Thanks to Andrew Stuttaford at NRO, have a look at this amazing story in the Independent Online about some motion pictures from the First World War:
Sheltering in a sunken road near the French village of Beaumont Hamel on 1 July 1916, Captain Edmond McNaghten “Pongo” Dawson believed the first British thrust during the Battle of the Somme would be swift and decisive.
The German lines had been subjected to heavy bombardment for an entire week, and the Allies had the advantage of vastly superior numbers.
As the order came just after dawn to send the troops over the top, Captain Dawson was captured on film ushering his men, of the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers, along the trench. As commander of the company, he was one of the first on to the parapet. A few seconds later, he was also one of the first to be cut down by German machine-gun fire.
For decades, historians have argued over the veracity of the film shot that morning, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Certainly, some scenes were re-enacted and filmed for propaganda purposes. But now, using a series of new scientific techniques, analysts have proved for the first time that most of the images are genuine, enabling them to identify many of the combatants and trace their surviving relatives.
It’s things like this that make me revere History.
Charles Johnson reproduces the letter that former Treasury Secretary John Snow sent to Bill Keller. I like this part, especially (my emphasis):
You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that “terror financiers know” our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.
Looks like you and Pinch done screwed the pooch, boy.
Attacking the New York Times? That’s older than Rove, baby. And it works.
Check out all the updated Second World War-era propaganda posters over at Michelle Malkin’s place. I like the one below (from George Ratton):
Check out Publius Pundit and how Hugo Chavez likes to spend time with his
fellow countrymen comrades:
Oh man, this is disgusting. You know how Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez likes to break into all the television channels on occasion, with long Castro-style speeches, just to hear his own voice? Well, as All Venezuela has stood by, mesmerized at the World Cup on TV, he’s decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to break into the soccer games to issue his multi-hour political diatribes, called ‘cadenas.’
When a cadena is on, you can’t flip the channel. All you get is him, no matter what channel you flip to. Chavez is known to be jealous of attention the World Cup holds on Venezuelans and wants it for himself. So, he decided to show them all who was boss.
Hmmm. That’s the stuff of revoluciones.
Bill Keller, the executive ediitor of the New York Times, sent an amazingly ill-considered and moronic letter to those of his readers who wrote him to protest his paper’s publication of the details of yet another secret Government operation to interdict terrorists. Check it (emphases mine):
Some of the incoming mail quotes the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government’s anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, if that’s the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.)
What an incredible fucking asshole. This is the rationale of the man who runs the most influential newspaper on Earth? That it’s his conservative critics who are to blame for “drawing so much attention” to his treasonous disclosure of a program intended to help us track the financial transactions of our enemy?
It’s an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. Who are the editors of The New York Times (or the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post and other publications that also ran the banking story) to disregard the wishes of the President and his appointees? And yet the people who invented this country saw an aggressive, independent press as a protective measure against the abuse of power in a democracy, and an essential ingredient for self-government. They rejected the idea that it is wise, or patriotic, to always take the President at his word, or to surrender to the government important decisions about what to publish.
As Professor Reynolds observes to devastating effect:
A deeper error is Keller’s characterization of freedom of the press as an institutional privilege, an error that is a manifestation of the hubris that has marked the NYT of late. Keller writes: “It’s an unusual and powerful thing, this freedom that our founders gave to the press. . . . The power that has been given us is not something to be taken lightly.”
The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn’t give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the “freedom of the press” the Framers described was also called “freedom in the use of the press.” It’s the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry.
One reason people like Keller don’t see anything wrong with ratting out our Government in this way is that they do not see us as being in a legitimate war or struggle against Islamofascism. They see the War for Iraq, in particular, as a purely partisan endeavor in which they share no obligation to forbearance.
Don’t forget: the New York Times is publishing classified information that was illegally supplied to them by assholes in the intelligence community because both they and their suppliers are more interested in harming the Bush Administration than they are in doing right by those who are sacrificing their lives for our country’s safety.
If this were the America that my grandparents’ generation fought and died for, Bill Keller and the rest of the assholes who are publishing these details would be in jail. That’s a fact.
Of course, the anti-war Left are using the argument that the Times is merely defending our civil liberties. But that’s a ruse. This is only about undermining the Bush Administration. Because these disclosures —which are, on their face, illegal— affect virtually none of the assholes who think it’s so goddamned important that the whole world know about them.
