Two September 11ths

On September 11, 2001, President George H. Bush was

reading along with a group of schoolchildren at Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County, Florida, when White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card informed him that a second airplane had just hit the World Trade Center. Bush remained seated for roughly seven minutes, and followed along as the children read the book. After spending about twenty minutes total with the children, Bush was scheduled to give a short press conference at about 9:30 a.m. At the conference inside the school, Bush made his first speech about the attacks and was later taken to a secure location by the Secret Service aboard Air Force One before returning to the White House later that evening.

Bush’s critics, notably Michael Moore in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, have argued that the fact that Bush continued reading the book after being notified that the attack was ongoing shows that he was indecisive.

We heard about this ad nauseam for years.

What was Bush supposed to do? The aircraft had already crashed. No one knew what might come next. Things were still chaotic, and information – verified information – was hard to come by.

On September 11, 2012, President Barack Obama was in the White House when the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorist forces at about 9:40PM local time, about 3:40PM in D.C. According to the Washington Post:

About a half-hour after militants overran the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, last month, the State Department notified officials at the White House and elsewhere that the compound was “under attack” by about 20 armed assailants, e-mails obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday show.

Two hours later, the State Department reported that the Libyan militia group Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and had also called for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

“Embassy Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well,” the center wrote at 4:05 p.m, or 10:05 p.m. Libyan time.

A Predator drone already on station over Libya was directed over the Consulate to observe, providing a live feed to Washington. The U.S. had forces at bases in Italy, just an hour away by air – less, if fighter jets had been dispatched.

The emails sent to Washington were not just plain, everyday emails. They were marked with priorities that got them to the front of the line and to the White House.

By 11PM Benghazi time the fighting at the Consulate was over. The ambassador and one other were dead, but the ambassador’s body had not been found yet. Some of the personnel, with the body of one deceased American, relocated to a “safe house” some distance away. At 2AM the safe house came under attack. After about an hour’s fighting, two more Americans were dead.

Approximately five hours elapsed between the beginning of the conflict and the deaths of the last two Americans. The email notifications arrived in Washington, and the Predator drone arrived overhead in Benghazi during the first hour of the conflict. If President Obama was not made aware of the situation during that first hour, then his entire staff is incompetent. If he was made aware before the deaths of the last two Americans and took no action

When will Michael Moore and the rest of the Left declare Obama indecisive?

Edited to add this:

The rescue team from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.

At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights. The fighting at the CIA annex went on for more than four hours — enough time for any planes based in Sigonella Air base, just 480 miles away, to arrive. Fox News has also learned that two separate Tier One Special operations forces were told to wait, among them Delta Force operators.

A Special Operations team, or CIF which stands for Commanders in Extremis Force, operating in Central Europe had been moved to Sigonella, Italy, but they were never told to deploy. In fact, a Pentagon official says there were never any requests to deploy assets from outside the country. A second force that specializes in counterterrorism rescues was on hand at Sigonella, according to senior military and intelligence sources. According to those sources, they could have flown to Benghazi in less than two hours. They were the same distance to Benghazi as those that were sent from Tripoli. Spectre gunships are commonly used by the Special Operations community to provide close air support.

According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from.

But no one would authorize anything.

Death Panels? We Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Death Panels!

Reader Phil B. emails from New Zealand another appalling story, this time on the subject of Britain’s National Health Service, the model many on the Left here want us to emulate:

Hospitals are paid millions to hit targets for the number of patients who die on the Liverpool Care Pathway, the Mail can reveal.

What is the “Liverpool Care Pathway”? Well, Wikipedia defines it as:

The Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient (LCP) is a UK care pathway covering palliative care options for patients in the final days or hours of life. It helps doctors and nurses provide quality end-of-life care.

That’s what it’s supposed to be, but the reality is, unsurprisingly, somewhat different. From the first link:

The incentives have been paid to hospitals that ensure a set percentage of patients who die on their wards have been put on the controversial regime.

In some cases, hospitals have been set targets that between a third and two thirds of all the deaths should be on the LCP, which critics say is a way of hastening the deaths of terminally ill patients.

At least £30million in extra money from taxpayers is estimated to have been handed to hospitals over the past three years to achieve these goals.

Critics of the method warned last night that financial incentives for hospitals could influence the work of doctors.

The LCP involves withdrawal of life-saving treatment. Patients are sedated and most are denied nutrition and fluids by tube. On average a patient put on the Pathway dies within 29 hours.

