligence Agency. As a supporter of the President, as a supporter of the military, Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to go forward, then we send the signal to every man and woman wearing a uniform that if you tell the truth, you will be destroyed if a career bureaucrat above you does not like what you are saying. If you tell the truth, we will take your health care benefits away from your kids. If you tell the truth, we will ruin you.

Mr. Speaker, this is not America. Mr. Speaker, this is not what I have been told by Secretary Rumsfeld that we are doing with our troops in protecting them, in giving them the best equipment and the best training. This is not what I spend hours in committee hearings on. This sends the wrong signal to America's troops. It tells them, do not be honest. Do not respect the fact that you have to be truthful. If there is somebody that the truth offends, then you better be silent.

Mr. Speaker, I have today asked for an independent investigation of the Defense Intelligence Agency and their efforts at destroying Tony Shaffer's life. This is outrageous, Mr. Speaker. They trumped up charges against him. They said while he was overseas in Afghanistan, forward deployed, that he forwarded cell phone calls from his official phone to his personal phone; and when they checked that out, it ran up a cost to the taxpayers of about $60. The second verbal charge they gave him was that he went to a course at the Army War College and he got reimbursed for his travel, his mileage and tolls, 100-some dollars. And they said he received a commendation for which he was not entitled, even though it was signed by his commanding officer and the acting Secretary of the Army.

But they went beyond that, Mr. Speaker. They went beyond that with this man. They said he had $2,000 of debt, personal debt. Well, I would like to have every Pentagon employee tomorrow, I would like to have the senior leadership show us what debt they have in the Defense Intelligence Agency so we can make that public.

They even went to this length, Mr. Speaker: the Defense Intelligence Agency wrote in an official document that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer stole public property. A serious charge. Well, when you check what that public property was, it was an assortment of pens, government pens. But what they did not say in the Defense Intelligence report was that he took those pens when he was 15 years of age and was with his father when he was on assignment at one of our embassy outposts. He took the pens to give to other students at the school when he was 15 years of age. And by the way, Mr. Speaker, it was Tony Shaffer himself who admitted to that thievery when he applied for his security clearance. So the Defense Intelligence Agency knew that during his entire career of 23 years, but they put that in the document against him.

This is a scandal, Mr. Speaker. It is an outrage. It is a travesty. Everyone that worked with Tony Shaffer, the Navy officers, the private citizens have all said the same thing. This is a scandal to get Tony Shaffer because he has told the truth.

Now, this Defense Intelligence Agency and this Deputy Director had the audacity to have their legal counsel send Tony Shaffer's lawyer a letter on September 23. I cannot put that letter in the RECORD because it is privileged information, but it will eventually come out. But in that letter, in the second to last paragraph, the legal counsel for the Defense Intelligence Agency says to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer, he cannot receive any more classified information from the Defense Intelligence Agency because I checked and his security clearances have all been removed. Therefore, he is not allowed to look at anything that is secret or confidential.

Now, that is a letter sent by the general counsel of the DIA on September 23 of this year. Two weeks later, Mr. Speaker, to show the stupidity of the Defense Intelligence Agency, they send seven packages to Mr. Shaffer's lawyer

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of his personal belongings, which the Deputy Director of the DIA told my staff 3 months ago did not exist any more. And in those seven boxes, Mr. Speaker, were five classified memos. The Defense Intelligence Agency sent five classified memos to Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer, which they told him on September 23 he was not allowed to have access to.

Mr. Speaker, that is a felony; and I have asked the Inspector General and the legal officials to investigate and prosecute the Defense Intelligence officials who sent five classified documents through the mail or by hand delivery to Tony Shaffer.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the Defense Intelligence Agency, in its absolute total stupidity, included in those boxes $500 worth of Federal property, including a multi-hundred dollar GPS system owned by the Federal Government, which they sent to Tony Shaffer, I guess to keep. They also sent, Mr. Speaker, 25 pens, brand new, and marked on them is ``Property of the U.S. Government.'' The Defense Intelligence Agency, in its absolute utter stupidity, sent Tony Shaffer Federal property which they accused him of taking when he was 15 years of age.

Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong here. There is a bureaucracy in the Defense Intelligence Agency that is out of control. They want to destroy the reputation of a 23-year military officer, Bronze Star recipient, hero of our country, with two kids because people in defense intelligence are embarrassed at what is going to come out.

