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Old Jun 03, 2002, 12:18 PM
Mr Mootsie
Tim Jonas's Avatar
Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Liberal Reality Check

This was written by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. It is the first time I can recall a liberal 'fessing up to the dichotomy of complaining about racial profiling and complaining about the FBI's lack of a sense of urgency when it came to pre-9/11 intelligence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/31/opinion/31KRIS.html

cheers,
tim
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 03:41 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Stamford, CT
Joined Oct 2000
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Don't lump us liberals together!

I suspect that on this board, I come across as something of a liberal, and truth be told, I'm proud of that sobriquet. If you don't mind, I'll answer to that article.

Mr. Kristof comes across as running scared, rather than being true to principles. True, I suspect that as a New Yorker, he has better reason to be scared of the effectiveness of terrorists today than most, but nonetheless, his fear and racism pervades that article.

His comment that only a Muslim would have raised the eyebrows of a flight instructor is nonsense. (OK, I'm a model airplane flight instructor, but I 've hung out in airports and took flying lessons as a kid.) Any prospective pilot that

a) Pays cash.
b) Stinks at it.
c) Wants to fly jumbo jets.

is going to raise suspicion. I would be worried that the man/woman was some kind of kook. That it happened to be a Muslim should have narrowed it down into what organizations this individual might belong to, but spare me the racist nonsense.

I am appalled at Mr. Kristof's naivete concerning the track records of the "intelligence" organizations of this country and our major allies. Essentially, they're terrible! In terms of useful intelligence in WWII, none of them were much use with the shining exception of the code breakers (largely lead by mathematicians from several countries IIRC). None of the major combatants spy rings did anything very useful- contrary to what was shown in movies. The most effective spying was probably done by Germany- they had a pipeline into when convoys were sailing from the US from a spy in a Swiss insurance company- convoys needed insurance, and the companies demanded to know details. These got passed along to Germany which helped Doenitz's wolf packs.

The Cold War spy apparatus was little better- Russia got a few secrets concerning how to make nuclear firecrackers (which they would have figured out sooner or later- it's a lot easier to figure out how something works once it's been demonstrated) and we didn't even know that the Berlin Wall was coming down, or how close the FSU was to collapse. These guys were a lot more skilled on spying on the democratic party or 60's radicals than anything else. Look at Watergate as an example. Phftui....

I have seen no major shakeups in intelligence organizations since 9/11- as far as I can see, it's still the same bunch of dunderheads- more interested in linguistic ability than anything else. These people seem to be very insular, paranoid, and condescending. Hiring more idiots like what we've got won't accomplish a damn thing in terms of our security. Those organizations need a major house cleaning... Mr. Kristof should be excoriated for forgetting his history so readily.

Sam
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 04:00 PM
Mr Mootsie
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Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Sam,

Excoriated is a bit of a strong word. If you look at his bio, it shows he is from Oregon. He went to Harvard and Oxford and has only been at the Times a few years. I hardly think this qualifies him as a "New Yorker" in the true sense of the term. Given the guy's background, I would also consider "naive" to be hard word.

Why does it have to be that he is a racist and afraid? Why can't it be that he understands that liberals would have "excoriated" the federal government for taking any action against Muslims (or any other sect, for that matter) prior to 9/11 and now take that same government to task for not having done exactly that?

Why can't it be that he is simply saying that the media can be hypocritical?

sheesh....liberals...can't live with them...can't live without them.

I have hung around race tracks as a kid and I drive a car....but I am not a member of the NASCAR circuit.

cheers,
Tim
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 04:48 PM
Human Like You
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Colorado
Joined Feb 2001
1,616 Posts
Hey Mootsie,

Hope things are well. I think that a few a few of the more hardcore rightists around here probably think you are pretty liberal, but they'll take it cuz you served...as a Marine even.

