Wednesday, December 28, 2005


According to the AmSpec Blog, there is finally a fair attempt at assessing the reasons for going to war in Iraq.

As with the AmSpec Blog, I don't agree with all of the conclusions made. Primarily under the heading "Iraq and Al Qaeda" is the following entry:

President Bush: "... Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network share a common enemy--the United States of America. We know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade.... Iraq has trained Al Qaeda members in bombmaking and poisons and deadly gases."


Two government investigative reports indicate that Al Qaeda and Iraq had long-running if sporadic contacts. Several of the prewar intel conclusions likely are true. But the high-ranking Al Qaeda detainee who said Iraq trained Al Qaeda in bombmaking, poisons and gases later recanted.


No compelling evidence ties Iraq to Sept. 11, 2001, as the White House implied. Nor is there proof linking Al Qaeda in a significant way to the final years of Hussein's regime. By stripping its rhetoric of the ambiguity present in the intel data, the White House exaggerated this argument for war
I hardly agree that the White House "implied" that there was evidence for tying Iraq to 9/11. They have made statements refuting that. The implication - as well as what was clearly said - is that there was a link between Iraq (Saddam) and Al Qaeda. That does not mean Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. What it does mean is that there was active support for the terrorist group and its aims. Now, one may say that that is tantamount to saying that Saddam had something to do with 9/11, but I completely disagree. I think it means that Saddam had the greater interests of Al Qaeda in common - the eradication of Israel and by association the United States. 9/11 being specifically part of that commonality is not specified nor implied.
posted by Dennis at 1:00 PM (permalink) 0 comments

Friday, December 23, 2005

How much treason is too much?

Another leak makes its way to the press. I keep hearing over and over that the leakers should be caught and prosecuted. Fine. Done. Check.

However, isn't there any culpability for a press that repeatedly puts in print the details of classified material? I mean, fine, these leakers "spoke to U.S. News because of their concerns about the legality of the program". However, U.S. News is not a body to decide whether or not the program is illegal. And they are in no way supposed to be privy to classified information. U.S. News - and every other journalistic entity that receives these leaks - should be obligated to go to the proper authorities with the reports, not to make them public. Not to mention the fact that having concerns about the legality of something does not make it illegal.

On the RCP blog, their entry makes the point that the legal question should have been settled in private. But they miss the point that U.S. News and its reporters should be hauled in and tried for treason for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Isn't that what divulging information about classified material essentially is?
posted by Dennis at 1:46 PM (permalink) 0 comments

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The correct decision is not always right.

A federal judge has just ruled that teaching Intelligent Design (ID) in public schools in unconstitutional. From the article:
`In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question'' of whether intelligent design ``is science,'' Jones wrote in Kitzmiller vs. Dover Area School District. ``We have concluded that it is not, and moreover'' that intelligent design ``cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.''
Ugh. While logically sound, this judgement is completely wrong. By 'wrong' I mean that a judge has zero place to be deciding what is or is not science.

Now, I've written in a previous post that ID should not be taught in schools, which is in agreement with judge Jones. However, it is significant to point out that I am not a judge. What I offer is an opinion, which is all judge Jones should offer, and not as a judge.

I could go over again and again about the fact that there is no separation of church and state (as packaged by liberals), yadda, yadda, yadda. But even if we forget that ID is fundamentally a theological theory (as opposed to a scientific one), the government should still have zero right to say what is and is not science.

There have been innumerable "silly" theories over the years that have been taught in schools, because they were the theory du jour, and/or because we were only able to deem them as "silly" after further research. Some still are, especially in the not-quite-scientific areas contained in softer sciences like psychology. The federal government in these cases generally does not, and should not step in to decided whether or not one of them should be taught.

The scientific community has its own checks and balances - the scientific method, peer review, et al. These and these alone are what should determine whether or not ID should be taught as a viable theory alongside evolution, not whether or not it has a relgious foundation, and definitely not by the government. ID would and does fall flat on its face in the light of these requirements even for serious consideration as a viable phsyical theory, let alone one on the order of acceptance as that of evolution.

What if science proved beyond a shadow of a doubt - 'prove' in the true physically scientific sense - that God exists, and everything were as fundamental Christians hold true? Would it still be 'wrong' to teach it in schools because of the religious aspect? It would have been proven as true, so anything taught to the contrary is not true.

All of this is silly. ID is crappy at best as a physical science theory. The natural forces in place within the scientific community will take care of putting ID in it's rightful place. It's only when the Christian fundamentalists try to unnaturally force it to be taught, or the government wrongfully bans it from being taught that true science is being ignored.
posted by Dennis at 4:01 PM (permalink) 0 comments