One of the leading critics, hospital consultant Professor Patrick Pullicino, said: ‘Given the fact that the diagnosis of impending death is such a subjective one, putting a financial incentive into the mix is really not a good idea and it could sway the decision-making process.’

Gee, ya THINK?

Here’s a recent example of the LCP in action:

An 85-year-old woman died on her own after relatives were not told by doctors that she had been put on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.

Olive Goom was alone when she died at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after medics did not consult with her family, a newspaper reported.

Hours before, relatives had been reassured by staff on the phone that there was no urgent need to visit, even though doctors had already removed tubes providing food and fluid.

They only found out she had died when her niece went to visit her and found she was already being prepared for the mortuary, and last night said they would never stop feeling guilty that no one was there in her final hours.

An exception? No.

Their experience is shared by a number of families who have said relatives were put on the Liverpool Care Pathway – the system designed to ease the suffering of patients in their final hours – without any consultation.

And now we know why. Follow the money. The hospitals are paid to do so.

Government-run single-payer health care! Hey, let’s do it here!  It’ll work if the right people are in charge!

And Monty Python thought they were making satire:


Quote of the Day – Inevitable Fascism Edition

Before Fascism can arise, the people have to first believe in socialism – i.e. they have to believe in a total state that can solve all problems. By savaging the ideas of free-economics and democracy, the notionally international socialists pave the way for the national socialist.

All international socialist regimes eventually evolve into national socialist for the simple reason that while international class identity is utterly mythical, ethnic and cultural identity is not.

It’s not just the ideological indoctrination that lays the groundwork, it’s the active disruption of society and the economy by the international socialist. The history of Fascism clearly shows that all national socialist states arise after a protracted and significant attack on the society by international socialists. Mussolini rose to power only after his nationalist socialist thugs put an end to a crippling internationalist combo of strikes, riots and terrorism so bad that people in the cities were beginning to starve. Hitler rose to power thanks to the SA street brawlers protecting the urban lower-middle class from vicious attacks by ruthless gangs of (mostly) Stalinists.

Once you’ve decided to have some ice cream and enter the ice cream shop, it’s then just a question of what flavor you want. Once the pseudo-intellectuals have destroyed the widespread acceptance of individual freedom in economic matters, it then just becomes a matter of choosing which flavor of socialism people will choose.

— Shannon Love, in a comment to the World Affairs Journal post A Whiff of Weimar.

RTWT. EUtopia is ugly, and getting uglier.

And I have to add this, courtesy of Rachel – EU Parliament member Nigel Farage of the UK from a couple of days ago:


Yup, Crazy as His Daddy Was

North Korean army minister ‘executed with mortar round’
A North Korean army minister was executed with a mortar round for reportedly drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il’s death.

Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, was taken into custody earlier this year on the orders of Kim Jong-un, who assumed the leadership after the death of his father in December.

On the orders of Kim Jong-un to leave “no trace of him behind, down to his hair,” according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and “obliterated.”

The execution of Kim Chol is just one example of a purge of members of the North Korean military or party who threatened the fledgling regime of Kim Jong-un.

So far this year, 14 senior officials have fallen victim to the purges, according to intelligence data provided to Yoon Sang-hyun, a member of the South Korean Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee.

Rule by terror. Works like a charm, until it doesn’t.

Quote of the Day – What Agenda? Edition

From Michael Crichton’s 1/28/2005 American Enterprise Institute speech, starting at 1:07:

Michael Crichton: I gave a talk to the Press Club in ’93 in which I told them that they were out of the quality revolution, that they were in desperate trouble. But they didn’t care then and they probably don’t care now. I operate on the assumption that the mass media will never be accurate. I don’t think they ever have been. When did yellow journalism start? Almost at the beginning of American newspapers. And I don’t see any reason for them to change. The great dictum of journalism is “simplify and exaggerate,” which is exactly what Walt Disney told his cartoonists.

I do believe there will come a time, and it may come quite soon, when because of the internet people will be willing to spend a lot of money for verified information.

(Audience member): The New York Times this week in the Science section reported that ice shelves are melting, and I guess that I’m willing to believe that’s not true, but I find it hard to believe that the reporter, the editors, the scientists quoted are either independently or in collusion advancing an anti-, er, pro-, sorry about that, global-warming agenda.

Crichton: Work on that.

The whole thing runs about 85 minutes. Good speech.

I Can’t Help Myself (Update, bumped)

Somebody wrote another gun-control op-ed.

I left a comment.

Okay, two three four. Hell, I’ve lost count.

