Things that make you say “Oy”

posted at 10:09 am on December 11, 2006 by Bryan

Rep. Silvestre Reyes may not be corrupt like Rep. Alcee Hastings (or, not as corrupt), but is he really this clueless?

Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured.

He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Al Qaeda is profoundly Sunni. If a Shiite showed up at an al Qaeda club house, they’d slice off his head and use it for a soccer ball.

I remember in the wake of 9-11 reading nearly anything I could get my hands on that would help me understand what in hell’s name would drive people to turn airplanes full of innocent people into missiles and slam those planes into buildings to kill thousands more innocent people. (The answer, it turns out, is…) Evidently very few in our political class have that kind of curiosity, even after the worst atrocity on US soil since Pearl Harbor.

Is it too much to ask our high-paid political overlords to understand a couple of fundamental facts about the defeat they’re supposed to be mitigating?

I still don’t have a position on whether Litvinenko was the victim of a murder plot, or died after accidental exposure to polonium 210 during the course of smuggling the substance to points and people as of yet unknown. The tracability of the substance to only a handful of countries makes the murder plot a little less plausible imho, especially when ricin or a bullet would have done the job just as well for less cost and far less tracability, as does the fact that the stuff seems to be everywhere. It’s in London hotels. It’s in airplanes. Seven workers at the sushi restaurant have been exposed. It’s showing up on dishes there that have been washed multiple times. Either someone was very careless with this poison, or it wasn’t intended to poison just one man. And not yet.

I haven’t followed all the details, though I’ve been eyeing both Allah’s work and A. J. Strata’s, but one bit just jumped out at me last night while I was reading Strata-Sphere. The polonium 210 moved through Hamburg at some point. Hamburg has a long association with terrorism–the so-called Hamburg cell (of which Silvestre Reyes has probably never heard) was a European operational hub of al Qaeda and the 9-11 plot. Mohammad Atta himself lived in Hamburg before moving to the US, he planned there and moved around and through there while the plot developed. It’s still thought to be a hotbed of al Qaeda activity in Europe.

And now we have this mystery spy plot with Hamburg connections and a substance that could be used to make a dirty bomb. Given Litvinenko’s sympathies, we have the possibility of Chechen connections, which raises the possibility of al Qaeda connections–al Qaeda has reportedly trained Chechen terrorists for years. Chechens have made a dirty bomb before, though it wasn’t detonated. That bomb was made with Cesium 137, not polonium 210, but still…

Extrapolating out from there, if Litvinenko’s death is the result of a smuggling deal gone bad, it opens the possibility that Russia’s nuclear labs are completely compromised. And if that’s the case, there’s no telling what else has escaped those labs, where it might be, who has their hands on it, and what they intend to do with it.

And I’m sure everything I’ve just written went right over the head of the incoming head of the House Intelligence Committee.

Carrots and sticks and talking to Iran:

Can I pretty please be present when Nick Burns is sitting across the table from some Iranian official and says “We hereby promise never, ever to talk about democracy in Iran again. And we will say publicly that you are legitimate. Promise, cross my heart. And we will not try to destabilize you any more, promise. Listen, we don’t have any CIA programs to destabilize you now — I know you don’t believe me, but you should, honest, I promise — and we hereby promise never, ever to have them in the future. Honest. Cross my heart.”

That’s from an internal ISG email discussion. (h/t NRO)


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There is no incentive whatsoever for them to even be nominally honest,they still get elected.

bbz123 on December 11, 2006 at 10:28 AM

Silvestre Reyes…I feel less safe already.

WisCon on December 11, 2006 at 10:36 AM

Know your enemy. Know your enemy. Know your enemy. Ooops I forgot, Iran is our friend. (Pigs are flyin)

infidel on December 11, 2006 at 10:37 AM

Well the FBI and CIA don’t know, why would members of Congress?

