More On Torture

When the Washington Post published this report, the editors must have known that their long-term readers would denounce the paper for having become just another “neo-con rag.” The issue: torture of Al Qaeda officials in order to gain information. The WaPo reported the facts and the opinions surrounding the truth, and without giving a hint of the paper’s ideological bias. One cannot ask for more.

This newsletter advises against torture (see Number 81) because it tends to provoke the enemy to torture the prisoners he takes. It is important to note that Muslim fanatics will in any event torture and murder people. Further, torture as the PenPo defines it was not imposed on Khalid Mohammed, the Al Qaeda leader whose case is outlined by the WaPo.

Unfortunately virtually all people consider themselves qualified to mandate the treatment of captured Al Qaeda operatives. It is particularly interesting to see those who would dismantle and discard Enlightenment values argue passionately that their ethical wisdom must be respected.

This Really Stinks

“President Obama’s team has designated September 11 as the day to liken conservatives to Al Qaeda terrorists.” The gut-wrenching story ison this weblog, complete with damning, conclusive evidence of the offense.

This cynical effort to manipulate the voters indicates not just how low the fanatics will go, but their contempt for the intelligence of the (national) community they are trying to organize.

Be sure to click on the reproduction of the web page. You need to see Team Obama’s definition of critics of the administration. Then you will understand why this newsletter wants to know what Obama intends to do with that domestic security force he claimed the nation needs.

Whom will Obama’s planned internal security military target, if not domestic terrorists — as the administration defines them?

Before you dismiss the question as feverish partisanship, see this link, or, for quick confirmation, just watch this brief video clip.

Remember that Obama always read from a teleprompter, so his campaign speeches — as opposed to answers to questions — were not spontaneous wool-gathering. In the video, you can see that he’s delivering a speech.

A Cult Of Personality? Not Viable In The USA, As Obama Will Soon See

We saw hints when a TV luminary christened Obama “The One,” and when supporters organized small children into creepy choirs to sing the candidate’s praises. Now celebrities ask us all to “pledge” to support and presumably obey the president, and the White House has announced that there would be a presidential address to the nation’s pupils (interesting ruminations here, and some embarrassing history is recalled on this web page).

In isolation, each of the these events can be seen as a simple mistake. If you view them as links in a chain — which may be unjustified — they suggest something distinctly unpalatable. There are unsettling whiffs of arrogance, even grandeur, in the way Obama styles himself and his leadership (“We won!”).

Perhaps a charitable interpretation is correct. It could be that the members of Team Obama, besotted with their employer’s brilliance, have simply followed their emotional inclinations. That could have led to the excess. (See the Links in this issue.)

This newsletter suspects the goings-on behind closed doors in the White House include frequent pep talks. Remember, the man in charge is a community organizer. Those folks depend on their charm, vitality, gift of gab and “people skills” to keep the campaign rolling. In an amateurish effort to please the boss, some eager insiders might have acted unwisely.

The voters may be divided and many may be deluded, but they are not all fools. If anything like a true personality cult emerges from efforts to popularize Obama’s benevolence, it will be hammered hard. The public in general knows the difference between a principled politician and a leader who has the gall to ask for the personal fealty of the governed.

Then there is the culture war to consider. Obama has already alienated many of the folks who live in flyover country. If the president wants to lead, he must first stop offending decent people. So far, his triumphalist elitism has provoked a lot of skepticism and protest.


The majority leader of the US Senate gets called out by his state’s largest newspaper. And…

…there’s yet more bad behavior from a legislator. Most voters would prefer to vote the entire Congress out and start over from scratch. Frustration with the incompetents is now a constant drumbeat in the background. (Notice, by the way, that the PenPo is ignoring the criminal, arrogant hypocrisy of tax-evading Chuck Rangel; he gets plenty of coverage in the major media, and Pelosi is intent on keeping him where he is and under her tight control.) There is no predicting, but perhaps the electorate will graduate from “It’s the economy, Stupid!” to “It’s the Congress, Stupid!” If that were to happen, it would hamstring Obama.

Human Rights Watch, a hotbed of Jew- and Israel-hatred. Evidently the Muslim holy scripture is right: Jews and Israelis are not human.

The outrages take place every day. They are unreported by the press, unnoticed by most people, and represent one of the most dangerous breakdowns a society can have: a failure of the middle to hold under the mere pressure of everyday life. You should be alarmed, but the chances are you have no idea what is going on — which is why it goes on. Here’s a good video introduction to the topic.

