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Ted Koppel's Shocking Statements on Iraq and the War on Terror

Newsbusters has excerpts from some statements Ted Koppel made about Iraq, including the following.

  • First, Koppel made it clear that America's premature departure from Iraq would turn the entire Persian Gulf region into a battlefield between Sunnis and Shia, "something the United States cannot allow to happen"

  • Second, he said the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the war on terror that "has been going on for the past 24 years" starting when "the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon" in 1983
  • Finally, he stated that America's departure from Iraq and Afghanistan, regardless of when it occurs, will not represent the end of this battle, but, instead, that it is just "going to be a different war" after that point.
Dan Riehl has more, including video.

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Comments (120)

I was surprised just how mu... (Below threshold)

I was surprised just how much Ted Koppel agrees witrh my own conclusions here. My only slight difference is that Muslim extremists fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan would believe that any victory represents a dangerous sign of encouragement that their faith is true, as challenging a superior force is taken as a sign of faith in Allah.

However in Iraq, it is the sectarian violence, not the small 1,000 member Al Qaeda In Iraq elements that presents the most serious regional threat of creating a regional war between Iran's Shiite and Saudi Arabia's Suuni interests, possiby even threatening the Western oil supply. The U.S. is really required to leave a political solution in place before a substantial U.S. troop withdrawal.

Someone must have forgotten... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Someone must have forgotten to freshen up Ted's coolaid.

At least someone has enough vision to see past Nov '08

I checked my calendar just ... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I checked my calendar just to make sure it isn't April 1st...

Poor Ted...he'll be marched off to the ABC 'Re-Education' camp soon...

Rut Roh Ted is going to los... (Below threshold)
stan25:

Rut Roh Ted is going to lose his Drive by Media in good standing card. We all know what happens to journalists that deviate from the party line. Does Jeff Gannon ring a bell?

He has it about right! only... (Below threshold)
914:

He has it about right! only the region is already a battlefield between sunni and shia's

"Poor Ted," indeed.<p... (Below threshold)
yo:

"Poor Ted," indeed.

Though, it's a shade heartening to see someone "get it."

If one chooses to see Iraq and Afghanistan (and to a larger extent Darfur/Somalia/Indonesia/UK/France) in separate lights, it simply shows that they have no idea what's going on.

I believe it was the stated... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I believe it was the stated goal of al Qaeda in Iraq to start sectarian violence, hence the bomb at the Golden Moque. The anti-war crown here gives our enemies specific instructions on how to defeat us. Since they cannot do it with force, they must cause those who are truly uninformed to believe the cause is lost. Driven by an agenda that calls for the defeat of America at every turn, that is until they take power, these people have no concern for who or what is damaged or killed in the process. During the Clinton adminstration, the left was quiet when Willy sighed the Iraqi Freedom Act of 1998 calling for the deposing of Saddam. They did this knowing their hero would never do anything militarily. Bush has been a different matter. He is a man of his word. No more Saddam. But there is a vacancy that must be filled with something that will not put the power and money that the oil fields of Iraq represent into the hands of those who's purpose is like that of al Qaeda. Look what they accomplished with drug money from Afghanistan. Imagine what they could do with oil money. We simply cannot allow that to happen.

"He has it about right! onl... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

"He has it about right! only the region is already a battlefield between sunni and shia's"

The question is not what is going on, but the magnitude.

And if the Saudis keep their word and start directly funding and supplying Sunnis if we leave, what is happening now is going to seem pretty Micky Mouse in comparison.

On the otherhand if America... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

On the otherhand if America stays?..the alternative isn't Pax Americana, but an escalation of the fighting. The creation of a permanent US presence fortified in the midst of insurgent strongholds in extremist of Sunni Iraq plus US raids into Sadrist Iraq and the expectation of one into Iran, insures that the US is caught right in the middle of this conflagration between Sunnis and Shiites which now looks inevitable, whether we stay or leave.

Gosh, I hope Lee is okay.</... (Below threshold)
jim:

Gosh, I hope Lee is okay.

By Golly Steve has just poi... (Below threshold)
Chip:

By Golly Steve has just pointed to a solution to our very own problems with crime. Remove the police stations and police men & women from the areas where crime might happen. It only strengthens the criminal resolve to do more crime and creates more criminals if the police are around. But crime is inevitable so it won't matter anyway.

It didn't "start" in 1983, ... (Below threshold)
jp:

It didn't "start" in 1983, try 1979

Chip..I'm not going to argu... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Chip..I'm not going to argue with you. We can only wait and see whether from the surge - fortified checkpoints, search and destroy or search and clear exercises, air assaults are going to being any more effective.. I hope I am proved wrong, (that with accompanying political change of tactics as well) this isn't just a rearranging of the deck chairs, in this inhospitable sea of militant Islam.

Posted by: jp at March 12, ... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by: jp at March 12, 2007 01:55 PM

DING!

Where's the real Ted Koppel... (Below threshold)
nell:

Where's the real Ted Koppel, and what have we done with him?

This idea that American tro... (Below threshold)
Dave:

This idea that American troops are the problem is absurd. I watched some of that koppel on discovery channel special last night, and although he seemed to make some shocking comments and admissions for a lefty, he never really commented on Iraq specifically. He spent much of his time talking about Afghanistan and the horn of africa.

He actually even covered the us involvment in the training behind the ethiopians that drove the extremists out of somolia and what kind of a positive impact america is having there. Abizaid was also saying that an ideal situation would be to have something like ethiopia rather than iraq. I agree, but by the time we got to iraq, it was too late to win the people there over in the same way we have been able to help the ethiopians.

It was a good program, and i was suprised to hear it from someone like koppel. Oh, and i didn't much care for his trashing of Blackwater, a company of contractors that the US has hired to assist in the war...

You guys are idiots. Koppel... (Below threshold)
BC:

You guys are idiots. Koppel's a smart, well-informed guy, which means you just want to hate him out of principle, but the issues with Iraq should be well beyond ideology at this point. Even I had posted several months ago that a temporary 90-day 2-3x increase in troop levels, with the right plan, and with the right leaders in place might work. Yes, this was a "surge" idea (but note my provisos). But now my feeling is that this won't be enough.

We probably now need closer to a 10-20x surge, which will not be accomplished without a draft. While reinstituting the draft might seem farfetched, I'm really uncomfortable about leaving that area in such bloody and violent disarray, especially since we're responsible for it all. It will also become a fertile breeding ground for anti-American (with some justification) terrorists for many years to come. We should just bite the bullet, take responsibility, and do what's right. Of course, with Bush still unimpeached, the odds of anything getting done are slim to none.

BC, you had me up until the... (Below threshold)
yo:

BC, you had me up until the impeachment blurb.

Based on that, I think you're just nutty.

If only Bush could speak wi... (Below threshold)
Patty:

If only Bush could speak with Koppel's clarity and focus...repeating these simple points, over and over, until there is understanding.

June 5th 1968 a Palestinian... (Below threshold)

June 5th 1968 a Palestinian assassinates Robert F. Kennedy. That was the beginning.

yo - anyone who trots out t... (Below threshold)

yo - anyone who trots out the "reinstituting the draft" crap has absolutely no understanding in regards to our modern military - and thus no credibility.

Wait, I thought Koppel is p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Wait, I thought Koppel is part of the MSM, and the MSM is full of lies and is out to get Bush. Ohhh, but Koppel agrees with you... I see. So you're actually not against the MSM, you're just against anyone who disagrees with you. They're evil, but anyone who agrees with you is good. OK, got it now.

(By the way, I don't necessarily disagree with Koppel in some ways. But I do enjoy the hilarious hypocrisy of Lorie citing him now.)

Clancy Yo-yo'dy... (Below threshold)
BC:

Clancy Yo-yo'd

yo - anyone who trots out the "reinstituting the draft" crap has absolutely no understanding in regards to our modern military - and thus no credibility.

Ya think?

Silly question -- obviously, you don't.

Clearly Ted's comments have... (Below threshold)
woody:

Clearly Ted's comments have been Word-o-shopped, Video-shopped, or otherwise misrepresented. Next someone will have him saying that the Sun heats the Earth, abortion kills human life, unions ruin education, & other liberal heresies.

I guess it was a bit too nu... (Below threshold)
Lorie Byrd:

I guess it was a bit too nuanced for Brian to catch, but the reason I used the word "shocking" is because coming from anyone on the left (I include Koppel due to some of his prior comments and reporting from him) the comments he made were shocking to hear. No hypocrisy there. I was not quoting Koppel because him making the statements made them more credible, but rather that it was shocking to hear them come out of his mouth. That's all. Kinda like hearing that Democrat Obey calling out the liberal loonies. It would not have been surprising to hear it from someone on the right, but most Democrats are afraid to offend the nutroots.

Koppel must be lying. He mu... (Below threshold)

Koppel must be lying. He must be a lying liar. Anybody that disagrees with the World According to Lefty is a liar.

bc, the article you link sa... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

bc, the article you link says nothing about needing NEW troops, all it says is they are trying to figure out how to cycle the troops we have now in and out of theatre so they get 12 months at home. Not one thing alluding to a draft or a need for one. The title itself says "fresh U.S. troops", not new ones, what part of that don't you understand? Nice try, but totally dishonest.

