Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

Well, with the nine Americans(!) killed in Iraq today, we’ve gone over the 600 dead mark(!), and enjoyed the second-deadliest month(!) since the end of major combat eleven months ago. As I saw the AP photos of the four charred American bodies (all civilians!) being hung from a bridge in Fallujah, I was struck by the complete and utter absence … Read More

Powell Adds Credence to Clark Testimony

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Not intentionally of course. Here’s the timeline which tells the story: December 16, 2000 – Powell nominated by Bush to be Secretary of State. December 20, 2000 – Powell meets with CIA, FBI and the State Department for the transition. "We talked about al Qaeda," Powell later admits. January 17, 2000 – Powell testifies at his confirmation hearing. Outlining the … Read More

Outsourcing Torture

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Iraq, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

The Village Voice has an interesting article on a CIA practice known as "extraordinary rendition". What it basically means is this: we pick up a suspect (i.e., a terrorism suspect) in a foreign country. Then, rather than interrogate him here in the United States, we ship him off to Syria or someplace where the authorities there can practice, uh, more … Read More

Eric Embarrassment Watch I

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

Who’s "Eric"? I don’t know — perhaps a Special Assistant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Whoever he is, chances are he’ll be out of a job by the end of the day. Why? It looks like he left his notes regarding strategy sessions on how to deal with Clarke, etc. at a D.C. Starbucks. (Included in his … Read More

Rice To Testify

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

The White House is backpeddling. Which is fine. Doing the right thing . . . eventually . . . is the best we can hope for from the Bush Administration. But here’s something that struck me as odd — today’s letter to the 9/11 Commission from the White House counsel, especially this self-serving statement: The President has consistently stated a … Read More

More Corroboration of Clarke

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

[Outgoing Deputy National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Donald L. Kerrick], who stayed through the first four months of the Bush administration, said, "candidly speaking, I didn’t detect" a strong focus on terrorism. "That’s not being derogatory. It’s just a fact. I didn’t detect any activity but what Dick Clarke and the CSG [the Counterterrorism Strategy Group he chaired] were doing." … Read More

New Rule (with Apologies to Bill Maher)

Ken AshfordBush & Co., IraqLeave a Comment

Politicians cannot engage in political humor, if they don’t know what’s funny. At last night’s Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association 60th annual dinner, Bush presented a series of slides: A recurring joke involved photos of the president in awkward positions — bent over as if he’s looking under a table, leaning to look out a window — accompanied by remarks … Read More

Uh . . . Question?

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Iraq, PlamegateLeave a Comment

Fox News in August 2002 had an interview with Richard Clarke (then working for Bush White House). Clarke was on background, which is why Fox had to seek permission from the White House to release the transcript yesterday, identifying Clarke as the source. (The White House, of course, granted permission) Apparently, this is how it is done. I have no … Read More

Newdow v. Rehnquist

Ken AshfordSupreme CourtLeave a Comment

Michael Newdow, the atheist-doctor-attorney from California who wants "under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, made his argument to the Supreme Court today. And HE made it HIMSELF, not some high-priced experienced appellate lawyer. By one first-hand account, Newdow wasn’t too shabby for a guy who doesn’t actually practice law for a living. He even one-upped Rehnquist at one … Read More

Powell Failed His Own Challenge To Identify Supporting Nations

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

"And this particular coalition of the willing now has 47 nations; 47 nations are openly members of the coalition, and have asked to be identified with this effort. And there are many other nations that for a variety of reasons don’t want to be publicly identified, but are also a part of the coalition of the willing". – Colin Powell. … Read More

Law Enforcement & Intelligence vs. Terrorism

Ken AshfordElection 2004, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Kerry’s still singing that same tune about how law enforcement activities and intelligence activities are going to win the war on terrorism. He said it again yesterday, even though it makes him look "soft" (to some): This is the time to redouble our efforts in every way – law enforcement activities, intelligence activities — and deal with this threat to … Read More

Good Gramma!

Ken AshfordPopular CultureLeave a Comment

I’m an English snob. I admit it. When someone says they want to "axe" me a question, I want to plant my foot in their behind. So let’s take a moment out of our busy days to make sure we’re not butchering the English language, shall we? This is a good place for us to brush up: The 100 Most … Read More

Yes, Foreign Leaders Want Kerry To Win

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

Why? Because those allying with Bush lose in their elections. Germany in ’02, South Korea in ’03, and Spain in ’04. Bush is the kiss of death. And now, the President of Poland (part of the ever-dwindling "coalition of the willing disenchanted") is distancing himself from Bush in a big way, saying that Poland too was "misled with the information … Read More

Who’s the Dupe?

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

Please read this story . It is a story saying that an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group issued a statement saying that it wants Bush to be elected. I assumed it to be a joke, like the recent fake "NY Times" article that got the NYT all worked up. Part of the tip-off for me was the reporter’s name, "Opheera McDoom". … Read More