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July 14, 2009
Rapidfire: El LocoBy Greyhawk
Dick Cheney didn't have an assassination squad and didn't tell Congress, Seymour Hersh validated (he owes himself an apology for claiming he was wrong!) war resister ignored, military flybys - it's crazy from the heat, we are.
Well, some things never change: Soldier balks at deploying; says Obama isn't president. The attorney representing this lowlife is a "leading figure" in the Birther movement, a group that insists President Obama is not a citizen. "I hope that the men in this country, particularly in our military will finally revolt against this travesty of Justice" she said in January.
I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, to find no mention of this from the various "anti-war" groups. Usually they rapidly mobilize (along with their PR firms) to provide info on where people can donate to the defense fund, and nationwide media coverage ensues. This case is covered only in a local newspaper. I'm sure that will all change very soon.
Some folks will do just about anything to avoid combat in Afghanistan:
When he's ready to change tactics to something the "anti-war" crowd can support, maybe U.S. Army (Reserve) Maj. Stefan Frederick Cook will consider donning a Burqa.
Stop the presses! The CIA did not have an assassination ring, and Congress didn't know!!!! "The plans remained vague and were never carried out, the officials said."
So - what else are we not doing that Congress doesn't know about?
"...the plans were never completely shelved..." is certainly another interesting way of saying this never got past the idea stage. But quizzically, this non-existent "program" is referred to as a "program" throughout the "news report".
For some reason (apparently "initially at the instruction of former Vice President Dick Cheney") Congress was never informed that the CIA did not have an assassination squad running around the globe killing al Qaeda members but had considered creating one and decided not to. I guess there's an egregious outrage here that needs to be set right, but I'm not clear whether that entails the Executive branch a) providing Congress a comprehensive list of everything they aren't doing (a workload increase - and some in the White House are already working over 12 hours a day); or b) immediately establishing a secret CIA assassination team; or c) just stop thinking up these "ideas". I hate multiple-choice journalism - things certainly seemed clearer in times past.
Regardless, I for one think the intrepid NY Times reporters who broke this story should be considered for a Pulitzer Prize.
That bombshell helps explain why they haven't had time to support the courageous efforts of war resisters lately.
Of course, a more complete Hersh quote (not available at HuffPo or Kos links) will clarify why it would matter whether Defense Secretary Gates was informed about CIA actions or not.
"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC it's called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. [Robert] Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...
It's good they left off the part where Hersh carefully explains he's talking about the U.S. military - that would further confuse things. It's much more simple and straightforward to acknowledge that the NY Times report that we don't have a secret assassination team validates Hersh's claim that we do. Again, it's a good thing we have blogs like that to tell us what the MSM won't.
Which has led to calls for an apology to Hersh. I for one call on Seymour Hersh to be the first to apologize to Seymour Hersh - and the bloggers who furiously supported his claims. "Vice president Cheney does not have a death squad", Hersh said, responding to reports that Hersh claimed that he did. "This is another example of blogs going bonkers with misleading and fabricated stories and professional journalists repeating such rumours without doing their job - and that is to verify such rumours." Now that we have even more evidence that Hersh was right it's become clearer that Seymour Hersh was wrong - maybe even lying. All those folks who supported him against his attack on his credibility can certainly feel good about themselves now.
Anyhow, at least for the Daily Kos/HuffPo faithful the obvious answer to my earlier question is "c: stop thinking".
I'd acknowledge the "coolness" too, but can't imagine any circumstances where I'd approve of it, budget crisis or no. But my approval doesn't matter.
So who at the appropriate level did?
At least it's a better quality picture than this:
Posted by Greyhawk / July 14, 2009 9:03 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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