Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Blogger Thoughts: I expected more than this from Newt.
pretend to be a crime fighter
By Eric Hufschmid
11 Oct 2005
Most people think I am exaggerating when I tell them that the 9-11 "truth movement" is dominated by wolves in sheep's clothing.
Those of us who expose corruption actually face two problems:
Convincing people that our government is corrupt beyond anything they dreamed possible
Convincing people that most of the "truth seekers" are trying to cover up the corruption, or they are rival criminals trying to take over while Bush appears vulnerable.
The 9-11 attack is not a gameThousands of people were murdered, billions of dollars worth of property was destroyed, and thousands are still suffering health problems from breathing the demolition debris. And wars are still going on because of the attack.
The people who did 9-11 have a lot to lose if they are exposed, and they have a lot to gain if they remain in control.
Furthermore, 9-11 was not their first crime. Many of them were involved in other crimes that they must cover up.
Do you really think these people are so foolish that they will sit idly by while people expose them? If so, take a look at some of the suspicious suicides and accidents during the past decade.
Other people suspect Ruppert is a wolf in sheep's clothing who is trying to deflect attention away from the Zionists and onto the CIA, vice-president Cheney, and Peak Oil. Some sites think Mossad killed Gary Webb.
Deception is the preferred weaponSetting up suicides and airplane accidents is expensive and risky, so they kill us only as a last resort. They prefer to pay hundreds, maybe thousands, of people to pretend to be 9-11 "truth seekers".
The best way to get away with a crime is to be the investigator of the crime. Since people have trouble understanding this concept when I explain how it applies to 9-11, maybe it will be easier to understand if you imagine how it could happen to you. So let's look at how a gang of car thieves can get away with stealing your car.
Let's assume that you have a neighbor named Joe, who you assume is an ordinary, honest citizen. In reality, Joe is part of a gang that steals cars, and Joe wants to steal your car. What is the best way for Joe and his gang get away with car thefts?
Warn the victim ahead of timeJoe could tell you that he was browsing an Internet site where car thieves often send messages to each other, and he noticed a lot of chatter about stealing a car in your neighborhood.
A few days later, Joe steals your car. Your first reaction would be,
"Oh what a fool I am. I should have listened to my wonderful neighbor Joe, who tried to warn me."
Not many people would wonder, "Wait a minute... if you know where car thieves are talking to each other on the Internet, why not tell the police and let them identify the people?"
Offer to help solve the crimeWhen you tell Joe that your car was stolen, Joe fakes sadness. Joe then announces that he wants to rid the neighborhood of crime.
Joe offers to start an organization of truth seekers who will assist the police in their search for evidence. He tells you that he will collect information about the crime and pass it on to you and the police.
You would be grateful to Joe. It would never occur to you that Joe is sifting through all of the evidence that comes to him and discarding anything that implicates Joe or his friends in the crime. The only evidence he passes on to the police are the ones that send them in the wrong direction.
By fooling people into sending him the evidence, Joe also finds out which citizens he has to watch, and possibly blackmail or kill.
Give false evidenceJoe could pay some of his criminal friends to pretend to be witnesses to the theft of your car. The news reporters and police would never suspect that these witnesses are actually part of the gang that stole your car, and that they are sending the police in the wrong direction.
Joe could also pay his friends to call radio talk shows to spread the false evidence to the public.
Joe could also pay his friends to request the radio talk shows and newspapers to interview Ralph. This creates the impression that Ralph is a popular person, but in reality he is a member of the gang that steals cars, and all he really wants to do is spread false information.
Find naive people to pay for the cover-upAfter a few months Joe could ask for donations. He could complain that running the investigation is time-consuming and expensive, and he would appreciate donations of any type.
The naive people who donate money would not realize that they are paying Joe to cover up his crime.
Few, if any, of the people who donate money will have the nerve to ask Joe how much money is being donated, or what happens to that donated money. The few who ask will be provided with deceptive answers.
Asking for money has an additional advantage; specifically, it fools people into assuming Joe is an ordinary, honest citizen, not a wealthy criminal with secret sources of money.
Bury the truth with nonsenseSome people in your neighborhood might take it upon themselves to investigate the theft of your car simply because they are concerned about crime. They might discuss evidence on message boards and web sites.
These independent, truly honest citizens are a threat to Joe's gang because they might discover that Joe is involved in organized crime. They might even put up a web site that exposes Joe.