JaHerer22 on December 11, 2006 at 10:45 AM

And if that’s the case, there’s no telling what else has escaped those labs, where it might be, who has their hands on it, and what they intend to do with it.

Don’t worry. The Democrats are in charge and we’ll have dialogue to help us through.

JammieWearingFool on December 11, 2006 at 10:53 AM

While we’re talking about idiots who can’t tell one side of a war from the other, here’s a photo collection from UrbanInfidel, known to some of us as NoSubmission on LGF. These are pictures of a Lynne Stewart “gloating” party being crashed by–Conservatives! Yay, team! Recall that Lynne Stewart is the lawyer who colluded with terrorists, passing information between them, and providing other assistance, er, below the call of duty. Here she is throwing a party in view of her LIGHT SENTENCE, and playing host to such luminaries as Ward Churchill. Chutch!

Hope you don’t mind me posting these here, but it’s enough to make you say OY!

haakondahl on December 11, 2006 at 10:55 AM

Don’t mind at all, though you’re wrong about Stewart et al not knowing one side of the war from the other. Stewart helped a terrorist, and she’s fully aware of it. She and her ilk know one side of the war from the other and have chosen a side. It’s just not our side.

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 10:58 AM

Props to Urban Infidel for those photos. Bryan is right. Lynne Stewart is an enemy of this country.

JammieWearingFool on December 11, 2006 at 11:10 AM

So many enemies, so little spine….

seejanemom on December 11, 2006 at 11:16 AM

To

his credit, Reyes, a kindly, thoughtful man who also sits on the Armed Service Committee, does see the undertows drawing the region into chaos.

For example, he knows that the 1,400- year-old split in Islam between Sunnis and Shiites not only fuels the militias and death squads in Iraq, it drives the competition for supremacy across the Middle East between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.

That’s more than two key Republicans on the Intelligence Committee knew when I interviewed them last summer. Rep. Jo Ann Davis, R-Va., and Terry Everett, R-Ala., both back for another term, were flummoxed by such basic questions, as were several top counterterrorism officials at the FBI.

Thought this was equally “oy” worthy.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 11:18 AM

Russia’s nuclear labs are completely compromised. And if that’s the case, there’s no telling what else has escaped those labs, where it might be, who has their hands on it, and what they intend to do with it.

As I understand it, this is the fault of the United States for not spending enough money to secure the former U.S.S.R.’s nuclear projects…
We bad, they impotent…
snark/off

Babs on December 11, 2006 at 11:20 AM

Even worse than the AQ/Sunni bit, is the fact that Reyes had no idea who Hezbollah is…..

Clark1 on December 11, 2006 at 11:32 AM

Those two aren’t going to chair House Intel, honora. The fact is, most of our politicians right and left still don’t understand the basics of this war. Those who do are either routinely villified by the left, like President Bush, or have gotten turned out of office by the voters, like Rick Santorum. Which leaves us to be led by the likes of Pelosi and Reyes.

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 11:40 AM

Thought this was equally “oy” worthy.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 11:18 AM

You are right; he heaps both praise and censure with neither quote nor reference. The tactics of the agenda-driven.

BlueStateBlues on December 11, 2006 at 11:56 AM

our political class

A greater or more profound truth could not be told. Institutionalized Politics and Politicians are killing us, both figuratively and literally.
Fighting for the sake of ME and the Party versus the good of the nation is destroying us.

opens the possibility that Russia’s nuclear labs are completely compromised

Not the possibility…the certainty.
Nuclear material has escaped Russia and the old Soviet satellite countries. Just where has it gone? That’s scary.

Speakup on December 11, 2006 at 12:11 PM

oops, quote block backwards again.

Speakup on December 11, 2006 at 12:12 PM

You are right; he heaps both praise and censure with neither quote nor reference. The tactics of the agenda-driven.

Coming from someone whose very handle indicates politics, I should ignore it. However, if you want quotes for Santorum check out his farewell speech.

