Our Source Was The N.Y. Times

Black Eagle, during the Easter Egg Roll, said this:

President Obama said Monday that he was revamping American nuclear strategy to substantially narrow the conditions under which the United States would use nuclear weapons, even in self defense.

[snippety snip]

…The United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons, or launched a crippling cyberattack.  Those threats, he argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options” — a combination of old and newly designed conventional weapons.  “I’m going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure,” Mr. Obama said during the interview in the Oval Office.


Haven’t looked at The Corner yet, but I’m guessing they’d be somewhat lukewarm to the idea.


For killing/destroying most things, you don’t really need nukulars.

USAF and USN have developed lots of easier ways to kill using modified precision guided conventional weapons instead of using irradiated ones. Thermobaric warheads (basically fuel air bomb + napalm), fuel air bombs and specially designed bunker busters. Most nations don’t have’em and don’t have the experience to use ’em (unlike the US America in certain parts of the world cough Iraq cough.)

Plus nukulars and support systems are extremely expensive to maintain. Just a little point I read in “Dark Sun” (about the development of the hydrogen bomb), over half the US National Debt (before W) was generated due to the development, production and maintenance of said US America nukular arsenal including missiles, bombers, and subs.

This is why China has a mere 200 nukes and why India and Pakistan have only a few. Too expensive. This is what Iran is probably finding out right now.

DEVLOPING ALSO: Gordon Brown’s going to call the election now. Queen to dissolve Parliament soonish.

TJ Maybe/ Just finished watching the unedited Wikileaks video of a 2007 “engagement” that killed two Reuters journalists and left two Iraqi children wounded. The soldier chatter is nauseating. I am ashamed to be a vet.

@JNOV: I can’t bring myself to watch it. Especially after reading about how the army killed all the Afghan women and were digging bullets out of their bodies to cover up the killings. There is not enough vodka in my freezer to get me through that.

More TJ fun — Dook and Butler about to tip. Feel free to post thoughts here — its a de facto open thread, people.

I suppose unleashing armegeddon on anyone who attacks Israel is right off the table, expect the loudest screaming from the Isreali propaganda agents in our media, you know, Krauthammer, the pnacers, the “We must bomb Iran” crowd.

BTW, don’t say you’re ashamed to be a vet. Those jackasses aren’t you. You should be proud of your time in the Navy. You gave more to this country than most citizens ever will. It just breaks my heart that so much of the blood being spilled is that of poor black and brown kids who don’t have much else for options. [insert obligatory SFL rant about needing to bring back the draft]

@chicago bureau: Go Butler! And you’re not on the Book of Faces but JNOV discovered The Farm is #1 in the Most Stressful Colleges review.

Oh, and I can.not.wait. until tomorrow night’s AWESOME match-up between Stanford and UConn for the women’s title.

@chicago bureau: So no “Big Bang Theory” tonight, right?

@chicago bureau: They joked about running over bodies with Bradleys, refused to send those kids to a US hospital — if you watch the longer video, you realize how much time elapsed between discovering the wounded children and deciding to send them elsewhere. Then there are people just walking down the street when they blow up the building. Walking down the fucking street. After the first hellfire, some people come to help the wounded, so what do they do? Shoot two more hellfires. I’m having a serious case of WTF? And the rules of engagement allow shooting people who are tending to the wounded? Seriously? Damn.

ADD: And their response to shooting the kids? Oh, well. They shouldn’t’ve been there.

FURTHERMORE: If we’ve got the ability to read license plate numbers practically from space (FLIR), then why can’t they take a moment or two to actually LOOK at whom they’re shooting to ascertain whether they are threats or not? We have the technology to ID two little kids sitting in the passenger seat of a car, but we don’t have the patience or desire to do so.

@SanFranLefty: <3 But I supported those assholes. I never lifted a weapon against anyone, but I kept assholes like that in fighting condition, so, yeah. I'm complicit.

On a much lighter note than the Wikileaks video, Sen. Ensign has his ass handed to him by the Vegas paper — I’m impressed that this level of journalism lives on in mid-market newspapers.

@JNOV: Well, I paid taxes that kept assholes like that paid, so I’m complicit too. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

@JNOV: I got to say, thats just the nature of this, what do they call it, “warfare” between people with sharpened sticks and rocks, vs us, with helicopters and laser guided fucking what-all. What the fuck kind of gun was shooting, what the fuck kind of rounds were they, you could see, the rounds didn’t need to hit people directly, they exploded on contact.

But seriously, this was no My Lai, this was, allowing someone from 44 yards away in a helicopter make the call about whether someone on the ground had a handgun, this was absurd, and the firepower unleashed, it was fucking slaughter.