To protect himself, Joe pays his criminal friends to join the honest message boards and pretend that they are honest citizens who want to uncover the truth about the crime. In reality they would post thousands of idiotic and deceptive messages. They would bury the few useful messages.
Give conspiracy theories a bad imageJoe could turn some people away from the few honest web sites by giving a bad image to the people who claim Joe is a criminal. Joe could pay his friends to post ridiculous theories in order to make the message boards look like they are dominated by people with mental disorders.
For example, one of Joe's friends could post a photograph that shows a blurry, mysterious object in the sky above Joe's car. The object is a bird that is out of focus, but Joe's friend tries to encourage people to believe that it might be an alien spacecraft, and that perhaps the aliens stole Joe's car for their museum of human technology.
Another of Joe's criminal friends could announce that he heard from a reliable source that your car was picked up by the police along the Polish-Austrian border.
By flooding the message boards with stupid and deceptive messages, the honest messages are lost in the nonsense. Some of the honest citizens who look at the message board will be so overwhelmed by the nonsense that they ignore the issue.
Find useful idiots to promote nonsenseIt is difficult to lie. The best way to spread false information is to find a fool to do the work for you. Convince the fool that the lie is actually the truth, and then the fool will spread the lie for you. Since he believes the lie, he will be sincere when he talks about it.
Make Joe appear to be a victimOne of Joe's friends could post messages on a regular basis that make fun of the people who accuse Joe of crimes, such as
"Oh, yeah, we all know Joe stole the car. I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true!"When there is a serious traffic accident, or a severe rainstorm, Joe's friends could post messages such as:
"As we all know, the accident was Joe's fault. It's always Joe's fault. Let's blame Joe!"These messages will fool a few naive people into assuming that Joe is always a victim, similar to the way Pollacks were the primary subject for jokes when I was a child.
"I suppose Joe will be blamed for the thunderstorm! Everything is Joe's fault."
Outnumber the honest sites
Joe could pay his criminal friends to create thousands of "truth seeker" web sites in order to bury the few honest web sites. When honest citizens look on the Internet for information about car thefts, they will almost certainly encounter one of the deceptive web sites from Joe's friends, not one of the honest web sites. The end result is that they get a distorted or unpleasant view of the subject.
Boast about honestyTo make his "truth seeker" web sites appear more honest, Joe could tell his friends to openly boast about their honesty. For examples of the possible remarks:
"The World's Most Trusted Source For Truth".
"Established Experts In Counter Propaganda"
"The World's Only Established Experts In Counter Propaganda Science".
"We Demand Honesty in Government".
If those silly statements fool a few people, then it was worth Joe's money and time.
Give the honest citizens a bad imageWhen an honest citizen exposes information that Joe does not want exposed, Joe could pay his friends to find something about the citizen to complain about. For example, if a citizen creates a video that exposes Joe's gang, the gang could try to give the video a bad image with such remarks as,
"That video looks like some amateur made it in his garage. You will embarrass those of us in the Truth Seeking movement if you show people such crummy video!"
"That guy's voice is terrible! You can't show that lousy video to people! It will turn people away! Come on, he needs a professional narrator!"
Even if only a few people are fooled into keeping the video a secret, Joe will benefit.
Joe's friends can also spread rumors about the citizen, such as he is anti-American, a Fascist, a Nazi, an anti-semite, or a communist. Lots of people are affected by those insults, which is why they are so frequently used.
Create a maze of links to all deceptive sitesJoe could tell his friends to link their web sites to each other. When each of the sites have a few links to a couple of the other sites, it creates the illusion that each site provides more information.
The honest citizen assumes that every time he clicks on another of the links that he is getting a better understanding of issue, when in reality every site he clicks on is from the same criminal organization.
Link to honest sites only when pressuredJoe tells his friends to include a few links to one or two honest sites only when people start wondering why they ignore those honest sites. However, they will put the link in an obscure place.
This creates the illusion that they are aware of the honest sites, and that they support the honest sites, but in reality a couple links in an obscure location will not have any significant effect.
Make the honest sites appear controversialOne of the truth groups might write,
"There is no consensus among the truth seekers as to whether Joe actually committed any crime. However, in order to be fair, we provide all sides of the issue, and so we provide you with an article from Jim, who believes Joe is a criminal. "
This technique creates the impression that they are fair and unbiased. Unknown to the common people, Jim is one of Joe's friends, and he deliberately writes it in a manner that most people will disregard on the grounds it is stupid.