Whether we know it or not, they have been at war with us, and the State of Iran specifically has been at war with us, since 1979 when they declared war against the United States. They have not rescinded that declaration. So when we talk about engaging Iran as the Secretary, the new, future Secretary of Defense has talked about, we are talking about engaging someone who is at war with us, who has declared war with us, and who has been at war and, and as I will talk about here, and I think it has been widely reported in the press, has been doing a lot to substantiate the claim that they have been at war with us…

If we saw anything from the last election, the American public has no appetite for a broadening of this war, increasing the complexity of this war. You might be seen as warmongering, digging us deeper and more dangerously into a region of the world that we would rather not be in in the first place.

So what do we have? We have the Baker-Hamilton report which is a prescription for surrender. It is just a matter of time. It is certainly not a prescription for victory. Nowhere does it mention, other than of course that we would like victory, nor is there a prescription for victory in that report…

Iran did as I predicted on this floor back in the spring–they played us along. They said: Well, you know we will negotiate with you as long as we can continue to produce nuclear materials and continue our nuclear program. So we negotiated and we negotiated and they developed and they developed. So finally in September of this year, enough people on both sides of the aisle and enough people in the administration finally were convinced that this was not a viable strategy anymore. What did we gain? We passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act, which probably surprised most people in this Chamber. We passed it unanimously–one of the last things we did before we broke. Most Americans don’t know it. Unfortunately, most in the Middle East don’t know it. I suspect if we went into the bowels of the State Department they may know it, but they are not going to do a damned thing about it because that is not their intent. They do not want to do anything about it. My guess is they will take that money and spend it on a lot of conferences and studies on what we should do instead of giving it to the bus drivers who went on strike as a strike fund so they can stand up to the government. Instead of giving it to dissent groups so they can disseminate information, instead of actively engaging we will appease. We will study, we will delay, and they will have time to further build.

For Bush, any foreign policy speech he has given since 9-11 will do. Look them up yourself. And then contrast what he says with what your Democrats said before 2001, and then between 2001 and 2003, and now. They have flipped 180, while Bush says the same things he’s been saying–and the same things many of them said when they were in power.

Or just check out Al Gore, 2002. There’s a lot of liberal weaselry in that speech, but at its core Gore was supporting and advocating the very thing he would later accuse President Bush of lying about and “playing on our fears” to bring about.

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:04 PM

Those who do are either routinely villified by the left, like President Bush, or have gotten turned out of office by the voters, like Rick Santorum. Which leaves us to be led by the likes of Pelosi and Reyes.

This morning on Imus, Santorum was on the phone. Talking at some length about the danger posed by Iran, bad idea to engage them, ISG naive etc. Imus poses the question: “Well what should we be doing about Iran”. Pregnant pause. Santorum: “Well for one thing, there was a strike of bus drivers recently. We did not support them and the strike was broken. That’s the kind of thing we need to be doing”

Bus drivers on strike??? Gee, thanks for the “big idea” Rick. Don’t let the screendoor hit you in the ass. All this time, all this portentious talk and this is the best he can come up with???

honora on December 11, 2006 at 1:11 PM

Well the FBI and CIA don’t know, why would members of Congress?

JaHerer22 on December 11, 2006 at 10:45 AM

Illogical or the zenith of low expectations (from politicians from both sides of the isle, right?)

Bryan, if Mr. Bush “says the same things” he’s a ‘dumb chimp’. When the democrats do, they’re convicted. Also when they “flip 180″ they’re nuanced and when he does ‘he didn’t know what he was doing/saying in the first round’.

An erudite dude like you should know that by now…

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:11 PM

(The answer, it turns out, is…)

…I *LOVED* this clip.

Hadn’t seen it before, you see, and it’s so bloody catchy…it cries out for a guy in a stripy linen suit, a handlebar mustache, a straw boater, and a banjo. It would take vaudeville by storm.