I'm always shocked when a r... (Below threshold)
BC:

I'm always shocked when a right winger can write more than a sentence without lying, misinforming, or smearing someone.

Hmmm, now that I think about it, I haven't been shocked much lately....

Yes, Lorie.. the consensus... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Yes, Lorie.. the consensus of the left and center is that entire Persian Gulf region will be turned into a battlefield between Sunnis and Shiites and secondly, there is not much we can do about it. I must leave now, myself to pick up my daughter at school.. but here is an interesting and unfortunately very pessimistic look into the future which seems relevant: on leaving Iraq

Oh good bc, so you admit th... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Oh good bc, so you admit that you have been totally intelectually dishonest. The link you use to back up your ridiculous talk of a draft is proof of that.

steve, nothing from rolling... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

steve, nothing from rolling stone is relevant, sorry.

good lord steve, I took a c... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

good lord steve, I took a closer look..."A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone", including the ever so intelligent Juan Cole. You've got to be fucking kidding me. I wonder if rolling stone assembled their panel of experts and then wrote this piece. Something tells me their panel was assembled around the piece they wanted to write. "A panel of experts convened by Rolling Stone", that makes me laugh, hard.

I guess it was a bit too... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I guess it was a bit too nuanced for Brian to catch

Oh, no, no, I got it, all right. There are many who have stated Koppel's views, but you chose to cite him on these pages. It's "shocking" to you. Shocking for you to come across someone that someone cannot be painted with your broad brush of "leftie" or "MSM". Shocking that someone can have myriad, possibly conflicting, opinions and positions. Shocking that he broke out of the little box you put him in.

You see, when the steady and growing stream of Republicans, conservative journalists, and military leaders started acknowledging that Bush is fumbling Iraq, we on the left didn't find it "shocking". We just wondered what's been taking them so long. But I guess we just have more experience with conservatives coming to our point of view than you do of liberals coming to yours.

steve, nothing from roll... (Below threshold)
Brian:

steve, nothing from rolling stone is relevant, sorry.

Ha! Bad enough the Democrats won't debate on Fox, eh? But now you won't even read an analysis of the Iraq aftermath because you don't like the publication it's in! True humor.

D-Hoggs grunted:<i... (Below threshold)
BC:

D-Hoggs grunted:

bc, the article you link says nothing about needing NEW troops, all it says is they are trying to figure out how to cycle the troops we have now in and out of theatre so they get 12 months at home. Not one thing alluding to a draft or a need for one. The title itself says "fresh U.S. troops", not new ones, what part of that don't you understand? Nice try, but totally dishonest.

I know connecting things logically is not a right winger's strong point, but I used the link to refute the claim that a 10-20x surge in troops (which I had stated as likely being closer now to what we will need to fix the Iraq mess) wouldn't require reinstating the draft.

If the US military is struggling with finding fresh troops at this point, do you think there is anyway they could increase troop levels 10x+ without a draft? Well, do ya?

Here's another link for you to misunderstand as well, and one more for good measure.

Be sure to misread them and post how I'm being dishonest yet again at your earliest convenience.

BC being the leftoid moron ... (Below threshold)
Michael:

BC being the leftoid moron that you are...understand this...there is going to be no draft. Got that...no draft. Not going to happen.

Michael retardedly commente... (Below threshold)
BC:

Michael retardedly commented:

BC being the leftoid moron that you are...understand this...there is going to be no draft. Got that...no draft. Not going to happen.

*Sigh* -- are all you guys being deliberately dense? I was referring to how if we needed a 10x+ surge (which I think is what's really needed), the draft would have to be reinstated, however farfetched that may seem. Here's the pertinent excerpt from my original post:

Even I had posted several months ago that a temporary 90-day 2-3x increase in troop levels, with the right plan, and with the right leaders in place might work. Yes, this was a "surge" idea (but note my provisos). But now my feeling is that this won't be enough.

We probably now need closer to a 10-20x surge, which will not be accomplished without a draft. While reinstituting the draft might seem farfetched, I'm really uncomfortable about leaving that area in such bloody and violent disarray, especially since we're responsible for it all. It will also become a fertile breeding ground for anti-American (with some justification) terrorists for many years to come. We should just bite the bullet, take responsibility, and do what's right.

Now don't you think you ought to apologize for being an uncomprehending dumbass? You might cost you your Uncomprehending Dumbass Club membership, but you'll feel better in the morning.

bc, you're an idiot. No, th... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

bc, you're an idiot. No, they wouldn't need a draft, they would just have to send troops back sooner, ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh. What don't you understand about the concept of fresh troops as spoken about in the article YOU linked to? As for your new links, well, one of them is 2 years old yet still says flatly in the first paragraph, "though officials maintained that U.S. forces could handle any military threat that presents itself.", soooo, that one says nothing about not having enough troops. The second says the same exact thing, that yes the military is straining to keep troops fresh, but they still have the troops. Why is that so hard to understand?

D-Hoggs grunted some more:<... (Below threshold)
BC:

D-Hoggs grunted some more:

bc, you're an idiot. No, they wouldn't need a draft, they would just have to send troops back sooner, ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh. What don't you understand about the concept of fresh troops as spoken about in the article YOU linked to? As for your new links, well, one of them is 2 years old yet still says flatly in the first paragraph, "though officials maintained that U.S. forces could handle any military threat that presents itself.", soooo, that one says nothing about not having enough troops. The second says the same exact thing, that yes the military is straining to keep troops fresh, but they still have the troops. Why is that so hard to understand?

First off, you avoided answering my question to you that went, "If the US military is struggling with finding fresh troops at this point, do you think there is anyway they could increase troop levels 10x+ without a draft? Well, do ya?"

But that's OK -- I'm now use to you WizBang folk never answering any relevant questions.

As far as your depiction of my last two links, let me just post the opening paragraghs of both since I'm also aware of how mouse-click challenged many of you are:

Wars Strain U.S. Military Capability, Pentagon Reports

By Josh White and Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, May 3, 2005; A06

The Defense Department acknowledged yesterday that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the U.S. military to a point where it is at higher risk of less swiftly and easily defeating potential foes, though officials maintained that U.S. forces could handle any military threat that presents itself.

An annual risk assessment by Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, concluded that commanders are having difficulty meeting the higher standards imposed on them by conflicts around the world, including the military effort against terrorism. Presented to members of Congress yesterday, the assessment found that the risk has increased but is trending lower, according to defense and military officials who briefed reporters at the Pentagon yesterday.

Underscoring the stress facing the armed services, the Army reported separately yesterday that its recruiting efforts are continuing to slip, as recruiters nationwide obtained less than 60 percent of the April goal of 6,600 new recruits into the active-duty force. It was the third straight month in which the Army missed its recruiting goal, and it represents a significant downward trend.


War strains erode military's ability to meet other potential conflicts
The Associated Press
Published: February 26, 2007

WASHINGTON: Strained by the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a significant risk that the U.S. military will not be able to quickly and fully respond to yet another crisis, according to a new report to Congress.

The assessment, done by America's top military officer, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represents a greater risk than a year ago, when it was rated as moderate.

The report is classified, but on Monday senior defense officials, speaking on condition on anonymity, confirmed the decline in overall military readiness. And a report that accompanied Pace's review concluded that while the Pentagon is working to improve its warfighting abilities, it "may take several years to reduce risk to acceptable levels."

Pace's report comes as the U.S. is increasing its forces in Iraq to quell escalating violence in Baghdad. And top military officials have consistently acknowledged that the repeated and lengthy deployments are straining the Army, Marine Corps and reserve forces and taking a heavy toll on critical warfighting equipment.

It seems to me that both reports together indicate a downward slide in US military capabilities that goes a teeny bit beyond simply keeping the troops fresh. But I comprehend stuff so the world looks very different to me.

Once again you are an idiot... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Once again you are an idiot bc. I answered your question for you, apparently you have serious reading comprehension problems, I specifically said, first sentence, "No, they wouldn't need a draft, they would just have to send troops back sooner, ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh." Can you read? Secondly, your article points to the army not meeting recruitment requirements for the month of april in 2005, one month. The military has met and exceeded their ANNUAL recruitment requirements, so who gives a fuck if one month didn't measure up? You sure are dense. Could you please explain why you think we need to send 2.8 million troops to Iraq?! I don't see even the looniest of loons saying that!

I apologize, the army fell ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

I apologize, the army fell short in '05 for the first time in years, they exceeded in '06.

Second, he said the wars... (Below threshold)

Second, he said the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the war on terror that "has been going on for the past 24 years" starting when "the precursors of Hezbollah blew up the U.S. marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon" in 1983.

Koppel is an idiot. Apparently, he doesn't understand that Al Qaeda and the Iraqi versions of Hezbollah are FIGHTING EACH OTHER right now in Iraq.

There's nothing that links Shiite fundamentalists like Hezbollah/Iran, Sunni extremists like Qaeda, and secular regimes like Saddam Hussein together. These three groups are in no way a cohesive single enemy and they spend much more time trying to destroy each other than attacking us. We are just caught in the middle of their conflict in Iraq.