And what is going to come out, Mr. Speaker? Well, we are going to find out, Mr. Speaker, that that unit, Able Danger, not only identified Mohammed Atta before 9/11, not only did they try to pass that information to the FBI, not only was that large data destroyed in the summer of 2000, but now, Mr. Speaker, I can add a new dimension to this whole story. Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I met with another Able Danger official. I was not aware of this official's knowledge because he does not live within the Beltway.

This official, Mr. Speaker, has impeccable credentials. I cannot reveal his name today. I will to any Member of this body, any of our colleagues that want to come to me, I will tell you privately who this official is, and you will agree with me when I tell you his name that he has impeccable credentials. This official yesterday, Mr. Speaker, in a meeting in my office, told me that he has never been talked to by the Pentagon. He has never been talked to by the Defense Intelligence Agency in their supposed investigation. He has never been talked to by the 9/11 Commission staff in their investigation; yet this official had a leadership position in Able Danger.

This official told me that there is a separate cache of information collected from over 20 Federal agencies in 1999 and 2000 on Able Danger that still may exist. Now, the Pentagon has told us all this material was destroyed, and now I have a senior official telling me there is a second pot of information that may well still exist.

Furthermore, at the hearing over in the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, when Senator Specter asked why this data was destroyed, the witness who destroyed the data said, well, I was told that we could not keep this data for more than 90 days because it might involve information that contains U.S. persons, so we had to destroy it.

Well, I found out that is not the story. The reason the data was destroyed was because Special Forces Command asked the Army for that data and within a matter of days, that data was destroyed so the Army would not pass it to Special Forces Command. Yet there still is, was and I hope still is a massive pot of data.

But furthermore, that official that I talked to yesterday will also say that there was no 90-day requirement, as was testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. He said on a regular basis they kept information from Able Danger data mining for months and months and months. In fact, he will say he had a discussion with a lawyer in DOD named Schiffren who told him do not worry about it, just fill out a document, sign your name that you need it, put it in the box, and you can keep it as long as you want.

Mr. Speaker, that is entirely contradictory to what the Defense Intelligence Agency has been telling us, to what DOD has been telling us. Now we have someone who is willing to come forward and say that 90-day period is not real, they kept Able Danger information for months and months and months.

Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong here. A sitting President of the United States resigned his position because he tried to cover up a third-rate burglary when some low-level operatives from the Republican committee to reelect him broke into the Democrat headquarters in Washington, D.C. No one was killed. No money was stolen. No State secrets were stolen. It was a third-rate burglary, but it caused the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about the deaths of 3,000 Americans.

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about 2.5 terabytes of data about al Qaeda. That is equal to one-fourth of all of the printed material in the Library of Congress.

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about Mohammed Atta and three of the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.

Mr. Speaker, we are talking about military intelligence officers, including an Annapolis graduate who will command one of our destroyers in January of 2006 who risked his entire career to state on the record I will swear until I die that I saw Mohammed Atta's face every day starting in January of 2000, a year and a half before 9/11.

Mr. Speaker, this is not somebody off the street, this is a graduate of Annapolis, a 23-year Naval officer who will command one of our destroyers in January who is agreeing with Lieutenant Shaffer. We have three other people who have testified under oath that they saw the same photograph, and the person I met yesterday will testify that he had the name of a Mohammed Atta before 9/11 but not the face.

Mr. Speaker, this is not some third-rate burglary coverup. This is not some Watergate incident. This is an attempt to prevent the American people from knowing the facts about how we could have prevented 9/11 and people are covering it up today. They are ruining the career of a military officer to do it and we cannot let it stand. I do not care whether you are Democrat or Republican, you cannot let a lieutenant colonel's career be ruined because of some bureaucrat in the Defense Intelligence Agency. If we let that happen, then no one who wears the uniform will ever feel protected because we will have let them down. Anyone who wears the uniform of this country who is serving today expects us to back him or her up and that is not happening. We are seeing lying, distortion.

Mr. Speaker, do you know, Wolf Blitzer on CNN told my staff that a Department of Defense employee told him that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer was having an affair with one of my employees. How low can we go, Mr. Speaker? How low can we go to allow this Defense Department to try to ruin the reputation and the personal life of a lieutenant colonel with a Bronze Star? To Wolf Blitzer, Mr. Speaker.