Puritan1648 on December 11, 2006 at 1:13 PM

honora, there’s more than a ‘bus strike’ going on on in Iran.

When Ceausescu was heckled in Romania, he and his ‘lovely’ wife were executed in less than a week later. Just saying…possibilities always abound and things can change rapidly, sometimes even for the better, depending on one’s view.

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:14 PM

It’s interesting to me that more than half this post is about the possibility that there are dirty nukes out there, yet all the liberals want to talk about are two Republican reps who aren’t leading House Intel.

They don’t want to talk about Reyes, who will lead House Intel and who was a subject of this post.

They don’t want to talk about dirty nukes, which was a subject of this post.

But I’m “agenda driven” for not spoon feeding them links to speeches they won’t read and in five years have shown that they’ll never have the capacity to understand.

As I said, it’s interesting.

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:15 PM

honora, there’s more than a ‘bus strike’ going on on in Iran.

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:14 PM

My point is that Santorum keeps flapping his gums about Iran and what not to do, but when asked point blank what to do, he seems at a loss.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 1:18 PM

Bryan, what’s even more ‘oy’-provoking is that many think the dirty-bomb possibility is just a myth or another conspiracy.

I’m pretty sure that when it happens, it will be Mr. Bush’s fault. Until then it will be Congress’ oversight…or will it? Maybe, based on this thread, it shouldn’t.

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:19 PM

But I’m “agenda driven” for not spoon feeding them links to speeches they won’t read and in five years have shown that they’ll never have the capacity to understand.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 1:20 PM

But I’m “agenda driven” for not spoon feeding them links to speeches they won’t read and in five years have shown that they’ll never have the capacity to understand.

No you’re agenda driven because you cherry pick the article for the parts that support your agenda. And you’re childish for making statements like “they’ll never have the capacity to understand”. Exercise some restraint.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 1:23 PM

Your point is? Do I need a bigger spoon?

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:25 PM

honora, here’s a perfect comeback from even a left-leaning independent, like you claim to be “many of our politicians are as dumb as a rock; it’s our fault that we elect them”.

Just a friendly note, before you jump into that water-hole…

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:28 PM

Ian, you’re about to be crushed :)

Entelechy on December 11, 2006 at 1:29 PM

What’s foremost on your mind when you read that the incoming House Intel chairman is cluelesss? Attacking two GOPers who aren’t leading House Intel.

As for “cherry picking,” I quoted the core of the story as it related to Reyes because he’s the incoming House Intel chair and what he thinks about the war is very relevant. I linked to the whole article so that you could read the whole thing for yourself and see that, yes indeed, Reyes is clueless. It’s called “blogging.” So you come back with the stuff that didn’t relate to Reyes, who was one of the subjects of this post because he’s the incoming House Intel chair. You attempted to steer the discussion away from Reyes and toward some GOPers who aren’t leading House Intel anytime soon. That’s called “hijacking.” One more time and you’ll experience something else, called “banning.”

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:30 PM

Bryan,

I was referring to the reporter in the interview being agenda driven, and the small section that Honora quoted. Not you. He basically says certain Republicans are stupid, but by not quoting or referencing any examples, we must take his word. I was not agreeing with Honora, just trying to twist her meaning, like she does so often, only with obviously less skill.

Sorry for not being more skillfully sarcastic, and for not addressing this misunderstanding sooner. Please don’t ban me.

BlueStateBlues on December 11, 2006 at 1:40 PM

One more time and you’ll experience something else, called “banning.”

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:30 PM

I will not be bullied. Do what you have to do.

honora on December 11, 2006 at 1:44 PM

Gotcha BSB. My bad.

Honora, just stick to the topics. I’m not bullying you, but I will ban you if you keep hijacking threads.

Bryan on December 11, 2006 at 1:46 PM

Liberals don’t just make the news, they make it up!