Posted by: Larkin at March ... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by: Larkin at March 12, 2007 05:56 PM

You're right, on one level: these groups are all fighting against one another.

I'll give you that.

But where your logic, and the logic of the left (if there is such a thing) fails, and fails miserably is not looking past that.

Why are these groups fighting?

What is the cause of the rift between Shi'a and Sunni?

What happens when one is declared a victor?

What is the ultimate goal of Islam?

What is .. the air speed velocity of a laden swallow?

Because you're not looking ... (Below threshold)

Because you're not looking at the whole picture, Larkin. Cut everything into little unrelated pieces and then act all superior for not thinking that one group is another group when that isn't what anyone is saying.

It's a war on TERROR, not a war on Al Qaida or a war on Hezbolla or a war on some other finite group.

To say nothing links these various and often opposing groups is to miss the fundamental challenge facing us today in this world. Sunni extremists, Shiite extremists and supposed secular tyrants like Saddam are linked absolutely by their goals and their culture and their insistance of blaming the West for their own depravity. The situation in Iraq is *absolutely* the same as the situation that caused men to fly airplanes into the World Trade Center. It's the same as prompted men to blow up the Marine baracks in Beirut.

You say it's not the same people so there is no relation between the two... it only shows your lack of understanding of what we face now and in the future from people who, whatever their internal conflict, want to hurt us and are willing to use the methods of terrorism to do it.

They hurt each other, too. It needs to stop and we will not be safe until they *also* stop the Muslim on Muslim violence and horror that the left in America seems to care so little about when they say we should leave and not involve ourselves between them.

I apologize, the army fe... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I apologize, the army fell short in '05 for the first time in years, they exceeded in '06.

You're ignoring that once they fell short and realized they would continue to fall short, they LOWERED their targets. And then they exceeded them. Yay!

It's a war on TERROR, no... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It's a war on TERROR, not a war on Al Qaida or a war on Hezbolla or a war on some other finite group.

Do you even bother to think about what you're writing? You just explained the whole debacle, pointing out that we waged war on an "infinite" target. A "war on terror" is no more winnable with military might than a "war on bullets". Now, if you want to wage a "war on those who commit terror", there's a guy making Jiffy Pop in a cave in Afghanistan you might want to look up first.

Care to provide a source on... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Care to provide a source on that Brian, because it is my understanding that that is a flat out lie.

No, they wouldn't need a... (Below threshold)
Brian:

No, they wouldn't need a draft, they would just have to send troops back sooner, ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh.

The time when we were simply worried about "not fresh" troops is long past.

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.
We probably now need cl... (Below threshold)
marc:

We probably now need closer to a 10-20x surge, which will not be accomplished without a draft. While reinstituting the draft might seem farfetched, I'm really uncomfortable about leaving that area in such bloody and violent disarray, especially since we're responsible for it all. Posted by: BC at March 12, 2007 02:54 PM

And you base your assessment of a draft on what? Your claim the "surge" would work with 10-20k more troops.

Sorry guy, check U.S. troop strength currectly in Germany. Push comes to shove pull them all out and into the fight.

Long range plans call for their total removal anyway.

D-Hoggs farted:... (Below threshold)
BC:

D-Hoggs farted:

Once again you are an idiot bc. I answered your question for you apparently you have serious reading comprehension problems, I specifically said, first sentence, "No, they wouldn't need a draft, they would just have to send troops back sooner, ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh." Can you read?

Let's get this straight now: you're claiming that "they would just have to send troops back sooner ergo, the troops wouldn't be fresh" is your actual answer to my question that went: "If the US military is struggling with finding fresh troops at this point, do you think there is anyway they could increase troop levels 10x+ without a draft? Well, do ya?"

Seriously?

Secondly, your article points to the army not meeting recruitment requirements for the month of april in 2005, one month. The military has met and exceeded their ANNUAL recruitment requirements, so who gives a fuck if one month didn't measure up? You sure are dense.

I guess you missed the part from the report dated just a few weeks ago that went: "Pace's report comes as the U.S. is increasing its forces in Iraq to quell escalating violence in Baghdad. And top military officials have consistently acknowledged that the repeated and lengthy deployments are straining the Army, Marine Corps and reserve forces and taking a heavy toll on critical warfighting equipment."

Could you please explain why you think we need to send 2.8 million troops to Iraq?! I don't see even the looniest of loons saying that!

By most sources, currently there are 135,000 US troops in Iraq and the current total active US Army force is about 500,000. So we already have a good chunk of our entire military invested in Iraq and it's still going to pieces. We cannot deploy enough troops as is for a meaningful surge that will overwhelm the now very savvy and entrenched opposition. During Vietnam, we had friggin 9 million active troops, for all the good it did. About 2.4 million US troops served in total in Vietnam so 10 x 135,000 = 1,350,000 sounds about right for a minimal increase. Already, about 1 million US troops have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11, so the numbers make sense.

Unlike you.

Care to provide a source... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Care to provide a source on that Brian, because it is my understanding that that is a flat out lie.

Sure, no problem. And they only missed targets in a single month, you say? Because it is my understanding that that is a flat out lie.

Even after reducing its recruiting target for May, the Army missed it by about 25 percent, Army officials said on Tuesday. The shortfall would have been even bigger had the Army stuck to its original goal for the month.

On Friday, the Army is expected to announce that it met only 75 percent of its recruiting goal for May, the fourth consecutive monthly shortfall in the number of new recruits sent to basic training. Just over 5,000 new recruits entered boot camp in May.

But the news could have appeared worse. Early last month, the Army, with no public notice, lowered its long-stated May goal to 6,700 recruits from 8,050. Compared with the original target, the Army achieved only 62.6 percent of its goal for the month.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that not only did they lower their targets, but they also lowered their standards. I anticipate that you'll want a link to that also.

The U.S. Army recruited more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year, helping the service beat its goal of 80,000 recruits in the throes of an unpopular war and mounting casualties.
Koppel: that right wing Fo... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Koppel: that right wing FoxNews hack!

Oh, never minid.

Win election and face battl... (Below threshold)
kim:

Win election and face battle. I mean the MSM, here.
=================================

I don't understand why you ... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

I don't understand why you uare so dense that you can't understand my answer bc. YOu asked if there is anyway they can get increase toop levels without a draft. I answered, quite clearly, that NO, a draft will not happen, they will simply cycle troops back in theatre quicker. What the fuck is so hard to understand about that answer?! Also, everything you post says that the military is UNDER STRAIN, umm, I would assume so, they are fighting a frigging war, but nowhere do I see how you connect the fact that tthe military is stained to it needing to reinstitute a draft. As far as your troop numbers, you are fucking dishonest once again, you said the level should be increased 10-20 times, but then use overall numbers in your latest answer. By what you said previously, you want 2.8 million troops in theatre AT ONCE, not the number that have served at one point, idiot. You all of a sudden change your tune to how many have served since 9/11. Ridiculous.

God, BC, yes, you really ar... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

God, BC, yes, you really are a moron.

Typical liberal: no perspective, no awareness, lack of humor.

We are all so happy, each and every day, when we read this blog, and realize we are not you, miserable fool.

D-Hoggs really started losi... (Below threshold)
BC:

D-Hoggs really started losing it by writing:

I don't understand why you uare so dense that you can't understand my answer bc. YOu asked if there is anyway they can get increase toop levels without a draft.

??? This is what I had asked twice: "If the US military is struggling with finding fresh troops at this point, do you think there is anyway they could increase troop levels 10x+ without a draft? Well, do ya?"

So are you now pretending that I has asked some other question? Before wasting my time addressing the rest of your confused gibberish, why don't we start by you answering my orginal question clearly and directly for once, shall we?

I don't understand why y... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I don't understand why you uare so dense that you can't understand my answer bc. YOu asked if there is anyway they can get increase toop levels without a draft. I answered, quite clearly, that NO, a draft will not happen, they will simply cycle troops back in theatre quicker.

I haven't actually been following this little argument too closely. But I will observe from this excerpt that BC's question is: "is there anyway they can get increase toop levels without a draft?" An appropriate answer to that question can be "no, a draft is required", or it can be "yes, they can get increased troop levels by...."

I'll next observe that Hoggs's response of "a draft will not happen" does not answer BC's question, which can only be properly answered by one of the forms described above.

This seems to me like having a stadium that holds 10,000 people only filled to 2,000, and asking if there's any way to fill the stadium other than by abducting people off the street. Then Hoggs's answer is akin to saying "abduction will not happen, we'll just cycle the current attendees out and back in". But no matter how many times or how quickly you cycle those attendees around and around, you'll never fill the stadium to more than the original 2,000 level. So that answer has no bearing on the question of how to fill the stadium to the 10,000 level, and is non-responsive to the point.

OK, carry on.

And I refuse to follow this... (Below threshold)

And I refuse to follow this little argument, but your analogy would be more accurate if there are 2,000 people in the stadium and 6,000 people in groups of 2,000 who have been cycling in and out of the stadium in rotation as well as another 6,000 who have only been walking around the parking lot passing out hot-dogs and cleaning porta-potties.

