Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dementia On Parade

One of the premier architectural critics today gets his kid a recommendation from one of the premiere architects -- and forgets all about it at review.

Sure, I believe this mendicantic crap.

MediaBistro:
New Yorker architectural critic Paul Golberger's glowing August 27, 2007 review of Robert A.M. Stern's latest New York building at 15 Central Park West failed to mention that Stern once wrote Goldberger's son a recommendation to Yale. Stern is Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

Granted, this is not a journalistic felony a la Judith Miller, but why didn't Goldberger disclose to the readers of The New Yorker of this relationship? And did he tell his editor of this relationship?

Contacted via email as to why the relationship wasn't disclosed in the piece, Goldberger denied a close social connection with stern that would disqualify him as a critic:

''... I have known him for many years through the connection of Yale, where as you may know he is dean of the architecture school. I went to Yale, and have taught and lectured there. While it is true that he offered to write a letter to Yale on behalf of my son, the letter was quite pro-forma; he did the same for a couple of my son's classmates with whose families he was also acquainted. Letters of this sort are common, routine, and generally of negligible impact on the admissions process. My son was admitted in the early decision admissions cycle,
and I am not entirely sure that the letter was even written in time
for the early decision deadlines.

''It was a long time ago -- before the 15 Central Park West project
even existed, actually -- and in fact I had forgotten that Stern even wrote this letter until I received your message, which makes the notion that this review was a kind of 'payback' even more ludicrous.["]
Or these two, the pandering brown-noser and the, well, nutjob:
Digby brings up a good point -- beltway media have been strangely silent on the subject of Stalkin' Malkin and whether her actions "hurt" Republicans, because basically nothing, as we know, ever hurts Republicans.

So I decided to take a look at the ComPost, home of Malkin's most slavish sycophant Howard Kurtz. Indeed, Kurtz is the only one who bothered to address the fact that Malkin went to the home of a brain injured 12 year-old for the purpose of harassing him and getting his medical insurance cut off:
Helena, Mont.: I think there is a difference between criticizing one party's symbol for an issue and the level of venom that was directed at the Frosts -- they were criticized for not going bankrupt in order to pay their medical bills, for Pete's sake. Michelle Malkin published their address and telephone number on her blog so more people could harass them. At what point do you say to criticize and at what point do you make the point that someone has gone too far in their criticism?

Howard Kurtz: The Baltimore Sun also published a picture of the Maryland family's house and asked for their tax returns, which the Frosts declined to provide. Is that a mean-spirited attack or plain old reporting?
How many times did Kurtz discuss the MoveOn ad, which evidently wiped the Democratic party from the face of the earth? The Post's archives indicate eighteen times.
Link.

Tell the fact- and reality-based truth and the -- that's it
:
Retired Vice Admiral Scott Redd, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told NBC News this weekend that the U.S. is not "tactically" safer as a result of the Iraq war. That message defied the official line from White House counterterrorism adviser Fran Townsend, who said the "threat level would have been worse" had we not attacked Iraq.

Redd also acknowledged that, over the short term, the Iraq war has created a "giant recruiting tool" for terrorists. Watch the video to your right.

Today, Redd announced his sudden resignation from the NTC.
And the genius of Our Beloved Leader:
In an appearance on NBC's Today Show, Air America's Rachel Maddow suggested that President Bush's warning against allowing Iran to acquire nuclear know-how should not be mistaken for a promise that Republicans can be trusted to prevent World War III.

"What he's saying is that World War III is worth starting, if only over the issue of Iran's nuclear know-how -- not even over the issue just of them having weapons," Maddow stated,

President Bush had indicated in Wednesday's press conference that "if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

"Right now probably the most anti-American country on earth is Pakistan," Maddow continued. "Pakistan not only has a nuclear weapon but has demonstrated that they will proliferate that technology on the black market. The idea that Iran would be cause for World War III but Pakistan's no big worry to us is psychotic."
And a little truth about 9/11: it was a gift for Our Leaders:
A constitutional scholar says President Bush and his administration were working to expand their spy powers months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which provided a "highly convenient" opportunity to dramatically strengthen law enforcement and surveillance authority.

"This administration was seeking a massive expansion of presidential power and national security powers before 9/11. 9/11 was highly convenient in that case," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann on Countdown Monday night. "I'm not saying that they welcomed it, but when it happened, it was a great opportunity to seize powers that they have long wanted at the FBI."

Turley was responding to allegations aired last week by a former Qwest CEO that the National Security Agency approached telecoms as early as February 2001 about establishing secret mechanisms to spy on Americans. The former CEO, Joe Nacchio, said in court papers related to an insider trading conviction that the government withdrew lucrative contracts from his company after he raised legal objections to the proposed spy program.

Earlier in the program, Olbermann invoked recent reports that the Pentagon used the FBI to issue secret national security letters allowing access to reams of data on Americans with even slim connections to the military.

"Does that essentially mean that I or you dial a wrong number and it happens to belong to somebody that's under investigation, the pentagon can go and get your information or my information as well?" Olbermann asked.

"They can. And you can thank the U.S. congress for that," Turley said, noting that the Patriot Act made it very easy for the FBI to issue the letters. "And what is astonishing is that the abuses of the NSLs are well documented. As soon as the FBI got this power that they were promising to use in the most judicious and cautious way, they abused it with abandon."

Toward the end of the segment, Turley noted the disconnect between the drive for expanded power, and the FBI and National Security Agency's inability to properly analyze intelligence before Sept. 11.

"The great irony, of course, with the NSA and the FBI is that their blunders help contribute to 9/11," he said, "but they radically expanded those powers as a result of that tragedy."

"Nothing succeeds like failure," Olbermann quipped.
Then Greenwald has a slice-and-dice of the incisive media-critic/GOP water carrying aologist (and, well, liar), Howard Kurtz. If you read only one piece of the sanctimonious asshole, this should be it (if, you know, you must).

Wingnuttery of the Day


Conservatives cannot really innovate, they can only steal, appropriate. So here's one of the premiere cheerleaders taking the liberal joke from the Vietnam war and treating it as a serious policy proposal.

The reader should also note how he, understandably, focuses on minutiae because we cannot win on the big point -- unless we install another Saddam, the irony of which would be obvious even to Our Beloved Leader.

From the op-ed page of the Fox Bidness Journal:
Should we declare victory over al Qaeda in the battle of Iraq?

The very question would have seemed proof of dementia only a few months ago, yet now some highly respected military officers, including the commander of Special Forces in Iraq, Gen. Stanley McCrystal, reportedly feel it is justified by the facts on the ground.

These people are not suggesting that the battle is over. They all insist that there is a lot of fighting ahead, and even those who believe that al Qaeda is crashing and burning in a death spiral on the Iraqi battlefields say that the surviving terrorists will still be able to kill coalition forces and Iraqis. But there is relative tranquility across vast areas of Iraq, even in places that had been all but given up for lost barely more than a year ago. It may well be that those who confidently declared the war definitively lost will have to reconsider.


Reconciliation: Shiite leader Ammar al-Hakim, left, and Sunni sheik Ahmed Abu Risha in Ramadi, Oct. 14, 2007.
Almost exactly 13 months ago, the top Marine intelligence officer in Iraq wrote that the grim situation in Anbar province would continue to deteriorate unless an additional division was sent in, along with substantial economic aid. Today, Marine leaders are musing openly about clearing out of Anbar, not because it is a lost cause, but because we have defeated al Qaeda there.

In Fallujah, enlisted marines have complained to an officer of my acquaintance: "There's nobody to shoot here, sir. If it's just going to be building schools and hospitals, that's what the Army is for, isn't it?" Throughout the area, Sunni sheikhs have joined the Marines to drive out al Qaeda, and this template has spread to Diyala Province, and even to many neighborhoods in Baghdad itself, where Shiites are fighting their erstwhile heroes in the Mahdi Army.

British troops are on their way out of Basra, and it was widely expected that Iranian-backed Shiite militias would impose a brutal domination of the city, That hasn't happened. Lt. Col. Patrick Sanders, stationed near Basra, confirmed that violence in Basra has dropped precipitously in recent weeks. He gives most of the credit to the work of Iraqi soldiers and police.

As evidence of success mounts, skeptics often say that while military operations have gone well, there is still no sign of political movement to bind up the bloody wounds in the Iraqi body politic. Recent events suggest otherwise. Just a few days ago, Ammar al-Hakim, the son of and presumed successor to the country's most important Shiite political leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, went to Anbar's capital, Ramadi, to meet with Sunni sheikhs. The act, and his words, were amazing. "Iraq does not belong to the Sunnis or the Shiites alone; nor does it belong to the Arabs or the Kurds and Turkomen," he said. "Today, we must stand up and declare that Iraq is for all Iraqis."

Mr. Hakim's call for national unity mirrors last month's pilgrimage to Najaf, the epicenter of Iraqi Shiism, by Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni. There he visited Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shiite cleric. The visit symbolically endorsed Mr. Sistani's role as the most authoritative religious figure in Iraq. Mr. Hashemi has also been working closely with Mr. Hakim's people, as well as with the Kurds. Elsewhere, similar efforts at ecumenical healing proceed rapidly. As Robert McFarlane reported in these pages, Baghdad's Anglican Canon, Andrew White, has organized meetings of leading Iraqi Christian, Sunni and Shiite clerics, all of whom called for nation-wide reconciliation.