Furthermore, by providing lots of compliments, they take advantage of the people who are suffering from low self-esteem. For example:
"Look over the evidence and decide for yourself. We don't want to tell you what to think. The American people are intelligent, educated people. We provide the information, you make the decision."
Accuse the honest citizens of being car thievesWhen a citizen exposes Joe or his gang, Joe could accuse that citizen of being a member of a gang of car thieves who is trying to fool people into thinking Joe is the criminal in order to hide his own crimes.
Other members of Joe's gang can accuse other citizens of being car thieves.
If Joe's friends create hundreds of these accusations, the ordinary citizen can be so overwhelmed with the complexity that they are not sure who to trust.
Set blackmail traps for government officialsJoe and some of his friends could produce child pornography and arrange trips to Thailand to have sex with children. Imagine that your father purchases a trip to Thailand. One of Joe's friends can then use blackmail to control what your father says and does, but your father would not realize that Joe is involved in this blackmail. Your father would be working for Joe without realizing it.
If some of the news executives or police officials in your city purchase trips to Thailand, then Joe could influence the news and the police. Joe could also pressure these blackmailed officials into hiring Joe's criminal friends. Eventually Joe could acquire a lot of control over your city.
Another type of blackmail trap is to encourage people to profit from Joe's crimes, such as buying stock in one of Joe's companies that sells stolen car parts.
Even if only a few policemen, lawyers, and FBI agents can be lured into this, those few people add to the officials that Joe can control with blackmail.
Become a victim of mysterious hate crimesTo further keep himself in control of the city, Joe could pay a friend to spray a swastika on his house. Some naive people will feel sorry for Joe; they will defend him when he is accused of being a criminal.
Joe could also call the newspaper and television reporters to his house and announce that he is a victim of a hate crime, and that the city must pass hate crime laws to stop the attacks on innocent crime-fighters and truth seekers. He could use the hate crime legislation to demand the arrest of people who try to expose him.
Create organizations to arrest JoeJoe could pay his friends to create organizations that want to arrest Joe. For example, one of the organizations might be called ACT, which stands for Arrest Car Thieves.
The ACT web site is full of anger towards Joe. The organization demands that Joe be arrested. They also ask people to join their organization. However, in reality they want the names and addresses of their potential enemies.
Furthermore, Joe might also be able to use some of the ACT members as useful idiots. For example, Joe's friends might be able to convince one of them to throw a rock through Joe's window. That person could later be arrested, reinforcing the belief that ACT is a group of idiots who commit senseless acts of violence, and that the city needs hate crime legislation.
Joe can also look through the members of ACT to see if any of them can be blackmailed, bribed, or threatened.
You must be careful when you join organizations, and you must be very critical of the leadership, but very few people are.
Deflect attention to the governmentJoe could pay his friends to divert attention to the mayor of the city, who Joe helped to elect. The mayor is an idiot, so Joe hires people to create web sites and newspaper articles that ridicule the mayor and imply that he is responsible for the crime because he did not provide enough money for the police, or because the mayor is allowing corruption due to his stupidity.
One of Joe's friends might write an article that the mayor was warned that a car might be stolen, but the mayor ignored the warning. This implies that the stupid mayor is the reason cars are stolen.
Another of Joe's friends might write an article that implies that perhaps the mayor let your car get stolen so that he could use the theft of the car as justification for increasing the police budget.
By writing hundreds of slightly different, idiotic theories, the public will be confused, and many people will not notice the honest articles.
Let your friends expose you as a last resortBecause it is possible that Joe will eventually be exposed as a criminal, Joe prepares for that possibility by arranging for lots of his friends to be truth seekers who expose Joe as a criminal.
The way this deceptions works is if Joe decides that he can no longer cover up his crime because some citizens are about to expose some critical information, he can tell his friends to quickly expose him before the honest citizens do it. This allows Joe's friends to become the honest crime fighters who expose a terrible criminal. His friends will be the center of attention, and they can then try to minimize the damage and punishment, and prevent the rest of the gang from getting caught.
See the similarity to 9-11, JFK, etc?
My imaginary example of how Joe could steal your car is happening with the September 11 attack, and all of the other big crimes. However, the deception with 9-11 is much more intense and complex.
For example, take a look at 911truth.org, a group of "truth seekers" in New York City. In their description of themselves they write:
911Truth.Org is a campaign to educate the public about the Sept. 11th coverup and inspire popular pressure to overturn the "incompetence theory" and expose the truth surrounding the events of 9/11; namely, that elements within the U.S. government must have been complicit, or worse, for the attacks to happen the way they did.