Mitchell whined:<i... (Below threshold)
BC:

Mitchell whined:

God, BC, yes, you really are a moron.

Oooo, the wittle wight winger seems wupset....

Typical liberal: no perspective, no awareness, lack of humor.

We are all so happy, each and every day, when we read this blog, and realize we are not you, miserable fool.

Yeah, you're right -- my life's a living hell: all my friends are smart, truly nice and extraordinarily talented; I get to do cool stuff all the time; and I can read a book in 5 minutes. Damn, I've lost track of how many times I got on my knees and prayed to be a mean, gullible, slow, ignorant, uncomprehending right winger making the world a worse place.

Face it, BC, you only feel ... (Below threshold)

Face it, BC, you only feel as good as you do about yourself when you hang out here and can wallow in how mean, gullible, slow, ignorant and uncomprehending other people are and how they are making the world a worse place.

How can we conclude anything other than that your normal state of being is misery?

It's a common enough thing on the left, or the very least among those who just can't make themselves stay away. It's about feeling superior to other people and frankly that's pretty pathetic.

Good god, now you've got br... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Good god, now you've got brian repeating your idiotic questions. brian, nice try with your stadium analogy, but you seem to forget that while we have 140,000 odd troops in theatre (the "stadium") there are a few hundred thousanad more waiting to be sent there, so nice try but no dice. ONCE AGAIN and for the last time bc, no draft is necessary, they will simply make rotation times shorter. YOu can't seem to grasp that and I am done trying to explain it to your dumb ass. Now would you like to explain why you said you think we need 2.8 million troops in theatre AT ONCE, and then tried to use the number of soldiers who served in Vietnam in TOTAL as an example? Cause that just doesn't jive.

Crapola, I though you were a moron to begin with, but after actually clicking on your name and getting this:

http://aheckofa.com/FoolMeOnce/CBSBushMemos.html

...you are certifiable. I hope all of these "smart" "friends" you talk about aren't as fucking delusional as you are. I mean really, just wow.

Synova wrote:Fa... (Below threshold)
BC:

Synova wrote:

Face it, BC, you only feel as good as you do about yourself when you hang out here and can wallow in how mean, gullible, slow, ignorant and uncomprehending other people are and how they are making the world a worse place.

Now, now, don't be so hard on them. (By the way, if you had carefully read my last post, I didn't actually direct my "mean, gullible..." comment to anyone in particular....)

By the way, how's your math assignment going? I bet you didn't know that you could prove Bush to be a liar via math, did you?

How can we conclude anything other than that your normal state of being is misery?

Hmmmm....forgive me if I take this the wrong way, but are you saying that by hanging with you cool dudes that I'm in a state of misery? Hmmm....I thought I was just engaged in educating some right-wingers (always a hard road) while giving them a tiny taste of what it's like to be on the receiving end of a bashing for a change. (Although their bashings were well, WELL deserved, to say the least, unlike what they generally deliver en mass.)

It's a common enough thing on the left, or the very least among those who just can't make themselves stay away. It's about feeling superior to other people and frankly that's pretty pathetic.

Ya think? If you go back, you will find that I merely defended against the utterly uncalled for unfair slings and arrows that were directed at people like Ted Koppel and Amanda Marcotte, as well as the personal attacks against me.

Even though I came here because of Google Groups screwing up and even though I way, WAY overstayed my time, especially in regards to those long ass, carefully linked posts of mine, this was actually a very enlightening experience. It's actually pretty tricky to deal with the way you guys attack and smear. If I respond with simple refuting facts, you guys will just either ignore them or use a Straw Man tactic. My attacking back with smart alecky (and somewhat insightful, if I do say so myself) insults does seem to be effective at shutting down at least some of the more bogus attackers, but it makes you guys really mad (as though I'm suppose to be cool with being called a liar and other names.) Still, though, I'm not quite sure about what to make of the overall psychology of you guys. You seem utterly locked into whatever is the group consensus, regardless of facts.

I read this book one time (it took me longer than 5 minutes) called "Religion and the Individual" that described how a person's religion or spiritual beliefs can be defined along 3 axial dimensions: intrinsic, extrinsic and quest. "Intrinsic" is the belief and faith in the teachings of the religion as its own end; "extrinsic" is the social aspect of being part of a church or such, where you have a place to go and make friends and possibly develop useful connections; and "quest" is the more spiritual component where you use religion as means to help understand yourself, the universe, and your place in it.

What I'm dealing with here, I suspect, is a form of "extrinsic religion" with maybe a touch of the intrinsic. Perhaps you guys aren't so much mean as extremely defensive and reactive over anything or anyone attacking or upsetting any basic tenet of your "religion": Clinton let bin Laden get away; Joe Wilson lied; Kerry is a traitor; Democrats will let the US be overrun with Mexicans and terrorists; the "liberal MSM" lies all the time; liberals are whiney and lie and smear all the time; you represent the "middle"; the Iraq was just; Hussein was a genuine threat who aided al-Qaeda, Bush is an honorable man who never lied; and so on.

All of those "tenets" collectively is a crock, but it's your crock and you believe it firmly and defend it even more firmly.

Hmmm....

D-Hoggs dug himself in deep... (Below threshold)
BC:

D-Hoggs dug himself in deeper:

Good god, now you've got brian repeating your idiotic questions. brian, nice try with your stadium analogy, but you seem to forget that while we have 140,000 odd troops in theatre (the "stadium") there are a few hundred thousanad more waiting to be sent there, so nice try but no dice.

So the Pentagon is lying about the US military being stressed? Good, I was worried....

ONCE AGAIN and for the last time bc, no draft is necessary, they will simply make rotation times shorter.

Hmmm...you seem to be again answering a question I never asked rather than the one I did. I'm sorry, I must have triggered some sensitive mental block on your part. Didn't mean to.

YOu can't seem to grasp that and I am done trying to explain it to your dumb ass.

Well, I keep asking one question and you keep answer some other question.

Now would you like to explain why you said you think we need 2.8 million troops in theatre AT ONCE, and then tried to use the number of soldiers who served in Vietnam in TOTAL as an example? Cause that just doesn't jive.

Did I do that? Oh yeah, I left off the actual troop levels we had in-country in Vietnam. In 1968, it was 536,100, which is about 4x what we have currently in Iraq, and more than what we in total for our entire active army these days. Was that info suppose to help you in some fashion?

Crapola, I though you were a moron to begin with, but after actually clicking on your name and getting this:

www.aheckofa.com/FoolMeOnce/CBSBushMemos.html

Hey, I put a lot of work in that. It's probably the most comprehensive web site about those darn "forged" memos and Bush's military history. Did you like how I took all his flight records and put them into a spreadsheet, then charted it and discovered how they totally support one of the USA Today memos in a way that could not have been possibly recreated by a forger? And how I showed that the word processing market peaked in the mid-70's when there were all these innovative vendors selling systems that could print typeset quality print like a modern word processor. Boy, I bet you were glad to have all those misconceptions of common 70's office equipment cleared up, eh? I bet you just loved learning something new.

...you are certifiable. I hope all of these "smart" "friends" you talk about aren't as fucking delusional as you are. I mean really, just wow.

Aww, you're mean, just when I was thinking you were just badly confused.

Have you noticed that when ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Have you noticed that when "BC" (BULL CRAP) is around old "pucker puss" is not? Hmmmm

BC, you fail to understand ... (Below threshold)
kim:

BC, you fail to understand that it was ruminant excrement that got picked up at the bullring in Texas. You fail to understand that a document cannot be verified from a copy, but it can be shown to be inauthentic. The TANG memos have been falsified typographically, textually, and temporally. All the evidence in your link testifies to your ability to delude yourself, and little more.
=========================

Kim didn't quite get it whe... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim didn't quite get it when she wrote:

BC, you fail to understand that it was ruminant excrement that got picked up at the bullring in Texas. You fail to understand that a document cannot be verified from a copy, but it can be shown to be inauthentic. The TANG memos have been falsified typographically, textually, and temporally. All the evidence in your link testifies to your ability to delude yourself, and little more.

What you don't seem to understand is that those Killian memos could not have been forged the way it's been claimed. I already dealt with Phinney and the other typographers who based their prognosis on the mistaken notion that there was no devices at the time that could have printed that way. And when I pointed out to Phinney how the the centering on two of the letterheads did not match up at all with Word recreations, he just backtracked about how the letterhead issue was outside of his expertise or such.

Anyway while I managed to convince some people that Word could not have been used, it was then asserted that I would have to prove that no modern word processor (meaning from within the past 10 years or so) could have been used instead. You might imagine my reaction to that. However tricks like what I did with the flight records show that it's beyond any reasonable scenario to think a forger would manage to assemble all of the 6 memos from info from DoD records to such a fine and, in some cases, an utterly unobvious degree without making a single mistake (those right-wing "talking points" floating around supposedly pointing out flaws in the memos contents are all BS).

Now my take is that if those memos could not have been forged as charged, then that means they have to be authentic because there is no alternative option "C" to explain them. But others have contended that eliminating one scenario, that they were forged with Word, doesn't mean there weren't other ways to have forged them, and as long as there is a possibility that some other method could have been used, then I can't claim the memos are real.