We need to know the name of that defense official who told Wolf Blitzer who told my staff, and he is not the only one. I have other media people who will come forward in this grand effort to destroy the reputation of a uniformed military officer, to create scandalous accusations. He does not even know my staff, to accuse him of stealing pens when he was 15, to take away his health care benefits for his two kids because he is telling the truth.

What do we stand for if not the truth? Is it more important that we be politically correct? Is it more important that I not rock the boat because my party is in the White House, because I campaigned for Bush, and support Don Rumsfeld. Is that more important? If that is more important, I do not want to be here. I will leave. I will leave my post, but I will not do it until we get justice for this man and for these people who the 9/11 Commission called historically insignificant.

Mr. Speaker, there is something wrong inside the Beltway.

Mr. Speaker, there is something desperately wrong when a military officer risks his life in Afghanistan time and again, embedded with our troops under

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an assumed name with a false beard and a false identity, forward deployed with our troops, gets castigated, gets ridiculed, gets some low life scum at the Pentagon spreading malicious lies about this individual, and then say to his lawyer, we are going to take away his health care benefits, we are going to take away his salary.

Mr. Speaker, if we allow this to stand as Democrats and Republicans, then none of us deserve to be here. When we all go overseas and meet the troops, we tell them how proud we are of them. We provide funding for them. We give them training and take care of their families. What we are allowing to happen right now is the Defense Intelligence Agency to ruin the career and the life of a man who spent 23 years protecting his Nation. If Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer was telling this story alone in a vacuum, that would be one thing. But he has been corroborated over and over again. I have met with at least 10 people who fully corroborate what Tony Shaffer says. Those meetings with the FBI, the FBI employee still works there and she told the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, I set those meetings up with the FBI to transfer information about al Qaeda and Able Danger. So she is still there and she testified.

What we have here, I am convinced of this now, is an aggressive attempt by CIA management to cover up their own shortcomings in not being able to do what the Able Danger team did: They identified Mohammed Atta and the al Qaeda cell of Brooklyn 1 year before Ð9/11. But even before that, as the story unfolds, you are going to hear the story that they also identified the threat to the USS Cole 2 weeks before the attack, and 2 days before the attack were screaming not to let the USS Cole come into the harbor at Yemen because they knew something was about to happen.

Mr. Speaker, bad news never comes easy; but in a democracy, the bad news has to come out so we can make sure it does not happen again.

Mr. Speaker, this whole thing started, not to embarrass anyone, this whole thing started because none of us knew that Mohammed Atta was identified before 9/11. It started because this Congress, this body in particular, tried to establish what is now in place back in 1999, a national collaborative center, but the CIA said we did not need it. The American people deserve to have the answers here. They deserve to know why 3,000 people died. They deserve to know what we could have done and should have done to better prepare ourselves and to work to prepare for the next incident. The American people need to know where those multiple terabytes of data is. Is it still being used? We know in January of 2001, General Shelton was given a 3-hour briefing on Able Danger. So even if they destroyed the data back in the summer of 2000, in January of 2001 there was enough material to give General Shelton, Commander of the Joint Chiefs, a 3-hour briefing.

Mr. Speaker, there is something here. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but there is something desperately wrong, Mr. Speaker. There is something outrageous at work here. This is not a third-rate burglary of a political campaign headquarters. This involved what is right now the covering up of information that led to the deaths of 3,000 people, changed the course of history, led to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has disrupted our country, our economy and people's lives.

Mr. Speaker, we could ignore this. I cannot. If it means I have to resign from this body, I will resign. I will not allow, after 19 years in this body and as a vice chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, bureaucrats in the Defense Intelligence Agency to concoct stories, to talk about the theft of pens when this lieutenant colonel was 15 years old, to talk about this man's personal debt of $2,000. I would hate to check the indebtedness of Members of Congress. I know mine is more than $2,000.

Mr. Speaker, this is not America. I had a group of college students down from Drexel University. There were about 20 of them, including representative students from eight other nations. We talked about this. Of course we have talked about all of the problem countries in the world. We talk about our values as a Nation, the need for a democracy to have people involved, to have transparency, to have people who respect the rule of law and the Constitution.

