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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Quotes of the Morning: Licensed to Kill

“The Bush administration has authorized the U.S. military to kill or capture Iranian operatives inside Iraq as part of an aggressive new strategy to weaken Tehran's influence across the Middle East and compel it to give up its nuclear program, according to government and counterterrorism officials with direct knowledge of the effort.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“Bond.. James Bond.”
-James Bond

“Good news! Our troops not have a license to kill Iranians. Well… It does say that they can’t shoot civilians or diplomats, but anyone else is fair game. You know, I would have thought that they already had the right to shoot people who were shooting at them, and if they aren’t being shot at, couldn’t they just capture any Iranian operatives? Also, shouldn’t the Iraqi’s have some input in this? I mean, we are in their country after all.. By the way, how do we tell the Iranians that we can shoot from the Iraqis that we aren’t supposed to?”

“For more than a year, U.S. forces in Iraq have secretly detained dozens of suspected Iranian agents, holding them for three to four days at a time. The ‘catch and release’ policy was designed to avoid escalating tensions with Iran and yet intimidate its emissaries. U.S. forces collected DNA samples from some of the Iranians without their knowledge, subjected others to retina scans, and fingerprinted and photographed all of them before letting them go.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and they took twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that's not to mention the aerial photography.”
-Arlo Guthrie, “Alice’s Restaurant”

“Ah! We are using DNA and retina scans! Impressive. Now we just have to do DNA tests and retinal scans on everyone in Iraq as a comparison and we’ll be ready.”

“Well, only one in two million people has what we call the ‘evil gene’. Hitler had it, Walt Disney had it, and Freddy Quimby has it.”
-Dr. Hibbard, The Simpsons

“Last summer, however, senior administration officials decided that a more confrontational approach was necessary, as Iran's regional influence grew and U.S. efforts to isolate Tehran appeared to be failing. The country's nuclear work was advancing, U.S. allies were resisting robust sanctions against the Tehran government, and Iran was aggravating sectarian violence in Iraq.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“Time to kick it up a notch! Let’s go after some Iranians. I mean, remember what they did to us almost 30 years ago! No? Neither do the vast majority of our troops stationed in Iraq. They hadn't been born yet at the time."

“But, for three years, the Iranians have operated an embedding program there, offering operational training, intelligence and weaponry to several Shiite militias connected to the Iraqi government, to the insurgency and to the violence against Sunni factions. Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the director of the CIA, told the Senate recently that the amount of Iranian-supplied materiel used against U.S. troops in Iraq ‘has been quite striking.’"
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“Um.. Correct me if I am wrong, but that just accused the Iranians of supporting the Iraqi government (at least the Shiite factions)? Aren’t we doing that too? Still, the Iranian supplied materials used against us have been striking. I’m sure that the amount of U.S .produced materials used against our troops would be even more striking. After all, we are arming those same government-backed militias. That comment was made by the same General Hayden who kicked off Fearless Leader’s illegal wiretapping program, so you know he’s all about honesty.”

“Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who led the National Security Agency when it began a program of warrantless wiretaps, vigorously defended the program today, but acknowledged that it depends on a lower standard of evidence than required by courts.
‘The trigger is quicker and a bit softer,’ said General Hayden, an Air Force officer who is now the principal deputy director of the new national intelligence agency.
The standard laid out by General Hayden - a ‘reasonable basis to believe’ - is lower than ‘probably cause,’ the standard used by the special court created by Congress to handle surveillance involving foreign intelligence.
Mr. Hayden said that warrantless searches were conducted when one of a ‘handful’ of senior officers at the security agency determined that there was a ‘reasonable belief’ that one party to a call between someone in America and someone overseas had a link to Al Qaeda.”
-New York Times, January 23, 2006

“This is all overblown though.. We are just trying to counter Iran in Iraq in order to bring stability.”

“The administration's plans contain five ‘theaters of interest,’ as one senior official put it, with military, intelligence, political and diplomatic strategies designed to target Iranian interests across the Middle East.
The White House has authorized a widening of what is known inside the intelligence community as the ‘Blue Game Matrix’ -- a list of approved operations that can be carried out against the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon. And U.S. officials are preparing international sanctions against Tehran for holding several dozen al-Qaeda fighters who fled across the Afghan border in late 2001. They plan more aggressive moves to disrupt Tehran's funding of the radical Palestinian group Hamas and to undermine Iranian interests among Shiites in western Afghanistan.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“Wow.. I guess that we are going to fight Iran in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine. Yep, nothing will settle the Middle East down faster than more U.S. involvement.”

“Senior administration officials said the policy is based on the theory that Tehran will back down from its nuclear ambitions if the United States hits it hard in Iraq and elsewhere, creating a sense of vulnerability among Iranian leaders. But if Iran responds with escalation, it has the means to put U.S. citizens and national interests at greater risk in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“But that won’t happen because Fearless Leader says so. Nothing to see here. Move on.”

“A senior intelligence officer was more wary of the ambitions of the strategy.
‘This has little to do with Iraq. It's all about pushing Iran's buttons. It is purely political,’ the official said. The official expressed similar views about other new efforts aimed at Iran, suggesting that the United States is escalating toward an unnecessary conflict to shift attention away from Iraq and to blame Iran for the United States' increasing inability to stanch the violence there.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“But politics have nothing to do with this! Stupid senior intelligence official. Fearless Leader is blunt about that. Politics have nothing to do with how he deals with war.”

"I learned some good lessons from Vietnam. First, there must be a clear mission. Secondly, the politics ought to stay out of fighting a war. There was too much politics during the Vietnam War. There was too much concern in the White House about political standing.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 13, 2002

“The people don't want me making decisions based upon politics. They want me to make decisions based upon the recommendation from our generals on the ground. And that's exactly who I'll be listening to.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, November 29, 2005

“Except of course that he is currently ignoring the recommendations of his generals. Still, if they can just keep this anti-Iranian thing low-key we might just be able to keep this from becoming a total disaster.”

“In interviews, two senior administration officials separately compared the Tehran government to the Nazis and the Guard to the ‘SS.’ They also referred to Guard members as ‘terrorists.’ Such a formal designation could turn Iran's military into a target of what Bush calls a ‘war on terror,’ with its members potentially held as enemy combatants or in secret CIA detention.”
-Washington Post, January 26, 2007

“Does anyone else out there remember that secret CIA detention is, by definition, a violation of the Geneva conventions and thus unconstitutional? Sigh… Another day, another fiasco.”


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