The Paradox and Absurdities of Carbon-Fretting and Rewilding

Herschel Smith · 28 Jan 2024 · 3 Comments

The Bureau of Land Management is planning a truly boneheaded move, angering some conservationists over the affects to herd populations and migration routes.  From Field & Stream. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan outlining potential solar energy development in the West. The proposal is an update of the BLM’s 2012 Western Solar Plan. It adds five new states—Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming—to a list of 11 western states already earmarked…… [read more]

Louisiana, Guns And Strict Scrutiny

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

Louisiana may be about to become the most second-amendment friendly state in the country.

It is all about the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the fight over Amendment No. 2 to the state constitution.

“Amendment No. 2 is a simple amendment. It’s just two lines,” said George Peterson of American Freedom and Supply in Jefferson Parish.

In its two sentences, Amendment No. 2 calls the right to bear arms “fundamental” and adds that any restrictions on that right would be subject to “strict scrutiny.”

Those two words could have a major legal impact.

“It would not only prevent the legislature from enacting new gun laws that would be for the public’s protection, it could also potentially be used to strike down laws, for example, that don’t allow people to bring guns on college campuses, or into grocery stores or bars or churches,” said Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos.

That means more than 80 current gun laws could be more easily challenged in court. The Bureau of Governmental Research opposes the amendment, calling it “alarming” and a public safety issue.

“Louisiana has the third highest death by firearms in the United States. New Orleans has one of the highest murder rates,” said BGR President Janet Howard. “There is just no good reason, as far as we can see, to create uncertainty in this area and make it more difficult to regulate guns than it currently is.”

Supporters, though, said “strict scrutiny” is all about common sense.

“A legislator from some parish or whatever wants to make something that’s non-sensical — like banning assault weapons or sales in a certain parish — you’d have to be under strict scrutiny to see if that’s actually reasonable,” Peterson said.

It is a scrutiny that will now fall on voters, as they decide on Nov. 6th, whether or not the proposal is reasonable.

A lawyer would have a better chance of a clear explanation of this than would I, but here it goes anyway.

There is the rational basis test, intermediate scrutiny, and strict scrutiny.  On the rational basis test, it is important whether a governmental action is a reasonable means to an end that may be legitimately pursued by the government.  It may not even matter whether there is an actual interest at stake.  If a court can hypothesize a legitimate interest, then the challenge fails.

Under intermediate scrutiny, it is important whether a law or policy being challenged furthers an important government interest in a way that is substantially related to that interest.  Under strict scrutiny, there must be a compelling governmental interest as a basis for the law, the law must be narrowly tailored to achieved that interest, and if there is a less restrictive means of achieving that interest, the challenge succeeds.

This would be an important amendment.  Many states grant deference to local governments in the application of more restrictive laws.  One such example would be the changes made to my own state of North Carolina early in 2012.  Carry of weapons in state and local parks is now legal (and the Castle doctrine is adopted state-wide), but there are municipalities and cities that have chosen more restrictive regulations for their area.

Thus, carrying a weapon like I do, I have been in communication with the head of the parks and recreation division for Mecklenburg County to track what changes have been made and whether signage will be revised to recognize the legitimacy of carrying a weapon – concealed or openly – in the parks and public walkways near where I live.

Louisiana doesn’t have to worry with that, as long as the people pass the amendment to the state constitution.  The right to bear arms will be recognized as fundamental, strict scrutiny will apply, and many local regulations will be struck down.  They are about to become the most gun-friendly state in the nation.  Even if you don’t live in Louisiana, it’s important to celebrate victories.

Supreme Court – Stevens And Guns: Forgetting History

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

From Emily:

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens demonstrated the importance of America’s upcoming presidential choice as he spoke Monday to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Justice Stevens told the assembled gun grabbers of the urgent need for Congress to adopt laws restricting the right to keep and bear arms.

As the author of the dissenting opinions in the Heller and McDonald cases, which affirmed the right of individuals to keep handguns in the home, Justice Stevens said the high court precedent still allows new laws rolling back our rights.