Since 911truth.org wants to expose the truth, you might expect them to show the evidence that the towers and Building 7 were demolished with explosives. But they have the following remark about this issue:
The Case for DemolitionsCan you see the deception?
There is no consensus on this issue among 911Truth.org staff or within the 9/11 truth movement, but here is a collection of articles, many of them by Jim Hoffman, arguing that the WTC buildings must have been demolished using explosives. Plus a few past milestones on the evidence. Judge for yourselves...
Nicholas Levis has a role of some sort with this group. That fact alone should make you suspicious of them. Since at least 2002 several people have been complaining that Nicholas Levis cannot be trusted.
In 2004 Jimmy Walter allowed Levis to help set up a 9-11 meeting in New York City. During the meeting it became so obvious that he was a trouble-maker that security guards had to drag Levis out of the meeting.
Here is WingTV's description of Levis.
And: Levis is War Criminal
How many times do these 9-11 "truth seekers" have to behave in a suspicious manner before you ignore them? What if somebody commits suicide by chaining himself to a fence and then shooting himself with a firing squad, and what if Mike Ruppert announces that this is entirely possible? Would you continue to trust Ruppert, or would you ask yourself,
"Wait a minute, how can Ruppert be so certain it was a suicide? Why doesn't Ruppert want an investigation?"
The inability to select quality leaders is one of the world's primary problems. Most people turn to whoever makes them feel good; whoever gives them praise, entertainment, and hope.
Deflect attention to BushA lot of people realize that George Bush is a puppet, but who is telling Bush what to do?
A "truth seeker" named Dr. Justin Frank has the answer. He tell us that George Bush is a puppet, but he is "A Puppet Who Chose His Puppeteers".
Dr. Frank is trying to convince us that there is no need to look at the people giving orders to George Bush because George Bush chose those people. Therefore, to understand the actions of George Bush, we only have to look at George Bush!
Dr. Frank wants us to believe that if we look at Bush's puppeteers, we will discover that they are following the orders of George Bush. Does this make sense to you?
Most of Bush's opponents are liars
They claim to be "truth seekers" who want to get rid of the evil Bush government and replace it with an honest government. However, none of these truth seekers are being honest.
Many of the truth seekers seem to be part of the group that gave us 9-11, and some of the truth seekers seem to be part of a rival group of criminals who are fighting with the Bush administration for control of America. You and I are just pawns in their game of world conquest.
Example: MoveOn.orgThe MoveOn organization encourages their members to get together and be exposed to videos and other information about corruption. This is a wonderful method to educate people. The organization has tremendous potential. However, the only information that their members are exposed to is propaganda that makes the Bush administration and the Fox news network look like evil organizations.
The MoveOn members are some of the most ignorant people when it comes to 9/11 and other crimes. The most likely explanation is that George Soros and other people behind the MoveOn organization are a rival gang fighting for control of the American people. They are not interested in exposing crime; rather, they are interested in getting control of the people. They are deceiving their members with their particular propaganda.
Some people suspect George Soros of being in the same criminal gang as George Bush, but for all we know, they are on different teams that work together sometimes, but fight with each other most of the time. As with Al Capone and other gangs, people such as Soros and Bush may be selfish beyond anything you have imagined, and both of them may fantasize about killing each other.
Example: The Air America radio networkAir America claims to be providing people with the truth, but just like Tom Flocco, Mike Ruppert, 911truth.org, and most other "truth seekers" who condemn Bush, they appear to be either working with Bush, or working with some rival group of criminals.
They titillate their listeners with insults about Bush and corporations, but they suppress a lot of important books, people, and subjects.
When Mike Malloy had a show about the 9/11 attack (on September 30, 2005), one of the people who helped Air America get started, Steve Sinton, decided to sit in the studio with him.
You can listen to the show at this site:
Scroll down to the link: Friday, September 30th, 2005.
I suppose Mike Malloy knows a lot about the 9/11 attack, and the management of Air America were concerned that he or his callers might let out too much information. So they sent Sinton to sit in the studio with Mike, and Sinton tried to promote the idea that conspiracy theories about 9/11 are ridiculous.
The people who listen to Air America are as deceived as the people who watch the television news. The naive citizens who provide Air America with money, advertising, or any other support are helping a group of criminals.
Most leaders of the groups we call "liberals" are wolves in sheep's clothing. They are not exposing corruption, nor are they educating people. Rather, they are taking advantage of the anger towards Bush, Republicans, and corporate greed.