The Iraqi people seem to be turning against the terrorists, even against those who have been in cahoots with the terror masters in Tehran. As Col. Sanders puts it, "while we were down in Basra, an awful lot of the violence against us was enabled, sponsored and equipped by. . . Iran. [But] what has united a lot of the militias was a sense of Iraqi nationalism, and they resent interference by Iran."

How is one to explain this turn of events? While our canny military leaders have been careful to give the lion's share of the credit to terrorist excesses and locals' courage, the most logical explanation comes from the late David Galula, the French colonel who fought in Algeria and then wrote "Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice" in the 1960s. He argued that insurgencies are revolutionary wars whose outcome is determined by control of, and support from, the population. The best way to think about such wars is to imagine the board game of Go. Each side starts with limited assets, each has the support of a minority of the territory and the population. Each has some assets within the enemy's sphere of influence. The game ends when one side takes control of the majority of the population, and thus the territory.

Whoever gains popular support wins the war. Galula realized that while revolutionary ideology is central to the creation of an insurgency, it has very little to do with the outcome. That is determined by politics, and, just as in an election, the people choose the winner.

In the early phases of the conflict, the people remain as neutral as they can, simply trying to stay alive. As the war escalates, they are eventually forced to make a choice, to place a bet, and that bet becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The people have the winning piece on the board: intelligence. Once the Iraqis decided that we were going to win, they provided us with information about the terrorists: who they were, where they were, what they were planning, where their weapons were stashed, and so forth.

It's easy to say, but quite beside the point, that any smart Iraqi would prefer us to the terrorists. We're short-termers, while the terrorists promise to stay forever and make Iraq part of an oppressive caliphate. We're going to leave in a few years, and put the country in Iraqi hands, while the terrorists -- many of whom are the cat's-paws of foreign powers -- intend to turn the place into an alien domain. We promise freedom, while the jihadis impose clerical fascism and slaughter their fellow Arab Muslims.

But that preference isn't enough to explain the dramatic turnaround -- the nature of the terrorists was luminously clear a year ago, when the battle for Iraq was going badly. As Galula elegantly observed, "which side gives the best protection, which one threatens the most, which one is likely to win, these are the criteria governing the population's stand. So much the better, of course, if popularity and effectiveness are combined."

The turnaround took place because we started to defeat the terrorists, at a time that roughly coincides with the surge. There is a tendency to treat the surge as a mere increase in numbers, but its most important component was the change in doctrine. Instead of keeping too many of our soldiers off the battlefield in remote and heavily fortified mega-bases, we put them into the field. Instead of reacting to the terrorists' initiatives, we went after them. No longer were we going to maintain the polite fiction that we were in Iraq to train the locals so that they could fight the war. Instead, we aggressively engaged our enemies. It was at that point that the Iraqi people placed their decisive bet.

Herschel Smith, of the blog Captain's Journal, puts it neatly in describing the events in Anbar: "There is no point in fighting forces (U.S. Marines) who will not be beaten and who will not go away." We were the stronger horse, and the Iraqis recognized it.

No doubt Gen. David Petraeus and Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno know all this. It is, after all, their strategy that has produced the good news. Their reluctance to take credit for the defeat of al Qaeda and other terrorists in Iraq is due to the uncertain outcome of the big battle now being waged here at home. They, and our soldiers, fear that the political class in Washington may yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They know that Iran and Syria still have a free shot at us across long borders, and Gen. Petraeus told Congress last month that it would not be possible to win in Iraq if our mission were restricted to that country.

Not a day goes by without one of our commanders shouting to the four winds that the Iranians are operating all over Iraq, and that virtually all the suicide terrorists are foreigners, sent in from Syria. We have done great damage to their forces on the battlefield, but they can always escalate, and we still have no policy to direct against the terror masters in Damascus and Tehran. That problem is not going to be resolved by sound counterinsurgency strategy alone, no matter how brilliantly executed.

Mr. Ledeen is resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His book, "The Iranian Time Bomb," was recently published by St. Martin's Press.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Thank You, Jim Woodring, For Our Mascot!

It's Mr. Shpilkes!

Link.

Way To Go, Bushie!

Our love for Our Beloved Leader shows....

Rush's Traitors, Phony Soldiers Speak

They earned the right (to say the least) and, unlike Rush, they are reality-based:
Last summer when two pro-Iraq War pundits returned from a Pentagon-guided tour of Iraq, the New York Times gave them prime op-ed space to re-invent themselves as harsh war critics who had been won over by George W. Bush’s “surge.”

The deceptively packaged op-ed by Brookings analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack – which then was amplified by their many appearances on TV news shows – proved very influential in shaping the congressional war debate. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The NYT’s New Pro-War Propaganda.”]

By contrast, a few weeks later, the Times editors buried a report by seven U.S. non-commissioned officers who were on 15-month tours in Iraq and offered a more negative assessment. The Times’ editors stuck their account, entitled “The War as We Saw It, at the back of the Aug. 19 “Week in Review” section.

(Two of those soldiers – Staff Sgt. Yance T. Gray, 26, and Omar Mora, 28 – have since died in Iraq.)

Now, senior Washington Post editors, who have been major Iraq War enthusiasts from the beginning, have given even more dismissive treatment to an anti-war op-ed written by 12 former Army captains who served in Iraq.

On Oct. 16, the fifth anniversary of Bush’s authorization to use force in Iraq, the Post’s editors accepted the article from the captains but did not deign to publish it on the newspaper’s influential op-ed page. The article, entitled “The Real Iraq We Knew,” was consigned to the Post’s Web site.

The Post’s editors did find room on their Oct. 16 op-ed page for articles about a successful movie producer, the future of Estonia, political orthodoxy on the campaign trail, Turkey’s touchiness about the century-old slaughter of Armenians, and the need to provide more assistance to veterans.

Not to disparage any of those stories, but one might have thought that the on-ground observations of 12 commissioned officers of the U.S. military on a topic as important as the Iraq War would justify bumping one of the other pieces.

As a reader of the Post newspaper every morning, I was unaware that the article by the 12 former captains even existed until I happened to catch a reference to it on a radio talk show.

For those, like me, who read the print newspaper and thus missed the op-ed, you can find the original by clicking here. Since the mainstream media (or MSM) doesn't seem to find skeptical Iraq War views from Iraq War veterans very interesting, I ’ve also re-posted the article below:

The Real Iraq We Knew
By 12 former Army captains
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007

Today marks five years since the authorization of military force in Iraq, setting Operation Iraqi Freedom in motion. Five years on, the Iraq war is as undermanned and under-resourced as it was from the start. And, five years on, Iraq is in shambles.

As Army captains who served in Baghdad and beyond, we've seen the corruption and the sectarian division. We understand what it's like to be stretched too thin. And we know when it's time to get out.

What does Iraq look like on the ground? It's certainly far from being a modern, self-sustaining country. Many roads, bridges, schools and hospitals are in deplorable condition. Fewer people have access to drinking water or sewage systems than before the war. And Baghdad is averaging less than eight hours of electricity a day.

Iraq's institutional infrastructure, too, is sorely wanting. Even if the Iraqis wanted to work together and accept the national identity foisted upon them in 1920s, the ministries do not have enough trained administrators or technicians to coordinate themselves. At the local level, most communities are still controlled by the same autocratic sheiks that ruled under Saddam. There is no reliable postal system. No effective banking system. No registration system to monitor the population and its needs.

The inability to govern is exacerbated at all levels by widespread corruption. Transparency International ranks Iraq as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. And, indeed, many of us witnessed the exploitation of U.S. tax dollars by Iraqi officials and military officers.

Sabotage and graft have had a particularly deleterious impact on Iraq's oil industry, which still fails to produce the revenue that Pentagon war planners hoped would pay for Iraq's reconstruction. Yet holding people accountable has proved difficult. The first commissioner of a panel charged with preventing and investigating corruption resigned last month, citing pressure from the government and threats on his life.

Against this backdrop, the U.S. military has been trying in vain to hold the country together. Even with "the surge," we simply do not have enough soldiers and marines to meet the professed goals of clearing areas from insurgent control, holding them securely and building sustainable institutions.

Though temporary reinforcing operations in places like Fallujah, An Najaf, Tal Afar, and now Baghdad may brief well on PowerPoint presentations, in practice they just push insurgents to another spot on the map and often strengthen the insurgents' cause by harassing locals to a point of swayed allegiances. Millions of Iraqis correctly recognize these actions for what they are and vote with their feet -- moving within Iraq or leaving the country entirely. Still, our colonels and generals keep holding on to flawed concepts.

U.S. forces, responsible for too many objectives and too much "battle space," are vulnerable targets. The sad inevitability of a protracted draw-down is further escalation of attacks -- on U.S. troops, civilian leaders and advisory teams. They would also no doubt get caught in the crossfire of the imminent Iraqi civil war.

