Updated: 5/16/2006; 2:38:57 PM.

Current events
Post-9-11 events and analyses

daily link  Monday, August 09, 2004

How to build homeland security:  An NYT "OpChart" showing how the first $144B in Iraq costs might have been spent on homeland security instead.  11:44:28 PM  permalink  

Foreign Affairs - The Neglected Home Front: Comprehensive review of what has not been done on homeland security, including tracking biomaterials, cleaning up nuclear materials, improving cargo inspection, securing infrastructure, equiping first responders.  Examples: "Although the CIA has concluded that the most likely way weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would enter the United States is by sea, the federal government is spending more every three days to finance the war in Iraq than it has provided over the past three years to prop up the security of all 361 U.S. commercial seaports. This myopic focus on conventional military forces at the expense of domestic security even extends to making the physical security at U.S. military bases a higher budget priority than protecting the nation's most critical infrastructure. In fiscal year 2005, Congress will give the Pentagon $7.6 billion to improve security at military bases. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security will receive just $2.6 billion to protect all the vital systems throughout the country that sustain a modern society."  11:35:00 PM  permalink  

U.S. rapped for blowing spy's cover:  Condi Rice told reporters Khan's name and role, and blew the cover on a HUMINT resource.  "A captured Al Qaeda computer whiz was E-mailing his comrades as part of a sting operation to nab other top terrorists when U.S. officials blew his cover, sources said yesterday. Within hours of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan's name being publicized Monday, British police launched lightning raids that netted a dozen suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, including one who was nabbed after a high-speed car chase.  ..

Now British and Pakistani intelligence officials are furious with the Americans for unmasking their super spy - apparently to justify the orange alert - and for naming the other captured terrorist suspects.  Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat expressed dismay the trap they had hoped would lead to the capture of other top Al Qaeda leaders, possibly even Osama Bin Laden, was sprung too soon.  "The network is still not finished," Hayyat said. It "remains a potent threat to Pakistan, and to civilized humanity."  "It makes our job harder," a British security source said. British officials denied press reports yesterday that several suspects were able to escape the net."

Juan Cole and others cite stories of 5 suspects who were not apprehended, and provides details of how Rice was identified as the source.  Senator Charles Schumer "has asked the White House to explain why the name was leaked to the press, saying it may have hurt the war on terror, according to a letter obtained by Reuters on Monday. "  Reuters quotes Tim Ripley, a security expert who writes for Jane's Defence publications, "The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse."

  2:43:05 PM  permalink  

Kerry gets 204 executive endorsements -- inlcuding one unlikely one: "Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry released a list of 204 executives who endorse his economic policies, including .. Peter Chernin, chief operating officer of News Corp..."  Chemin was just renewed for five more years as president and COO of News Corp.  10:43:00 AM  permalink  

Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall:  A brilliant blog during this political season.  A few choice bits:

  • On Bush's endorsement of the 911 Commission recommendations, followed by his proposal of a weak Director of Intelligence:" this is such a pattern for this White House that you'd think the Kerry campaign, and the Dems on the Hill, would get hold of this as a pretty manageable critique of this administration: That is, you just can't trust them. What this White House says it's doing and what it's actually doing seldom turn out to be the same thing. "
  • Press failures covering WMD: "Do not miss this very important article that not only covers the exceptionally good reportage of Knight-Ridder reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay on the WMD claims, but also the costs of aggressively bucking the administration line. "
  • On GOP ridicule (which I recall as devastatingly effective against Gore in 2000),  "aimed at mocking John Kerry as a undistinguished and risible figure. According to the Times, this will culminate at the GOP convention where Kerry will be portrayed as "an object of humor and calculated derision." .. Republicans are very good at this. And it can be a tool that is deceptively difficult to respond to or combat. Effective mockery is 'sticky', hard to shake off, hard to parry. And it appeals to people's appetite for fun and humor. Indeed, it's not just contemporary Republicans who have a knack for this. There seems to be something intrinsic to the reactionary or right-leaning mentality that gravitates toward this method of political combat. Think of the Tory pamphleteers and essayists of the 18th century in Great Britain or others of a more recent vintage in the US.  This is potent stuff. And Democrats would do well not only to be on their guard but consider applying this approach to the current president, who is more than a bit ripe for such treatment."
  12:06:03 AM  permalink  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 2:38:57 PM.