I hope this Administration makes an example of the New York Times. Oh, and don’t confuse that with any further antipathy towards the First Amendment you might imagine I harbor. I simply think it’s time to stick a shiv in the Grey Lady’s ribcage.
Will someone please tell Carole Keeton Strayhorn to stop using her grandchildren as props? It’s really annoying.
And, no, I’ve never heard the woman referred to by any other name than whatever her current husband’s is. “Grandma”? That’s her nickname? Horseshit. I’ve lived in this damned town for going on a quarter-century now and I’ve never heard of such.
(In case you’re a non-Texan wondering what I’m talking about, I’ll explain: Mrs. Strayhorn —Little Scotty McClellan’s mommy— is running for governor of this state, and is wanting the nickname of “Grandma” included with her real name on the November ballot. It’s a stupid and unserious PR stunt and it makes me want to vote for Kinky Friedman that much more.)
Oh. So you hooligans do know how to fight.
Your dead grandfathers laugh at you tonight from Valhalla. Or Hell. Whichever.
Here’s how it works.
The War on Terror —or whatever name you want to give this ongoing confrontation with the Mohammedan Menace— will not be won or ended tomorrow or next month or even in this decade. It is a concept with a long shelf-life and it will be revived from time to time in theater after theater for as long as our leaders believe it’s necessary. Better get used to it. Better pace yourself.
But it will not do in every instance where executive actions outrage the civil liberties theoreticians among us to say that whatever measures are being taken must be taken because we are living in a time of war. I know that. We ought not allow our leaders to resort to the argument that they are only acting on wartime contingencies when they go beyond our comfort levels in pursuing the information they need to wage war against our real enemies. That cannot be their default setting.
But, in some instances, it must do. And you know which instances those are.
I don’t know if you’d call it cognitive dissonance or what, but the American People seem to be having a surprisingly hard time accepting the reality of life in the Information Age. They seem to be struggling with the reality that we are all known to hundreds and thousands of different agencies, companies, and states —right down to the most basic and personal facts of our individual lives. We will not escape this. We will be branded with the marks of the beast.
It would be better for us all to understand now that the virtually omniscient capacity of our governments, creditors, and trading partners to know what we are leaves us equally exposed. And equally free.
That the State may pry into my life and that its agents may know me with some intent is a given. I will not escape it. But I transparently advocate whatever I wish and I will not hide it simply to avoid the consequences of my thought. Hiding and avoiding the consequences of our advocacy is what the haters on the Left do. I don’t want to be that sort of person.
I would rather stand by my own beliefs and accept the consequences.
The possibility of our civil liberties cannot be more valuable than what they are in their essence.
That is to say, I will not deny my Government its ability to investigate those who would commit murder and crimes against my society just because I would rather take offense at the possibility that my Government could investigate me. I am unimpressed by the Leftist conceit that hypothetical violations of our rights are worse than real violations.
I mean, have you been rounded up and sent to a death camp yet?
The boys at the Power Line remind us of what John Kerry said before the Council on Foreign Relations back in December 2003:
I fear that in the run-up to the 2004 election, the administration is considering what is tantamount to a cut-and-run strategy. Their sudden embrace of accelerated Iraqification and American troop withdrawal dates, without adequate stability, is an invitation to failure. The hard work of rebuilding Iraq must not be dictated by the schedule of the next American election.
I have called for the administration to transfer sovereignty, and they must transfer it to the Iraqi people as quickly as circumstances permit. But it would be a disaster and a disgraceful betrayal of principle to speed up the process simply to lay the groundwork for a politically expedient withdrawal of American troops. That could risk the hijacking of Iraq by terrorist groups and former Ba’athists.
See what happens when you have no vision and will say anything to score an inconsequential tactical victory?
It was the American People, by the way —and not fucking Diebold or Kenneth Blackwell or the Knights Templar— who defeated this dumbass in 2004. Remember that next time out and maybe we can keep our republic, you stupid hippies.
(Thanks to the excellent blog Publius Pundit for the use of this picture.)
And thanks, most deeply, to the Hungarian patriot Szemszo Tomas, an elderly Jewish gentleman who befriended me during my time in Budapest in 1996 —and who told me of his memories as a young man protesting in the streets of his beautiful hometown against the wretched Soviets. The memory of our afternoon together, old friend, means more to me than I ever had the courage to tell you.
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