As stated in the last PenPo, it’s hard to see how Camille Paglia can cite Obama’s foreign policy as a strong point of his administration. There is simply too much of this sort of nonsense.

Some news on the economy, specifically what TARP is up to. Jolly.

Did you ever wonder about the thugs who beat folks for opposing Obama’s policies? Here’s some info on one of them. You will be surprised.

Guess what was said when these folks were told, “Good grief, you can’t do that!” Of course there is only one possibility…”Yes we can!”

Because of Obama, we have change. A sterling example of the effects of Obama’s charisma: cop tells protester he can’t have a sign with a picture on it, and if he holds it up again, he will be arrested for whatever crime the cop wants to charge him with. Protester: “This is America!” Cop: “It ain’t no more.”

A meditation on the administration’s health care fiasco.

Jew-hatred in Europe.

What are the ultimate wellsprings of violence in Islam?

Obama has “czars.” Do you know how many? Oh, go ahead, guess. How many can you name? What do they do? For some basic facts — but no explanation of why czars are needed — here’s a video. (Bet you can’t write the names down and keep up with the list as it’s read off and the czars’ photos are displayed!) Then here’s a weblogger’s passionate, profanity-laced introduction to a “czar” you need to know more about. As far as this newsletter is aware, the facts presented in this heartfelt philippic are all in order, even if stated, er, forcefully. The grammar is another matter…it’s “whose,” not “who’s.”

What an allegedly tolerant, peaceful, mostly Islamic nation looks like. It’s quite different from the situation in Turkey, which is over 99% Muslim. Click on the link and see why and how that matters. Then ponder the implications for Europe.

Michael Yon reports from Afghanistan. This is one of his best dispatches. You won’t find journalism of this superb quality in any newspaper or on any TV screen…. Extra: Yon interviewed.

String theory is fantasy without evidence, dark matter and energy are lunatic concepts, and now this. So far, it’s just an observation, but the first attempt to explain it ought to be a real doozy.

What? Really? “…a private citizen is being threatened with prosecution for seeking to raise public and news media consciousness of the Feds’ war against doctors and patients.” (Source.) This from Obama’s Department of Justice, the same folks who refused to prosecute an armed thug trying to intimidate voters outside a polling place. Said armed thug had already lost his first round in court, and was a sitting duck of an armed thug.

So…explain to the PenPo how, where, and why Mark Steyn is not correct in each and every detail of this commentary.

Team Obama says it is having success causing terrorists to look for other jobs.

Internet anonymity is a good thing that can be used improperly. The tyrants running China and North Korea and Cuba, along with a lot of other bad people (such as Kofi Annan and his co-conspirators at the UN), want to put it beyond our reach. Consider the case of the Turks and Caicos Islands….

From The Archive

The ninety-fourth issue of The Terrapin Gazette appeared on the twelfth of March, 2006, and led off with some information on one of the Bush administration’s biggest and most puzzling stumbling blocks.

This Is Infuriating

We told you some time ago that a large number of documents were recovered from the headquarters of Saddam’s intelligence service, and that we were astounded to learn that they had attracted no interest. Some of the titles of the files were tremendously provocative, hinting at revelations that would overturn many of the lies the press has been passing off as everyday knowledge about the Iraq war.

Why, we wondered, was Bush doing nothing to get these files translated and revealed? Now we learn here that Bush has tried to have that done, but that there has been enough resistance to prevent it from happening. Read the incredible, stunning article for details.

Note: while the URL linking to this story made the Drudge Report, we are willing to be that you did not see this bizarre story reported in your newspaper.

An Honest Journalist Tries To Validate The Pessimism Of His Colleagues

We are constantly whining about the defeatism of most of the news media, and with good reason. Facts — honest evaluations of the situation — are hard to come by. Consider this reporter’s frustrated words:

I’m trying. I’ve been trying all week. The other day, I drove another 30 miles or so on the streets and alleys of Baghdad. I’m looking for the civil war that The New York Times declared. And I just can’t find it.

And riding around with the U.S. Army, looking at things first-hand, is certainly a technique to which The New York Times wouldn’t stoop in such an hour of crisis.

Read the rest of what he has to say here. (Note added 05SEP09: The URL no longer works, but you can read the entire article here, fortunately.)

This is the sort of story that gets into a paper, and is then ignored by all the other papers. Along with the specifics, the concepts and generalizations the story conveys are lost. So when lies appear and illogic pushes common sense aside, the evidence of success in Iraq is forgotten.

Or at least it was, until the internet was invented. Now you have access to stories the gatekeepers would prefer you not see.