The 92-year-old jurist explained the landmark gun rulings leave room for restrictions on the right to carry outside the home, bans on certain styles of firearms, elimination of carry rights in “sensitive” places and background-check requirements for private gun sales.

“The Second Amendment provides no obstacle to regulations prohibiting the ownership or the use of the sorts of automatic weapons used in the tragic multiple killings in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona in recent years,” the Ford nominee said, incorrectly lumping together semi-automatic and automatic weapons, which already are highly regulated.

He added, “Maybe you have some kind of constitutional right to have a cellphone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside, and that might provide you with a little better protection than a gun which you’re not used to using.”

Stevens forgets his history.  As I’ve observed before, “There are always caveats, stipulations and complications when it comes to interpreting and applying the constitution.  But a plain reading of the text requires that if our understanding contradicts the fundamental exigencies and vicissitudes of life as it existed in the colonial times that hatched the constitution, then our understanding is in need of modification.  Weapons were ubiquitous in the colonies for sporting and recreation, protection against animals, protection against people and protection against governmental tyranny (“The British never lost sight of the fact that without their gun control program, they could never control America”).  Each was in its own way a threat to the safety and health of strong families.”

So Justice Stevens ignores the warp and woof of American history, and without that familiarity and understanding, no one, including a Supreme Court Justice, will be able to make sense of our founding documents.

But more immediately, the Supreme Court ruling in Castle Rock Versus Gonzales decided that the police do not have a duty to protect citizens.  Justice Stevens – forgetting (or ignoring) his Supreme Court history – is recommending the defenestration of a clear right (i.e., the Second Amendment) in favor of one that is an utter fabrication of his own imagination, i.e., “some kind of constitutional right to have a cellphone with a pre-dialed 911 in the number at your bedside.”

Such is the case with washed-up, has-been progressives who simply refuse to acquiesce to the nature of the American system.  Bitterness defines them.

Obama Calls For Renewal Of Assault Weapons Ban

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

From ABC News:

At the end of a long answer to the question, “What has your administration done or planned to do to limit the availability of assault weapons?” Obama said this:

“My belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.

“But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.”

Of course he did.  It’s who he is, it’s what he is about.  And notice that he protracts the problem of violence to cheap hand guns as well.  Well hell, let’s just ban cheap hand guns too.  That will fix the problem.

I’ve already made my views known.  Forcing a family to consider what may for them be an inferior weapon for their protection (e.g., a lower capacity magazine or more human-machine interactions in order to make a weapon function) is immoral.  It also won’t fix the problem of evil anywhere, including the inner city, but the notion that he can’t fix evil with a law or new regulation doesn’t comport with his world view since he is a statist.

Thus should all gun owners, lovers of freedom and believers in righteousness work against both the election of Obama and his evil regulations.  My views have been made known, but Obama had successfully hidden his to the ignorant masses until now (since the masses won’t pay attention to anything that didn’t happen yesterday).  At least it’s good that we’re all being transparent.  This is a breath of fresh air.

Court Throws Out Conviction Of Bin Laden Driver

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

From The Seattle Times:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday threw out the conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden who served a prison term for material support for terrorism.

In a 3-0 ruling, the appeals court said that material support for terrorism was not an international-law war crime at the time Hamdan engaged in the activity for which he was convicted.

Hamdan was sentenced to 5 1/2 years, given credit for time served and is back home in Yemen, reportedly working as a taxi driver.

“If the government wanted to charge Hamdan with aiding and abetting terrorism or some other war crime that was sufficiently rooted in the international law of war at the time of Hamdan’s conduct, it should have done so,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. All three judges on the case were appointed by Republican presidents.

The war crime for which Hamdan was convicted was contained in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

“The government suggests that at the time of Hamdan’s conduct from 1996 to 2001, material support for terrorism violated the law of war referenced” in U.S. law, said Kavanaugh, but “we conclude otherwise.”

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said the department is reviewing the ruling.

Hamdan met bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1996 and began working on his farm before winning a promotion as his driver.