How do I tell them that is what is working here, Mr. Speaker, when the Pentagon says that these people who simply want to tell the truth are not allowed? They are saying it is for classified purposes, yet the DOD lawyer on the Senate side there is nothing classified about any of the information. It is not about classified programs. I would be the last to want to see anything classified revealed. I have seen many, many instances where I have been given sensitive information that only a few people in the Congress and the country had. I would never reveal it. It is not about that. This is not about the DIA, this is not about the CIA, this is about CYA. It is about CYA by bureaucrats in the Defense Intelligence Agency and possibly some political operatives that do not want the facts to come out about Able Danger and the information that the Able Danger team put together. And in the process, they are going to destroy a man, a man who has been recognized by his country, who has a family, and who simply wants to do the right thing.

Mr. Speaker, I hated to take the floor tonight, but I did not know what else to do. We have committees of Congress working on this. I want to thank the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Wolf), chairman of the FBI Appropriation Committee on Oversight. He is as outraged as I am. I want to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Sensenbrenner), who is looking at this, and the gentleman from California (Chairman Hunter). The Committee on Armed Services has a full-time staffer assigned to get to the facts of this. I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. King), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, because he is looking at this. I want to thank the gentleman from Michigan (Chairman Hoekstra) and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has met with Tony Shaffer and has offered to get more information. I want to thank my colleagues on the other side of the aisle for standing up and beginning to ask questions, and I want to thank Senator Specter and Senator Biden, who attended a Committee on the Judiciary hearing and expressed their outrage. I want to thank Senator Sessions, Senator Kyl, and Senator Grassley, who were all there. In fact, Senator Grassley called it a coverup.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot tell you the number of Members who have come to me and said this is unacceptable. I would hope that as a result of what we have heard tonight every Member of Congress will ask for an inquiry. The gentlewoman from Georgia (Ms. McKinney) wrote a letter to the chairman of the Committee on Armed Services asking for an investigation. We have from Republicans to Democrats, left to right, conservatives to liberals. What is happening here is unacceptable. It is unimaginable. It is un-American. All over the world tonight, young Americans are wearing our uniforms. They are doing a great job. They make us all proud when we travel overseas. They make us proud because of the pride they have. When I talk to them, they say I am glad to be doing what I am doing. I am doing the right thing for our country. I will go any place the Commander in Chief sends me. Whether I am in Afghanistan or Iraq, they will tell me that.

Whether we are in Kosovo or Somalia, they will tell us that. Whether we are at Hurricane Katrina, whether we are at Hurricane Andrew, or whether we are out in California, the earthquake, or the Midwestern floods, our troops are all the same. They respect our country. They respect our Constitution. If we allow this travesty to continue, Mr. Speaker, then we have let all of those people down for some nameless, faceless bureaucrat who is fearful that the information will finally come to light, that the DIA just did not get it.

Back in 1999 and 2000, they did not have a clue. They had millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars, and could not do what a 20-member team did in being able to identify Mohammed Atta before the 9/11 attacks. DIA does not want that to come out, Mr. Speaker. They do not want that to come out. Heaven forbid the Defense Intelligence Agency, with hundreds of millions of dollars, would have a 20-member team do what they could not

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do because they were using new technology and new software. They do not want that to come out. That is why that Deputy Director, when he was at that meeting, said, I do not want to see this. Do not show it to me. And that is why today that Deputy Director is trying to ruin the career of Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer.

The only way to resolve this, Mr. Speaker, is to have a full independent investigation by the Inspector General of the Pentagon. I have asked Secretary Rumsfeld today to do that. I would ask my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in that request. Let the independent inspector for the Pentagon go in, not DIA. DIA cannot investigate itself. It does not have the capability to do that. It does not have the integrity to do that. Let the Inspector General do the investigation and while that is being done, protect Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer. He does not deserve to have his career ruined or destroyed for telling the truth.

And while we are at it, Mr. Speaker, if DIA is going to continue to press this ridiculous set of facts, then as I said earlier, I want DIA prosecuted for the five felonies they committed in sending classified documents to a person that 2 weeks earlier they said was incapable of receiving classified information. And if this continues, I want DIA held responsible for illegally transferring $500 of public assets to a person, that in the process of sending that stuff to him, DIA committed fraud against the taxpayers. I want them held accountable: DIA's stupidity; DIA's incompetence.