BigOrangeAxe on December 11, 2006 at 2:07 PM

It is rather obvious liberal Democrats are clueless or they wouldn’t have such clueless views on foriegn policy. If they weren’t so clueless they wouldn’t be liberals. If they had any intelligent foriegn policy to add to the discussion they wouldn’t qualify as liberals. So you see they are in a quandry. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They lose all their support if they suddenly develop ‘malkins’ and support intelligent foriegn policy and they lose their country if they don’t. What to do… what to do…

Griz on December 11, 2006 at 2:26 PM

It is rather obvious liberal Democrats are clueless or they wouldn’t have such clueless views on foriegn policy. If they weren’t so clueless they wouldn’t be liberals

Congratulations!! I believe you have just taken circular reasoning into another dimension!! Bravo!!

;^)

honora on December 11, 2006 at 2:37 PM

Hell, Bryan. Neither the left or right really debate the issues anymore. It always degrades to “my guy may be bad, but your guy is worse”.

Not that it’s constructive, but it seems to be the way these days unfortunately.

Anyway, back to the topic.

Reyes is a lightweight member of the Permanent Intellegence Committee. He is known as the “go to” guy for immigration issues, and is a retired Border Patrol agent, having served over 26 years.

He’s only been in the House for 10 years and in the last Congress, sponsored 19 bills, none of which were intelligence related. (Although he does claim National Security in an education bill)

This is not a “my guy, your guy” debate, Honora. They are all “our” guys. In this particular instance, Reyes would appear to be uninformed and unqualified. That’s the point.

BacaDog on December 11, 2006 at 2:39 PM

Congratulations!! I believe you have just taken circular reasoning into another dimension!! Bravo!!

Thank you Honora. Coming from you that’s a real condiment.

Griz on December 11, 2006 at 3:13 PM

Bryan wrote:

It’s interesting to me that more than half this post is about the possibility that there are dirty nukes out there, yet all the liberals want to talk about are two Republican reps who aren’t leading House Intel.

They don’t want to talk about Reyes, who will lead House Intel and who was a subject of this post.

They don’t want to talk about dirty nukes, which was a subject of this post.

The unwillingness to face reality IS the main problem with America’s liberals.

If there are dirty nukes, and if they are brought to America and used against us here, and if it happens while the Democrats are in power (i.e., the next 2 years), then the “blame America first” liberal Democrats running the Party had better have bus tickets to Canada because as former Senator Phil Gramm once said: “We’ll be hunting Democrats with dogs.”

Remember, as Vasko Kohlmayer noted in his article in the World Defense Review that it is the DEMOCRATS who have been subverting our defenses against Al Qaeda:

-They have tried to prevent us from listening on terrorists’ phone calls;
-They have sought to stop us from properly interrogating captured terrorists;
-They have tried to stop us from monitoring terrorists’ financial transactions;
-They have revealed the existence of secret national security programs;
-They have opposed vital components of the Patriot Act;
-They have sought to confer unmerited legal rights on terrorists;
-They have opposed profiling to identify the terrorists in our midst;
-They have impugned and demeaned our military;
-They have insinuated that the president is a war criminal;
-They have forced the resignation of a committed defense secretary;
-They have repeatedly tried to de-legitimize our war effort;
-They want to quit the battlefield in the midst of war.

In this age of blogging and the Internet, the media gatekeepers will NOT be able to spin away the fact that the Democratic Party leadership — whom our enemies now hold in high esteem and to whom they extend their ‘brotherly greetings’ and congratulations for their 11/7 victory — ARE AND WILL BE held accountable.

The backlash against the Democratic Party, should this calamity happen, will be unstoppable.

georgej on December 11, 2006 at 4:41 PM

The backlash against the Democratic Party, should this calamity happen, will be unstoppable.

georgej on December 11, 2006 at 4:41 PM

Sorta sounds like you are half wishing this “calamity” will happen….

I find your phrase “blame America first” interesting. Read your post–you seem to a real master of assigning blame yourself.

honora on December 12, 2006 at 1:15 PM