Defense lawyers say he only kept the job for the $200-a-month salary. But prosecutors alleged he was a personal driver and bodyguard of the al-Qaida leader. They say he transported weapons for the Taliban and helped bin Laden escape U.S. retribution following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Not much more needs to be said about this.  Pause and consider: ” … and is back home in Yemen, reportedly working as a taxi driver.”  Really, is it any wonder that our boys currently in Afghanistan don’t know why they’re in theater, and consider it a successful deployment when they don’t even fire a weapon at the enemy?  If everyone has lost the will to defend the homeland, why would we expect any different from our warriors?

What Romney Should Say About Guns In The Debates

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

There are two more “debates” coming up where there is some non-trivial chance that the issue of guns and recent violence will come up.  Here are some potential questions and what Romney should respond.

Governor Romney, given the recent violence that plagues our inner cities and even suburban areas as we see with the recent Colorado shooting, would you be in favor of closing the gun show loophole?

I’ve been to gun shows, and I’ll be the first to tell you several things.  The last show I went to I talked to several firearms dealers.  People are tight and they’re hanging onto their money.  As you know, the economy needs recovery and nothing you’ve seen for four years looks like a recovery.  Second, if you do happen to be doing well and have purchased anything at a gun show, you know that the firearms dealers must follow the same protocol as they do at their place of business.  That is, there must be a background check and you must fill out federal form 4473.

It is true that you may happen to purchase a gun from an individual, but this isn’t a loophole associated with gun shows.  You can do that anyway in most states, a freedom that I intend to preserve as President by leaving that issue to the states.  So the notion of a gun show loophole is a figment of the imagination of the gun control lobby, or better, it’s something they made up.  It isn’t real.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s a phantom.  And making more laws to control mythical things isn’t the solution to crime.  More laws would affect the law abiding citizens, but criminals will still behave in a criminal manner, which is why I would like to focus on criminal behavior and not law abiding citizens.

Governor Romney, what would you do about the botched operation called Fast and Furious as President?

Thank you for asking the question.  First of all, we don’t know the depths of the criminality yet because the Department of Justice is intentionally hiding information and being uncooperative.  I don’t have any direct proof that I could take to court that shows that the operation was intentional rather than botched, but recent documents uncovered by Wikileaks indicates that at least one Mexican authority believes that there were untoward intentions.  This authority said “Federal authorities in the United States have been quietly supporting certain Mexican criminal empires, especially the Sinaloa drug cartel, in a bid to solidify the syndicates’ reign as dominant powerbrokers … If cartel chiefs cooperate with authorities, “governments will allow controlled drug trades.”  Another bombshell uncovered in the leaked e­mails indicated that the U.S. federal government had deliberately allowed cartel hit men to murder people inside the United States if they agreed to offer their services to Washington.”

If I am elected President, I will get to the very bottom of this sordid affair, and I will go from the bottom to the very top of the administration if my investigation takes me there.  I will pursue criminality to the fullest extent of the law as it is within my power as the chief executive, and all criminality that we uncover will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Governor Romney, if you are President would you stop this internet and mail order of assault weapons so that we can be safer in our homes and places of work?  It’s absurd that you can actually order guns on line.

Thank you for the question.  Actually, you can place orders for weapons on line, but they still must be delivered to a federal firearms licensed dealer (FFL) just as if you were purchasing a gun from your local gun store.  Before this FFL will transfer the weapon to you, you must pass a background check and fill out federal form 4473, just like you must do in a gun store.  So as you see, there isn’t any difference between internet order and simply paying a visit to your local gun store.

As for the issue of assault weapons, I would like to give law-abiding citizens the maximum latitude to purchase whatever weapon they thought best suited their needs, while enforcing the laws on the books to prevent criminals from conducting illegal activity.  You see, it isn’t the caliber of the weapon that one is holding that’s the problem.  It’s the caliber of the one holding the weapon.

UPDATE #1: Thanks to Bill Quick!  Yes, I hope Romney uses this line.