That doesn't make any logical sense, though: either they were forged or they weren't. If I show that they could not have been forged, then....

Whatever. There is one last experiment I've been dawdling on finishing that should settle things one way or the other, but it's a technical and tedious thing.....

BC:Hey, I put a ... (Below threshold)
marc:

BC:
Hey, I put a lot of work in that. It's probably the most comprehensive web site about those darn "forged" memos and Bush's military history.

Tone down that horn blowing, it hurts the ears.

Howard pissed away a lot of cash, and like you work, on the Spruce Goose. It never flew but once and about 30ft high.

So did the Russians on a space shuttle. Ever see it fly?

The Great Apes claim humans are a failed experiment, why don't you follow up on that.

First, Koppel made it clear... (Below threshold)
Murphy:

First, Koppel made it clear that America's premature departure from Iraq would turn the entire Persian Gulf region into a battlefield between Sunnis and Shia, "something the United States cannot allow to happen"

Oh yah, I say Pass the popcorn!

You cannot show that they c... (Below threshold)
kim:

You cannot show that they could not have been forged because you don't have the originals. I'm sorry, very sorry, if this is not clear. Look up the word 'provenance'
==================================

When are you going to get i... (Below threshold)
kim:

When are you going to get it through your head that Bush did a fine job in the Texas Air National Guard. I suspect him, like much of the nation, of losing interest as the '70's aged. By the way, I think I know why he quit flying, but I ain't sayin'.
=============================

But, despite his best effor... (Below threshold)
kim:

But, despite his best efforts, he couldn't lose interest as fast as Kerry could lose interest.

KAMPUCHEA Ever again.
==============

marc wrote BC</... (Below threshold)
BC:

marc wrote

BC

"Hey, I put a lot of work in that. It's probably the most comprehensive web site about those darn "forged" memos and Bush's military history."

Tone down that horn blowing, it hurts the ears.

Well... it probably is. I rummaged through everything else out there. Gerald Lechliter did a great job of collecting and analyzing DoD records and some very hard to find supporting documents like the AFM-35 sections referred to in both the DoD records and the Bush memoss. He concluded completely outside of the Killian memos that Bush had been AWOL in Alabama and that this had to have been covered up because certain records that should have been included in the DoD records are missing.

My concern wasn't with with AWOL question, though -- it was initially just with the claim of the memos being forged. I immediately spotted discrepencies in the "forged by Word" claims, starting with all those absurd and utterly confused claims of what sort of office equipment was and wasn't available in the 70's. Also, all those whole laundry lists of why the memos had to have been forged that got wide circulation turned out to be utterly bogus with any research. And then I finally noticed how none of the "st's" were superscripted, as in 1st, in any any of the memos, and that the "th's" were not at all superscripted, that was the major tip-off that they very likely created on some very old word processing system, probably with a daisywheel printer.

The early daisywheel printers, like most typewriters from that time (including Knox's Olympia), allowed you to have a couple of special characters in addition to the normal everyday character set. And by some long forgotten convention, if you were going to include a superscript, it would only be a "th" (again like Knox's Olympia). The DoD records have a few documents with superscripted "th's" but none with "st's". Exactly like the memos and completely unlike how modern, computer based word-processors work (note that some of the memo st's and th's that aren't superscripted have an archaic space before them, but the others don't.)

So from that point it was just a matter of collecing info about what exactly was being used for word processing in those days, what they were capable of, and how widespread was the technology. I also looked more carefully into what degree the DoD records supported the memos. That little trick of Charles Johnson, where he overlaid a Word recreation of the CYA memos over the original and got a good (to the untrained eye) match, turrned out to be no more than a trick -- that fails when you try it with the longer, more complicated memos with letterheads and unsuperscripted st's.

I also looked into why some of these alleged experts also claimed that the memos were forged. Some, like Joseph Newcomer, turned out to be bogus, and others just had no clue about what 70's tech and assumed that that if the spacing was such and such, only a modern day computer and printer could have done that. It turned out that Diablo daisywheel printers and their codeset were the standard for computer-based word processing systems for over a dozen years, until the beginning of the personal computer and laser printer era. Which explains why their printout looks like it comes from a modern computer -- products like Word emulated it from their first versions.

But talk is cheap. I pretty much backed up everything with plenty and PLENTY of evidence I gathered, some of which came from real libraries (even Google doesn't have much info on office equipment that has been obsolete for decades).

So...there you go.

But you can't prove it wasn... (Below threshold)
kim:

But you can't prove it wasn't forged because the provenance of your copy is bullshit.
================================

Look folks, he's not going ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Look folks, he's not going to see the point. It's a 'blond fact'.
======================================

This is the point that that... (Below threshold)
kim:

This is the point that that garbage commission CBS bought and paid for, the Thornburgh Phony one. You can disprove the authenticity of an original from a copy, but you cannot authenticate the original from a copy without provenance.

Well, Thornburgh probably knew that, but was willing to prostitute his integrity and name for CBS.
===============================

Think about it, son. For y... (Below threshold)
kim:

Think about it, son. For your own sake. Please.
===================================

Alright, here's a clue. Dr... (Below threshold)
kim:

Alright, here's a clue. Drinking yourself to death in a war is probably more valiant, and ultimately healthier, than filming yourself to death.
====================

Healthier? Well, one hit b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Healthier? Well, one hit bottom, and one hid archives.
==================================

Smell that coffee? I make ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Smell that coffee? I make fresh Illy Pies. Haffa cuppa expressed for one sixth of a Thaler. Ten cans in five months. You go figure.
========================================

Now, now....Here's... (Below threshold)
BC:

Now, now....

Here's a little challenge for you guys:

Instead of repeating the conventional unsupported nonsense about the memos, go take a looksee around my site. Try to recall what you heard from both your usual right wing hangouts and the "MSM" in regards to 70's office technology (Hint: think Selectric, Selectric, Selectric....) and see how that compares to what I came up with genuine research.

Then look at all the "forged" memos, the 4 from CBS and the 2 "extra" from USA Today, and note the superscripting pattern. If you have Word handy, try typing in some of the parts that have st's and th's and see how easy it is to have Word not superscript any of the st's and then only some of the th's (and don't cheat by putting in a space in between).

Now note especially the very short USA Today memo that simply goes "Update me as sooon as possible on flight certifications. Specifically - Bath and Bush."

"Bath" refers to "James Bath" a then future business partner of Bush, and who was verbally suspended by Killian exactly one month after Bush was and for the exact same listed reasons. The curious thing about Bath is that his name is redacted from the current DoD list of Bush's records, but it had been unredacted earlier. Also, why would Killian be asking about flight certifications? Well, looking at the raw flight records as is on the DoD site is not very informative -- you would have to manually enter every single entry into something like a spreadsheet, and note whether it was normal flight, or done in a trainer or simulator, and then try graphing the results by month to see the sharp increase in training flights (a yellow line) coinciding with the date on that memo.

Now the actual challenge is for you to honestly consider all this and answer this truthfully (and please don't make up another question to answer instead): does any of this make sense if those memos were forged as claimed? Well, does it?

Nice work BC. Did you write... (Below threshold)

Nice work BC. Did you write this, too?

Good god, now you've got... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Good god, now you've got brian repeating your idiotic questions. brian, nice try with your stadium analogy, but you seem to forget that while we have 140,000 odd troops in theatre (the "stadium") there are a few hundred thousanad more waiting to be sent there, so nice try but no dice. ONCE AGAIN and for the last time bc, no draft is necessary, they will simply make rotation times shorter.

Hey, I was just observing from a strictly human interaction point of view that you are, in fact, not answering his question. I take no position on the validity of the question or what the answer is.

I think what you're trying to say is something like, "you're right, BC, there is no way other than a draft to increase troop levels; however, there is no need to increase troop levels because of x, y, and z, and therefore we won't need a draft."

Maybe a better analogy is that he's asking you if there's any way to get to the store other than by driving, and you're responding that he doesn't need to go to the store. But that doesn't technically answer the question about whether the store is accessible by some method other than driving, which is a standalone answer unrelated to whether one actually needs to go to the store.

My, this is fun!

And I refuse to follow t... (Below threshold)
Brian:

And I refuse to follow this little argument, but your analogy would be more accurate if there are 2,000 people in the stadium and 6,000 people in groups of 2,000 who have been cycling in and out of the stadium in rotation as well as another 6,000 who have only been walking around the parking lot passing out hot-dogs and cleaning porta-potties.

No, because cycling multiple groups of 2,000 in and out still doesn't answer the original question of how to get the stadium filled to 10,000.

BC, you can't prove those m... (Below threshold)
kim:

BC, you can't prove those memos weren't forged because you only have copies with poor provenance. Think, man, think. All you have, everything, is trying to disprove all the arguments that they were forged. But you can't prove the converse, that they were not forged. You don't have the originals, or a true copy, and you must have that to authenticate them.
========================================

BC, I'm not asking you anot... (Below threshold)
kim:

BC, I'm not asking you another question, I am telling you, as a matter of logic and law, that you cannot prove that those memoes were not forged. You have done excellent research, but the premise you missed is that a copy cannot authenticate an original without provenance. What is the provenance of the Killian memoes?