I think you have to make the safety of commercial airlines a little more important than angering a racial group, a few passengers with toenail clippers or a political label like "liberal". The ACLU or a liberal reporter is supposed to say, "hey, wait a minute, what are the "freedom and democracy" implications of this action". The security director of Dulles is then supposed to say, we do this with all the passengers and it's designed to keep terrorists from succeeding.

I think we have to distinguish between profiling and racial profiling. When race is one of a list of determining factors that pull names from a database for further scrutiny before a flight, it's no longer "racial profiling" and becomes a good security precaution. It's all done beforehand, in an automated, anonymous way.

I know I'll feel alot better when everyone I'm on a plane with has their name automatically go through an interpol, a passport and a domestic police check if not more. As far as I'm concerned, that and probably more just makes sense as a measure we can take to keep ourselves safe.

Besides, the grocery store already knows I like salmon and chocolate ice cream and fresh veggies and I use Ivory soap and all sorts of other stuff. The banks know I'm a lousy saver and that I had a bad spot of underemployment recently. Hell the music store can tell you where I live, what strings I play and who my fave musician is.

Minimally, the airlines should know who they are flying around, if the passport is real, if the person has a record of violence, if the French or the Brazilians are looking for them.

This is a sacrifice that we individally make so that the general population can be a bit safer. Besides flying without being profiled isn't some kind of civil right, it's a service performed by a public/private partnership so that you can sell those shower curtain rings or go see Aunt Ethel. With the right policy, public accounting and execution this is something I am 100% behind, an ounce of prevention and all that.
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 05:25 PM
Mr Mootsie
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Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Newbie,

Doing well, thanks. Just closed on the new house up in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. I think I doubled the number of Republicans in the state when I registered.

The hell of this is, is that I agree with everything in your post. Everything. Scared the hell out of me.

I suspect that Coastalflyer and DNA still think that I am the third of three anti-Christs that Nostradamus predicted back in the day....so I don't know about the liberal leanings of my opinions. I think lockstep in any way, shape or form is a bad thing.

cheers,
tim
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 07:33 PM
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I agree. The excuse that liberals ruined their effectiveness is a straw man. Legitimate police work includes identifiers like tattoos. Country of origin is a relevant issue, especially for purposes of immigration. There is no constitutional right to entry unless for political reasons and then we still reserve the right to check in on them. This does not to my mind include imprisonment without habeas corpus, but the border is the most legitimate place to ask questions. It is too bad that zealots throw out the baby with the bath water. We either need more gov.spooks than stalin or we lose all control. The if Al were in scare tactic also is weak. Clintons intelligence apparatus seems to have been far more awake than this admin. Ashcroft had stopped flying a month and a half earlier on commercial airlines. Bush was on extended vacation at the ranch to avoid terror. We however were expendable. That needs to be addressed. I am no longer at all convinced that they didnt fully expect a terrorist attack albeit a minor one and considered it a cost of doing BUSINESS. The culprits were identified within 24 hours and plans were made in days. This was contingencied.
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Old Jun 03, 2002, 11:07 PM
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Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
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My-OH-MY. What is this world coming to. NewbieX and I agree on a topic. UNREAL.

Mr. Mootsie
My condolences on your move to Mass. The home of the King of the Liberals.
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Old Jun 04, 2002, 08:20 AM
God is good
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrMootsie
. . . . I suspect that Coastalflyer and DNA still think that I am the third of three anti-Christs that Nostradamus predicted back in the day..... . . .
Tim,

I wanna know who the other two are

VP
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Old Jun 04, 2002, 08:36 AM
Mr Mootsie
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Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gman2
Clintons intelligence apparatus seems to have been far more awake than this admin.
That is patent garbage. Read this article by Mansoor Ijaz, who brokered a deal to get bin Laden to Clinton, but was rebuffed.

http://www.infowars.com/saved%20page..._bin_laden.htm

Quote:
Ashcroft had stopped flying a month and a half earlier on commercial airlines. Bush was on extended vacation at the ranch to avoid terror. We however were expendable. That needs to be addressed. I am no longer at all convinced that they didnt fully expect a terrorist attack albeit a minor one and considered it a cost of doing BUSINESS. The culprits were identified within 24 hours and plans were made in days. This was contingencied.
Are you seriously saying that the administration knew that terrorists were going to run 2 aircraft into the WTC, 1 into the Pentagon, and perhaps another into the White House, and they let it happen?