UPDATE #2: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the attention!

About Those Jesus Rifles

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

A field grade or staff officer has problems with his coming deployment to Afghanistan.  Is it related to the debacle that Afghanistan has become?  Or perhaps to the under-manning of the COPs, or if it’s N2K perhaps he knows that it’s a doomed mission?  Perhaps he is concerned over our teaming up with criminals like Hamid Karai and his brother Wali Karzai?  Maybe it’s our throwing enough cash around to corrupt most of the locals with whom we engage?  Or maybe he has a problem with the sorry rules of engagement, or the lack of a coherent strategy passed down from the top, or the horrible trend in green on blue attacks?


When the so-called “Jesus rifle” came to light in Jan. 2010, it sparked constitutional and security concerns, and a maelstrom of media coverage. The Pentagon ordered the removal of the secret code referring to Bible passages that the manufacturer had inscribed on the scopes of the standard issue rifles carried by U.S. soldiers into battle in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nearly three years later — despite the military’s assertion that is making “good progress” — the code remains on many rifles deploying to Afghanistan, which some soldiers argue is endangering their lives by reinforcing suspicions that the United States is waging a crusade against Muslims.

“I honestly believe that this is a dangerous situation. It literally could be a matter of life and death for a soldier if he fell into the wrong hands,” said an Army officer who spoke to NBC News from Fort Hood, Texas. “The fact that combatant commanders are not following (rules set by Department of Defense) commanders is very disturbing to me.”

The officer, who asked not to be named out of fear of reprisal from commanders, provided a photograph, taken on Tuesday, of the code on an M-4 rifle assigned to a soldier who is slated to deploy to Afghanistan in coming weeks.

The code stamped into the metal of the soldier’s ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) ends with the model number with “JN8:12.” which refers to the New Testament passage, John 8:12, which reads: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Other rifle scopes among some 250,000 provided by Michigan-based manufacturer Trijicon were imprinted with codes that point to passages in Matthew, Mark, Luke, Corinthians and Revelation, ABC News reported when it broke the news in 2010.

Trijicon, reportedly had been following this practice for at least two decades, and it was well known to gun enthusiasts.

Like my son said to me, “The dude who is worried about this needs to find something else to do with his life.”

Yea, I’ve got a feeling he is about to get something else to do.  Either he will be a fobbit and never leave the comfort of Hesco barriers, working PowerPoint slides all his deployment (in which case the Pashto- or Dari-speaking Afghans won’t ever get to read his English ACOG and he gets to worry over the question, “Daddy, what did you do during the war?”), or he will be outside the wire, in which case, if this is the kind of thing he is worried about, he will get his ass shot off.

Either way, I’ve said before that I will take a Biblical ACOG any day.  Calling Trijicon?  A free ACOG, please?  I’ll take as much Scripture as you can fit on it.

Prior: About Those Biblical ACOG Sights

If they only had a weapon …

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

I’m listening to Joe Biden debate Paul Ryan, and my jaw dropped, even though I expected the random thinker to spew nonsense.  Even I was shocked at the randomness.

His assertion that they (Iran) can enrich the Uranium (HEU [or other fissile material] is greater than 90%, and I won’t say any more because of my familiarity with MOX) but don’t have a weapon to put it into.  He repeated this assertion, again and again and again.

That’s sort of like asserting that a vandal making a Molotov Cocktail may have the accelerant and fuel, but damn it, they don’t have a bottle or rag!

My mouth just dropped open.  I am almost without words.  Seriously.

So the Iranians build a housing and a well-timed trigger that shoots the pieces of HEU at each other to achieve Keff >> 1.

Eh … perhaps a month or two.  You can stop listening to the blow hard now.  The longer you listen the stupider you get.  Joe the mouth is making hay of the Iranians: “If they only had a bomb.”  I wonder what would happen to Joe “If he only had a brain.”

UPDATE #1: I’m reminded by a friend.  Proverbs 29:9 – “When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, the foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.”  I guess we got both from Biden.