Iraqi security forces would not be able to salvage the situation. Even if all the Iraqi military and police were properly trained, equipped and truly committed, their 346,000 personnel would be too few. As it is, Iraqi soldiers quit at will. The police are effectively controlled by militias. And, again, corruption is debilitating. U.S. tax dollars enrich self-serving generals and support the very elements that will battle each other after we're gone.

This is Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reality we experienced. This is what we tried to communicate up the chain of command. This is either what did not get passed on to our civilian leadership or what our civilian leaders chose to ignore. While our generals pursue a strategy dependent on peace breaking out, the Iraqis prepare for their war -- and our servicemen and women, and their families, continue to suffer.

There is one way we might be able to succeed in Iraq. To continue an operation of this intensity and duration, we would have to abandon our volunteer military for compulsory service. Short of that, our best option is to leave Iraq immediately. A scaled withdrawal will not prevent a civil war, and it will spend more blood and treasure on a losing proposition.

America, it has been five years. It's time to make a choice.

This column was written by 12 former Army captains: Jason Blindauer served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Elizabeth Bostwick served in Salah Ad Din and An Najaf in 2004. Jeffrey Bouldin served in Al Anbar, Baghdad and Ninevah in 2006. Jason Bugajski served in Diyala in 2004. Anton Kemps served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Kristy (Luken) McCormick served in Ninevah in 2003. Luis Carlos Montalván served in Anbar, Baghdad and Nineveh in 2003 and 2005. William Murphy served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Josh Rizzo served in Baghdad in 2006. William "Jamie" Ruehl served in Nineveh in 2004. Gregg Tharp served in Babil and Baghdad in 2003 and 2005. Gary Williams served in Baghdad in 2003.
Link.

Our Allies, Our Enemies; With Friends Like These....

The healthy democracy that is Pakistan:
Hours after Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto landed here to mass celebrations, two explosions near her cavalcade killed up to 126 people in a reminder of the escalating violence in the South Asian nation and of the personal risk she faces after eight years abroad.
More here, as if that isn't enough....

And the marriage of the week: Russia and Iran. And here's a lame take on it.

The Future of War: Our Weapons Attack Us

A smart weapon rebels against it's owners.... Hey! it's Hal the Cannon!

Ach, If Only This Would Inspire Pinch/Keller To Get Their Act Together....

(Illo credit)

The Dark Lord's plans are here
....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rightist Mendicancy


But before that, this: Is there mendicancy like these amongst the Dems (St. Joe, excepted, of course)? Not really but even if there was, it's portrayed by the Big Media's stooges as stupidity.

But crap like this is treated absolutely straight.

CNN:

BECK: Let me ask you one of the most -- you were on, I don`t know, four or five days ago on the show for a quick segment, and you had mentioned that America`s not in the Bible in the End Days.

HAGEE: Yes.

BECK: It doesn`t play a significant role. E-mail went crazy on this. Why is America not in the Bible? Then it can`t be the End Times. How could we possibly not play a role in the End Days?

HAGEE: America`s not in the Bible, because of these things. One, we are a brand new country. When the Bible was written, God knew that we would be and only refers to us as the young lions of Sheba and Dedan. Now, we came out of England. England has the symbol of the lion. We also -- we came from England. So, therefore, we, by stretch, could say that`s referring to us.

Faux News' superstar (via MediaMatters)
:

On the October 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated Fox News Radio show, while discussing 14-year-old Asa H. Coon, who earlier that day shot four people at his Cleveland high school before killing himself, Fox News host John Gibson asserted that "because the school is very heavily African-American, I did leap to a conclusion" that "the shooter might have been African-American." Gibson went on to say that he "knew this was not a classic hip-hop shooting" once he learned Coon killed himself. Gibson continued: "Hip-hoppers do not kill themselves. They walk away. Now, I didn't need to hear the kid was white with blond hair. Once he'd shot himself in the head, no hip-hopper." Gibson later stated, "I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again." Gibson added: "I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem."

After a commercial break, Gibson repeated his assertion: "All right, it turns out, though, the kid in Cleveland who did the shooting today -- three teachers, three students -- white." Gibson added: "And I could tell right away 'cause he killed himself. Black shooters don't do that; they shoot and move on."

Later in the program, while speaking to a caller who identified himself as an African-American, Gibson said that "one of the other things that you also don't do -- you being the plural of the [black] community -- is you don't shoot somebody and then kill yourself." After the caller responded, "That is very true," Gibson said, "White people do that." The caller again responded, "That is very true." Gibson continued: "So when I heard the kid shot himself, I said, well, you know, ordinarily I would expect it to maybe be a rapper, thug, gangster on campus with his nine -- 'I shining my nine, you know how I do.' But, you know, it turns out it was a kid who would shoot himself -- well, story over, not a black kid."

The caller later asserted, "I just want to tell you that it's quite easy for someone to step up and be like a Jesse Jackson or an Al Sharpton, because it's easy to point out the 20 percent of our problem, which is the white man." Gibson then asked the caller, "Am I a part of your 20-percent white man problem?" The caller responded, "Oh yeah!" Gibson replied, "Oh man, you had to go racist on me?" He then thanked the caller and ended the segment by saying: "OK, I thought the kid was a black man, I'll admit it, until I heard he shot himself. Does that make me a racist?"

Gibson has previously made numerous controversial statements on both his nationally syndicated radio show and on his Fox News Channel program, The Big Story. For example, as Media Matters for America has documented:

During his September 21 radio broadcast, while discussing recent events surrounding the so-called Jena 6 with the show's executive producer, known on air as "Angry Rich," Gibson asserted that the demonstrators who gathered the previous week in Jena, Louisiana, only "wanna fight the white devil." Gibson aired news coverage of the Jena 6 protests and challenged protestors' claims that the incidents in Jena are representative of ongoing racism in this country. He said: "[W]hat they're worried about is a mirage of 1950s-style American segregation, racism from the South. They wanna fight the white devil. ... [T]here's no -- can't go fight the black devil. Black devils stalking their streets every night gunning down their own people -- can't go fight that. That would be snitchin'."
On the May 31 edition of The Big Story, Gibson said he was "mesmerized" by what he called "[t]he TB Man story" -- the news that American attorney Andrew Speaker traveled by airline while infected with what was reported to be antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis. Gibson stated: "It seems every time a story pops up about somebody who has suddenly contracted some strange or incurable disease, it's somebody who is either from the third world, or was traveling through some godforsaken hellhole, and somehow managed to contract ooga booga fever." During the June 1 edition of The Big Story, Gibson asserted that Media Matters was "going after him" in reporting his comments, and responded: "Well, the whitest man in America, who is the black man's best friend, is now being alleged to be a racist for having invented something called ooga booga fever." He also said, "I should have said Ouagadougou fever," a reference to the capital of the African nation Burkina Faso.
On the May 11, 2006, edition of The Big Story, Gibson advised viewers during the "My Word" segment of his program to "[d]o your duty. Make more babies." He then cited a May 10 article, which reported that nearly half of all children under the age of five in the United States are minorities. Gibson added: "By far, the greatest number [of children under five] are Hispanic. You know what that means? Twenty-five years and the majority of the population is Hispanic." Gibson later claimed: "To put it bluntly, we need more babies." Then, referring to Russia's projected decline in population, Gibson claimed: "So far, we are doing our part here in America but Hispanics can't carry the whole load. The rest of you, get busy. Make babies, or put another way -- a slogan for our times: 'procreation not recreation'."
From the October 10 edition of Fox News Radio's The John Gibson Show:

GIBSON: Well, we have an inside look at the production of The John Gibson Show today because there was big news out in Cleveland, Ohio, and I teed it up saying, "What we have here is another example of hip-hop culture bringing murder and mayhem into the rest of our society."

Now, this was a terrible incident out in a school near Cleveland. It's called "SuccessTech." It's one of those alternative schools. Eighty-five percent African-American. Eighty-five percent. First thing you see when you see the pictures today is a whole bunch of black kids. Three teachers -- did it turn out to be three teachers or two?

ANGRY RICH: Three.

GIBSON: And three students shot. Now, all of the teachers and students that were shot were -- survive. The wounds are not serious. Well, I guess there's one of the teachers is in surgery and so forth, but they're all expected to live. The shooter committed suicide. This is one of the students who was shot in the elbow and, you know, was not seriously hurt, although he was shot.

[begin audio clip]

REPORTER: This is Darnell Rodgers, age 18. He was shot today. Darnell, can you tell us what happened to you?

RODGERS: I was walking from my locker to my teacher's classroom. Like, as I was walking to the classroom, I heard gunshots. And then, like, one of the gun shots, like, hit me, and, like, I was, like, shot, and I was like, "Oh my God, my God, I got shot," or whatever. But I would also like to send my prayers out to all the other victims and their families, and I'm looking into starting a nonprofit organization to stop violence in schools and give more security in schools.

REPORTER: Darnell, did you know the shooter?

RODGERS: I might have, but I don't know for sure. I got to see him to see if I really knew him, but I probably didn't know him, though.

[end audio clip]

GIBSON: Now why would there be guns in schools?

[audio clip -- 50 Cent's "Fully Loaded Clip"]

GIBSON: Well, that's my working theory, but, you know -- and, of course, because the school is very heavily African-American, I did leap to a conclusion.

ANGY RICH: What was that, John?