The liberals condemn Bush for being stupid, and they criticize Republicans for having such incompetent leadership, but the leaders for the liberals are just as corrupt. If the liberals had even 20% of the intelligence they think they have, they would investigate Soros, Sinton, and all of the other top ranking liberals.
Example: the Green PartyI was complaining to a member of the Green Party that the Green Party is worthless, and one of the reasons I gave was that they will not tell their members about 9/11.
His response was that the leader of the Southern California branch, Mike Feinstein, was a psychopath, and that he is merely dishonest, not part of the 9-11 cover-up. He explained to me that Feinstein was accused by his fellow Green Party members of stealing money from the Green Party.
Why would anybody remain a member of the Green Party when they think their leader is a psychopath? Well, for the same reason millions of people followed the Kings and Queens of Europe, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Bush. Namely, humans and animals have a strong tendency to follow, and most humans and animals are lousy at thinking.
If it is true that Feinstein is stealing money from the Green Party, he may be part of the criminal network that gave us 9-11. Or the criminal network may have noticed that Feinstein is dishonest, and they are using his criminal background to blackmail him. Perhaps the reason that nobody can remove him from the Green Party is because he has a lot of support from a lot of criminals. Or perhaps he is honest, and the criminals are trying to make him appear to be a criminal in order to get rid of him!
Regardless of whether Feinstein is an honest citizen, a psychopath, or a blackmailed criminal, the Green Party is not providing their members with any useful information, so what value does the Green Party have? Why are the members wasting their time and money with such a worthless organization?
The Green Party is not helping America. It is of more use to the Bush administration and other criminals because it suppresses information about corruption. The same is true of almost every other large organization.
Example: The anti-war groupsMost of the organizations that claim to be struggling for peace refuse to provide information about 9-11 and other corruption. Worse yet, they stop attempts by their members to discuss these issues.
The leaders of these groups have a lot of excuses as to why they will not discuss 9/11 and other crimes. For example, I have heard some leaders of Veterans for Peace insist that they want to support veterans, so 9/11 is not an issue that concerns them. However, the war is based on the 9/11 attack, so if they really want to stop the wars and help the veterans, they should expose the 9/11 hoax.
Are the leaders of the Veterans for Peace groups truly so stupid that they cannot see the value in exposing 9/11? Or are they afraid to expose it because they worry they will die in an airplane crash? Or are the leaders part of the criminal network that is trying to cover up these crimes? Or are they blackmailed or bribed into covering up these crimes?
I don't know what is wrong with Veterans for Peace or the anti-war groups, but I know better than to join or support a useless organization.
Which organization is of value?There are thousands of organizations and web sites that claim to be trying to help us. However, we must judge an organization and their leaders by their accomplishments, not by what they promise.
If you belong to an organization, ask yourself, what has it done for you or the world? Be serious when answering that question. Be as critical of your organization as you are of President Bush. Don't be a hypocrite by supporting a crummy or corrupt leader while you condemn Bush for corruption and incompetence. The world does not improve from hypocrisy; it improves when people develop intelligent suggestions and do some real work.Unless we raise standards for people in leadership position, nothing will improve. We don't need a rival group of criminals and hypocrites to replace Bush. We need to get higher quality leaders.
Tags: Morgan Reynolds
October 18, 2005
Bush Crises Raise Criticism of Chief of Staff's Management
By ANNE E. KORNBLUT
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - With Karl Rove distracted by the intensifying C.I.A. leak scandal, some of the Bush administration's other challenges in recent months have cast a longer shadow on Andrew H. Card Jr., for years a guiding force as the White House chief of staff.
His office oversaw the administration response to Hurricane Katrina, coordinating federal assistance that was broadly condemned as too slow. Mr. Card personally managed the selection of Harriet E. Miers for the Supreme Court, a choice that has splintered the Republican Party and left the administration scrambling to rescue her nomination.
The confluence of crises, all running through Mr. Card's suite just steps from the Oval Office, has some critics asking whether Mr. Card needs to clean house or assert himself more forcefully - or at least consider a course correction before Mr. Bush is downgraded permanently to lame duck status.
"The lesson of both Katrina and Miers is that the system of decision making in the White House no longer meets the needs of the president," said David Frum, a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush who has been critical of the Miers choice.
Critics "could perhaps hold Andy accountable for not saying, 'Mr. President, this is going to be a mistake,' " said William Kristol, the conservative commentator and another vocal critic of the Miers nomination.