UPDATE #2: From Rich Lowry

From a friend who follows these things closely:

“The worst part of the debate and the part that I wish Ryan had been able to counter was when Biden started in on the “They don’t have a bomb to put (the fissile material ) into.

This is outrageous. The hard part of building a nuclear weapon is to get the fissile material, bomb designs are a dime a dozen and anyone who has access to a copy of the Progressive Magazine from the 1970s when they published a bomb design they had dug up from some documents that were found in the Los Alamos public library can build one.

The A.Q, Khan design has long been available to then including any refinements the North Koreans have made.

Making a warhead that can fit on a missile may be harder, but building a basic nuclear weapon that could be put on an airliner or a ship is easy once you have the material…”

Obama, Guns and Definitions

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

David Codrea observes that Obama’s views on guns are becoming more transparent as time waxes on.

A “tweet” sent out today by Gun Talk Radio host Tom Gresham reminded gun rights activists that, despite partisan rhetoric to the contrary, draconian gun control remains a stated goal of the Obama administration.

“Finally! The smoking gun!” Gresham posted. “Campaign confirms Obama wants to BAN GUNS, kill gun shows. Scroll down to ‘Crime.’”

The website he linked to was Obama’s Change.Gov site, created when he was President-Elect, and the page in question defined his “Urban Policy.”

In the administration’s own words under the section titled “Address Gun Violence in Cities” we see:

Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

In short, the president wants to enact a measure opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police because it could compromise ongoing criminal investigations, he wants to end private sales, he wants to mandate nonexistent technology (“Only Ones” exempted, of course, even though the genesis of “smart gun” research and development was to mitigate police “takeaway” incidents), and he wants the federal government to withhold 19th Century firearm technology from “We the People.”

This column noted those goals back in January, 2009, when Obama first took office, noting that some key language had been deleted, with the reasonable assumption that it was done to mask intent and diminish alarm, specifically by someone at the administration’s direction deliberately editing out the words “such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets” from the last sentence.

Yes, there is that so-called “assault weapons” ban being advocated.  I’ve already weighed in on this saying that it is not only unconstitutional, but immoral because it forces families to consider potentially inferior weaponry (i.e., magazine capacity limitations) for their own home defense.

But there is that other phrase – gun show loophole – that’s bothersome.  It’s bothersome because it’s a phantom.  It isn’t real.  It doesn’t exist.  There is no such thing as a gun show loophole.  That’s a ghost phrase invented by the gun control lobby intended to embed itself into the consciousness of the American public.

Guns sold by firearms dealers at gun shows go through the same process as if they were at their own store.  Form 4473’s are filled out and background checks are performed.  But the gun control lobby will say that individuals can still sell to individuals, and that’s right, just as they can outside of gun shows.

The real intent is to enact legislation to prohibit individual sales, forcing paperwork for every firearms sale, and thus creating the beginnings of a national gun registry.  A national gun registry is an evil thing because it is the first step to confiscation.

There are other definition problems in current news.  Wal-mart in South Bend, Indiana, is having some problems.  “A Wal-Mart in South Bend has pulled weapons marketed as tactical shotguns after the Common Council said it believed the sale of such weapons violated an agreement between the store and the city.  In a conference call between the council and Wal-Mart, the two entities also agreed to reduce the hours in which the store sells firearms in response to complaints from the public.”

There’s that dreaded word – tactical – sound and fury signifying nothing.  More shells in the tube magazine, apply a scary word to it, and the city council goes bananas.  But what’s the real problem here?  It gets interesting.

Reverend Greg Brown, a local minister on the city’s West side, became concerned about Wal-Mart’s gun sales after two of the kids in his youth group said they were offered $50 to steal ammunition from the store.

“A gentleman came to them with a gym bag and asked them to load it up with ammunition and come out where they get tires,” Brown.

ABC 57 went to the Wal-Mart off Ireland Road in South Bend. That is when we found a 12 gauge tactical shotgun in the display case, next to .223 high-powered ammunition.