We have a new nominee for the head of DIA, and I am going to ask every Senator to fully explore each of these issues before that person is confirmed. I will meet with every Senator personally and go over all of this information. And I would encourage the Senators and the House Members to interview the other people who worked with Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer and to get their assessments of what is going on there. They will all tell them the same thing: Shaffer is being abused and used as a scapegoat. If they can ruin Shaffer, they can silence the story.

It cannot happen, Mr. Speaker. We cannot let it. That is not what America is about. That is not what we say to our enlisted personnel when they sign up for duty. That is not what we say when we pass our defense bills every year.

This man is being maligned and mistreated. He is being harassed. The most scurrilous accusations, totally unfounded, have been given to the American media; and I will name names, and I will ask for an investigation of the people who made those statements to these media people because it all needs to be put on the record.

And as someone tomorrow who will chair another hearing on our defense oversight to try to get the best value for the dollars for our military, I ask all of our colleagues, Mr. Speaker, on both sides of the aisle to join us. This is not Republicans or Democrats. It is about what is fundamental to this country. I would ask our constituents across America we represent to join us, to express their outrage, to e-mail, make phone calls, write letters to the Secretary of Defense, the President of the United States, to Members of Congress to simply let the story be told. Let the Able Danger story finally come out to the American people. Let them understand what really happened. Let Scott Philpott talk. Let Tony Shaffer talk. Let the others who have been silenced have a chance to tell their story to Congress and openly to the American people. In the end, the country will be stronger. [END]"

More strange yet fascinating marketing from the yahoos at Yahoo!

I guess it works after all. (Others are here.)

Attention all NFL fans!

This week's Chiefs game at Miami has been moved to Friday 10/21 at 7:00 PM. Details on tv coverage will be forthcoming.

Gratuitous Catherine Zeta Jones Douglas Photo of the Day.

This appears to have been taken long before she became Mrs. Michael Douglas. Either he is a very, very fortunate man or he is an expert in hypnotism. (I prefer not to entertain the idea that a woman this exquisite could be a lamebrained leftist too. Yes, yes, chink in the armor and all that. Believe me, if I could fix it, I would. Forgive a hopeless old romantic for hanging onto that beauty = truth thing despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary.)

Damn it! Why hasn't John Bolton destroyed the UN yet?

Bob Novak: Bush the arch-pansy whines about the end of his presidency and how the right-wingers are responsible.

Vulnerable Miers might not survive

President Bush's agents have convinced conservative Republican senators heartsick over his nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court that they must support her to save his presidency. But that does not guarantee her confirmation. Ahead are hearings of unspeakable ugliness that can be prevented only if Democratic senators exercise unaccustomed restraint.

Don't hold your breath hoping that last sentence turns out to be true.

Just one more tidbit:

Bush was not prepared for the negative reaction from the GOP base when he nominated White House Counsel Miers. Former Republican National Chairman Ed Gillespie, leading the confirmation campaign, over two weeks convinced skeptics that Miers is conservative enough. Whatever her qualifications, after hearing from Gillespie, dubious GOP senators decided they could not deny his chosen court nominee to a president on the ropes. Bush has solidified Republican support not because he is strong but because he looks weak.

It seems Bush took that "he doesn't have to run for re-election anymore" crap seriously. In our benighted age politicians must campaign continuously until they leave office for the last time.

Curt Weldon is one of the very few real men who inhabit congress.

Is anyone shocked Lt. Col. Shaffer is under attack for trying to tell the truth? It seems there is a dearth of real men in the Pentagon as well.

A vocal House Republican is calling for a new probe into what he says is a "witch-hunt" by defense officials against a Sept. 11 intelligence whistleblower.

Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Penn., told United Press International that officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA, had "conducted a deliberate campaign of character assassination" against the whistleblower, retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer.

Shaffer has said that a highly classified Pentagon data-mining project he worked on, codenamed Able Danger, identified the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 terror attacks as linked to al-Qaida more than a year before they hijacked four planes and crashed them, killing nearly 3,000 people.

Weldon told UPI he had written to the Department of Defense inspector general to ask for "an immediate formal inquiry, with people testifying under oath," into what he called "a clear witch-hunt" against Shaffer, who has been on administrative leave while minor allegations about some expenses are investigated.

