Things I Did Not Know

The intelligence coup that led to killing abu Musab al-Zarqawi did not come from the torture-based methods that had become almost universal at that time. Instead a renegade unit tried handling suspects with respect, a novel approach recommended by the notable terrorist lovers in Israeli intelligence. The unit found a guerilla leader’s hideout among other useful information.

We turned several hard cases, including some foreign fighters, by using our new techniques. A few of them never abandoned the jihadist cause but still gave up critical information. One actually told me, “I thought you would torture me, and when you didn’t, I decided that everything I was told about Americans was wrong. That’s why I decided to cooperate.”
[…] I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It’s no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse.

When I picture a schmuck like Andrew McCarthy turning on the laptop after an hour in a dark room ‘reviewing’ photos from abu Ghraib, and then reading this, the liberal in me feels something like sympathy. The flame of hope that he too could one day crush the fingers of a muslim child will die hard.

Steelers Open Thread

I really don’t like the Patriots.

CBS Sunday Morning

I just am not motivated to blog the last couple of days. Here are some pets instead.

Maybe something will hit me later.

And When Things Get Really Bad, I Can Eat My Cat and Craft Arrows From His Bones

And while Bush is contemplating his legacy, Michelle Malkin has one of those odes to the common man that make you want to just laugh out loud:

Instead of awaiting the next stimulus check from the Borrow-Spend-Repeat-Panic politicians in Washington, Jen explains how the family has cut costs: “I learned how to make my own shampoo, toothpaste, soaps, cloth napkins, dish scrubbies, potholders, skirts (mend all clothes) and most meals from scratch. We heat our home exclusively with wood, and I am currently growing a winter garden. The spring garden will be in containers by the last week of December to prepare for spring planting. I do not see this as a downfall or a tragedy. For those worried about holiday spending: I spent only $100 for a family of six last Christmas, and most of that [on] underwear, socks and the meal.”

And she adamantly rejects the victim card: “This accident has been a blessing for my family. The pain that my husband has daily is not the blessing, but that he is alive and able to continue to watch his children grow into adulthood.

“It also has been wonderful to know that we live in a nation that affords us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves from suburbanites to a country-dwelling farm family. I am ashamed to see the American spirit that made our nation so great now turned into nothing.”

So shut up, you lucky duckies! This is all a blessing. If you were really lucky, you might have a solid disease, and then you could learn how to craft poultices out of vinegar, oatmeal, and aloe vera, and let the pain bring you closer to God.

So there you have it, folks. Republican rule has not been a disaster, but a blessing in disguise, and while it is admirable that this family has found a way, this is not a realistic path to the future for America.

We are sooo gonna party like it is 1899.

The Press Is Bored

Not sure what else to say about this:

Samantha Power, the Harvard professor who was forced to resign from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign last spring after calling Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton “a monster,” is now advising the president-elect on transition matters relating to the State Department — which Clinton is slated to head.

Power is listed on Obama’s transition Web site as part of the team reviewing national security agencies. Her duties, according to the site, will be to “ensure that senior appointees have the information necessary to complete the confirmation process, lead their departments, and begin implementing signature policy initiatives immediately after they are sworn in.”

In short, she is part of a team that is likely to work directly with Clinton, a potentially awkward situation for the two women. Obama is expected to officially announce Clinton as his choice for secretary of state after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Transition officials declined to comment. A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to an e-mail sent yesterday evening. Power has been on the list of review team officials since mid-November; the Associated Press first called attention to her presence on the list yesterday.

First, the Clinton behavior at a certain point in time during the campaign WAS, in fact, monstrous. Second, I believe Hillary Clinton said any number of things about Barack Obama that would be far more damaging than a petty insult, and what do you know- Hillary is tapped to be Obama’s SoS. Finally, this whole thing sells both of these women short. Why is it the media thinks that Obama can look over the Hillary slights from the primary, but that Power and Clinton can not work out their differences. These women are both professionals. They are both extremely intelligent and are both accomplished women, and Clinton in particular is a machine who is able to look towardsa goal and put everything else aside while working towards that goal. They will work it out, and pretending they won’t is just silliness.

Backyard Brawl Open Thread

Go Eers!

*** Update ***

Pitt 19, WVU 15. Welcome to the Stewart era. Congrats to the champion of the Big East, Cincy.

Isn’t This a Good Thing

I thought the big “downfall” to Biden was his big mouth:

More than three weeks into the transition, and Vice-president elect Joe Biden generates less buzz than the non-existent first puppy.

The vice president-elect has not spoken publicly since the election, and was at Barack Obama’s side just once this week as the president-elect delivered a series of grim news conferences on the economy.

Obama instead appears to be at the center of his longtime Chicago circle.

Good. I like Biden as a person, but after Darth Cheney, I am all about limiting the standing and authority of the VP.