So Reverend Brown’s youth group’s problems becomes Wal-Mart’s problems via a scary story in the news, a word grouping (“tactical” shotguns), and a progressive city council.  Good misdirect on Reverend Brown’s part.

Those same stories discuss the freedom Wal-Mart has to sell hunting rifles.  But take note.  If someone had purchased a really nice bolt action .308 with expensive glass, what would the press have done if this had gotten into criminal hands?  Perhaps call it a “sniper rifle?”

In the hands of the gun control lobby, hunting rifles become “sniper rifles,” home defense shotguns with shorter barrels for moving around corners become “tactical shotguns,” and rifles with a magazine capacity of greater than ten rounds become the extremely scary “assault weapon.”

So far, we have let the horrible and dishonest gun control lobby dominate the dialogue, and they have used their control to invent scary slogans like “gun show loophole,” and words for weapons designed to scare any good mother.  We need to punch back twice as hard, lampooning and ridiculing each and every instance of such dishonest word gaming, from the media to the politicians and whomever else uses those stupid phrases.  It’s one way to bring some manly righteousness to the conversation.

UPDATE #1: Thanks to David for the attention.

Attack On Benghazi Unprecedented: The Narrative Du Jour

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

The narrative changes yet again.

The size and “lethality” of the attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans dead was “unprecedented,” a senior State Department official said today.

Senior State Department officials today gave the most detailed account to-date of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomats. One official said the nature of the assault was unparalleled in recent history.

“The lethality and number of armed people is unprecedented,” one of the officials said. “There was no attack anywhere in Libya — Tripoli or Benghazi — like this, So it is unprecedented and would be very, very hard to find a precedent like that in recent diplomatic history.”

So there was no reason to have suspect such an event could have occurred, or so the State Department seems to want us to think.

I give you Jeddah in 2005.

It took only five seconds for al Qaeda terrorists to break into the U.S. compound in Jeddah in an attack that killed five people, according to tapes obtained exclusively by ABC News.

The terrorists entered the compound at 11:16 a.m. on a day when the compound was supposed to be at a critical threat level. As seen on tape, a white U.S. government consulate vehicle pulls up to a side gate where it waits for two security barriers to be opened. Chanting “God is great” over a cell phone to their accomplices, the terrorists pull up in their four-door sedan just as the consulate car is cleared.

“Obviously they’d done a surveillance action on this facility,” said Tony Deibler, a former State Department security officer, as he watched the tapes of the December 2004 attack.

The terrorists’ car is blocked, but they exit on foot and open fire. Within five seconds, they get through the security gates, including an expensive obstacle known as a Delta barrier.

As the terrorists run inside, the Saudi National Guard troops assigned to protect the consulate run in the opposite direction — away from the fight.

“Well, I hate to say it because I have a lot of friends who are on the Saudi National Guard, but they’re running away,” Deibler said. “At least, that National Guardsman took his weapon with him, although he’s going the wrong way.”

One minute into the attack, the terrorists have the run of the compound as employees run for their lives. The attackers open fire on several buildings. By 11:19 a.m., all Americans are safely secured inside the consulate’s main building after what is known as the “duck and cover” alarm. Meanwhile, the terrorists attempt unsuccessfully to get past security doors and rig an explosive charge. Four minutes later, the Marines release tear gas, but the State Department uses a weaker version than the military so it appears to have little effect on the attackers.

“You can see it’s dissipating already, and it’s not even, it’s not having any effect at all,” Deibler described, as he watched the tapes of the attack.

At 11:47 a.m., the terrorists take down the American flag in front of the consulate. After that, out of the sight of the cameras, they take four U.S. employees and a local guard hostage, all of whom are later killed. Ten others under the protection of the U.S. consulate will be injured.

And Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.

The near-simultaneous bombing attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania took place on 7 August 1998. In Nairobi, where the US Embassy was located in a congested downtown area, the attack killed 291 persons and wounded about 5,000. The bombing in Dar es Salaam killed 10 persons and wounded 77.