You must understand this. Read it over carefully.
=================================

Maybe this will give you so... (Below threshold)
kim:

Maybe this will give you some insight. Knowing what you know now, could you replicate those memoes, given access to the equipment and training at them? You could, couldn't you, or someone could. Do you understand the meaning of provenance, now?
==================================

You're not from Texas, are ... (Below threshold)
kim:

You're not from Texas, are you?

Inquiring minds might want to know. That was slander and libel, if they were forged.
==================

Hey Kim~~~~~~~~~~~~~... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hey Kim
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like~~~~~~~~~~~~~~... (Below threshold)
Brian:

I like
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

your posting~~~~~~~~... (Below threshold)
Brian:

your posting
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

style.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~... (Below threshold)
Brian:

style.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kim wrote:BC, I... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim wrote:

BC, I'm not asking you another question, I am telling you, as a matter of logic and law, that you cannot prove that those memoes were not forged. You have done excellent research, but the premise you missed is that a copy cannot authenticate an original without provenance. What is the provenance of the Killian memoes?

You're actually right in some respects -- with the evidence available, I can't really say for sure where the documents originated from or even when they were printed. The technology at that time was really not that different fundamentally from what it is now: you could create a document, save it, and then print it out later, much later, and even on a different system. And also I've only been able to go back to 1973 for a system that would definitely be able to print out the documents as they appear. While that's pretty far back, it's still not 1972, the year most of the documents were dated. I have a scenario for this as well, but it makes things even more complicated than they are.

On the other hand, look at how the forgery charges orginated: a posting by "Buckhead" on the Free Republic that was utterly wrong and completely confused in its characterization of early 70's office tech. You can look at the Killian memos mess as having two separate components: whether Mapes and her crew fully authenticated them enough to be used in a news report, even one that was just a standard CBS 60 Minutes 12 1/2 minute segment; and whether there ever enough evidence to justify the charge that they were forged.

If a guy who was arrested for robbery gets off in court because the DA and the police didn't prepare their case thoroughly enough, including looking more into the background of their witnesses -- does this mean the robber was never guilty and that the DA and the police tried to frame him with false evidence? Suppose friends of the robber tried claiming that it was indeed just an attempt at a frame-up and present all sorts of nonsensical, easily refutable "evidence" that the general public ends up believing because nobody thinks to actually do any real refuting?

That's basically what happened with the Killian memos, and my focus was on refuting all those bogus, nonsensical bits of "evidence" used in the forgery charge.

Getting more back to your point: imagine a timeline starting in 2004 and ending at some point in the 70's but you don't know for sure -- that represents the memos if they are not forgeries. Now imagine a much shorter timeline, also starting in 2004, that could only go back no more than a year or two at the max -- that represents the memos if they are forgeries. You see where I'm going with this? If the memos can only be on one line or the other, and if one has demonstably almost no probability of being true and the other has likewise and demonstrably an almost 100% probability of being true, then does your point about "provenance" matter?


Kim also wrote:

Maybe this will give you some insight. Knowing what you know now, could you replicate those memoes, given access to the equipment and training at them? You could, couldn't you, or someone could. Do you understand the meaning of provenance, now?

I had actuaully thought about this before -- what if someone like me was used to forge the memos and had done all the research I did, does that mean they could have been forged regardless?

No. The thing is that you have to use the memos to point to certain things that weren't remotely obvious in the DoD records by themselves. This can only happen if the weren't forged. That bit with the training flights in February of 1972 is a prefect example -- if you look at the raw flight records on the DoD site, they're a mess: hard to read, out of order and with a couple of impossible entries. However that one-line memo USA Today had indicated there was some sort of issue with Bush's fight certification, and so something should be in the flight records to reflect this. It was tedious to make the records more readable and then to put them all into a spreadsheet for sorting and to make some sort of sense of them all. And all this begs the question of why would anyone every put in such a monumental effort to forge a cryptic, one-line memo that accomplishes nothing -- it was just about some routine pilot issues. What was the point? CBS didn't even use that one.

Plus I would have just used one of the many, MANY still operating Selectrics that are around rather than attempt to duplicate the odd printing characteristics of long obsolete devices that hardly anyone even remembers clearly, if at all. Again what would be the point?

Again, when you consider all this, does any of this make sense if those memos were forged as claimed? Well, does it?

You sound wistful in the fa... (Below threshold)
kim:

You sound wistful in the face of logic and law. Prove to me, don't speculate to me, that they weren't forged. You cannot, nor can all your desire make it so. You've actually shown how they could have been forged. It would be nice to see what paper they were on. Frankly, when I first heard about these forgeries, I was amazed that such a primitive job had been done by people associated with the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee. You've restored my faith in their sophistication.
======================================

And you still haven't figur... (Below threshold)
kim:

And you still haven't figured out why he quit flying.
==============================

Let me try it this way. Yo... (Below threshold)
kim:

Let me try it this way. You assume, for purposes of your analysis, that the copies you are working from are true copies. On what basis do you make that assumption? Also, if they are not true copies, what problems does that create in your analysis?
========================

I guess another way for me ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I guess another way for me to look at it is that you yourself sensed that you could not address with authority the charge of 'fake' but instead chose to try to prove the 'accurate'. But do you see how many assumptions you have to make to judge it 'accurate'?
======================================

The forgery charges started... (Below threshold)
kim:

The forgery charges started because some non typography expert noted that the typography didn't look like most early '70s stuff, and he was dead right. And that is not the way you have characterized the origin of the skepticism about the memoes. Now if you start off on the wrong foot, how do expect to make the Long March to Truth?
===================================

To Kim:One thing t... (Below threshold)
BC:

To Kim:

One thing that I really wanted and which I had tried really hard to find was a logical smoking gun -- meaning something connected to the memos that would obviously and absolutely completely eliminate the possibilty that they were forged, which in turn would be a defacto authentication of them. This means finding something that utterly eliminates the memos as forgeries regardless of any attempt, however ludicrous, to even allow for the possibility that could have been forged with enough resources, people and effort.

Well....

After all my rehashing on Bush's flight records and how I pointed out how you needed that little Feb, 2nd USA Today Killian memo to even suspect that there something in those records indicating Bush needed extra training for recertification, this morning I got a nagging feeling I had overlooked something rather basic. And then I remembered what that might be.

According to the scapegoating CBS panel report, CBS got 2 of the Killian memos on Sept. 2nd, 2004, and the rest a few days later on Sept 5th.

However, the DoD didn't release Bush's flight records until Sept. 7th, and then only after an AP FOIA lawsuit filed earlier in the year.

The information needed to have recreated a key part of that Feb 2nd Killian memo was not available until a few days AFTER CBS received the memos from Burkett.

Ergo, unless you want to add time traveling to the capabilities of your mythical forger, it's game over -- the memos could not possibly have been forged under any circumstances, regardless of whatever resources, given the information contained in them.

How do you like them red, roundish fruits?

Ah, yes, pomegranates; the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Ah, yes, pomegranates; the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The longer I converse with you the less evil I hear in your heart. Why do you insist on the characterization 'de facto authentication' when you can claim authentication neither de jure or de logica? Are you under the impression no one had any idea there might be a problem with his flight status until September 7, 2004?

Right about, by the way, when the DNC rolled out there 'Favorite Son' campaign, obviously timed to get the maximum benefit out of the TANG memoes. Those who think the memoes are forged and libelous question the timing and would like to question the principals.
=============================

Caught in an very awkward s... (Below threshold)
BC:

Caught in an very awkward situation, Kim wrote:

Ah, yes, pomegranates; the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The longer I converse with you the less evil I hear in your heart. Why do you insist on the characterization 'de facto authentication' when you can claim authentication neither de jure or de logica? Are you under the impression no one had any idea there might be a problem with his flight status until September 7, 2004?

Well, let's see now -- we know that Bush never showed up for his physical, resulting in Killian verbally suspending him on August 1st, 1972.

We also know that Bush left Ellington on May 15, 1972, supposedly for Alabama (here, on page 44).

But there is nothing, nada, squat about his flight certification issue near the beginning of 1972 in any other documents whatsoever aside from that "forged" memo and a deep analysis of the raw flight records. Indeed, Bush's rating report dated April 30, 1972 (here, on pages 36-38) sounds pretty damn good: it starts off with "Lt Bush is an exceptional fighter intercepter pilot and officer." At no point is anything remotely connected to flight certification issues even vaguely referred to.

So you have a memo allegedly forged with information that could have only come from a DoD file that wasn't released until after the memo came out. Hmmm....a bit of a logical conundrum there, eh?

The cognitive dissonance in this pale blue land must be explosively unique -- after all, you guys are suppose to be anti-Rather, pro-Bush, but thanks to some pretty ill-considered sniping at me by D-Hoggs, it appears that the whole Rathergate/Memogate meme, the right-wing blogosphere's golden moment, has just suffered an abrupt and ignominious death right here in your living room.

Anybody need a hug?

