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Over at Crooks and Liars they have a clip of an appearance by William Kristol in which “Pistol” Kristol says: “Look, if I were a Sunni extremist and was worried, which I would be, about a doubling of U.S. forces in Baghdad, what would I do? I would try to convey an impression of chaos.”

Kristol has no idea what anyone outside of his “support group” thinks about anything, because none of these people seems capable of understanding the motives of others. They can’t put themselves in the position of others, so they make nonsensical comments. These are the people who think torture works, because they know it would work on them. These guys would apparently sell their families into slavery on the threat of a paper cut, and can’t understand that some people are made of sterner stuff.

It doesn’t occur to Kristol that the upsurge in violence is a result of the Shi’ia militias disappearing from the streets. It is a tactical response by the Sunnis to take revenge while they can. Baghdad is fast being “cleansed” of Sunnis by the Shi’ia militias, so this is an opening for the Sunnis. The main Sunni area of operations is Anbar province. I guess Kristol missed the memo about the Sunnis of Baghdad welcoming the American surge as they view it as a way to halt the Shi’ia attacks.

Kristol has been consistently wrong about everything, but he keeps getting air time to give his opinion. You would think that the media would occasionally scheduled someone who was right, just for the shock value.

February 5, 2007   Comments Off on Empathy

Smart Ass

Glenn Greenwald has an article, How the super-smart, insider experts opine, about one Benjamin Wittes, “Guest Scholar” at the Brookings Institution, who has his opinions published by the The New Republic.

According to Ben, everyone else is too stupid to understand the entire issue about the Shrubbery’s electronic surveillance program and the FISA court. The reason is that Ben has studied the issue and he doesn’t understand it. According to Ben, if an “expert” like him doesn’t understand it, no one does, because Ben has actually visited the FISA court.

Glenn, as a lawyer, points out that the law, US Code: Title 50, Chapter 36 – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, is actually quite simple and straight forward, essentially, electronic surveillance requires a warrant. That’s it – officials need to obtain a warrant.

Unlike Ben, I’m not a “Guest Scholar” at a think tank. Unlike Glenn, I’m not a lawyer. No, I’m just some guy with a web site™, who happens to have been assigned to the National Security Agency, who happens to have a degree in Information Technology, who happens to have spent a decade in law enforcement. What could I know about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency or obtaining warrants?

What they were/are doing is illegal. Nothing obtained by their actions is admissible, nor is anything derived from it. There is no excuse for what they have been up to, and if they had tried it in my jurisdiction they would have been arrested and prosecuted.

As for the garbage about “we don’t know what they doing,” just about everyone who works with networks on a regular basis has a damn good idea of exactly what they were doing, and it wouldn’t take much poking around to prove it. There are logging activities going on all over the various networks that can be used to back-trace, and tampering with the logs will also produce evidence.

February 5, 2007   2 Comments

Doesn’t Play Well With Others

Be advised that currently iTunes & Vista don’t like each other. There are some work-arounds, but when you can’t download music and have it play on your iPod, it sounds broken to me.

This is no doubt part of the “protect copyright at all costs and screw the users” that is built into Vista as part of the “security.” Word is that Vista spends a lot of resources verifying that the “thieving” users aren’t doing any possible type or form of “piracy,” like downloading free software.

Oh, if you use someone else’s security software, like Norton, it probably won’t work either. This reminds me of the old days when the mantra about new MicroSoft OSs was “if Lotus will run, it isn’t done,” a reference to the fact that Lotus Notes was very popular and MicroSoft wanted people to use Outlook. I’m sure it was just coincidental that Lotus software never seemed to work after an OS upgrade.

February 5, 2007   7 Comments