GIBSON: Well, that the shooter might have been African-American. Turns out it's a white guy.

[audio clip -- "Is Gibson wrong?"]

GIBSON: Gibson's not wrong. Gibson is not wrong. No, in the -- in years past, in the many of these shooting incidents that I've covered, you've always looked at things like video games, Grand Theft Auto, and desensitizing kids to shooting people and stuff like that, and all I can say is, "Hey, times change. We move on." All of a sudden, you know, the gun violence in the culture is coming at the kids from a different direction.

[audio clip -- 50 Cent's "Touch The Sky"]

GIBSON: Well, you know, you can't deny it. I mean, there's a gazillion of those things out there and the kids are listening on their iPods, and the kids listening on their iPods are not all black kids. Some white kids listen too.

ANGRY RICH: This kid was a Marilyn Manson fan.

GIBSON: He's a goth type.

ANGRY RICH: Yes.

GIBSON: So he wasn't picking up the hip-hop?

RICH: I don't think so, John.

[...]

GIBSON: Angry Rich, you know why I knew that this -- through our afternoon of mystery wondering about the kid that was the shooter, I knew this was not a classic hip-hop shooting.

ANGRY RICH: How's that John?

GIBSON: He killed himself. Hip-hoppers do not kill themselves. They walk away. Now, I didn't need to hear the kid was white with blond hair. Once he'd shot himself in the head, no hip-hopper.

ANGRY RICH: So it's not a classic hip-hop --

GIBSON: It's not even close. I mean it's whatever he is, and it's clear to me that this gun culture right now primarily promoted by hip-hop music --

[rap clip]

GIBSON: "I bought a brand new gun today. I'm gonna shoot you in the face." This culture has even reached the school campus. We're not in the Kip Kinkel era of school shootings anymore; it has changed. Yes, I know the shooter was white. I knew it as soon as he shot himself. Hip-hoppers don't do that. They shoot and move on to shoot again. Triple-8, 788-9910. I know there's a few of you who want to call me racist. But when you do, remind -- let me remind you, African-Americans are dying in major cities because people won't face this problem. Gibson on Fox.

[...]

GIBSON: Well, you look at cities around the country, and many of them are suffering an enormous murder rate of African-Americans by African-Americans, and when you wonder why, sometimes it occurs: Could it be the music?

[rap clip]

GIBSON: All right, it turns out, though, the kid in Cleveland who did the shooting today -- three teachers, three students -- white.

ANGRY RICH: Oops.

GIBSON: And I could tell right away 'cause he killed himself. Black shooters don't do that; they shoot and move on. My next guest is [comedian] Patrice Oneal.

[...]

CALLER: Listen here, first of all, you sure the other caller was not [Rep.] Charlie Rangel [D-NY]? He sounded just like Charlie Rangel.

GIBSON: I wish it was, but it wasn't.

CALLER: All right John, listen, I'm going to give you the black/white crime Litmus test.

GIBSON: All right, go ahead.

CALLER: All right, white crime: Mom grounded me, I didn't get my Mercedes, so I'm going to wipe out the whole school. Black crime: You stepped on my shoe, you said something about my mama, I'm gonna shoot you.

GIBSON: Or, "I got a new gun today, I'm gonna shoot you in the face."

[rap clip]

GIBSON: See?

CALLER: You know, 'cause there's just some crimes we don't do, like serial killing, white guy, you know, rob -- stole someone's hat --

GIBSON: Oh, I'll tell you something - do I take it that you're a African-American gentleman?

CALLER: Yes.

GIBSON: All right, one of the things you also don't do, you being the plural of the community, is you don't shoot somebody and then kill yourself.

CALLER: That is very true.

GIBSON: White people do that.

CALLER: That is very true.

GIBSON: So when I heard the kid shot himself, I said, well, you know, ordinarily I would expect it to maybe be a rapper, thug, gangster on campus with his nine - "I shining my nine, you know how I do." But it turns out it was a kid who would shoot himself, well story over, not a black kid.

CALLER: Yeah, but I don't think, you know, blacks ain't killing each other in school like that --

GIBSON: No, they're killing each other in the street. They generally do not open fire in school. What's going on is in the street. Now you're in Atlanta. How's your murder rate running there?

CALLER: It's pretty high. I'm originally from the Bronx, though. But it's pretty high here.

GIBSON: Well, I mean, don't you find that shocking, [caller] seriously, when you look at towns like Atlanta, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Philly; I've been talking about the worst cases. And you see these -- I mean, Philadelphia's got a raw number of murders that's almost exactly the same as New York, and Philadelphia is a third the size, or a fifth the size?

CALLER: Now listen, I agree with you and I just want to tell you that it's quite easy, you know, for someone to step up and, you know, to be like a Jesse Jackson or a Al Sharpton, because it's easy to point out, you know, probably the 20 percent of our problem, which is the white man. But the 80 percent, which is each other in our own situation, that's a much harder fight. So --

GIBSON: Well let me just ask you something, [caller]. Am I a part of your 20-percent white man problem?

CALLER: Oh yeah! I mean, come on, you --

GIBSON: Oh man! Oh man, you had to go racist on me? I thought that was [earlier caller]'s gig today! All right, [caller], thanks a lot.

OK, I thought the kid was a black kid, I'll admit it, until I heard he shot himself. Does that make me a racist?

In case you need an answer: No, not necessarily. At best, he's just a pandering, dishonest idiot. And he and the people who put him on the air are evil. And yes, it's just that simple.

And more mainstreamery from CNN:

During the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea, host Donny Deutsch asked right-wing pundit Ann Coulter: "If you had your way ... and your dreams, which are genuine, came true ... what would this country look like?" Coulter responded, "It would look like New York City during the [2004] Republican National Convention. In fact, that's what I think heaven is going to look like." She described the convention as follows: "People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America." Deutsch then asked, "It would be better if we were all Christian?" to which Coulter responded, "Yes." Later in the discussion, Deutsch said to her: "[Y]ou said we should throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians," and Coulter again replied, "Yes." When pressed by Deutsch regarding whether she wanted to be like "the head of Iran" and "wipe Israel off the Earth," Coulter stated: "No, we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say. ... That's what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws."

After a commercial break, Deutsch said that "Ann said she wanted to explain her last comment," and asked her, "So you don't think that was offensive?" Coulter responded: "No. I'm sorry. It is not intended to be. I don't think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to live up to all the laws. What Christians believe -- this is just a statement of what the New Testament is -- is that that's why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don't believe our testament." Coulter later said: "We consider ourselves perfected Christians. For me to say that for you to become a Christian is to become a perfected Christian is not offensive at all."

An October 4 report on National Public Radio's Morning Edition about evangelical Christian support for Israel featured Gershom Gorenberg, an author and associate scholar at Boston University's Center for Millennial Studies, as saying that many evangelical Christians want Jews to convert to Christianity. "That vision is one in which the Jews eventually disappear," Gorenberg said. "And if you say that at the end of days, in a perfected world there aren't going to be any more Jews, what you're saying is that right now, you don't accept the legitimacy of Judaism."

Coulter's comments about religion were noted by the blog WhiteHouser.

Coulter also asserted during the interview: "I give all of these speeches at megachurches across America, and the one thing that's really striking about it is how utterly, completely diverse they are, and completely un-self-consciously. You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would." She went on to state that "there was an entire Seinfeld episode about Elaine and her boyfriend dating because they wanted to be a mixed-race couple" and that "I think that's reflective of what's going on in the culture."

As Media Matters for America documented, Coulter has been interviewed at least 194 times on at least 13 individual programs on MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC since April 28, 1997 -- apparently her first appearance on the network. Media Matters also noted that Coulter, when interviewed by Deutsch on the July 26, 2006, edition of The Big Idea, said that former President Bill Clinton exhibits "some level of latent homosexuality." Earlier that day, MSNBC had hyped the interview as "must-see TV."

From the October 8 edition of CNBC's The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch:

DEUTSCH: Let me ask you a question. We're going to get off strengths and weakness for a second. If you had your way, and all of your -- forget that any of them --

COULTER: I like this.

DEUTSCH: -- are calculated marketing teases, and your dreams, which are genuine, came true having to do with immigration, having to do with women's -- with abortion -- what would this country look like?

COULTER: It would look like New York City during the Republican National Convention. In fact, that's what I think heaven is going to look like.

DEUTSCH: And what did that look like?

COULTER: Happy, joyful Republicans in the greatest city in the world.

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, no, but I'm talking about this country. You don't want to make this country -- it's not about Republicans. I'm saying, what would the fabric of this country look like? Forget that the Republicans would be running the show.

COULTER: Well, everyone would root for America, the Democratic Party would look like [Sen.] Joe Lieberman [I-CT], the Republican Party would look like [Rep.] Duncan Hunter [R-CA] --

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, I don't want -- I'm not talking about politically the landscape. What would our -- would we be safer? Would people be happier? Would they be more --

COULTER: We would be a lot safer.

DEUTSCH: Would there be more tolerance? Would there be -- would women be happier, would the races get along better? The Ann Coulter subscription -- prescription. What -- tell me what would be different in our fabric of country, because --

COULTER: Well, all of those things.