There is your problem. It ... (Below threshold)
kim:

There is your problem. It wasn't in the documents, so no one, prior to Sept. 7, 2004, suspected there might be a problem with flight certification. Get in your time machine and try to remember what people were saying about Bush's service all through 2004. You've not convinced me that 'deep analysis' reveals something not suspected earlier, and you must have that for your 'de facto' authentication. What would a judge or expert witness do with your 'de facto' authentication? Why?

Because YOU could have faked them.
=============

Pfeh, here I am conceding h... (Below threshold)
kim:

Pfeh, here I am conceding hypothetically a problem with flight certification, which you find on 'deep analysis'. I note you found it after you had read the fake memo and believed it. Might that not have biased your analysis? Do other people have different analyses of the flight records?

You cannot get around provenance. As a matter of law and logic, every protestation you make falls to the truth that you cannot authenticate an original from a copy.
======================================

Go ask a lawyer, or read so... (Below threshold)
kim:

Go ask a lawyer, or read some law books, or something. Copies without provenance can't be admitted as evidence because they cannot be proven to be true copies. The reasons for this are illustrated magnificently by your work. Since copies without provenance have this fundamental flaw, they cannot be considered when serious matters are to be decided.

Why aren't you serious?
================

I'll break it down. You ca... (Below threshold)
kim:

I'll break it down. You cannot, CANNOT, authoritatively address 'fake' so you are now arguing 'accurate' from a fragmentary record.
=============================

Do you see it? You are try... (Below threshold)
kim:

Do you see it? You are trying to establish 'not fake' from 'accurate'. But you've been an honest disputant and you deserve a hug.
===================================

Watch provenance creep in o... (Below threshold)
kim:

Watch provenance creep in on little cat's feet. You, yourself, make reference to the provenance of the memoes when you refer to the time that CBS got them. So provenance matters in that part of your argument? By the way, how came they to the knowledge of anyone besides that poor Zerocopier in Texas. Who did he contact? Are you sure?
================================

Kim wrote....lots of things... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim wrote....lots of things.

Look, let's get real here -- we know that the memos could only be one of two very different things: forged or not forged. If you eliminate one, what's left is what it is. This is basic mathematical logic -- formally called "Disjunctive Syllogism" -- that transcends and trumps any other argument you can come up with.

And I do believe that judges still allow for deductive reasoning in courtroom cases, since, well, it's sometimes kind of an important tool when trying to recreate and make sense of a crime, CSI-style.

I'll grudgingly admit to not being the dumbest guy around, but even with my best efforts and an unlimited amount or time, money, staff, and resources, I would not have been able to forge the memos as is, most especially without those flight records. I MIGHT have figured out that the "Not Observed" rating report from May 2nd, 1973 was backdated as described in the CYA memo, but that too was very, very unobvious until you had a reason look at the date patterns in the previous rating reports (they were all on May 26th, his anniversay date).

I initially created that web page in mid-October of 2004 in response to the monumental pile of BS called "Rathergate" and I tried very hard to get members of your mythically liberal MSM to at least look at some of the rather (so to speak) big discrepencies in the forgery scenario. I got some responses, but by that point, it was already accepted that the memos were forged and I would have to be the one to prove otherwise. WTF! That wasn't my job -- it was theirs, and the forgery charges only stuck because they couldn't put down their lattes and take their thumbs out of their butts to have done a lick of real fact checking and research. Yeah, we only had Selectric typewriters in the 70's so the memos couldn't possibly be real. Huh, what, there was also a thing called the Selectric Composer that could typeset? Ummm, maybe, no, maybe -- nah, too complicated, and we can't find a working one. Case closed -- the memos had have been forged. Now what -- Killian's secretrary, Marian Knox (who was actually just an office pool secretary, but let's not overly complicate things), said she something called an Olympia typewriter that had a special little "th" key for superscripts? Hmmm....oh, but that's still a typewriter and typewriters can't proportionally space, case closed.

If you remember any of that stuff, you know I'm not exactly exaggerating how little your Bush-hating, evil liberal MSM delved into and researched 70's technology, am I? As much as I was annoyed with The Free Republic, Powerline and Little Green Footballs for instigating the bogus fogery charge with their confused, nonsensical and utterly BS claims (Duhhhh, umm, duh memo has Killian scheduling Bush's physical on Mother's Day -- the dumb forger must think we stoopid.), the real villian was the mainstream corporate media, supposedly our much touted free press, that simply and utterly shirked and blew off its journalist responsibilities, allowing the forgey charges to spread unchallenged far and wide to the point that it become a universally firm and entrenched belief. It didn't matter apparently that this all very adversely affected one of its own, Dan Rather. But if you look closely at how the entire Iraq invasion and war had been covered, you see the same journalistic laziness and incompetence all over the place.

You may have noticed a passing and somewhat cryptic comment I made to "Synova" further up on this on thread that went "By the way, how's your math assignment going? I bet you didn't know that you could prove Bush to be a liar via math, did you?"

That was in reference to a different Wizbang thread where one of my secret Usenet readers sniped about how I believed in the Lancet number (from this past October) of there being about 600,000 Iraqi civilian casualties from the war. My unadmiring Usenet reader apparently missed the Usenet post where I demonstrated how a little bit of math and statistics show that the 50,000 number for the total Iraqi civilian casualty count (at the time) that Bush and the Pentagon referred to in response to the Lancet number HAD to be too low by at least a factor of 10. Meaning that the true number of Iraqi casualties was likely on the order of 500,000 at the minimum, which also happens to fit right into the low-high range of the Lancet study of 426,369 to 793,663 deaths (or, maximally, 392,979 - 942,636). I pointed the apparently skeptical "Synova" to the Usenet thread with all the math, and asked him him to try to find something wrong with it.

I don't think he had much luck.

Again that was not my responsibility and the math was much, MUCH simpler than what I had to go through with the Killian memos mess. This was yet another major breakdown of the press to resolve two very different claims: one in which that has "only" 50,000 Iraqis civilians dead because of the war; and the other with the number at, to be precise, 654,965. So which is it? Who's lying, who's grossly overestimating or underestimating, and who's being truthful? Do you have to be good at math and at looking up murder and death rates for different cities and countries because you can't can't count on there being any more intrepid reporters to ferret out the truth on anything more complicated than the misbehavior and deaths of celebrities?

The real question now is how you and the others lurking and reading all this are going to deal with this info. I obviously have a big update to do to my web site (there are some other things as well I need to add), but I'm really done. I have an old daisywheel printer I got on eBay and apparently the last proportional print wheel to have been found on the Internet, but this combo is SO incompatible with even old PC's with DOS on them, so it's been a bitch to get it to print even a line. With the issue with flight records, I don't think I really need to get it working. I'll make another effort, though.

But with you guys, you have a fundamental conflict between your ideology and best evidence at hand. And speaking of best evidence, all of this tedious, geeky sleuthing could have been avoided if certain people who were around at the time of Bush's miiitary service, and in on what was going on at the time, had simply spoken up truthfully and honestly. This includes former base commander, Bobby Hodges, the former personnel officer, Rufus Martin, and of course and most especially, George Bush himself. Bush and his official spokespeople have so far avoided making any comments in regards to whether the memos were forged or not (Laura Bush made one allusion to them as being "probably" forged, but that was just her personal "opnion" and not anything at all officially representing her husband.) Since Bush would have obviously remembered enough of the details to have confirm or refute the memos, his silence was a damning testimony to both his guilt and his craven allowing of Dan Rather, Mary Mapes to be so publicly villified, smeared and mocked.

Bush so needs his sorry ass impeached and removed for so, SO many reasons.

So tell me the provenance, ... (Below threshold)
kim:

So tell me the provenance, again. Listen, I'm being deleted on this board. It's been fun. See ya' around.
==========================

Kim exited with:<i... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim exited with:

So tell me the provenance, again. Listen, I'm being deleted on this board. It's been fun. See ya' around.

You can only count on cognitive dissonance to protect you for so long -- "modus tollendo ponens" is a sticky bitch....

Oops, here I am again. Pau... (Below threshold)
kim:

Oops, here I am again. Paul is deleting me from his thread, but I'm still apparently safe elsewhere.

Look, I'm willing to concede some legitimacy to your method if you had perfect knowledge and no bias. Both, you sadly lack. There are plenty of people besides me who take the known facts and come up with analysis different than yours.
==============================

I've consulted Thomas of Oc... (Below threshold)
kim:

I've consulted Thomas of Ockham and he has trouble getting his head around all your rationales.
================================

The not-quite-yet-deleted K... (Below threshold)
BC:

The not-quite-yet-deleted Kim quipped:

I've consulted Thomas of Ockham and he has trouble getting his head around all your rationales.

Ya think? Let's simplify what we're talking about here. The issue is whether the Killian memos were forged or not, agreed? So you have a pretty classic situation where an answer has to be either A or B, but not both.

You have two scenarios for solving this: 1) you prove one to be true, which would automatically eliminate the other; or 2) you prove one to be false, which would leave the other as being the only answer.

Your insistence on there having to be "provenance," meaning being able to trace the memos back to their origins, including the chain of custody from when they were created to when they were handed over to CBS, would be scenario #1. If Mapes and her crew has done that, there would be no question about the authenticity of the memos (well, actually, there would probably be plenty of right-wingers screaming "Forgery!" regardless.)