Weldon's move comes after Shaffer said that boxes of his personal effects, returned to him by the DIA earlier this month, contained both government property and classified documents.

"Sending classified material through the mail is a felony, and much more serious than any of these minor, trumped up charges against (Shaffer)," he said, adding that "I want the appropriate persons held accountable."
Weldon said that the DIA had now taken steps to fire Shaffer. "It's outrageous and scandalous," he said.

A DIA spokesman had no immediate comment.
(Thanks to UPI ???!!!! for the heads up.)

Howie Spleen has a rival for the title of Fyodor's Favorite Looney Leftist in the aptly named George Whackoff.

Jonah Goldberg (NRO) introduces the left-fascist tag-team destined to take the bad guys back to their rightful place.

Things seem fairly bleak for the Republicans. House Majority Leader Tom Delay has been hobbled, at least temporarily, by an indictment. Karl Rove may soon be indicted. The Senate Majority Leader faces an investigation of his stock sales. George W. Bush isn't getting any credit for the successes in Iraq, and his nomination of a certain Supreme Court nominee has been troubled from the get-go. Rank-and-file Republicans and movement conservatives are bickering as never before.

Fittingly, many Righties are moping like the kids in those old commercials who are rescued from the doldrums by yelling, "Hey Kool Aid!"

One of the painful truths of growing up is that, alas, the Kool Aid Man isn't coming through that brick wall, no matter how parched we are or how plaintively we call him.

The Merlot Man, however, is another story. You may know him as Howard Dean, chair of the Democratic National Committee. Whenever Republicans get depressed and start fingering their pearl-handled revolvers, they can count on Merlot Man to come metaphorically bursting in with a "Yeaaaaggghhh!" to cheer us up.

Why "Merlot Man"? Well, funny story. According to the Washington Post, as Dean has traveled around the country recently giving pep talks to members of his party, he has taken to describing its most loyal base as "Merlot Democrats."

This is a little odd, given that for decades now, Democrats have complained that Republicans unfairly call them names, making them sound more liberal, sissified, and elitist than they really are. Years of GOP attacks on "limousine liberals," "ACLU liberals," "San Francisco Democrats" and so forth have finally paid off. That's why you always hear prominent Democrats, when asked if they're liberals, respond, "I don't believe in labels." If pressed, they might boldly say, "If it's liberal to like ice cream, than I am a liberal!"

When Howard Dean took over the Democratic party, he embraced the work of a guy named George Lakoff, who describes himself as a "metaphor analyst."

Lakoff's first brush with publicity came in 2001 from his ill-considered analysis of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

"Towers are symbols of phallic power," he wrote, "and their collapse reinforces the idea of loss of power." Then Lakoff's metaphor-analysis machine surely started to smoke. "The planes," he continued "penetrating the towers with a plume of heat, and the Pentagon, a vaginal image from the air, penetrated by the plane as missile."

Wow. The man obviously has issues. Very disturbing issues.

I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it, too: This is the perfect guy to advise the Democrats in the post-Clinton era!

Lakoff's argument for the Democrats came largely from his book Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. Framing is PhD-speak for "make bad things sound good." Never mind that this "idea" has been around since the first caveman-politician who ran for Head Guy With Sharp Rock.

Lakoff's tough-love diagnosis for the Democrats: You've been right about everything for 40 years! The only problem was that those mean Republicans kept twisting your words around with clever, poll-tested phrases.

Lakoff told Democrats to take those freeze-dried ideas they've had stored up in the DNC fallout shelter since the 1960s and put 'em in shiny new packaging. Don't call them "trial lawyers," talk about "public protection attorneys." Instead of the downbeat, eat-your-spinach phrase "environmental protection," Democrats should say something spicier like "poison-free communities." Yeah, that's the ticket.

Sweeter than the sharpest satire!

The Dems ate it up, bought the book by the ton, and paid Lakoff to work his magic. Dean called him "one of the most influential political thinkers of the progressive movement."

I certainly hope so.

Clearly, he and Lakoff holed up somewhere and worked tirelessly into the night, clipboards in hand, to come up with precisely the right words to describe Democrats. Now Dean's taking it on the road, revving up Democratic audiences by explaining his Lakoff-influenced plan for taking back America.