DEUTSCH: -- I can give -- I can give you an argument there would be more divisiveness, that there would be more hate --

COULTER: Oh, no.

DEUTSCH: -- that there would be a bigger difference between the rich and the poor, a lot of other -- tell me what -- why this would be a better world? Let's give you -- I'm going to give you -- say this is your show.

COULTER: Well, OK, take the Republican National Convention. People were happy. They're Christian. They're tolerant. They defend America, they --

DEUTSCH: Christian -- so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?

DEUTSCH: So I should not be a Jew, I should be a Christian, and this would be a better place?

COULTER: Well, you could be a practicing Jew, but you're not.

DEUTSCH: I actually am. That's not true. I really am. But -- so we would be better if we were - if people -- if there were no Jews, no Buddhists --

COULTER: Whenever I'm harangued by --

DEUTSCH: -- in this country? You can't believe that.

COULTER: -- you know, liberals on diversity --

DEUTSCH: Here you go again.

COULTER: No, it's true. I give all of these speeches at megachurches across America, and the one thing that's really striking about it is how utterly, completely diverse they are, and completely unself-consciously. You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would. And --

DEUTSCH: I don't agree with that. I don't agree with that at all. Maybe you have the chip looking at them. I see a lot of interracial couples, and I don't see any more or less chips there either way. That's erroneous.

COULTER: No. In fact, there was an entire Seinfeld episode about Elaine and her boyfriend dating because they wanted to be a mixed-race couple, so you're lying.

DEUTSCH: Oh, because of some Seinfeld episode? OK.

COULTER: But yeah, I think that's reflective of what's going on in the culture, but it is completely striking that at these huge megachurches -- the idea that, you know, the more Christian you are, the less tolerant you would be is preposterous.

DEUTSCH: That isn't what I said, but you said I should not -- we should just throw Judaism away and we should all be Christians, then, or --

COULTER: Yeah.

DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Well, it's a lot easier. It's kind of a fast track.

DEUTSCH: Really?

COULTER: Yeah. You have to obey.

DEUTSCH: You can't possibly believe that.

COULTER: Yes.

DEUTSCH: You can't possibly -- you're too educated, you can't -- you're like my friend in --

COULTER: Do you know what Christianity is? We believe your religion, but you have to obey.

DEUTSCH: No, no, no, but I mean --

COULTER: We have the fast-track program.

DEUTSCH: Why don't I put you with the head of Iran? I mean, come on. You can't believe that.

COULTER: The head of Iran is not a Christian.

DEUTSCH: No, but in fact, "Let's wipe Israel" --

COULTER: I don't know if you've been paying attention.

DEUTSCH: "Let's wipe Israel off the earth." I mean, what, no Jews?

COULTER: No, we think -- we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?

COULTER: Yes. That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners --

DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued -- when you say something absurd like that, there's no --

COULTER: What's absurd?

DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I'm going to go off and try to perfect myself --

COULTER: Well, that's what the New Testament says.

DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally. And we'll have more Big Idea when we come back.

[...]

DEUTSCH: Welcome back to The Big Idea. During the break, Ann said she wanted to explain her last comment. So I'm going to give her a chance. So you don't think that was offensive?

COULTER: No. I'm sorry. It is not intended to be. I don't think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to, you know, live up to all the laws. What Christians believe -- this is just a statement of what the New Testament is -- is that that's why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don't believe our testament.

DEUTSCH: You said -- your exact words were, "Jews need to be perfected." Those are the words out of your mouth.

COULTER: No, I'm saying that's what a Christian is.

DEUTSCH: But that's what you said -- don't you see how hateful, how anti-Semitic --

COULTER: No!

DEUTSCH: How do you not see? You're an educated woman. How do you not see that?

COULTER: That isn't hateful at all.

DEUTSCH: But that's even a scarier thought. OK --

COULTER: No, no, no, no, no. I don't want you being offended by this. This is what Christians consider themselves, because our testament is the continuation of your testament. You know that. So we think Jews go to heaven. I mean, [Rev. Jerry] Falwell himself said that, but you have to follow laws. Ours is "Christ died for our sins." We consider ourselves perfected Christians. For me to say that for you to become a Christian is to become a perfected Christian is not offensive at all.

DEUTSCH: We will let the audience decide then, won't we? Ann Coulter. New book. More Big Idea straight ahead.


And then there's Rupert Barron's Tom Donlan, a wingnut with whom I occasionally actually agree. Of course, usually it's more like this:

Today's government is spending $571 billion on national defense, 20% of the federal budget. It's more than half as much as the inflation-adjusted cost of World War II, and it seems out of proportion. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are small, compared with the total national commitment and horrible casualties of the second world war (which are so dramatically illustrated in the new Ken Burns series, The War).

The difference illustrates the change in our national wealth. World War II cost 37.5% of gross domestic product in 1945. Today's military spending consumes 4.2% of GDP.

The United States is so much richer now than it was 62 years ago, that a large military expenditure means much less to the country in economic terms. The country pays much more to the professionals fighting this war; it easily affords equipment that would have strengthened and protected GIs of 1945 beyond their wildest imagining.

Some find this luxury more than a little disconcerting: They suggest that if fighting World War II required enlisting and drafting 15 million men and women from a U.S. population of 132 million, then the threat of global terrorism should exact a similar sacrifice -- which would mean enlisting and drafting many tens of millions of Americans.

So far, however, the only people who say the U.S. should draft a lot more soldiers and send them to Iraq to enforce real peace are people who don't really want that at all, and never did. They are merely criticizing the Bush administration for its failure in Iraq, not offering a serious path to success.

The relatively small professional army is obviously more than big enough to tempt our leaders to put it into dangerous situations. Those of us who miscalculated the ease of conquering Iraq and changing its society ought to be thankful that there is no big army of conscripts to be sent hither and thither -- to Iran, for example, to turn mistakes into blunders.


Well, first, we don't even have enough professionals for Iraq because they're tied down on zillion of bases. Sitting on bases is more important to Our Leaders and their enablers than, well, fighting a war. And Iran will not, cannot be won with troops on the ground (unless a lot of nations provide a lot of troops).

And is Donlan giving a vote of no confidence in Our Leaders??

Rudy! The Scum He Is, The Scum He Surrounds Himself With

Let me elaborate on the head. In this era, in this particular cycle, where the GOP candidates (or "whackos") feel they cannot run against a historically inept administration, one cannot be guided at all by what a pol says.

So we have to look at their advisers for a clue.

The Nation:
In March 2001, as Dick Cheney assembled his secret energy task force, Haley Barbour, one of the most powerful Republican lobbyists in Washington and a former chair of the Republican National Committee, fired off a memo to the Vice President. "A moment of truth is arriving," Barbour wrote, "in the form of a decision whether this Administration's policy will be to regulate and/or tax CO2 as a pollutant." Barbour pointedly asked, "Do environmental initiatives, which would greatly exacerbate the energy problems, trump good energy policy, which the country has lacked for eight years?"

The memo bore the imprimatur of Barbour's lobbying firm, but the real work was being done by Bracewell & Patterson, a midsize Texas law firm with a client list as long as the plume from a smokestack. Bracewell would go on to become one of the key lobbying outfits on energy policy in the Bush II era. Its clients have included massive coal-burning power plants like the Atlanta-based Southern Company; more than 450 oil companies represented by the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association; and Texas heavy hitters like Enron, ChevronTexaco and Valero Energy. All these interests had a major stake in persuading George W. Bush to abandon his campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide, the leading source of greenhouse-gas emissions. Two weeks after receiving Barbour's memo, Bush reversed his position and decided against naming CO2 as a pollutant, leading to more than six years of inaction in combating global warming.

It was the first of many victories for Bracewell & Patterson. In the coming years the firm would persuade the Administration to exempt coal-burning power plants from new pollution controls, forestall plans to reduce mercury emissions and shield the makers of MTBE, a toxic gasoline additive that contaminates drinking water, from costly lawsuits.

In March 2005 Bracewell got its biggest boost yet. At a press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, the firm unveiled a new partner: former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. It also unveiled a new name: Bracewell & Giuliani. It was a huge coup for the firm. "He's going to help expand Bracewell's reputation nationally and internationally," Bracewell lobbyist Scott Segal said at the time.

It was also a shrewd move for "America's mayor." Giuliani had already enjoyed a string of business successes following his term as mayor. He had launched the consulting firm Giuliani Partners shortly after 9/11, and he'd partnered with Ernst & Young to launch an investment bank, Giuliani Capital Advisors, which was sold in March to an Australian company for an undisclosed sum. Giuliani jet-setted around the globe in a Gulfstream, giving speeches at $100,000 a pop. His 2002 book Leadership sold more than a million copies.

A law firm would solidify Rudy's financial empire--but not just any firm would do. Partner Giuliani wanted to become President Giuliani. He needed money and, more important, political connections. Bracewell offered a gateway into the lavish world of Texas Republican fundraising and easy access to the same titans of industry who had helped make the Bush family rich and propelled W. into the White House. The former mayor of one of the bluest cities in the country had just inked a whole lot of red.

