The Watcher’s Council Takes Another Turn

Watcher's CouncilThe Watcher’s kaleidoscope changes again: Done with Mirrors is replacing Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave. I always liked Eric’s choice of blog name: his very own memento mori. At any rate, he moves on our blog from the Council to the other links. If you haven’t done so, check him out.

This week’s winners are The Glittering Eye and Strata-sphere, for first and second places respectively (when a second place winner places so closely to first, I feature both).

Options on Iran II,” by the GE, provides a most valuable link:

     In order to come up to speed on the history of Iran’s nuclear development program you should check out NTI (Nuclear Threat Initiative). NTI is headed by former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia (whom I much admire) and at the link you’ll find an impeccably sourced chronology of Iran’s nuclear development program from the 1950’s to the present. For a sketch of the developments of the last two years see here . It’s too long to include and impossible to excerpt.

In a long list of possible outcomes for the “burgeoning crisis” that is Iran, G.E. sums them up this way:

     Over the Christmas holidays I had a conversation on the subject of Iran with my very bright brother-in-law in which I was reminded that lots of people make little distinction among things that are physically impossible (things we can’t do), things that are politically impossible (things that are hard to do), things we shouldn’t do, and things we don’t want to do. They are different and there are quite a few things we can do about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, it’s not completely clear (at least to me) that we should do any of them, and not one of them is particularly palatable.

Brilliant analysis. Depressing, too.

I want to personally thank Strata-Sphere for his exposition of the NSA mess. I’ve avoided reading about it because it seemed too Byzantine for my ADD brain to ever successfully untangle. But his second place post did the trick. He clarified this thing right down to the ground so even I could understand it, and he made it look easy.

In “NY Times Confesses Truth About NSA Leak” he hits two birds with one stone: he explains succinctly what happened and he clears the way for an excision which might serve to create a new orifice on the Old Grey Doxy:

     [George Bush] opened the flow of leads from NSA monitoring regarding communications between people overseas and people here in the US. The NSA mission probably did not change, but their target list grew as we got intel from the battlefield and arrests. But what probably changed is how easily it flowed now to domestic law enforcement.
Seeing the obvious results of the Bush order, as clearly described by the NY Times, it seems clear the only change was that leads could now easily be passed from NSA to the FBI. Many of us assumed this was always the case. Now I believe that was one of the systemic problems we had pre 9-11 and was the essence of the Bush order.

When reading this post, you get the definite feeling that the FBI doesn’t want to work too hard (that “Gorelick Wall” must have suited them just fine) and that The Times will do any amount of work in order to bring Bush down:

     Finally, the mea culpa. The NY Times is trying to get itself out of hot water. It is trying to make it appear like this was all some innocent mistake and they were caught up in an internal feud. Well they weren’t caught up in an internal feud. They were duped because they wanted Bush so bad the believed anything these media addicted malcontents would say. Without question.
Several of the law enforcement officials acknowledged that they might not know of arrests or intelligence activities overseas that grew out of the domestic spying program. And because the program was a closely guarded secret, its role in specific cases may have been disguised or hidden even from key investigators.
All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the program is classified.
Translation: their sources are equivocating.

Read the whole discussion. It’s enlightening.

First place in the Non-Council nominations was The Anchoress for her assessment of the traitorous perfidy of that yellow journalism rag emanating from New York City. In “NY Times tipped terrorists? (UPDATED)” she recalls the horror of 9/11 — both hers personally — and the stories of others. She ends her moving remembrances with this observation:

     I remember knowing, four years ago, that terrorists were evil and that terrorism needed defeating. I thought we all knew it.
I will wonder how Harry Reid and the NY Times and the leakers and “anonymous sources” they have lionized can live with all the blood on their hands, even as they (predictably) immediately blame the White House for not “connecting the dots.”
If it happens anywhere in America, (or, really, anywhere else) I will look toward the NY Times and the rest of the “pure, patriotically motivated” press and leftists, because they will have, by their actions and their rhetoric, enabled terrorists to move forward where they had perhaps formerly been stalled. By making the job of surveillance and information-sharing more difficult (drop the Patriot Act and Jamie Gorelick’s wall snaps back in place) and the terrorist’s job easier, they will have participated in something deadly – all because they wanted to “get” the president and keep him from succeeding – which means keep America from succeeding – which means keep the world from progressing away from the scourge of terrorism.

And here, her clincher about those traitors on43rd Street:

     It’s funny, in a way…the NY Times and the rest have damaged their own playing field. Had we been attacked – and they not leaked the NSA information – many in the country (those not convinced that a second attack is inevitable) would reflexively blame the White House for slacking off. Now, thanks to the leaks, and all the pontificating about them…well, if there is another attack, people will look not at Washington, but at West 43rd Street, and similar addresses.
Where your heart is, there will your treasure be as well. It must take dark, dark hearts to be able to consciously decide that a “get” is more important than the safety of your fellow citizens, that helping terrorists is more noble than helping your government to defeat them.

The Anchoress sure can craft a sentence.

Second place went to Liberty and Culture for a post I’ve thought of writing myself, but never did. In “Bloggers: The Pamphleteers of Today,” Mr. Pappas quotes George Orwell:

     The spontaneous uprising of Internet bloggers shows a discontent with the orthodoxy of the leftward-leaning mainstream media (MSM.) Blogging today has its precedent in yesteryear’s pamphleteering and often driven by a similar dissatisfaction. George Orwell’s, in an introduction to the British Pamphleteer, was motivated “by his belief that in Twentieth-century society the press does not adequately represent all shades of opinion.”

He ends his post with a most interesting prediction:

     With the advent of radio and television, particularly the days where networks dominated, the professional writer was separated from the man in the street. With the rise of the Internet the writer-citizen has re-established a healthy balance not seen since great days when our republic was founded. Perhaps two hundred years from now, some graduate student will be writing a dissertation on The Role of Blogs on the Restoration of the Principles of the American Revolution.

May it be less than two centuries, sir. How about sixty years? That’s as long as it took us to get from the Constitution to the Civil War. And since change happens more rapidly now, how about thirty years or so?

All this and more is over at the Watcher’s. Give it a look-see.

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