"He's always been - weaker is not quite fair, but he's always been a less powerful chief of staff than we're used to," Mr. Kristol said. "It worked well for a while. It seemed he was good at coordinating Karl and the vice president and Josh Bolten and Condi. And, again, to give him credit, in the first term things went pretty well, you have to say. So I don't really put the blame on Andy; he's doing what he's always done."
Mr. Card himself is rarely a target of criticism. Far more than other senior administration officials, he is admired by the staff, the president and lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle here.
Cheerful to the point of corniness, Mr. Card works ruthless hours, often arriving at his job before dawn and leaving after the dinner hour.
But his reputation as an effective steward of the executive bureaucracy has become harder to defend in light of recent events. Some critics of the administration ask whether previous chiefs of staff - imperious figures like James A. Baker III or Donald T. Regan - would have let so many problems accumulate.
The Miers nomination has touched off the most vitriol. Some conservatives and Rove allies say Mr. Card kept Mr. Rove in the dark about the seriousness of Mr. Bush's intentions until very late in the process, sidestepping the adviser who would have been best able to anticipate dissent among Republicans.
Mr. Card also ran a vetting process that critics sharply criticized as inherently flawed because it put William K. Kelly - Ms. Miers's deputy White House counsel - in charge of scrutinizing his own boss.
"Regardless of whether or not the vetting process was complete, it represented impossible conflicts of interest," the conservative columnist John Fund wrote last week in the online edition of The Wall Street Journal, naming Mr. Card as a chief culprit.
For Mr. Card, who has never claimed to be an assertive power broker, the criticism of his management style cuts at the very skills he prides himself in. Although he briefly served as transportation secretary under the first President Bush, most of his career in public service has been in the anonymous, but important, ranks of bureaucracy. He came into the Bush presidential campaign not as a political adviser but as the nuts-and-bolts manager of the Republican convention. Even now, five years at the side of the most powerful leader in the world, he describes his job like a good bureaucrat.
"I do not see my job as being anything other than a staffer responsible for the staff," Mr. Card said in an interview earlier this year.
Technically, Mr. Card is Mr. Rove's superior - and he is, according to people inside and outside the White House, sometimes privately at odds with Mr. Rove, his deputy chief of staff, whom he believes can be overly political and disrespectful of proper White House boundaries.
Still, Mr. Card has shared the natural influence of the chief of staff's office with the more outspoken forces in the administration, especially Vice President Dick Cheney and Mr. Rove, say Republicans closely allied with Mr. Bush. The most famous image of Mr. Card, that of his whispering into the president's ear that the nation was under attack on Sept. 11, 2001, is an apt one: when Mr. Card gives his opinion to Mr. Bush, he does it so quietly that he is rarely assigned credit, or blame, for the decision that follows.
"My job is not to have my position prevail," Mr. Card said. "My job is to understand the president's position, challenge him, and then enlighten other people to his expectations."
In previous administrations, "this chief of staff tried to play the role more like a prime minister, this chief of staff played the role more as a surrogate president, the C.E.O., that type of stuff," he said, refusing to name names, but making it clear that he did not consider any of those models for his own tenure.
Repeatedly, Mr. Card brushed aside any suggestion that he played an important role in deciding the president's agenda or defining the substance of his presidency. "I don't want to say this - I plead with you not to see this as false humility, because I'm trying not to do that. But my job is not about me," he said. "It's my job to facilitate the president's ability to get the best out of his staff."
Yet it is the staff that has been so problematic in the second term. It took Michael D. Brown, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, weeks to resign after the flawed response to Hurricane Katrina. In the meantime, Mr. Card rushed back from his vacation home in Poland, Me., to try, unsuccessfully, to contain the damage.
Mr. Card was the obvious hurricane point man: he had been dispatched by the first President Bush to fix the disastrous federal response in Florida to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. More than a decade later, in 2003, Mr. Card oversaw the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which absorbed FEMA into its ranks. In the early days of Hurricane Katrina, he sent his deputy, Joe Hagin, to the Gulf Coast to manage events on the ground.
The White House found itself mired in bureaucracy nonetheless, as Mr. Card stayed up through the night on the first Friday of the disaster sending faxes to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco of Louisiana, trying to sort through chains of command. Mr. Card, who worked closely with Ms. Miers on that effort as well, said he had worked until 4:30 a.m. getting to "a position where we were all pulling our oars in the same direction, federal, state and local."
