Monthly Archives: December 2003

Let’s not jump to conclusions

Is Howard Dean only figuratively out of his mind? This AP story has me wondering: “Dean: It’s premature to convict bin Laden.” How many symptoms of utter blinking derangement can you count in the two lead sentences of the story? “Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says it’s premature to recommend what penalty Osama bin Laden should face before he’s been legally determined to be guilty of the Sept. 11 terror »

The Friendly Skies of Air France

The Telegraph has the latest on the cancellation of six Air France flights over the Christmas holiday. The accounts from both French and U.S. sources are fragmentary, but American intelligence officials are saying they intercepted al Qaeda emails that contained the flight numbers of the Air France flights in question. They are apparently angry at France (or maybe Air France) for prematurely leaking the fact that there were concerns about »

CIA Seeks Terrorist Angle on Anthrax

Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough report in their Washington Times column that the CIA “has been quietly building a case that the anthrax attacks of 2001 were in fact the result of an international terrorist plot.” This is in contrast with the FBI’s hypothesis, which Gertz and Scarborough call the “mad scientist” theory. They note that the FBI’s approach has gone nowhere, but do not disclose any of the intelligence »

Shiites Demand Saddam’s Execution

Earlier today, thousands of Iraqi Shiites demonstrated in Baghdad in favor of executing Saddam Hussein. In the photo below, the Iraqis have put a bronze bust of Saddam on a pole and one man is beating it with a shoe while others stone it. There has been a great deal of talk about how to insure that Saddam receives a “fair trial,” and even some hand-wringing about whether a “fair »

Introducing The American Thinker

On Christmas Eve we received a message from Thomas Lifson of Berkeley, California announcing the arrival of a new group blog modeled in part on Power Line: “I read your blog every day, and enjoy it tremendously. The intelligence and analytical acuteness you bring to the site have been an inspiration to me. Six days ago, I began my own collective blog, partially based on your model. We are still »

The truth about global warming

Reader Dafydd ab Hugh writes: “Have you read this absolutely riveting lecture by author Michael Crichton? The admirable Crichton lays out more clearly than I have seen in years the paucity of science behind the model-driven claims of the First Church of Fundamentalist Global Warming. A bit longish but well worth the read all the way to the end.” Here’s the truth, if only you can stand it: “Aliens cause »

Aftershocks of war

Charles Krauthammer’s column today responds in its own way to the Democratic fools who play down the role of the Bush administration in producing Gadaffi’s capitulation. Krauthammer demonstrates that the current crop of Democratic candidates cannot see what is in plain sight before their eyes, or pretend that they cannot: “Aftershocks of war.” (Courtesy of Malcolm Smordin.) In “Walter Mondale loses it,” Rocket Man and I sought to respond to »

Hands-off the net

In this rather depressing piece, Adam Thierer and Wayne Crews of the Cato Institute describe a recent U.N. conference on how the Internet should be governed and what steps should be taken to solve the global “digital divide” and to “harness the potential of information” on behalf of the world’s poor. As Thierer and Crews point out, this is really about the desire of statists, under the guise of protecting »

Thirteen curls at the neck

George Will pauses to reflect on George Washington’s triumphal trip home for Christmas 1783, the trip on which he surrrendered his military commission and returned to Mount Vernon: “Washington, source of a nation.” Will summarizes Stanley Weintraub’s new book, General Washington’s Christmas Farewell: A Mount Vernon Homecoming, 1783. In a season during which we pause to reflect on the gratitude we owe to others, Will’s column is perfect reading. UPDATE: »

Merry Christmas…

…to our readers from the Power Line crew. »

Christmas greetings from Afghanistan

Our source on the ground in Afghanistan is a reserve Army major (called to duty from his home in Minneapolis) whom we are inordinately proud to claim as a Power Line reader. He has previously asked us not to disclose his name for security reasons. He sent us the following Christmas message: “I just wanted to check in. Unfortunately, not a lot of new news here that I can report »

Erring on the side of terrorists

Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, in the Washington Times, dissects the 2-1 Court of Appeals decision holding that the president is not empowered to detain as prisoners of war illegal enemy combatants linked to al Qaeda and apprehended in the United States. Fein points out that Congress authorized the president to employ “all necessary and appropriate force” against any nation, organization, or persons implicated in the terrorist attacks to thwart “any »

The rest of the story

Daniel Pipes briefly notes the techniques employed by the Council for American-Islamic Relations to impose its Islamist line on those who dare to voice troubling observations about Islam, Islamism, or Muslims. Pipes notes the techniques in the context of their most recent application to compel the venerable Paul Harvey to conform: “CAIR’s assault on Paul Harvey.” »

Second Thoughts In France

Amir Taheri comments on the foreign policy debate now roiling France: “Has France shot itself in the foot by trying to prevent the toppling of Saddam Hussein? “The question is keeping French foreign policy circles buzzing as the year draws to the close. Even a month ago, few would have dared pose the question. “In denial mode, the French elite did not wish to consider the possibility that President Jacques »

Gaddafi speaks

The Telegraph reports on CNN’s interview with the Libyan madman: “Follow my lead, Gaddafi urges rogue states.” According to the Telegraph, Gaddafi sidestepped direct questions about whether the war in Iraq had influenced his decision to scrap nuclear, biological and chemical research, saying his motives were “not important.” But his stark warning to other “rogue” states appeared to offer endorsement of Washington’s and London’s policy of diplomacy backed by pre-emptive »

Tunnels to Egypt, Israel’s peace partner

The Jerusalem Post carries a story on the Israeli raid on one of those permanent “refugee camps” in the Gaza Strip, this one straddling the border with Egypt: “IDF exits Rafah.” The raid itself is not as interesting as the story’s accompanying photograph of the weapon-smuggling tunnel (above) that was blown up during the raid. This is one of the 40 such tunnels whose existence Israel has discovered in the »

Governor Pataki gets the last laugh

Was Lenny Bruce funny? Even on his comedy albums of the ’60s (I had just about all of them and knew several by heart — I thought he was deep), the laughs are few and far between. Then he became a celebrity as a result of his prosecutions for obscenity and came to fancy himself something of a social critic and philosopher. The laughs grew even fewer and farther between. »