Friday, April 20, 2007

Taking Out The Trash

So they are building walls around neighborhoods in Baghdad. Now the Sunnis have their own little gated community and they aren't all that happy about it. How clueless do you have to be to understand that the lives of Iraqis are completely in the toilet? Little to no electricity, shopping at the market is the equivalent of taking their lives in one hand and a glass of nitro in the other, and now they are enjoying the wonders of segregation. Palestinian style.

Now for the good news.
Overall, U.S. combat casualties in Iraq have remained relatively flat since the start of the security crackdown in Baghdad. There were 156 U.S. troops killed in combat from Feb. 14 to April 14. That compares with 151 U.S. combat casualties from Dec. 16 to Feb. 13.
Or you could look at it another way, on 307 troops lost their lives in 120 days. A little more than two per day. Isn't that great? I'm so glad the mission has been accomplished and that the Iraqis are standing up so we can stand down.

Duh! Mom grew up on a restricted diet, has walked everywhere for most of her life, gets hours of sunlight per day and eats whatever she wants to, when she wants to. She is built like a bird and has the handshake of a macho bodybuilder. She has smoked for 60 of her 76 years and while she may have had a stroke, she is still in better shape than I am. I woof and creak when I get up after sitting for a little while and my knee will not allow me to walk longer than a half mile. I'm fifty, at least for the next month, don't smoke and I eat healthy foods but I am incredibly sedentary. I've been telling may patients for years that our generation was going to be the first no to live as long as our parents and we wouldn't be as healthy in our old age. Freakin' right again. And once again, I'm not happy about it.

Can someone tell me exactly when Homeland Security is going to do its job? Running around tapping phones, opening mail, spying on people with Mohamed in their name and we're supposed to believe that they are protecting us from terrorists. Meanwhile, back at the trailer park next to Los Alamos (the place that likes to make radioactive bombs) security left quite a bit to be desired.
It was only after several years on the job that she was caught with bomb designs in her trailer and fired. But the investigation reveals that Quintana had taken her cell phone into a vault filled with secret documents where she worked — another major security violation. She also had access to a high-speed classified printer, even though such access was "not required by her job," and used the device to run off hundreds of copies of classified documents that she also brought home. The young woman received inadequate supervision — government documents show that the security administrator responsible for Quintana's area was not around roughly half the time, because that person had "other duties." Quintana's lawyer, Stephen Aaron, told TIME that, on occasion, she would be locked into a secure vault to work until colleagues returned. "We hope that the lessons learned from this episode can be used to make the Lab more secure in the future," he added.

Quintana's motive for breaching the rules appears to have been benign: Falling behind on her work scanning paper copies of nuclear-weapons designs into a digital format, she would save highly-classified documents onto a "thumb drive" and then take the material home to work on after hours, she has said.
She sounds like a perfect candidate for the new Attorney General job except for one minor little detail. The leader of the crew without a clue is happy with Albert "I don't recall" Gonzales.
The Attorney General has the full confidence of the President, and he appreciates the work he is doing at the Department of Justice to help keep our citizens safe from terrorists, our children safe from predators, our government safe from corruption, and our streets free from gang violence.
Has any of this been done in real time or are they in a drug induced haze that makes them see things that aren't there and miss things that are glaringly obvious?


  1. I'm not sure if I would agree with your reading of the USA Today article. This article from the Washington Examiner has a rather different take on this issue, and is far more blunt regarding casualty rates, which have roughly doubled from the same period before the "surge".

    Regarding the security issue, I agree that Homeland Security has done little to provide actual, you know, security. Of course, it is not possible to guard against every possible act of espionage. However, the details in this case are rather startling, and should have raised red flags long ago.

  2. ponzo,

    I was being sarcastic, I'm sorry if it wasn't that clear. I was trying to come across as reasonable and not the flaming ball of anger that I reall am. Every single death is unnecessary, whether it is one of our troops or an innocent civilian. I'm tired of banging my head against the wall, nobody is listening and the body count keeps increasing.

    While I agree that the VT tragedy is awful, the news and our so called administration has acted like it isn't important that anyone in the world else died. And our troops keep dying, out of the headlines and only mentioned in their hometowns. A part of me wonders why that is and another part of me knows exactly why. To keep us uninformed and clueless.