***

By the time Giuliani joined Bracewell in 2005, the firm was regarded as "the most well-known face of aggressive energy-industry lobbying in DC," says John Walke, head of the clean air division at the Natural Resources Defense Council. The DC contingent has done little to tone down its advocacy since Rudy's arrival. In the wake of record oil industry profits, they lobbied against a tax on windfall revenue. At a recent EPA hearing in Philadelphia, physicians, state officials, environmentalists and even an asthmatic family testified about the need to reduce smog levels. But Holmstead, now Bracewell's star expert, brushed aside such concerns. "If you change the standard, it's not going to have any impact whatsoever," he said.

Rudy didn't come cheap. Bracewell paid Giuliani Partners $10 million for his services and Giuliani a base salary of $1 million a year, plus 7.5 percent of the firm's New York revenues. (Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch once said, "You can get rich, or you can get elected." Giuliani is trying to do both.) In return, Rudy performed a variety of tasks. He spearheaded the opening of the New York office, bringing over talent like Michael Hess, New York City's chief lawyer under Giuliani, and Marc Mukasey, the son of US Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey, to head the firm's white-collar defense practice. In more than two years, the firm has grown to roughly forty lawyers, with annual revenues estimated at $27 million.

***

Rudy was once widely considered one of the premier lawyers in the country. He was the youngest associate attorney general ever, under Ronald Reagan, and as district attorney in Manhattan he made a name for himself by prosecuting crooked congressmen, Wall Street schemers and mob leaders. Yet he's always had trouble balancing his law career with his politics. In 1989 Giuliani joined the New York firm of White & Case. The firm had a list of controversial clients, including the government of Panama, home to drug-dealing dictator Manuel Noriega; foreign banks that gave large loans to the apartheid regime in South Africa; and an Italian construction firm that helped build a chemical weapons plant in Libya.

When Giuliani launched a run for mayor that same year, he was blindsided by bad press. "White & Case represented all sorts of dictators and scumbags," says veteran political consultant Hank Sheinkopf. "Rudy could never understand why that would be a problem." Politicians of both parties called on Giuliani to release his client list. Billionaire businessman Ronald Lauder, who ran against Giuliani in the Republican primary, aired a television ad featuring side-by-side pictures of Giuliani and Noriega. Nelson Warfield, Lauder's spokesman at the time and a current adviser to presidential candidate Fred Thompson, sees parallels between then and now. "It was an issue for him in '89, and it's an issue for him in '07," Warfield says of Rudy's clients. (Thompson, it should be noted, has his own questions to answer about his lengthy career as a Washington lobbyist.)

The Giuliani campaign is anticipating such scrutiny. In a leaked campaign dossier obtained by the New York Daily News in January, the word "business" appeared at the top of a list of potential vulnerabilities, ahead of his ex-wife Donna Hanover. The concern was justified. After the 2004 election Giuliani saw the nomination for Homeland Security czar of a protégé, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, crash and burn when the press uncovered Kerik's affairs, unpaid back taxes and ties to the mob. "Rudy will be held to a higher standard," predicts GOP strategist Tony Fabrizio. "This is stuff he did after becoming America's mayor."

Bracewell & Giuliani presents a host of potential sore spots, on the left and the right. Operatives from rival GOP campaigns were quick to exploit the fact that the firm represented Citgo, the state oil company of Venezuela, one of the current bêtes noires of the right wing. Bracewell helped Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. block "indecency" laws on television, thwarting a pet issue of Christian conservatives. The firm provided counsel to the defense fund of disgraced former House majority leader Tom DeLay--at the same time that it was lobbying DeLay and Congress to grant immunity to the makers of the toxic gasoline additive MTBE, which faces hundreds of lawsuits for contaminating drinking water. Clients abroad have included repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Kazakhstan (Bracewell has two offices representing American oil companies in Kazakhstan; Rudy's Bracewell supporters recently held a campaign fundraiser there). A few years ago its biggest client was Enron.

Giuliani has accepted more money from the energy industry--$477,208 through the first half of 2007--than any other presidential candidate. These ties likely won't hurt him with GOP primary voters, who welcomed Bush and Cheney with open arms. But it could arouse the suspicions of moderate and independent voters in a general election, many of whom don't look forward to the idea of Halliburton clones dictating policy in the next White House.

Texas Loves Rudy

After joining Bracewell, Giuliani became a frequent visitor to Texas. He's raised nearly $4 million in the state, more than any other Republican, and as of August recruited thirty-seven of George W. Bush's Pioneers and Rangers (those who raised at least $100,000 and $200,000, respectively, for the Bush campaigns), second only to John McCain. Rudy became acquainted with Texas politics when he launched his aborted senatorial run against Hillary Clinton in 2000. Roy Bailey, a Dallas insurance mogul and former finance chair of the Texas Republican Party, helped him raise money for that race. They struck up a close friendship, and after 9/11 Giuliani told The American Lawyer magazine he "turned over" his postmayoral planning to Bailey, who became managing director of Giuliani Partners. At the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, where Rudy's invocation of 9/11 took center stage, Bailey met Pat Oxford, managing partner of Bracewell & Patterson. Over coffee the next day, Bailey floated the idea of Giuliani joining Bracewell. They clicked, and soon the deal was done.

Oxford himself is a player in Texas Republican politics. He met George W. Bush in the 1970s, worked on his campaigns and became a Pioneer in 2000 for Bush/Cheney. Through Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a law school classmate, Oxford met Karl Rove; they became "fast friends," Oxford told The American Lawyer. In 2000 Oxford formed the Mighty Texas Strike Force, dispatching volunteers from Texas to battleground states. During the 2000 recount in Florida, Oxford said he "ran Broward County" and managed the Bush/Cheney legal defense team, talking with Bush frequently in Texas. In 2004 his twenty-five-person "strike force" in Ohio became a source of contention when hotel workers in Columbus, according to a report compiled by the Democratic staff of the House Judiciary Committee, claimed that the strike team used "payphones to make intimidating calls to likely voters, targeting people recently in the prison system" and alleging that the FBI would send them back to jail if they voted.

Giuliani's business partners and Texas allies have come to play a prominent role in his presidential campaign. Oxford is the campaign's national chairman, marshaling operations and squiring Giuliani throughout the state. A fellow Houstonian, Jim Lee, a close ally of Governor Rick Perry and a Pioneer for Bush/Cheney in '04, is the campaign's new finance chief. The day-trading company Lee co-founded, Momentum Securities, was censured and fined $75,000 by the National Association of Security Dealers in 2001 for producing misleading advertising material, downplaying financial risks to investors and overstating its capital. After Lee raised $200,000 for Perry's re-election campaign, the governor appointed him last year to the board overseeing Texas's $96 billion public school employee pension fund.

Giuliani Partners's Roy Bailey introduced the candidate to GOP billionaires and major Bush supporters like T. Boone Pickens and Tom Hicks. Pickens got to know Rudy after dinner one night at Bailey's house. Hicks had committed to McCain's campaign, but after Bailey "went to see him and rib him about it," he changed his mind and became Giuliani's Texas chairman. The three hosted a fundraiser for Rudy last March in Dallas.

Pickens is a legendary corporate raider from West Texas who terrorized Wall Street by threatening to take over oil companies and grew filthy rich in the process. Since launching a hedge fund specializing in energy investments in 1996, Pickens has become even richer, making more than $1.5 billion in 2005. That same year he gave $165 million to Cowboy Golf, a small charity connected to his alma mater, Oklahoma State, and on whose board Pickens sits. Within an hour, the tax-deductible donation was invested back into the Pickens hedge fund, BP Capital. Critics who objected to the transaction, and Pickens's influence at OSU, began calling the school "Boone State."

More recently, Pickens has been prospecting in Texas's new oil: water. His company, Mesa Water, owns groundwater rights to 200,000 acres of land north of Amarillo (in Texas, unlike other Western states, groundwater is considered private by virtue of a "right to capture" law), which he's said he plans to sell to cities like El Paso, San Antonio and Dallas, potentially netting him $1 billion over the next thirty years. Pickens claims to be the "number-one steward of the land," but locals are wary of what Fortune magazine dubbed a Chinatown-esque scheme to divert water from the Panhandle, earning Pickens the status of "regional reprobate," as Salon put it. For a born-and-bred Texan, Pickens is more like Giuliani than you'd think, especially when it comes to his personal life: four wives, semi-estranged from his children, reviled in his hometown. His political profile is no less turbulent. When the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth needed seed money for an ad campaign smearing John Kerry's service record in Vietnam, Pickens ponied up an initial $500,000. He eventually gave $3 million to the group. Pickens has raised more than $500,000 for Giuliani, including $50,000 from employees of his hedge fund.

Tom Hicks isn't far behind Pickens financially, and his ties to the Bush family go even deeper. In 1994 under then-Governor Bush Hicks joined the University of Texas Board of Regents, one of the plushest appointments in the state, and was put in charge of investing the university's multibillion-dollar endowment. Hicks formed a private entity using UT money, called the University of Texas Investment Management Company, which invested millions with Bush family supporters and Hicks allies like The Carlyle Group, Bass Brothers of Fort Worth--who bailed out Bush's previous company, Harken Energy--and Dallas's Wyly family, all major patrons of the Bushes. News reports detailing the close family connections led to a major public controversy. Hicks stepped down at the end of his term, but the ties to Bush didn't end there. In 1998 Hicks bought the Texas Rangers for $250 million, three times what Bush and his partners paid for the team in 1989, and granted Bush six times his original share, making the failed businessman an overnight multimillionaire.