"No longer will the Democratic party allow itself to be defined by the Republican party," Dean thundered recently at a Nevada confab.
So, after years of denouncing the GOP for unfairly labeling Democrats as effete, coastal liberals out of touch with heartland America, what label does Dean think best describes the Democrats? What cuts to their core?

One word: Merlot.

He described the contest as "Merlot Democrats" vs. "Reliable Republicans."

Alexander N. Yakovlev, Requiescat in pace.

The combatants in the Cold War's final battle are dying.

Citizen Yakovlev was probably the best the Russian people could produce at that time, although I am sure they hoped for someone better. (Do not get me started on that knucklehead Gorbachev.) He was better than many of his communist predecessors. I suppose that is something to be said in his favor.

Alexander N. Yakovlev, a strong advocate of democracy and human rights who crafted many of the perestroika policies instituted by former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, died Tuesday in Moscow. He was 81.

Hard-liners blamed Yakovlev, the philosopher-ideologist of Gorbachev's reforms, for the Soviet Union's 1991 disintegration and for the defeat of Marxism-Leninism in its global struggle with capitalism.

During the 1990s, he worked to awaken the Russian people to the crimes of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, and in recent years he accused Russian President Vladimir V. Putin of rolling back democratic reforms in a drift toward political authoritarianism.

Yakovlev's death, of an unspecified illness, "is a great loss for all those devoted to the cause of democracy and freedom in Russia," Gorbachev said in a statement released in London, where he is on a visit. "He stood by the choice we made together — in favor of freedom, democracy, human dignity — to the end of his days. No obstacles, no accusations, succeeded in forcing him to change his position.

"Yakovlev was born in a small village of the Yaroslavl region northeast of Moscow, near the Volga River. He fought in the Red Army in World War II and was badly wounded in 1943. He studied history, joined the Communist Party and began rising through its ranks.

Working with Gorbachev, Yakovlev had hoped to help navigate the Kremlin leadership through the huge transformation he felt was necessary to reform socialism as a political and economic system and to hold the Soviet Union together as a state.

But he found Marxism so flawed that he argued the Communist Party leadership must end its political monopoly. After alienating party conservatives, he was finally edged out of Gorbachev's inner circle. He left the party just days before a failed August 1991 coup attempt by a group of hard-line Communists. He quickly joined the country's democracy movement.

Yakovlev had been a party maverick for decades. He first offended party bosses in the 1970s and was exiled to Canada for a decade as the Soviet ambassador. It was there, in the early 1980s, that he and Gorbachev met and discovered they were kindred souls.

Yakovlev later described how he and Gorbachev opened up to each other while in Canada, which Gorbachev was visiting as the Soviet official in charge of agriculture.

"At first we kind of sniffed around each other and our conversations didn't touch on serious issues," he recalled.

But one day, they took a long walk on a farm. "I somehow, for some reason, threw caution to the wind and started telling him about what I considered to be utter stupidities in the area of foreign affairs," Yakovlev said. "And he did the same thing…. He frankly talked about the problems in the internal situation in Russia. He was saying that under these conditions, the conditions of dictatorship and absence of freedom, the country would simply perish."

After Gorbachev became Soviet leader in 1985, he promoted Yakovlev to key posts. Yakovlev became a full member of the Politburo in 1987, with responsibility for ideology.

Yakovlev drafted Kremlin policy papers for implementing Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost — reform and openness — and played a key role in encouraging media freedom.

"We didn't always agree with each other," Gorbachev said Tuesday. "We argued a lot. But we were united by a common understanding of the necessity of democratic reforms."

Georgy Satarov, a onetime advisor to former Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin, described Yakovlev as "the mastermind and creator of glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union in the late 1980s."

"The most important thing about him is that he sought absolutely no gains or profits for himself in trying to build democracy in Russia," said Satarov, now president of a Moscow think tank. "I spoke to him many times recently, and I know how heartbroken he was about the setback the country is experiencing now…. The democracy he had in mind was pure democracy, which just failed here the way he understood it. That was what depressed him most of all." (Thanks to the LA Times for this obituary.)

I am not surprised he imagined Russia could be made free overnight with the stroke of a pen or two. He now knows the truth.

May God have have mercy on his soul.

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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