But like I said, I think there is nothing unusual here, this is what we have been doing in Iraq daily since the war began, for 8 years now.

The one thing that troubles me is all the talk about an RPG, I saw two guys with slung rifles, I didn’t see an RPG, I know what they look like.

This was, to me, nothing especially heinous, this is the nature of this kind of one-sided warfare, we got all this “fire from a distance” capability, it inevitably results in people who can kill from further away than they can really make an accurate assessment about who they are killing.

Its horrible and disgusting, but I think its a mistake to regard it as anything as SNAFU, its whats going on there every day for 8 years.

W truly is responsible for a million dead, for unleashing this clusterfuck.

I will say again, my perspective, war is killing, and the killing, in any war, ever, since time began, goes beyond just killing soldiers, it always involves collateral murder, children being murdered. War, by its nature, involves not just armed soldiers shooting at other armed soldiers, it always, inevitably, involves people killing everyone around, it always, inevitably, involves, innocent people killed by overzealous, or scared, or confused, or stupid soldiers.

Its not possible to eliminate this aspect of war, once you unleash “war,” it will happen.

Thats why the blame is not on the soldiers, its on the people who unleashed them, who unleashed war.

The fiction, its a fiction, that war can be any other way, makes it easier for leaders to justify and declare war. Its a fiction, its a way that the leaders escape blame for what they have done.

@SanFranLefty: Reason No. 27 Why I Love Tara VanDerveer (preeminent Women’s Roundball Sport head coach for Teh Tree, for those catching up):

A Xavier senior had just missed two wide-open layups in a row, two chances to knock off a giant and take the Musketeers to their first ever Final Four. Stanford’s Kayla Pedersen rebounded the second miss, called a timeout and felt a distinct sense of wonder washing over her.

“That has got to be a divine intervention,” Pedersen said later, reliving the moment.

When [Tree] point guard Jeanette Pohlen went the length of the floor for a layup at the buzzer, a 55-53 win and Stanford’s third straight trip to the Final Four, Pedersen said she found herself “praising Jesus.” Sophomore forward Nneka Ogwumike, the MVP for the Sacramento Regional [for Tree], backed up Pohlen. “I was also praising Jesus,” she said.

But after a tumultuous game filled with contrasting emotions, it wasn’t terribly surprising to hear their coach dissent.

“Personally,” Tara VanDerveer said, “I think God has better things to be doing.”

When I read that, my brain went all fuzzy and numb in the most delightful way.

ADD: Bonus if Tree takes it tomorrow? Geno loses. That punk-ass deserves PAIN. I mean: dude wanted to mix it up with Pat Freaking Summitt. You do not fuck with that woman — under any circumstances.

@Promnight: I’m not sure where I read this, but it wasn’t until WWII that it was okay to bomb civilians. Up until that point, war took place on battlefields, but technology has allowed us to physically and mentally distance ourselves from killing. There’s a big difference between stabbing someone and dropping a bomb on them in the sense that you are physically closer and more aware that you are about to take a human’s life. When people got tired fighting on battlefields, the opposing sides would take fucking breaks and then continue the battle.

No, war is different in the nuclear, laser-sighted, aerial attack world in which we live. I’m not saying war was ever a good thing, but it’s much different now — it’s much easier to engage your weapons without engaging your mind and heart.

@redmanlaw: First test of the machine gun…

ADD: Yeah, all the above only applies to the history of white on white crime/wars.

NON-WAR CRIME TJ / STINQUE SPORT UPDATE: Butler 40:40 Dook, with 15 mins left in the 2nd half. All according to plan thus far for the Domestic Servants Bulldogs.

And this relates to wrestling how?

@chicago bureau: Oh please. NYT. Sport. War Crimes.

Like anything is new.

OK, I can’t make myself watch the video–just reading all about it makes me nauseous, and it’s amazing that these atrocities can still provoke that response after nearly a decade of wars.

It’s a good reminder during tax season that we’ve got to use every (legal) deduction, credit and loophole to reduce our amount owed as close to zero as possible in order to stop funding our politicians’ (and military’s) crimes.


Bush, Cheney, Rummy et al., didn’t force these “soldiers” to give up their humanity–they did that all on their own. They’re monsters. Not to go all FEMA camp on you, but they’d do exactly the same thing to us here at home if so ordered.

It reminds me one of the first scenes in 1984 when Winston’s sitting in a movie theatre and the crowd is watching women and children be blown to bits for sport. That’s our reality now. Just when you think this country can’t possibly be any more vile or depraved, along comes the next news cycle. /end rant

@chicago bureau: OMFG I am such a Tara fanclub member.