Your insistence of this being the only method for authenticating is logically false since it doesn't allow for scenario #2, which is just as valid.

Provenance is extremely important to figuring out if a supposed painting by Van Gogh is genuine or not, because not only forgers can be extremely cunning and skillful in getting the style, brush strokes, color and overall look just right, but sometimes you can have other paintings from about that time period, perhaps by a good student of the artist in question, misrepresented as being by Van Gogh.

What the painting itself depicts normally doesn't tell you a whole lot, although it might give you clues. A painting of irises could be a Van Gogh, but one showing a Space Shuttle launch certainly couldn't. But if you're dealing with portraits of long dead people with no other records of what they looked like, landscapes of scenery that has long since drastically changed, very generic still-lifes, and such, chain of custody can be all important.

The Killian memos, though, are not paintings of generic irises and landscapes -- they contain a lot of specific information that had to have come from somewhere. The so-called "fake but true" contents issue, when it has been dealt with at all by the pro-forgers, has been explained away as coming from publicly available records like those on the DoD site.

Even though I had already shown that Word could not have been used as charged, that there were indeed plenty of early word processing systems around that time in use all over that could created the memos as is, and that the supposed forger would had to have gone to ludicrous, virtually impossible lengths to have culled certain bits of info from the DoD records, you basically have insisted that as long as there was sliver of a chance that they could have been forged, however absurdly tiny that possibility was, the burden of proof still rested on authenticating the memos -- scenario #1.

But with the knowledge now that the flight records were released only after CBS had obtained the memos, with no other record even hinting at Bush (and his pal James Bath -- let's not forget that shady character) needing more training time in early 1972 for flight certification, thanks to that little bitty memo that CBS didn't even end up up using, we have, Voila! -- scenario #2. Making your "provenance" assertions utter moot.

The memos could not have been forged. Ipso facto, lex parsimoniae, whatever.

As an aside, and really outside of the forgery issue iself, is that I should mention that retired Army Colonel Gerald Lechliter was quite right in his assertions of key records being missing from the DoD list of Bush's military files. This is especially the case in the key months after the "Not Observed" rating report in 1973, when there was an official USAF inquiry that was stonewalled for several months (and which Rufus Martin was party to) before ending abruptly with no apparent official resolution on the USAF side.

Now this is just my opinion, and I'm not going to pursue this, but you can tell that I've been through the DoD records plenty of times. And in the context of all the records that are still in the DoD database, the missing records all appear to be ones that would have had further info regarding Bush's Alabama "service" and his suspension from flying. You can take that however you want.

Except that you have not pr... (Below threshold)
kim:

Except that you have not proved scenario 2. You have shown how they could have been forged.
====================================

Kim cognitively dissonated:... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim cognitively dissonated:

Except that you have not proved scenario 2. You have shown how they could have been forged.

???

Maybe you misunderstood this part:

But with the knowledge now that the flight records were released only after CBS had obtained the memos, with no other record even hinting at Bush (and his pal James Bath -- let's not forget that shady character) needing more training time in early 1972 for flight certification, thanks to that little bitty memo that CBS didn't even end up up using, we have, Voila! -- scenario #2. Making your "provenance" assertions utterly moot.

That was a long sentence, but....

If you're just going go circular, I think I'll take that as my cue to end my little Wizbang adventure (I'm sure I'll be missed -- be brave.) I've lost track of what other threads I've been arguing/bitch slapping in, but I think they were near or at their end in any case.

I can't emphasize enough how much I hate dealing with this forgery crap. It's not my job, it's sucked up a lot my time and it ain't done yet, and I doubt I'm going to be thanked a whole lot since I've basically already called the entire right wing blogosphere liars and morons and the general mainstream corporate media lazy-ass, irresponsible incompetents. Plus the idea that they were forged has been embedded so deeply into so many minds, it may take a bit more than the complicated charting of messy flight records and deductive reasoning to dislodge it.

But everyone regularly faces a more common A or B choice: 1) do the right, responsible thing, even when it's hard and/or a pain in the ass; or 2) avoid responsibility and just walk away because that's a lot easier, and be the ass.

The #2 in this case does have its attractions, I admit, but....

I remember, on the day afte... (Below threshold)
kim:

I remember, on the day after the memos came out, blogging along with others that they had not really broken any new ground. Then the news of BuckHead's insights started to spread. So tell me someone clever couldn't have written that crap.

You are still missing, big time, one extremely important point. You cannot authenticate an original from a copy without provenance. If this weren't true, we'd be flooded with disinformation. There is a philosophical and legal reason for the requirement and you ignore it at your peril. Look at the perilous leaps of logic you need to make in order to try to show 'not fake' from 'accurate'.

I recognize that we are not going to convince each other. I don't think you are going to convince any one else, either. l'm sorry. You do seem an honest person.
======================================

Heh, heh. And maybe, just ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Heh, heh. And maybe, just maybe, you are right.
================================

And, since you are so speci... (Below threshold)
kim:

And, since you are so special, and because probably no one is watching, I'll tell you why I think Bush quit flying. Remember, he was a drunk. Booze very strongly effects the mechanisms involved in maintaining blood vessel tone, and hence blood pressure. I think he blacked out, high in the sky, and regained consciousness before crashing.

Wow. That might be a little like waterboarding. That might make you want to lose the keys to the water skates.
============================

Kim rather riskily wrote:</... (Below threshold)
BC:

Kim rather riskily wrote:

And, since you are so special, and because probably no one is watching, I'll tell you why I think Bush quit flying. Remember, he was a drunk. Booze very strongly effects the mechanisms involved in maintaining blood vessel tone, and hence blood pressure. I think he blacked out, high in the sky, and regained consciousness before crashing.

Wow. That might be a little like waterboarding. That might make you want to lose the keys to the water skates.

Don't be so sure about the "no one is watching" bit. I'm evidently known about here and there, and I'm sure some parts of this thread have been circulated around. Note also how the usual blowhards disappeared so abruptly. And also I'm just a troll who came here on a whim because Google had made a colossal mess of the big Google Groups upgrade, whereas this is your home town of sorts.

But nevertheless, thanks for that admission, which I guess was probably not easy for you. I'm quite sure you're not the only dweller on the wrong side of the railroad tracks to think that, but nobody really wants to admit to have been fooled so completely like that. Plus "Rathergate" is considered to be a huge, pivotal moment in the evolution (if you want to call it that) of the blogosphere, especially to everyone on the right who genuinely believes in the "liberal MSM" boogeyman, making it kind of sacred of sorts.

As far as your comment about Bush and his drinking, yeah, well, as you might imagine, I came across a lot of juicy anecdotes and bits of info of unknown quality regarding Bush and his Air National Guard days, including one about how he crashed an F102 while drunk. Indeed the other reason I spent so much time culling through and analyzing the flight records was to look for an anomalous entry or series of entries that might point towards losing a jet. While there are some peculiarities with his regular, simulator, and training flight patterns beginning in mid-January, 1972, I didn't see anything remotely close to a smoking gun on the matter. The abrupt rise in T33A training flights in February was definitely a big anomaly, but that seems only to support the Feb 2nd memo regarding his (and Bath's) flight certification. This obviously all begs the question about why the flight certification concern at that point and why T33A trainers (which are old two-seaters with a co-pilot) ended up being used when Bush should have outgrown them a long time prior to that.

But that sort of stuff was really outside of the scope of my inquiries and research, and juicy anecdotes are no substiture for hard evidence unless something else a little bit more solid backs them up. Gerald Lechliter went to great lengths to collect info indicating that Bush was essentially AWOL during his Alabama period and just overall blew off his ANG duty during his last years of service and got away with it. I agree that the records indicates this.

On the other hand, US involvement in the Vietnam War peaked in 1968, the year Bush started his TANG service, when US troop levels there were at 536100, but by 1972, troop levels were down to 24,200, and by 1973, they were only a handful of about 50 left. So there would appear there wasn't much need for military pilots by 1972, so maybe Bush's shirking of duty could have been only a winkable issue by that time and not uncommon.

But....Bush was in the Air National Guard service, and not in Vietnam, and there was still a little thing called the "Cold War" going on in the background, and pilots cost a damn lot to train, so I don't know how winkable his duty-shirking could actually have been without a really influential and well-connected dad.

Of course there is also that odd community service stint in Houston he ended up doing out of the wild blue yonder while he was still in the ANG, the details of which are absolutely murky and with no records remaining to fill in the details....

So there were all these all oddball things that no doubt have fascinating and embarrassing details to them, but the forgery thing was more than complicated enough for me to keep focused on. So I pretty much tried to not get too far off track.

Whether any of this will amount to anything or if anyone really cares at all at this point is, well....we shall see.

Take care. If anyone picks on you here because of this, feel free to let me know....

The lovely thing about the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

The lovely thing about the internet is that arguments don't have to degenerate into fisticuffs, or, worse yet, agreement. But I think we are less further apart than we started out.

I used to despise Bush, until I met Kerry.
====================================

And, of course, I've come t... (Below threshold)
kim:

And, of course, I've come to love him as I've defended him. You are gonna miss him when he's gone.
===============================




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