Friday, February 09, 2007

... and now for something completely different!

In other news, we have this. From the article:
More American troops were killed in combat in Iraq over the past four months — at least 334 through Jan. 31 — than in any comparable stretch since the war began, according to an Associated Press analysis of casualty records.

Not since the bloody battle for Fallujah in 2004 has the death toll spiked so high.

The reason is that U.S. soldiers and Marines are fighting more battles in the streets of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and other cities. And while hostile forces are using a variety of weaponry, the top killer is the roadside bomb.

In some respects it is the urban warfare that U.S. commanders thought they had managed to largely avoid after U.S. troops entered Baghdad in early April 2003 and quickly toppled the Saddam Hussein regime.

And with President Bush now sending thousands more U.S. troops to Baghdad and western Anbar province, despite opposition in Congress and the American public's increasing war weariness, the prospect looms of even higher casualties.

The shadowy insurgency has managed to counter or compensate for every new U.S. military technique for defeating roadside bombs, which over time have proliferated and grown increasingly powerful. The U.S. has spent billions trying to counter that threat, and the Bush administration in its budget 2008 request to Congress this week asked for another $6.4 billion to find more effective defenses against it.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

"The f*cking stupidest guy on the face of the earth"

From today's Washington Post, we have this article on Douglas Feith. From the article:
In interviews with Pentagon investigators, the summary document said, Feith insisted that his activities did not constitute intelligence...
Well, yes. That goes without saying. The title of this post comes from Tommy Franks's assessment of Feith:
United States Army General Tommy Franks, according to Bob Woodward's 2004 Plan of Attack, described Feith as the "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth" (p.281).
But there's contrary views (kind of like Dubya's "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie"):

From Wikipedia's article, Donald Rumsfeld said:
Years from now, unfortunately it may be many years, accurate accounts of what’s taking place these past four years will be written and it will show that Doug Feith has performed his duties with great dedication, with impressive skill and with remarkable vision during this perilous and indeed momentous period in the life of our country.
Sic transit gloria....

The WaPo goes on:

An unclassified summary of the full document is scheduled for release today in a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which Levin chairs. In that summary, a copy of which was obtained from another source by The Washington Post, the inspector general concluded that Feith's assessment in 2002 that Iraq and al-Qaeda had a "mature symbiotic relationship" was not fully supported by available intelligence but was nonetheless used by policymakers.

At the time of Feith's reporting, the CIA had concluded only that there was an "evolving" association, "based on sources of varying reliability."

In a telephone interview yesterday, Feith emphasized the inspector general's conclusion that his actions, described in the report as "inappropriate," were not unlawful. "This was not 'alternative intelligence assessment,' " he said. "It was from the start a criticism of the consensus of the intelligence community, and in presenting it I was not endorsing its substance."

Yeah, right. "Inappropriate". Funny thing is: The second stupidest person on the face of the earth took this crapola and went running with it ... and now we've got 3100+ (and counting ) soldiers, sailors, and marines killed for nothing. Now that's "inappropriate"....


The WaPo has added a correction to their article (which doesn't affect the above quoted material) at the top of the linked page in the first link above. The main gist of the correction is that the phrase "reporting of dubious quality or reliability" in the article was language from Levin's report and not from the report by the Pentagon's Inspector General (although both said pretty much the same thing ... consistent as well with General Franks's summary above).