Still, another full week passed before Mr. Card finally had a long discussion with Mr. Brown about his mishandling of the storm. Even then, he said, he did not ask for Mr. Brown's resignation. "I asked him to think about his situation," he said. Mr. Brown resigned two days later.
If Mr. Card has had a heart-to-heart with Mr. Rove about the swirling criminal investigation into the leak of a C.I.A. operative's name, it has not been publicly disclosed.
"You're not going to get Andy to tell you he took Karl to the woodshed," a senior Republican official said.
Several administration officials said Mr. Card would be furious with any White House official who leaked information to the press. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak by the White House.
Several Republican advisers closely tied to the White House said Mr. Card had served as a counterweight to Mr. Rove at times, acting as a moderating voice and reining in Mr. Rove when he sought too much time with or sway over the president.
Still, with Mr. Rove as with Mr. Brown, Mr. Card, at a minimum, has not cracked down on top advisers before their problems have become a distraction. And what his most ardent supporters describe as Mr. Card's greatest attributes - in particular, his humility and patience - could well be at fault for some of the recent rockiness.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice described him as a loyal but low-key adviser who was "not one of those chiefs of staff that thinks he ought to interpose himself between the advisers and the president."
"Andy is not just completely comfortable with, but has encouraged, the president's four or five key advisers to feel that they can walk into the Oval and just talk to the president," Ms. Rice said. "There have been chiefs of staff who want to control access all the time; that's just not Andy."
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
October 18, 2005
Chaos Grows in Darfur Conflict as Militias Turn on Government
By MARC LACEY
ZAM ZAM, Sudan, Oct. 17 - The outlaws who rode into Geneina on camelback one recent afternoon represent the latest grim chapter in the desert war in western Sudan.
Janjaweed militias have focused their wrath on innocent villagers for most of the two and a half years of the conflict in the Darfur region. But on Sept. 18, in a scene that aid workers described as something out of a Hollywood western, the militiamen surrounded the police station along Sudan's border with Chad, roughed up the chief and freed several of their members from jail.
The fact that militias trained and armed by the government are now emboldened enough to turn their guns on the government is a sign of trouble. It was government support of the janjaweed at the outset that ignited the fighting in Darfur that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced two million villagers.
The standoff in Geneina, which together with other incidents prompted the United Nations to evacuate many of its personnel, is part of an overall deterioration in Darfur. The conflict has grown even more confused and chaotic in recent months. Now, rebels fight other rebels, the ties between some janjaweed fighters and the government have frayed, and the African Union troops charged with quelling the conflict find themselves targets as well.
"Darfur is no longer under control," said Eltayeb Hag Ateya, head of the Peace Studies Institute at the University of Khartoum. "It's not just the government against the rebels anymore. There's this armed group and that armed group. It's getting more complicated by the day."
The war here was never a straightforward one. It was part Arab versus African, part government versus rebel, part nomad versus farmer. But two rebel forces have now grown to five or more, with some fighters from neighboring Chad adding to what one aid worker in Darfur called "a cocktail of armed actors."
Some janjaweed fighters have put on government uniforms. Others maraud through the countryside taking orders from no one. With peace talks at a critical stage, the number of fighting forces jockeying for power seems to grow by the day.
Zam Zam, a former village in northern Darfur that has been transformed into a sprawling camp of people on the run from war, is one place that illustrates the new Darfur.
Things in Darfur can be deceptively calm at times - until hundreds of men on camelback come loping through the sand with their guns blazing. Or until rebels leap out from their cover in a surprise attack on government troops. Or until a government aircraft swoops in low.
Darfur's war began when two rebel groups opened attacks on the government in early 2003, accusing it of ignoring African tribes of Darfur. The Islamist government struck back, enlisting the aid of Darfur's Arab tribes. The militias destroyed hundreds of villages throughout Darfur, raping and pillaging as they sought to root out rebels and punish sympathizers.
Zam Zam, created in 2003, grew into one of Darfur's largest camps for internally displaced people. It has always been an insecure place, situated strategically near government and rebel strongholds. But something happened earlier this year that gave aid workers hope that Darfur might be changing for the better.
The population of the camp, which has crept higher and higher since the fighting started, finally began to drop. In May and June, hundreds and then thousands of people in Zam Zam and other camps around Darfur began returning home to cultivate their crops, a sign that normal life was returning to this desperate place.
But the hopeful signs did not last long. Just last month, after the villagers had hoed their plots and planted their vegetables and groundnuts and other crops, the militias attacked again.
