Thursday Quick Notes
E. Howard Hunt makes Dick Cheney look like Lady Astor. In fact, anyone who receives high marks from G. Gordon Liddy for cunning and ruthlessness is not someone to be taken lightly. (The only guy I can think of that might be even scarier is Tony Poe)
Hunt was one of the Watergate burglars. He died yesterday and in his last interview is here:
The one passage that is going to fuel the conspiracy theorists forever more.
Slate: I know there is a conspiracy theory saying that David Atlee Phillips—the Miami CIA station chief—was involved with the assassination of JFK.
Hunt: [Visibly uncomfortable] I have no comment.
Slate: I know you hired him early on, to work with you in Mexico, to help with Guatemala propaganda.
Hunt: He was one of the best briefers I ever saw.
Slate: And there were even conspiracy theories about you being in Dallas the day JFK was killed.
Hunt: No comment.
Laura Hunt: Howard says he wasn't, and I believe him.
Slate: Any regrets?
Hunt: No, none. [Long pause] Well, it would have been nice to do Bay of Pigs differently.
Why "no comment"? Why not a denial? Very strange.
Badger6 has a video of combat in Iraq. The sniper rifle you see is a Barrett 50. You can see that the sound of the discharge is so loud you can see it knocking the plaster off the walls. I've had the opportunity to fire a .50 cal Desert Eagle which was like having a grenade go off in your hand. The shockwave from those rounds were formidable. I cannot imagine what kind of boom the big gun makes. Second, the shooter fires quite rapidly which surprised me. Either he is careless about snapping off shots or he has an amazing ability to acquire a sight picture and calculate lead, drop, wind and range. I'm hoping it's the latter.
Here's a website that outlines the errors and lies in Carter's latest
Should the GOP tank the 2008 election in hopes of winning in Iraq?
He said, “The Democrats have to win in 2008 — I mean, the whole enchilada: House, Senate, and presidency.” You ought to know that my friend is a staunch conservative Republican. “Why?” I said. “Why do they have to win?” He answered, “Because that’s the only way they will be fully onboard the War on Terror. They won’t fully support it otherwise, because they will always be trying to trip up the Republicans. If you want the Democrats onboard the War on Terror, they have to be in charge. Period.”
That's a very big gamble to take. In the same sense that "only Nixon can go to China" only Democrats can go Roman in the War on Terror. That said, that doesn't mean they will. Only that they would be able to sustain that on the domestic political front. More likely, they'd pull up stakes and come home letting the vacuum be filled with death, decay and destruction. (The upside for Democrats there would be that their Vietnam analogies would finally be applicable)
The anti-Israel crowd is always wailing and moaning about the IDF visiting horrors on poor, innocent, downtrodden Palestinians. In fact, Israelis are pikers compared to Shia militia members.
Insurgents defeated. Militarily? Yes but they're no longer fighting a military war. They're fighting an information war and all they need to do is cause mayhem to win.
Daniel Drezner has some thoughts on Newt's political prospects. I've been getting his emails for the last year or so and have been impressed by the depth of his proposals. Many of them are very bold (perhaps overly so) and show he's spent some real time thinking about the problems.
I part ways with Daniel's suggestion that the Contract With America is what handicaps him. That was his political nadir. The two incidents that define him are the plane temper tantrum thing and the government shut down. Newt would be an excellent cabinet member or even GOP chair. He is one of the few intended candidates who consistently has carried the flag of small government/low taxation that is sorely missing today. He won't run and he won't win. Look for him to play some sort of active role in the next administration.
Here's an interesting graph of SOTU addresses.
Lebananon on the brink. Looks like the next big fighting ground in the Middle East will be the Levant. (Not that this is new). Call it Round 31. The difference here is the potential influx of Saudi money against Iranian interests as detailed here. Is there a "secret war against Iran"? I don't know but I'm hopeful. While I loathe any occasion for us to get into bed with the Saudis it may, unfortunately, be necessary to do so until the current Iranian regime collapses.
Diane Feinstein is up to her bejeweled earrings in unseemly and unethical dealings. As I've noted time and again. Corruption is not confined to one party. It grows proportionally with your time in Washington.
The Pope played hooky. I love the idea of the Pontiff sneaking out with his friends to go skiing. I can only imagine the panic that ensued when they realized he was gone and didn't know where he was.