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  • The Scriptorium

    8/29/2005

    Military Opinions on Sheehan, Bush, and Iraq

    Filed under: — Ben Rast @ 7:45 pm

    The media circus surrounding Cindy Sheehan has stirred up the media reporting on public opinion with regards to the war in Iraq and support for President Bush. What has been noticably absent is any reporting on the opinions of those whose opinions we’re SUPPOSED to care about – those of our troops. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are the ones who are risking their lives. Cindy Sheehan, though understandably grieved over the death of her adult son, is not risking her life. Neither is President Bush, Larry King, Bill O’Reilly, or the “journalists” over at the New York Times.

    Remembering my time in the service, I knew that the publications of the Military Times Media Group (Air Force Times, Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times) could be good resources. These publications are not government owned, and subscribers largely consist of active duty military and veterans. Because it is not government owned, military members who respond to surveys are able to do so honestly without fear of reprisals. The first thing I found is a non-scientific poll on their respective websites, asking if Cindy Sheehan’s protest is appropriate or inappropriate. As of this evening, more than 3300 people have responded to the poll. Just over 27% of respondants feel her protest is appropriate, while more than 69% feel it is inappropriate. This echoes the common sentiments of the servicemembers in the field who have let their families know that Sheehan’s protest is bad for morale.

    The other item of interest on the website is the results of the 2004 comprehensive survey. Each year the Times group surveys a random group of subscribers on a variety of issues. The survey for 2005 hasn’t been conducted yet (it’s a year-end survey), but the 2004 survey included questions about President Bush and the War in Iraq (among other topics). Respondents were mostly on active duty. As of year-end 2004, 63% approved of the way President Bush was handling the war in Iraq, while only 20% disapproved. 71% approved of the way President Bush was handling his job as president, and a mere 16% disapproved. The troops were asked if the United States should have gone to war with Iraq. Now realizing that this was after the reports that no WMD’s had been found in Iraq, 60% believed this war is a just cause, while only 21% disagreed. That’s nearly a 3 to 1 margin!

    We here in the United States have a level of comfort from which we can presume to judge the appropriateness of the war and how it’s conducted. We have a nice, soft, recliner from which to do our armchair quarterbacking. The media is beatifying Cindy Sheehan. Saint Cindy is afforded unparalleled air time, and her detractors are branded as uncaring and hateful for even questioning her motives and her financial backers. In this circus, how many have stopped to consider how the troops feel? Shouldn’t we ought to care?

    New Orleans spared the worst

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 7:01 pm

    Hurricane Katrina fortunately weakened before hitting the U.S., but damage will still change the lives of many people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Media coverage since the storm has gone overboard in expressing their relief that New Orleans wasn’t hit, in my opinion. Flooding and wind damage have destroyed many homes, businesses, and livelihoods in less populated areas, and several reports, especially on Fox News, have made it sound as if their suffering is an acceptable loss. I agree that New Orleans’ geographical layout and location make it one of the worst places for a hurricane to hit, but I think the media could point that out without sounding like the destruction of small towns in Mississippi and Alabama isn’t just as tragic.

    In addition to thanking God that the storm weakened and didn’t do more damage, I will be praying for those who were affected. I would also encourage all who have the means to help to donate to a reputable charity that will be helping people rebuild and start over. I usually donate to the Salvation Army, or Mercy Corp because I know the money will go where it’s supposed to.

    It seems like a miracle at the moment, but New Orleans has been spared the worst of the storm. Reports indicate damage at the Superdome and the city pumps are down. However, the levies seem to be holding. It is still too early to tell whether they will breach, but so far the situation looks a lot better than it could have been. The latest recon reports a central pressure of 926 mb and winds are likely in the ballpark of 130 mph. The fact that the hurricane passed in its current track is very lucky for everyone. Things could have been much worse. With that said, there have already been reports for three storm related deaths.

    Katrina deals Mississippi ‘grievous blow’

    Floods downtown Mobile, beaches, bayous

    Reports of looting in New Orleans

    WIRE: Storm could slow economy

    What a Mess. . . .

    French Quarter War Zone. . . .

    Missing Able Danger ‘Atta’ Chart in 2002 Video

    Filed under: — Jennifer Rast @ 6:38 pm

    The government and the 9/11 Commission may have to stop trying to cover up evidence that they had been warned about Mohamed Atta a year before the 9/11 attacks. There is now proof, in the form of a video tape, that Able Danger existed and a military intelligence unit did in fact know Atta was in the U.S. and a terrorist threat before we were attacked. Unfortunately, the media probably won’t ask the questions that need to be asked. I’d like to hear from the U.S. Senators and Commission members who claimed the two witnesses that came forward (there are now 5) were lying about an intelligence chart that included the complete architecture of Al Qaeda and information on Atta. Now that there is video evidence it exists and was presented to the heritage foundation before 9/11, what’s their story?

    A copy of the Able Danger chart that identified lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist operating inside the U.S. a year before the 9/11 attacks is clearly visible in a video of a 2002 speech by delivered by Rep. Curt Weldon to the Heritage Foundation.

    The Pentagon, the 9/11 Commission and the Senate Intelligence Committee are currently seeking evidence that the bombshell chart, featuring a photo Atta, ever existed – as claimed by three members of the Able Danger team, along with Rep. Weldon. But so far, no physical evidence of the controversial document has surfaced.

    Until now.

    A third of the way through his May 23, 2002 address on data fusion techniques, the video shows Rep. Weldon unfurling a copy of the now missing document and displaying it to the Heritage audience.

    “This is the unclassified chart that was done by the Special Forces Command briefing center one year before 9/11,” he explains. “It is the complete architecture of al Qaeda and pan-Islamic extremism. It gives all the linkages. It gives all the capabilities. . . .”