@JNOV: I think it was always a fiction, armies meeting on some designated battlefield. Even if that was where the battle took place, on some delineated battlefield, the winning army devastating the country around, yes, rape and pillage, in every war, no matter where, they just ccover it up. Oh, the russians raped and stole, as they invaded Germany from the east, we were perfect angels.

War is not just soldiers shooting each other, it is the devastation, conquest, and forced submission, of the society with the losing army.

@Original Andrew: But, I don’t think these particular soldiers gave up their humanity any more than any and all soldiers who go to war have to give up their humanity, you cannot be a soldier in a war, and not be able to accept killing people. For the sole reason that someone told you that you should. Thats why war is evil per se, in and of itself, you are committing young people to actions that will inevitably steal from all of them some of their humanity.

@SanFranLefty: I’m impressed that this level of journalism lives on in mid-market newspapers.

Especially Vegas papers. Who reads there?


Bull. Shit. You cannot absolve people that way. They still have responsibility for their actions. Isn’t that why we held the Nuremberg Trials? Seems everyone in this country has forgotten all about those.

Since our country’s OK with torture and killing civilians, how’z about human experimentation? They are terrahishts, after all. Or at least someone in the politico-corporatist-military-faux nooz complex sez they are.

I’m reminded of reading stories about German soldiers using gay men for target practice. Just boys being boys? Hell.no.

There was a commenter, over on Gawker maybe, who recently summed up the situation thusly: Every paranoid prediction we were told about the Soviet Union has come true, except that it’s come true here–we have an ignorant, ill-informed populace sent off to oppress other nations, while the domestic public only hears lies and military propaganda blasted at them in public every day, and people are locked up for years without charges or trials, meanwhile those at the top have stolen everything that they can get their hands on.

OK, I’m gonna stop having conniptions now. Suffice it to say, these nightmares are still occurring, and yes, I know the video is from 2007 but it might as well have been last night. This isn’t the Change I signed up for.

FINAL — Dook 61:59 Butler… with a half-court shot rimming out at the buzzer for Butler. Compelling stuff.

@Original Andrew: Nothing in that video was on the level of the systematized murder of the nazis. They are in a helicopter far far away from people they are supposed to recognize from a half mile away as insurgents, in a war without uniforms? What they did was the inevitable result of putting people in the situation they were in, pure and simple.

Here is a happy story. There is only one member of my huge extended family, I think I have like 40 cousins, who went to Vietnam, and he was really “in the shit.” One of my cousins, was the only one to go to Vietnam, amazing, because, I have 20 cousins, with their spouses and families, a huge number of people, all at that age, right in the middle of the Vietnam war, I am the youngest of this group of cousins, all the others were draft eligible during that war. Only one went to Vietnam, and he was in the marines, and he was in the shit, he was not a rear echelon motherfucker, he humped a gun over the hills and shot people and got shot at. He was fucked up from it.

He became a buddhist, he has lived part of every year for the last 10 or 15 years in Tibet and India. He became a buddhist monk. The last two years, he has been dedicated to founding an orphanage in a village in Vietnam. He is living there now. I hear from him on facebook.

@Original Andrew: Thank you! Remember when Hazel O’Leary released all those documents about radiation tests conducted on prisoners and troops? Just dip your balls into this radioactive water and let’s see what happens! Just sit in this foxhole in NM and ignore the big boom.

O’Leary gave me Hope that things were changing. They ran her out on a rail.

@Promnight: Dude. They can read license plate numbers from fucking space. They’ve been able to do so for years.

@chicago bureau: Watched it from tip off to near-buzzer-beater over coffee, donuts and occasional blackberry breaks. Heckuva game.

@JNOV: A reporter at my old paper the late great Albuquerque Tribune won a Pulitzer for her work on using US American soldiers as human atomic test subjects. I was there while the Trib published Eileen Wellsome’s work. I had my own Pulitzer nomination there a year or two before. We got the George Polk Award instead. At least the pros know what it is. True story.

I met a documentary film maker on the ski lift the week before last. He said Eileen’s work spurred a Congressional investigation but ultimately, nothing happened. No one lost their job, no one went to jail. Maybe a little money got paid out. I’ll be going to a screening of the film he’s making on atomic testing in the Marshall Islands when it’s ready to fly.

@redmanlaw: Keep me in the loop about the movie. And I’m sure people know about the George Polk Award — especially after the death of Neda Agha-Soltan.


I’m not trying to step all over or prove Godwin’s Law, but I will say (type?) that there is a line–a demarcation border of a civilized society–and not only did we cross it years ago, by now it’s so far off in the distance that it’s barely a faint blur on the horizon.

@redmanlaw: I echo JNOV in saying let us know about the screening. I know one person in Hollywood but his niche is NDN films and he’s from a rez in your neck of the woods.