"They came with cars, with horses and with camels," said Ali Mohamed Fadu, a sheik from Jabein, a village that was overrun on Sept. 17 for the second time in two years. "They all had guns, and they shot at us and killed some of us."
The accounts offered by villagers are remarkably similar to the ones heard at the start of the conflict, when people across Darfur were terrorized in attacks that the United States government said amounted to genocide.
With villagers on the run again, the population of Zam Zam is back on the rise, with thousands of new arrivals in the past three weeks.
Ismail Abduraman, 25, lost his father, who was a shopkeeper, in the recent attacks. After robbing him and shooting him, the militiamen looted his shop. In all the confusion, Mr. Abduraman became separated from 17 of his brothers and sisters.
While most people in Darfur contend that the countryside is far too dangerous for them these days, Mr. Abduraman is planning to return in search of his missing family members. He plans to take a donkey along and walk seven hours to the west, across the scorching sand.
"I have to go," he said. "I can't just sit here when my family is out there. My father would go, but he can't. I'm the elder now."
Farther east, in Tawila, the situation is similarly grim. African villagers congregate on the south side of the main road together with some fighters from the Sudan Liberation Army, the main rebel movement in Darfur. To the north is a police station where many of the officers are former militia fighters.
It is an explosive mix that has led to a series of shooting incidents in recent weeks. Terrified people from the area now huddle next to the African Union camp overlooking the town.
But the African soldiers are hamstrung by their rules of engagement, their lack of equipment and their inexperience in the field. When the police recently raided Tawila, shooting at suspected rebels and burning structures in the market, African Union soldiers watched from their hilltop perch but did not intervene.
It is impossible for them, however, to remain entirely on the sidelines. An African Union convoy was ambushed on Oct. 8 in the Khorabashi area in South Darfur. During an exchange of fire, four Nigerian soldiers and two civilian contractors were killed.
A day later, a renegade group of rebels abducted 38 African Union soldiers in the border town of Tine, warning the African Union not to tread in its territory. The soldiers were rescued after a battle between rival factions of the Justice and Equality Movement, which is one of the rebel groups opposed to the Sudanese government in Darfur.
Baba Gana Kingibe, the African Union's special representative in Sudan, said recently that there was "neither good faith nor commitment on the part of any of the parties."
Perhaps the most horrifying incident in the new Darfur occurred along the Chadian border at the Aro Sharow camp. On Sept. 28, several hundred janjaweed fighters raided the camp, killing 35 people and wounding 10 more. Most attacks occur for a reason here, and this one is believed to be tied to the killing of a janjaweed leader's children days before or, in another version, the theft of hundreds of camels from Arab tribesmen by rebel fighters.
If there is a hopeful sign in Darfur, it is this: Violence typically spikes in such conflicts when peace talks reach a critical phase. The negotiations in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, are in their sixth round, bogged down but not broken. The recent brutalities are seen as efforts by various fighting forces in Darfur to win a seat at the table or at least get access to some of the spoils.
But with the reality on the ground so grim, the traumatized people of Darfur seem to be growing almost numb. As Mr. Abduraman set off from the relative safety of the Zam Zam camp to the lawless interior, he had no weapon, little food and no real plan. He said he left his fate to God. "If the janjaweed find me, they will kill me," he said matter-of-factly as he crouched in the sand. "I will join my father."
Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
Blogger Thoughts: For what this is worth?
Blogger Thoughts: Cliff Kincaid at gopusa.com (hint, hint, whoever he is) smoking crack again.
Blogger Thoughts: "Suzy's" post was enormously disappointing.
I am the 4th commenter.
"Saddam will face trial—and try to turn the tables on his captors."
Blogger Thought: Now that you put it that way, I totally see your point. (NOT!)
Blogger Thoughts: Blogging Catholic Priest upholds this blogger's extremely low opinion of the worth of Priests and Catholic ethical guidelines.
When discussion ethics and cloning, he come out with:
"1. Would you do what you propose to do to a human being at a later stage of development? In the first instance, the answer is 'No' -- we don't do invasive surgery on people without their consent."
I have to admit, this type of test tends to allow one to have a clear answer about what is ethical and what is not. However, the answer is so out of step with any reasonable developing concensus. Can I say for sure the Catholic approach to this question is wrong? Certainly I can't. Can I say it would impose restrictions that I find wholly incompatible with medical science and human progress. Absolutely.
Update 10/17/2005 Good News