Come on, now...that is a bit of a stretch, don't you think?
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Old Jun 04, 2002, 10:37 AM
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Noone envisioned the extent of damage that would result. Our foreign and domestic policies have a cost both monetarily and backlash. This is known and admitted at the highest levels as you have schooled me so many times with regard to military planning. As the pres has said so many times, we are all soldiers in this war. Im sure that contingency plans were developed for dealing with the expected plane hijackings and also for real damage. The near total power developed and then wielded by this admin is not an accident. I'm sure that dems also have plans to unbalaance the political scales. The hardright seems to be quite a bit more dangerous though.
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Old Jun 04, 2002, 02:11 PM
Balsa Flies Better!
Stamford, CT
Joined Oct 2000
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Hey Mootsie

Massachusetts eh? I get up there occasionally- I have lots of friends there (well, one of them is a Republican). Maybe we can hook up and go flying?

Anyhow- I don't believe excoriated is too strong a word for Mr. Kristof- and I think the hyprocrisy is his own, not that of liberals in general. Either that, or I'm not representative -could be come to think of it..

Anyhow, I agree with Newbie- if you're going to keep tabs on people flying on airplanes to make sure that they don't take out buildings, other airplanes or little old ladies, then I would be leary of constructing a profile- once it's known, it's easy to defeat. If you're going to screen passengers, then screen everybody or use some type of random screen. Racial profiling becomes de facto discrimination- enforced by the government.
For Kristof to now support screening of just Muslims stinks- either screen for all terrorists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Mormons, Canadians, Mexicans, White Supremacists, whatever or don't screen at all and we all take our chances.

In contrary to Kristof, my aggravation with the government lies with the "intelligence agencies" which had an example of a similar type of terrorist attack involving the deliberate crashing of a passenger jet in the Philippines a year earlier. On the other hand, I'll give the towelheads credit for coming up with something unexpected- and realistically, that's always impossible to defend against.

Sam
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Old Jun 04, 2002, 11:53 PM
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Gman
Clinton had no intelligence gathering ability in his administration. In fact he reduced the CIA to a shadow of what it was. As far as the FBI goes--does the name Janet Reno ring a bell? How about Ruby Ridge among others?
And why do you think the investigation into the failure by the intelligence community is only going back to the year 2000? If they go back any further Clinton and the democrats may feel some heat and if that happens Daschle will look pretty bad--won't he?

Get real--please
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Old Jun 05, 2002, 01:10 AM
Build/Fly/Crash/Repeat
United States, HI, Kapalua
Joined Jan 2002
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Quote:
In fact he reduced the CIA to a shadow of what it was.
Really? How did he do that? Can you support that statement or is it just your "opinion"?
Has George Jr. lobbied Congress to increase the budget of the CIA? I must have missed that.

Congress decreases (and increases) budgets - not Presidents. The activities (and budget) of the CIA has been under assault by Congress for over 15 years, by members of both parties.

Quote:
As far as the FBI goes--does the name Janet Reno ring a bell? How about Ruby Ridge among others?
What do Janet Reno and Ruby Ridge have to do with each other?
Perhaps you meant the incident at Waco, Texas?
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Old Jun 05, 2002, 06:20 AM
Mr Mootsie
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Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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his sentence refers to the FBI. Reno obviously had Waco and Elian Gonzalez. Ruby Ridge was still an FBI goat rodeo, even though it was under then Attorney General William Barr.
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Old Jun 05, 2002, 06:35 AM
Mr Mootsie
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Pepperell, MA, USA
Joined Jan 2001
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Here is a link to another article in which Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) says that fear of being criticized for racial profiling had something to do with the FBI reticence to investigate.

http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020604-4233227.htm
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