@Original Andrew: Not sure yet whether I’m going to deal with this in the morning — it’s deeply complicated — but the crime isn’t the attack, it’s the cover-up. The soldiers in the Apache think they’re engaging hostiles; turns out they weren’t. The rest was deliberately swept under a rug.

@JNOV: Yes, but live? In a complex theater of combat? And how many spycams can we point at once?

@nojo: Here’s the thing — it wasn’t really a live theater of combat. There were folks milling around, and the video footage shows that they had great visuals at times. Husband #1 worked on Navy warplane surveillance cameras in the late 80s-90s, and back then someone could read a license plate number on a moving vehicle (not exactly from space, but from pretty far away).

These guys were literally gunners. They weren’t in any risk, and watching the journalists and others amble about, there was plenty of time to get a good visual on who was or wasn’t doing what. Add their proud banter, and the complex theater of combat business falls flat. These guys were having a great time.

@nojo: Such as the Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch incidents., to name just two big coverups from the Bush II wars.

@JNOV: I’m still hunting down background, but this appears to be a follow-up of an earlier incident that day. I know what the video shows, but whoever’s talking on the radio misinterprets the action.

Yes, there’s an asshole cowboy on the crew, but I’m not seeing My Lai in this. I’m seeing a criminal cover-up of a fatal mistake.

@redmanlaw: @JNOV: BTW, I knew you two would like this the most. One guess what the school mascot is of the pig-fucker homophone school in Mississippi?

drum roll….


@Original Andrew: You are conflating “civilized society” and “war.” War is always, in every case, in every war, beyond, over, the line of civilized society. What do you think it is, a fucking tea party?

@JNOV: Ridiculous statement, about the license plates. Completely irrelevant.

You can all rend your clothing all you want, but I am convinced, nothingt in the video is anything different from the everyday conduct of war. War is, you know, killing people.

@Prommie: Heh. Well I guess after all the ridiculous Xanax-, martini- and self-pity-infused statements you’ve made over the years, I’m allowed a few.

@SanFranLefty, JNOV: The doc filmmaker’s dad taught Con Law at UCLA. I wonder if DB knew a Prof. Horowitz there in the late 60s early 70s.

The larger points that I was trying to make are that:

1) No, I’m sure there’s nothing unusual about this video at all, in fact, this same scene is likely being replicated daily in Iraq and/or Afghanistan right now.

2) It’s upsetting because the innocent victims of our military are never going to get justice.

3) Now that war has been normalized and made permanent, all of the methods (crimes) that we’ve witnessed over the last decade–mass murder, torture, indefinite detention, and on and on–will be used against the US domestic population. It’s inevitable. Look how quickly the Obama Administration has rushed to cover up these crimes and protect those who’ve committed them. There will be many, many videos such as these in the future showing our nation’s heroes slaughtering innocent civilians, and they’ll have titles like “Bakersfield Food Riot: 2018.”

@Original Andrew: 3) Now that war has been normalized and made permanent, all of the methods (crimes) that we’ve witnessed over the last decade–mass murder, torture, indefinite detention, and on and on–will be used against the US domestic population. It’s inevitable.

…and cue the tape.

@Promnigt: S’alrite. I’m sorry, too.

@SFL: eeeenteresting

@OA: Exactly!

@anyone: I can has hyperlinked reply option in mobile app?

@Original Andrew: Remember the “strategic bombing” campaigns of WWII in which we bombed the crap out of German and Japanese industry and cities. A summary of the Strategic Bombing Survey shows that about a million Germans were killed or wounded and about seven million rendered homeless. Incendiary bombs were far more destructive than high explosives because of the massive fires and firestorms created. Overall, there was no formal attempt to rescue or recover people trapped in residential basement shelters.

Summary of the 1945 Strategic Bombing Survey (European Theater)

Here’s the link for the Pacific Theater if you want to read it:

Summary of the 1945 Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific Theater)

@redmanlaw: How much of this has LeMay’s name on it, I wonder. Lemme check these out post-concall. Thankest.

@redmanlaw: The day Jr was born, we picked up the daily fishwrap to see headlines about the anniversary of the firebombing of Tokyo. McNamara – Kennedy and Johnson’s SecDef – was XO (I think) to the commanding officer of that operation, and was told “if we had lost the war, we’da been tried as war criminals”.

And it wasn’t just Tokyo, it was all the major population and industrial centers. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were just the coup(es?) de grace.

ADD: I can haz new gravatar?

@JNOV: I can has hyperlinked reply option in mobile app?

Stinque Mobile a canned system right now, unfriendly to hacking. (It can be hacked, but they update it frequently.) They’re promising a new version soon that allows templates; soon as they give me the tools, I’ll add a reply button and a few other things I’d like.

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