The TSA has adopted the phrase "enhanced patdown" the same way the CIA adopted "enhanced interrogation." I want an "enhanced 4th Amendment."
Thu. May 05, 2011
The story of the assault on Osama’s compound has shifted a bit since Sunday night, but from the beginning, there were a couple of things that struck me as very odd.
When you are the Most Wanted Man on Earth, you cannot live a “normal” life. Yet it appears that’s exactly what bin laden tried to do: live in one place for an extended time, with his family.
Fri. May 22, 2009
Portions of our debate about torture have been almost entirely sematic. Even when we can agree on what actions were taken, we cannot agree on what to call them. Was it actually torture, or was it an “enhanced interrogation technique.” When Bush said “we don’t torture,” what the hell did he mean, when we were waterboarding a couple of guys dozens and dozens of times?
We debate these semantics and keep getting diverted from the basic issue. Probably on purpose.
Diversion One: But wait, don’t spend too much time worrying about the semantics of “what do we call this,” that’s not the proper measurement. Let’s talk about whether it was effective.
Diversion Two: But wait, that’s not important either, the real crux of the matter is what did Nancy Pelosi know, and when did she know it?
Diversion Three: And if we’re going to close Gitmo, do those hundreds of terrorists really have to move into that foreclosed house in the cul-de-sac around the corner? I find that somewhat scary…
After years of no motion, the past few weeks have brought a lot of fast talk, culminating in Thursday’s “dueling speeches” from President Obama and former VP Dick Cheney. I watched all of the President’s speech, and watched Cheney’s until I was overcome by the urge to shoot myself in the face to make it stop. And I once again feel the need to address publicly muddied issues that seem crystal clear to me.
Wed. Aug 06, 2008
In the past several days, we’ve learned of two instances where it would appear the “safety” from “terror” that’s been “created” over the past seven years or so is largely illusory.
Sun. Nov 04, 2007
Here we are about five years down the line since the subject came up, and we’re still trying to decide if waterboarding and other “intense interrogation techniques” qualify as torture. I suppose I should take solace in the fact people are still talking about it, instead of being waterboarded for their dissent. But I swear, day by day, I have more and more of those “What Country Is This?” moments. The latest is inspired by something The Wife pointed out to me in Saturday’s AJC about a recent speech by General Russel Honore, the plain spoken and straight forward general who you might remember from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Mon. Jul 02, 2007
Obviously, I’ve been a bit distracted from all the details. But from what I gather, there were two attempted car bombs in London, one of which fizzled in a manner more dudly than deadly, and the other got towed for being parked illegally. Which, unless they were planning on attacking the police impound lot, makes for another dudly attempt.
Tue. May 08, 2007
It seems like over the past year that when anyone says “boo,” people rush to ask, “Terrorism”? As I wrote not long ago, “We’re sorry this country has reached the point where every odd smell in downtown Manhattan, every prank by some obvious web goober, every unruly woman on an airplane, or every jokester college student playing with dry ice ... is immediately construed as a terroristic act.”
Thu. Feb 01, 2007
You’ve certainly heard the story by now. But, my, what a lovely lead: “Authorities have arrested two men in connection with electronic light boards depicting a middle-finger-waving moon man that triggered repeated bomb scares around Boston on Wednesday and prompted the closure of bridges and a stretch of the Charles River.“
An electronic moon man closed a river in Boston. And that’s not the most ridiculous part of the story.
Wed. Oct 18, 2006
When I first heard the words “Falcons” and “bomb” in the same sentence today, I thought, yep, they probably will bomb this weekend, again, seeing how the World Champ’s are coming to town Sunday. However, I heard those words on CNN, as they started the 4:00 hour with about five minutes of The Dirty Bomb Scare. Allegedly there is absolutely no credible evidence of a plan to dirty bomb seven NFL stadiums this Sunday. But the Department of Homeland Security had to open the bunker window and yell “boo” at us just the same.
But I do have to note … if you want make Reid mad enough to join the Marines, just blow up his Sunday football game. And I’ll show you that Morten Andersen isn’t the only guy in his mid-to-late 40’s who can drop kick your butt.
Wed. Oct 12, 2005
I thought I’d post an update about our two “incidents” in Atlanta over the past couple of days. And the lesson here is when you hear the first report, ignore at least half of it. Which half, I don’t know, but the point is … don’t go off half-cocked in your blog because one cop uses some derivation of the word “terrorism.” Because it may not be an Islamic jihadist. It may be ... another blogger.
Sat. Sep 03, 2005
While I suggested people Shut Up And Give as part of the web-wide effort to raise funds on Thursday, I think it’s now more appropriate to call it the “Katrina’s Cuss Jar.” After all, a Cuss Jar is used after the cuss, not so much to stop it, but to generate something good out of it. And though I believe in focusing on Priority One, helping those still at risk, there’s at least one larger lesson we can draw from this, as individuals. And families.
Mon. Aug 22, 2005
Back in April, I wrote “from the day it happened, this has been like a dark place in my heart.” On the day Eric Rudolph was brought to Atlanta to plead guilty, I made a trip to Centennial Park to try and find some personal closure. And today, I’m closing the door on the man himself.
Thu. Jul 28, 2005
Thu. Jul 21, 2005
There’s so much that we don’t know yet, but it would appear that there’s been an attempt to repeat the attacks in London of two weeks ago, either by the same “group” (minus the four bombers themselves), or perhaps a like-minded copycat group. It brings a lot of thoughts to mind that may be made moot in less than one news cycle as we learn more, but this is clearly a major development. And in my opinion, it’s a very positive one.
Wed. Jul 13, 2005
Last year, I wrote an article entitled “PhotoTerrorists” about the suspicions photographers have often faced since 9/11. Over the course of this year, I’ve saved a few articles and news items about restrictions placed on photography in public areas. The reasons vary, from alleged protection of “copyrighted material,” to broadly defined “security concerns.” Though the recent attacks in London are what brought this issue to the front of my mind, rather than start with “the arguable,” we’ll start with “the ridiculous.”
Sun. Jul 10, 2005
It was entirely predictable, but after the attacks in London, the debate has often turned striaght to Iraq. Rather than get into it myself, I just have some lengthy quotes from others.
Thu. Jul 07, 2005
Our world suffers under a series of tragic dates. 9/11. 3/11. And now, 7/7.
Wed. Jul 06, 2005
Each year, the “anniversary” rolls around (though there is hardly cause for celebration). Each year, the futile rage I felt a decade ago becomes a bit more than just a scarred memory. Each year, I remember in detail why the UN is dead to me. And each year, something happens or something is said that reinforces and validates all those old feelings.
On the possibility of genocide, people once said “Never Again.” Each year, I’m reminded the reality is “Ever Again.”
Wed. Jun 08, 2005
As I’ve mentioned recently, our government’s efforts at controlling the movement of people at our airports and borders has become a sad farce from which we can best draw a morbid chuckle (when we can suppress the howls of disgust), but little in the way of actual security.
Sun. May 22, 2005
My wife will tell you that I’m a person who likes the rules (mainly as a result of her treatment by my alter ego, Nurse Bruno, during her recovery). But the truth is, I like rules … that make sense. And as I wrote recently, “rules that make sense” are in short supply at the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.
But I had no idea.