UPDATE – 10/24:  OK. I’ve left nine.  Here’s the last one:

This thread appears to have petered out, so I’d like to make one final point before leaving. At the time of this writing, there are 38 comments (and one deleted) by eighteen commenters. Of the eighteen, two support more gun control. Of the two supporters, one left one comment, one left six. Each of the comments left by a gun control supporter was countered by generally two respondents, generally with statements of verifiable fact.

The opening statement of the essay we’re responding to asserts that “… the National Rifle Association and gun industry merchants … through misinformation and clever public relations” have hoodwinked the American public into buying more (and more lethal) firearms.

I submit that this comment thread debunks the idea. Defenders of the right to arms are not ignorant and deluded, we’re well-informed. We’ve reached our conclusions after examining facts, not hyperinflated scarey numbers and hyperbole.

AND WE’RE ACTIVE. The various gun control forces – the Brady Center, the Violence Policy Center, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the author’s Stop Handgun Violence, and all the rest – cannot generate grassroots support. They’re attacking the problem from the wrong end, and most of us understand that.

I will close this comment with a quote from writer Teresa Nielsen Hayden that explains their problem as succinctly as I’ve ever seen it put:

“Basically, I figure guns are like gays: They seem a lot more sinister and threatening until you get to know a few; and once you have one in the house, you can get downright defensive about them.”

Who’d like to go shooting?

It’s already got one “Like.”

Quote of the Day – Tam, Again

Oh, Republicans, you never fail to disappoint me.

Sure, you talk a good small government game, and then the minute you get into office it’s all about the gays and the ‘bortion and the flag-burnin’ and drug warrin’ and Family-Values-with-a-capital-KJV and next thing you know you’re No Child Left Behindin’ and Department of Homeland Securityin’ and if I wanted all that snoopy government busibodiness I’d have voted for the Democrat in the first place.

OK, I’ve Reached a Conclusion

I was aware the recently deceased author Michael Crichton had investigated the available data in the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming controversy, and had concluded that it was a farce – so much so that he changed the subject of his 2004 book State of Fear from being an eco-disaster novel to being an eco-terrorism novel. It’s the first novel I’ve ever read that had footnotes and a bibliography.

Here he is discussing the topic with Charlie Rose (about 9 minutes):

And he gave a lecture at CalTech in 2003, entitled Aliens Cause Global Warming that is also worth your time.

As a result of his anti-CAGW activism, he was, of course, labeled a “denier,” and vilified.

In addition to Mr. Crichton’s opinion, I’d read a lot but still I hadn’t reached a definitive conclusion on the question of whether the burning of fossil fuels was having a measurable, detrimental effect on global climate. Is the world getting warmer? Quite possibly. Is it due, in whole or in part, on increased CO2 due to human consumption of fossil fuels? I didn’t know. Is a warmer Earth a bad thing? I didn’t know. I suspected that it wasn’t, and I was very skeptical of the positive-feedback argument the doomsayers were predicting.

Day before yesterday I was made aware of another skeptic – Burt Rutan. Burt is the designer of Voyager, the first airplane to circumnavigate the globe without refueling, and of SpaceShipOne, winner of the Ansari X Prize. Burt Rutan’s argument is that, as an aeronautical engineer, he has analyzed test flight data for decades. All of the climate data had been analyzed by scientists. What would an engineer make of it?

The result was a 98-page PowerPoint presentation (also available as a PDF) that covers five specific issues propounded by Climate Scientists:

  1. Recent burning of fossil fuels suddenly and dangerously increased CO2 beyond previous levels.
  2. Human CO2 emissions causes greenhouse warming.
  3. Dangerous, sudden global warming occurred the last 50 years.
  4. The current temperature is too hot, and further warming is BAD.
  5. It is more difficult to adapt to climate changes than to attempt to control them.

He tackles each issue in turn, in detail, and using the data the Climate Scientists use.

He made a presentation of his conclusions at the 2009 Oshkosh fly-in, entitled Non-Aerospace Research Quests of a Designer/Flight Test Engineer, stating:

I put myself in the (Those who fear expansion of Government control) group, and do not hide the fact that I have a clear bias on [ Anthropogenic global warming (AGW)]. My bias is based on fear of Government expansion and the observation of AGW data presentation fraud – not based on financial or any other personal benefit. I merely have found that the closer you look at the data and alarmists’ presentations, the more fraud you find and the less you think there is an AGW problem… For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data. I became a cynic; My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product whose merits are dependent on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”. That is true whether the product is an airplane or a Carbon Credit.

I’m convinced. CAGW is complete bullshit.