As early as December 1993, a team of al Qaeda operatives had begun casing targets in Nairobi for future attacks. It was led by Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian army officer who had moved to the United States in the mid-1980s, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and became an instructor at Fort Bragg. He had provided guidance and training to extremists at the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, including some who were subsequently convicted in the February 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. The casing team also included a computer expert whose write-ups were reviewed by al Qaeda leaders.

The team set up a makeshift laboratory for developing their surveillance photographs in an apartment in Nairobi where the various al Qaeda operatives and leaders based in or traveling to the Kenya cell sometimes met. Banshiri, al Qaeda’s military committee chief, continued to be the operational commander of the cell; but because he was constantly on the move, Bin Ladin had dispatched another operative, Khaled al Fawwaz, to serve as the on-site manager. The technical surveillance and communications equipment employed for these casing missions included state-of-the-art video cameras obtained from China and from dealers in Germany. The casing team also reconnoitered targets in Djibouti.

I suppose that we could attribute the ignorance to young State Department employees, recent graduates of international studies programs, who have no personal recollection of these attacks and believe that we are going to solve all of the world’s ills by dialogue.

But does anyone at State use Google?  Do these clowns scrutinize anything before they release it?

Lara Logan, Attack In Benghazi, And My Readers

BY Herschel Smith
11 years, 4 months ago

I’m sorry for the scatterbrained post title, but there are several things we need to cover.

First, note what Lara Logan says about Afghanistan (and the more sweeping issue of the state of Islamists in Asia and Africa).

Eleven years later, “they” still hate us, now more than ever, Logan told the crowd. The Taliban and al-Qaida have not been vanquished, she added. They’re coming back.

“I chose this subject because, one, I can’t stand, that there is a major lie being propagated . . .” Logan declared in her native South African accent.

The lie is that America’s military might has tamed the Taliban.

“There is this narrative coming out of Washington for the last two years,” Logan said. It is driven in part by “Taliban apologists,” who claim “they are just the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban,” she added sarcastically. “It’s such nonsense!”

[ … ]

Our enemies are writing the story, she suggests, and there’s no happy ending for us.

It must come as a shock to hear a main stream reporter say these things to the Obama administration.  I’m sure those in attendance were shocked.  Lara Logan (reporting on Afghanistan) and Sharyl Attkisson (on Fast and Furious) working for CBS have done good work (although David Codrea and Mike Vanderboegh were the sources for Sharyl’s work and haven’t received enough credit for it).  Jake Tapper with ABC is also a very good reporter, but there aren’t many in the MSM that have earned the respect they demand.

But I have a problem with Lara’s account.  She says, “Our enemies are writing the story,” as if the Taliban are some sort of honorable warriors who have outwitted the U.S. with all of its heralded might.

No, we have abandoned the battle space.  The Taliban are a bunch of ignorant child molesting abusers and seventh century vandals and ne’er-do-wells.  Our loss is our fault and we beat ourselves, and as long as Lara’s prose is interpreted that way, she has added to the conversation.

But of course, readers of The Captain’s Journal didn’t have to wait on Lara to give us this information.  I have been singing this song for five or more years now, calling Generals McChrystal, Rodriguez and others on the carpet for their failures and propaganda (recall where I called out Rodriguez and his stupid claim that the Taliban weren’t able to launch a spring offensive in 2008).

Speaking of things that my readers already know, it’s almost amusing to see how the administration and their detractors have done this kabuki dance over who knew what when on the Benghazi attacks.  This was all totally unnecessary and so much wasted time.

All one must do to figure out what happened is visit this web site and study the educated comments posted in reply to the articles.  For example, study the comments from Dirty Mick and Jean from one month ago (right after the attack happened) and you will learn about a complex ambush, the use of combined arms, no real QRF, enemy fighters already in position, etc.  We knew then that this was a preplanned attack whether they admitted it or not.  The only thing that wasn’t clear at this point was that the existing security team included contract employees (former SEALs), and that more security had been requested.

Again, you know it from reading it here almost as soon as the smoke clears.  You don’t have to wait on the spin.

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