Hicks, who became vice chairman of the radio behemoth Clear Channel in 2000, helped Bush in whatever way he could. According to Salon, "Hicks announced on a conference call among Clear Channel's senior radio executives that the company was supporting Bush's presidential run, that everyone was encouraged to make donations, and that the legal department would be in contact with donors in order to maintain a proper roster." After 9/11 Clear Channel banned "potentially offensive" songs from its stations, and in the run-up to the war in Iraq, bankrolled supposedly grassroots pro-war "Rallies for America" across the country. The company gave nearly $470,000 to Republican candidates in 2006, roughly the same as in '04. Ironically, Hicks's investment fund sold its stake in Clear Channel last year to the private equity firm Bain Capital Partners--the longtime employer of Mitt Romney. Today, though, Hicks says, "I'm more closely aligned to Rudy than I am to Bush." As state chair for Giuliani, Hicks was given the task last January, according to the leaked strategy memo, of raising $30 million for the campaign in Texas, a figure that has thus far proven wildly optimistic.
And more from The Nation:
When the New York Daily News obtained a leaked 140-page strategy memo from the Giuliani campaign in January "one name," according to the article, appeared "throughout the document: Paul Singer, a discreet hedge-fund tycoon who has been described as the Republican George Soros." The Upper East Side billionaire and longtime contributor to Republican and conservative causes was asked by the campaign to raise cash from Wall Street, recruiting other big-money donors and even contacting 9/11 survivors and victims' family members to support Giuliani's bid for the Republican nomination.

Since then, Singer has become one of Giuliani's most important fundraisers, bundling more than $500,000 for the campaign. Singer and employees of his hedge fund, Elliott Associates, have chipped in an additional $168,000. The campaign frequently uses his private jet.

In late September Singer was once again in the news. Republicans in California with ties to the Giuliani campaign were pushing a ballot initiative that would award the state's electoral votes by Congressional district rather than winner-take-all, a move that could potentially throw a close election to a Republican. The group leading the drive was funded via a previously unknown organization in Missouri with exactly one donation of $175,000. When that outfit refused to divulge who made the contribution, the two GOP strategists in charge of the initiative quit in frustration. Eventually, as questions mounted, Singer admitted to being the sole contributor but claimed complete independence from the Giuliani campaign. Democratic lawyers in California believed otherwise, so they filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging a Giuliani-connected "money laundering operation."

That Singer was at the center of the controversy should come as no surprise. In the 1990s Singer's hedge fund pioneered a shadowy, lucrative and often ruthless form of investing whose practitioners earned the not-so-generous moniker "vulture funds." Vulture funds--or "sovereign debt investors," as they prefer to call themselves--buy old defaulted debts, usually from the poorest countries in the world, and then drag the debtors into court, seeking a settlement far above what the funds originally paid for the debt. These are debts that are usually forgiven when the countries are granted relief by wealthy nations like the United States and multilateral institutions like the World Bank. An official at the Bank likens vulture fund activities to giving up your seat on a bus for an old lady, only to see a young college jock swipe it.

Large hedge funds like Singer's Elliott Associates often operate in secret, through shell companies in tax shelters like the Cayman Islands. Since the end of 2005, more than a third of the countries receiving debt relief have been targeted by at least thirty-eight hedge funds, which have gotten judgments in excess of $1 billion. This reverse Robin Hood scheme has drawn criticism around the globe, including from Nelson Mandela and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

It all started in 1996, when Elliott paid $11 million for $20 million of debt, dating back to 1983, theoretically owed by the government of Peru. In 1989, then-US Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady had urged rich countries to forgive the debts of poor ones in order to spur economic growth and global development. Instead of settling with Peru, as its 180 other creditors did, Elliott took the government to court. "Pay us in full or be sued," Singer threatened.

A federal district court in New York initially ruled against Elliott, finding that the fund had purchased the debt "with the intent and purpose to sue" and "rejected each and every opportunity to participate in Peru's restructuring." Elliott appealed and won. Then the fund began working the political system in New York. With the help of a lobbying firm in Albany, Elliott, through a subsidiary, persuaded the New York legislature to change an obscure law governing compound interest, increasing Elliott's payout by $16 million, for a total, including interest, of $58 million. It was done so quietly that Peru's lawyers didn't find out until after the fact. A few years later the New York State Assembly eliminated another law that Peru had used to defend itself. Three months after the bill became law, Singer gave the lead sponsor, State Assembly Member Susan John, a $2,500 campaign donation.

Elliott's most recent target is the oil-rich but desperately poor West African nation of Congo, home to three civil wars since 1993, with 70 percent of the population below the poverty line. In the late 1990s Elliott, through a variety of shadowy subsidiaries, bought $100 million of defaulted Congolese debt for roughly 7 to 10 cents on the dollar, according to a legal brief filed by the Congolese government. A Cayman Islands-based entity called Kensington International went to court in London and received favorable judgments, ordering repayment of the debt plus interest. Then Kensington returned to court in London and sought to prevent Congo from repaying any other creditors until Kensington was paid. This time the judge balked, saying he didn't even know what Kensington International was and how much it had paid for the debts.

Only when Kensington sued Congo in New York under a RICO statute (which would triple a final judgment to $375 million), was it revealed that Kensington was a subsidiary of Singer's fund. Since then, Elliott/Kensington has pulled out all the stops. The fund retained as counsel Ted Olson, George W. Bush's initial choice to replace Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Kensington has filed at least fifteen separate lawsuits against Congo and its business partners, in places ranging from the British Virgin Islands to Hong Kong to the United States.

After members of the Congolese government amassed large hotel bills at a UN summit in New York, Kensington lobbied the World Bank to block scheduled debt relief for the country, according to two sources close to the Congolese government. The fund placed op-eds in influential newspapers, produced letters of support from members of Congress and even filed a lawsuit in Brussels against the Belgian government to confiscate a 10 million euro foreign aid payment from Belgium to Congo. (In a separate case against Argentina, Elliott has enlisted former top Clinton Administration officials to persuade the country to pay debts that the firm acquired for as little as 15 cents on the dollar.) "They're completely amoral," says David Skeel, a professor of corporate law at the University of Pennsylvania. "It's almost a matter of pride to them."

Elliott says this type of investing accounts for only 1 percent of its $7 billion hedge fund. But Singer is unapologetic about the hardball tactics he pioneered. "Every country has poverty, including the USA," he told The Nation via e-mail. "Our disputes have always been with sovereigns who can pay but refuse." He dismisses his critics as "debtors who attempt to curry populist favor by paying just what they feel like paying" and "ideologically driven people and groups who do not realize that capital goes where it is welcome."

Singer has never been shy about expressing his conservative views. He regularly espouses them in Elliott's newsletter to investors, warning against universal healthcare and an equitable tax rate for hedge funds and advocating nuclear power to fight global warming.

This summer, as part of a fundraising shakeup, Giuliani made Singer a senior policy adviser focusing on the Middle East, a plum spot for the billionaire, given his ties to neoconservative outfits like the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Indeed, in a newsletter last March, Singer added his name to the list of Giuliani advisers who have advocated bombing Iran. "We think that it is necessary to do so," he wrote, "and soon."
And a little more is here.

And from TalkingPointsMemo:

Rudy Giuliani has just announced a new raft of foreign policy advisors. And I guess the premise of the campaign is now that the Bush administration wasn't sufficiently riddled by neoconservative whackjobs.

Topping the list: Michael Rubin as Senior Iran and Turkey Advisor and Middle East Advisory Board Member.

I really don't know how to describe Rubin for those who aren't familiar with him. He worked at Doug Feith's Office of Special Plans. But that hardly does the matter justice -- rather like saying Dick Cheney was a supporter of the Iraq War. On the TPM Scale of Pure Neoconism (TM) Rubin gets well over 99%. Like the most interesting and frightening neos, Michael is that perfect mix of extreme factual knowledge and extreme lack of judgment, prone to wild-eyed theories and fantasies of various sorts but all in the end leading inexorably toward catastrophic policy moves for the United States.

You really might as well put Ahmed Chalabi as your top Mideast or Iran advisor.

And here's the legion of... whatever.... Scary:

Rudy Giuliani collects foreign policy advisers like some people collect foreign coins.

His campaign just announced eight more of them. In September, he rolled out seven new ones, in addition to the core crew organized by Charles Hill, Giuliani's Foreign Affairs ghost writer, which includes a ideologically diverse range of experts ranging from neo-conservatives like Norman Podhoretz to democracy-promotion skeptics like Martin Kramer.

The release with all the new additions is below:

Rudy Giuliani Announces Additional Foreign Policy Advisors
Dr. Ruth Wedgwood, Adm. Robert Natter, Other Experts Join Team Rudy

New York City - The Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee today announced additional members of Mayor Giuliani's foreign policy team, including Dr. Ruth Wedgwood, an internationally-renowned legal and United Nations expert, as a member of the International Law and Organizations Advisory Board, and Adm. Robert Natter, Ret., as Senior Military Advisor.

