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Archive for January, 2006

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006


A good NSA wiretapping debate sparked by the Bobbitt article can be found at Prometheus6.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006


In a tactical diplomatic coup, the Bush administration has secured the consent of Russia and China to refer Iran’s suspected violations of the NPT to the UN Security Council. Previously, many experts expected that Russia – Iran’s major trading partner – and China would balk at such a move or threaten the use of their veto power.

Iran has done much of the heavy lifting in terms of isolating itself by using belligerent rhetoric, wanton obstructionism and the gratuitously offensive behavior of their fanatical president, but the Bush administration merits praise today.

Let’s see which of Bush’s habitual critics are big enough to admit it.

Prediction: Zero.


Critic # 1


Bill Petti weighs in at Duck of Minerva

Falling out as Dr. Barnett wargamed it ( or NewMapgamed it).

Monday, January 30th, 2006


Dr. Philip Bobbitt, author of The Shield of Achilles, on NSA eavesdropping and terrorism in his NYT op-ed (hat tip Memeorandum):

“In the debate over whether the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, we must not lose sight of the fact that the world we entered on 9/11 will require rewriting that statute and other laws. The tiresome pas de deux between rigid civil libertarians in denial of reality and an overaggressive executive branch seemingly heedless of the law, while comforting to partisans of both groups, is not in the national interest.

…Furthermore, not only are there presumably conspirators within the United States, but conversations between two foreign persons could be routed, via the Internet, through American switches to give the appearance of a domestic-to-international connection. It is difficult to imagine getting warrants now in such situations, because the standard of probable cause to conclude that the target is a terrorist cannot be met.”

Read the whole thing.

Members of paramilitary networks are not merely a random collection of individuals but are connected to an evolving, organizational entity with an institutional life that, while different in many ways, are not unlike states and corporations which have long had special status in both domestic and international law. Even members of organized crime, a less dangerous grouping than al Qaida, are subject to RICO prosecution.

Policies, laws and attitudes must change to reflect this reality.


The esteemed Colonel Austin Bay has weighed in as well.

Monday, January 30th, 2006


Some well crafted pieces of blogging today. Some controversial, some commonsensical.

Marc Schulman at American Future – ” Surveillance and the eyes of al Qaeda

Dan of tdaxp for his series on Liberal Education ( open up several Coronas) and read Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.

Ralph Peters in The Weekly Standard – ” The Counterrevolution in Military Affairs

William Lind at DNI continues his series critiquing 4GW’s critics with ” The Ugly

Curzon at Coming Anarchy – ” Scary China Part 1. Chirol and the Sino-Japanese War and ‘Saving Face'” ” and ” Scary China II. and ” Sacry China Part 2: Rationality Will Not Save You.

Blogfriend Stuart Berman has started a new IT security blog, aptly named – Security

From SEED – the Bush administration’s “New Federalism” in Big science and From New Scientista Robot to pour you a beer.

That’s it.

Sunday, January 29th, 2006


Google, currently facing a firestorm of criticism for voluntarily abetting the Chinese government in its campaign of censorship and repression of dissent, is now crying foul at attempts by the EU to regulate content by extendng regulations regarding broadcast television to the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Google is using its deep pockets to fight back rather than just rolling over.It is completely true that the EU TV regs would, in the words of one minister opposed to the proposal, be completely destructive toward innovation and protective of politically connected rentier elites:

“There is no benefit to the consumer that justifies this move. This increased scope could mean significant regulation of the internet and stifle the growth of new media services. That would raise prices for consumers and deprive them of potential new services.

…in 10 years our successors will bemoan the handicaps we gave to European industry and the restraints we put on free speech”.

Which is not a side effect of these regulations but their central intent. They are intended to stifle growth in the information and media sector and monitor speech content.

But the irony to this battle over the EU regs is that Google’s moral position vis-a-vis the Eurocrats in Brussells would be far stronger were they not already in bed with China’s secret police.


It just occurred to me after I posted the above comments that a very important question needs to be asked of Google’s CEO:

” If you have agreed to censor what information can be accessed in China in return for greater market opportunities, have you also agreed to censor what information can be accessed about China by the rest of us ?”

Is the integrity of megasearch engines and their susceptibility to the secret influence of foreign governments a national security question as well as one of free speech and human rights ?


Dave at The Glittering Eye has more

Bruce reports Google is called to testify before Congress

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