"Mayor Giuliani is enormously bright, tough and prudent," said Wedgwood. "He knows how to defend what we value, including the freedom of America in the face of a dangerous foe. He drives for results, not rhetoric. His human qualities are not masked, and his leadership will be characterized by articulate explanation of what America stands for in the world."

Wedgwood and Natter are joined by several advisors who served in Iraq: John Agresto, Owen West, and Michael Rubin. Other additions to the foreign policy team members include Kori Schake, David Frum, and Thomas Joscelyn.

"I support Rudy Giuliani because I believe our country really needs the managerial competence and fiscal conservatism he demonstrated so ably as Mayor of New York," said Schake. "He's focused on the most important problems, takes responsibility for his choices, is tough enough to implement decisions, and never loses sight of the greater good. We will be well served to have Rudy Giuliani as President."

Giuliani Policy Director Bill Simon said: "I'm delighted that these outstanding individuals have joined the foreign policy team that is continuing to grow under the strong leadership of Charles Hill."

Mayor Giuliani's foreign policy team advises the Mayor on a foreign policy vision that advances the United States as a world leader: expanding America's involvement in the global economy, strengthening our reputation around the world, and keeping our country on offense in the Terrorists' War on Us.

About Mayor Giuliani's Foreign Policy Advisors:

Ruth Wedgwood, International Law and Organizations Advisory Board Member

Wedgwood is the Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in Washington, D.C., where she also directs the International Law and Organizations program.

Wedgwood has a broad experience in international institutions. In 2002, she was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Previously, Dr. Wedgwood served as amicus curiae to the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, at the invitation of President Antonio Cassese, also serving as director of studies at The Hague Academy of International Law.

She is a member of the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law and was senior fellow and director of the Ford Foundation project on international law at the Council on Foreign Relations. Wedgwood has served on many advisory boards, including the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on International Law, the CIA's Historical Review Panel, the Congress's Hart-Rudman Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, and the U.S. delegations to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Wehrkunde Security Conference.

Wedgwood is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, where she was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and won the Peres Prize for finest writing. She was a law clerk to Judge Henry J. Friendly and a law clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court.

She served as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, with Rudolph Giuliani, where she investigated and tried complex criminal cases. Wedgwood has taught at the U.S. Naval War College as the Stockton Professor of International Law and as a visiting professor at the University of Paris. She was a Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2006. She was also a professor on the Yale Law School faculty for over a decade and a fellow of Berkeley College. She is a member of the board of directors of Freedom House, which supports political freedom in the countries of the former Soviet bloc and the Middle East.

She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Law Institute, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the San Remo Institute on Humanitarian Law. She is a former vice president and life member of the American Society of International Law and chaired the ASIL Task Force on Terrorism.

Wedgwood has been a frequent commentator on legal issues on National Public Radio, the Lehrer News Hour, BBC, MSNBC, and ABC News, and has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and LA Times.

Robert Natter, Senior Military Advisor

Admiral Natter retired from the US Navy as a four star Admiral after serving as Commander of the US Atlantic Fleet and the first Commander of US Fleet Forces Command, responsible for the training and equipping of all world wide deploying US Navy forces. Following one year of reserve enlisted service and four years at the Naval Academy, he was graduated and commissioned an Ensign in 1967.

His service at sea included department head tours in a Costal Minesweeper and Frigate, and Executive Officer tours in two Amphibious Tank Landing Ships and a Spruance Destroyer. He was Officer-in-Charge of a Naval Special Warfare detachment in Vietnam and commanded USS CHANDLER (DDG 996), USS ANTIETAM (CG 54), and the United States SEVENTH Fleet before his assignment at Fleet Forces Command.

Shore assignments included Company Officer and later Flag Secretary to the Superintendent at the U.S. Naval Academy; Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Warfare in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; staff member for the House Armed Services Committee of the 100th Congress of the United States; Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, during Desert Storm Operations in the Middle East; Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for officer and enlisted personnel assignments; Chief of the Navy 's Legislative Affairs organization; and Director for Space, Information Warfare, Command and Control. He was also the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and Operations.

Admiral Natter was a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and has Masters Degrees in Business Management and International Relations. In May 2000, he was honored as the fifth recipient of the Naval War College 's annual Distinguished Graduate Leadership Award.

His personal decorations include the Silver Star Medal, four awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, five awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Purple Heart, two awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V, Navy Achievement Medal with Combat V, and various unit and campaign awards.

John Agresto, Iraqi Advisory Board Member

Agresto is the former president of St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM. A long-time educator and scholar in American law and government, Dr. Agresto spent time in Iraq after the fall of Saddam working to rebuild the Iraqi higher education system. After earning his doctorate from Cornell University, he taught at the University of Toronto, Kenyon College, the New School University, and Duke. He was both deputy and acting chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, appointed by Ronald Reagan. He is also the author of an analysis of the current situation in Iraq, Mugged by Reality. He and his wife currently reside in New Mexico.

Owen West, Iraq Advisory Board Member

Owen is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Business School. He served as a Marine infantry officer for six years before joining Goldman Sachs, where he is currently a Managing Director of Energy Trading. Owen has taken two leaves-of-absence from Goldman to fight with the Marines in Iraq, most recently leading a team of advisors living with an Iraqi infantry battalion. As an author and reporter, his novels and articles on military affairs have won several awards including the Boyd Literary Award for best military novel and the Marine Corps Essay Contest. A former heavyweight rower, he has completed 100-mile marathons, attempted Mount Everest and finished as high as 2nd in the Eco Challenge. Owen is a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. He lives in New York City with his wife and two boys.

Michael Rubin, Senior Iran and Turkey Advisor and Middle East Advisory Board Member

Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and editor of the Middle East Quarterly. Rubin is co-author of two books: Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos (Palgrave, 2005) and author Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Washington Institute, 2001). A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rubin earned a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in History from Yale University. In 2002, the Council on Foreign Relations' International Affairs Fellowship placed Rubin on the Iran and Iraq desk at the Pentagon, from where he was seconded to Baghdad. Since 2005, Rubin has helped educate U.S. officers deploying to Iraq through the Naval Postgraduate School's Leadership Development & Education for Sustained Peace program.

Kori Schake, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor

Schake is a fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and holds the Distinguished Chair of International Security Studies at the U.S. Military Academy. She has just completed the book Managing American Hegemony: Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance. Other recent publications include: The Coming Crisis of High Expectations: Transatlantic Relations After the 2008 Elections (Centre for European Reform: October 2007), and "Dealing with a Nuclear Iran," (Policy Review, February/March 2007). She also runs the overarching issues team in the Project on National Security Reform, which aims to better structure, finance, staff, and train the U.S. government for contemporary security challenges.

Schake was the Director for Strategy and Requirements on the National Security Council, where her work focused on national security strategy, long-term defense planning, NATO adaptation, and management of coalitions with forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. She ran the interagency review of U.S. military bases around the world, which resulted in the most significant reposturing of U.S. forces since the Korean War.

Previous work includes six years in the Pentagon for both the Joint Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense and teaching in the faculties of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the University of Maryland's School of Public Affairs, and the National Defense University.

David Frum, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor

Frum is the author of five books, including two New York Times bestsellers: The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush (2003) and co-author with Richard Perle of An End To Evil: How To Win the War on Terror (2004). His sixth book, Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again, will be published later this year.

Frum is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and writes a daily column for National Review Online, plus weekly columns for Canada's National Post and Italy's Il Foglio. He has contributed frequently to the editorial pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and appears often on CNN, Fox News, and the BBC. Frum is a regular commentator on American Public Radio's "Marketplace" program.

Frum served as a speechwriter and special assistant to President George W. Bush.

Frum's first book, Dead Right, was described by William F. Buckley as "the most refreshing ideological experience in a generation," and by Frank Rich of the New York Times as "the smartest book written from the inside about the American conservative movement." In 1996, The Wall Street Journal acclaimed him as "one of the leading political commentators of his generation." In 2001, Judge Richard Posner's study of public intellectuals listed Frum as one of the 100 most influential minds in the United States.

Frum was born in Toronto, Canada in 1960. He received a simultaneous BA and MA in history from Yale in 1982. He was appointed a visiting lecturer in history at Yale in 1986; in 1987, he graduated cum laude from the Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Federalist Society.

Thomas Joscelyn, Senior Terrorism Advisor

Joscelyn is a terrorism analyst, economist, and writer living in New York. Most of Joscelyn's research and writing has focused on how al Qaeda and its affiliates operate around the world. He is a regular contributor to the Weekly Standard and its online publications, the Daily Standard and Worldwide Standard. His work has also been published by National Review Online, the New York Post, and other media outlets. Joscelyn is the author of Iran's Proxy War Against America, a booklet published by the Claremont Institute that details Iran's decades-long sponsorship of America's terrorist enemies. Mr. Joscelyn makes regular appearances on radio programs around the country and has appeared on MSNBC.

In 2006 he was named one of the Claremont Institute's Lincoln Fellows. In addition to his life as a terrorism analyst, Mr. Joscelyn also manages economic research projects focused on antitrust, regulatory and securities issues for a prominent economic consulting firm. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago.