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What's in a name?

Recently, my colleague Paul had a little fun with the Navy's newest attack submarine being named after Jimmy Carter. Lord knows I enjoyed that whole thread, but I have to be perfectly honest -- Jimmy Carter was a nuculer submariner, served his country honorably while in uniform, and while an inept president, didn't bring disgrace to the office. Naming a submarine after him strikes me as an eminently honorable and decent thing to do.

Likewise, I have no problems with the ships named after a few other presidents. Kennedy was a navy veteran. Ronald Reagan led the rebirth of the navy in the 80's. And George H. W. Bush was a Navy carrier pilot.

Now it's time for another of my rants -- this one about warship names. Since this would probably bore most people, I'm stuffing this in the extended entry.


Update: I'm closing comments on this thread. It's degenerated into a pissing contest between a fool and an idiot about matters completely off-topic. Thanks for ruining it for everyone, schmucks.

In the old days, the U.S. Navy had a fairly simple system for naming its ships. Battleships were states, cruisers cities, destroyers people, submarines fish, and carriers battles or famous ships from U.S. naval history.

After World War II, though, we stopped building battleships. Since states have Senators and Representatives that vote on navy budgets, cruisers briefly took on that role, then ballistic missile submarines. Now it's carriers for presidents and other notable leaders, cruisers for battles, destroyers for people (still), and submarines for cities and states. (The latter came about when, as Admiral Hyman Rickover, the father of the nuclear navy, pointed out, "fish don't vote.")

Now, the British, THEY know how to name warships. I have reprints of Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I and World War II, and just perusing the Royal Navy's listings makes the heart swell.

Resolution. Revenge. Warspite. Valiant. Audacious. Thunderer. Conqueror. Colossus. Superb. Repulse. Renown. Tiger. Lion. Indefatigable. Invincible. Inflexible. Indomitable. Triumph. Formidable. Irresistible. Implacable. Glory. Vengeance. Magnificent. Majestic. Victorious. Illustrious. Furious. Courageous. Glorious. Vindictive. Terrible.

Even the nicknames the British gave their ships were clever. The Courageous, Glorious, and Furious were absurdly-designed battlecruisers, and earned the name Outrageous, Uproarious, and Curious. Likewise, the Repulse and Renown spent so much time in docks that they were known as Repair and Refit. And the battleships Nelson and Rodney... nah, that one's too damned obscure to properly appreciate. Trust me, it's very funny, and very biting.

The United States came close a few times. The best was probably the U.S.S. Reprisal, and that aircraft carrier was canceled and scrapped when half-finished at the end of World War II.

I'm getting a little tired of the U.S. Navy essentially "selling" the names of its warships out for political gain. I'd like to see the next aircraft carrier to be named after one of the proud fighting ships we lost during World War II. We need another Lexington, another Saratoga, another Hornet, maybe even another Langley. I'd also like to see carriers named Yorktown or Wasp, but those names are currently borne by a cruiser and an amphibious assault ship respectively. In fact, the first seven ships of the Wasp class are all named for World War II aircraft carriers.

But that won't be happening any time soon. As Rickover said so eloquently, "fish don't vote." And neither do long-scrapped or sunken warships that served their nation proudly, to the bitter end.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What's in a name?:

» The Spoons Experience linked with HOW ABOUT THE U.S.S. BENEDICT ARNOLD?

» Josh's Weblog linked with USS Swamp Rabbit

» Say Anything linked with Jimmy Carter's Attack Submarine

» The LLama Butchers linked with Folks, we need to look at the big picture here

Comments (85)

I couldn't disagree with yo... (Below threshold)

I couldn't disagree with you more, Jay. Jimmy Carter was not only a terrible President, but he has disgraced himself repeatedly since leaving office. This is a man who, time and again, has sided with America's enemies. He has given his vocal and consistent support to terrorists who murder Israelis, and has contributed, as much as almost anyone now living, to the massive nuclear threat we face from North Korea -- and the terrorists they may sell their nukes to.

Jimmy Carter was not merely a disgrace as a President. Bill Clinton was a disgrace, and I wouldn't react with nearly as much horror to the U.S.S. Bubba. Jimmy Carter, however, is a bona fide traitor. The idea of America's finest risking their lives of a ship named for this piece of shit of human being positively sickens me.

Maybe a better idea would b... (Below threshold)

Maybe a better idea would be to trade warship names for political favors. For example, if the Democrats agree to stop filibustering judges, we'll name the next aircraft carrier the U.S.S. Nuance.

I think we should give our ... (Below threshold)

I think we should give our ships more meaningful names like, Duck and Cover, Kiss You Ass Goodbye, Run For Your Life, Kaboom, Mushroom Cloud, and Jihad This, MF. Then we could name all our naval exercises things like "Don't even think about it" and "You better not" followed by numbers. Let the sailors name them, they can come up with wonderfully creative things just like the little messages air crews write on the sides of bombs and missiles.

I'd also add that Carter di... (Below threshold)

I'd also add that Carter did more in 4 years to demoralize, disembowel, and destroy the military than any president in our history. His handing over the Panama Canal to a committed Marxist/Soviet lunatic was bad.

Then there was his refusal to allow the B-1 bomber into production, and instead trying to say that the B-52 could be reconditioned/retooled to do fly-low missions to deliver cruise missiles, which of course, is insane since the B-52 is a wet-wing plane.

Then there is the fact that he sat idly by and allowed the Soviets to make inroads in the Middle East, Latin America, etc.

Also, Reagan was a Captain in the Army Air Corps. Not only did he do training films (which our liberal friends never cease to point out), he also made films for highly classified bombing missions. In other words, Reagan was a uniformed officer who was entrusted with highly classified material. I'd say Reagan's contribution to the armed services even before he served as Commander in Chief were worthy enough, wouldn't you? He may not have been as gallant as those that fought in battle, but he certainly made a serious contribution to the war effort.

So the fact that Carter is a committed Marxist himself, coupled with the fact that he willfully damaged our military's competitive stature in the world is enough alone to make naming anything after the SOB, in my book, a travesty.

But in theory, you are right, Kevin, that Carter did serve his country. But the above, in my book, is almost unforgivable.


My appologies. I meant Jay... (Below threshold)

My appologies. I meant Jay Tea, not Kevin. Sloppy post on my part.

Anyway, Carter's was about the worst President we ever had during the Cold War. If the Cuban Missile Crisis had happened under his watch (under JFK we enjoyed a 10-1 edge against the Soviets in almost every military measure), we'd all be speaking Russian right now. And that's no exaggeration. Some may think this is a bit extreme, but think about it. In 4 short years, Carter took the US from a firm leadership position in almost every military metric to a deficit position on almost all.

Oh yeah, he also sold out Taiwan. Nixon visited China, but also told the Chinese that if they were to ever invade Taiwan, they'd have to get past the Pacific Fleet (sorry don't remember the number) to get it.

Carter visited the Chinese and tossed the Taiwanese overboard, so to speak, and we gained nothing in return for this.

The man sold out ally after ally. This man makes me want to puke.


Jimmy Carter was also instu... (Below threshold)

Jimmy Carter was also instumental in giving us the Mullacracy on Iran when he sold out the Shah. And he extended an amnesty to all the feckless crap- weasels who hid out in Canada during Vietnam. Liek genital herpes, Jimmy Carter has been a gift that kept on giving.

Spoons writes: I ... (Below threshold)

Spoons writes: I couldn't disagree with you more, Jay. [...] Jimmy Carter, however, is a bona fide traitor.

Fine. Get another witness to the same overt act that you claim to have seen, and make a formal accusation of treason. Either do that, or stop being such a wanker.

The ships go by nicknames f... (Below threshold)

The ships go by nicknames for exactly this reason.

I do like trying to retain ship _names_ with a 'good reputation' while phasing out the others. The Nimitz should be (eventually) reborn for instance.

You seem reluctant to talk ... (Below threshold)

You seem reluctant to talk about these interests in ships, planes and the like that you have, but I do not think you are boring anyone.

I have found the ensuing discussion very interesting. And I am glad you are one of the few 'big blogs' to have comments enabled.

Yeah....Jimmy Carter while ... (Below threshold)

Yeah....Jimmy Carter while not the most effective President has done a lot to give respect to the office and define what an ex-President should be. I respect him because he hasn't joined the Carlysle Group to perpetuate war or gain self enrichment unlike some others. Carter has helped humanity, but maybe that's not a popular cause among Bush supporters.

At least he spent time in uniform commanding a "nuklar" sub, which is more than Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, etc. and others have done for their country. He deserves a sub named after him.

Here's a joke......Do you think maybe the Swedes (or anyone) will give Bush a Nobel Peace Prize or how 'bout a mission accomplished prize?

Don't forget the HMS Dreadn... (Below threshold)

Don't forget the HMS Dreadnaught, which gave its name to a new class of battleship.

Perhaps the most surprising names I've encountered were the Spanish Cacafuego (shit fire) and the French Belle Poule (hot chick.)

S9:If someone on t... (Below threshold)


If someone on this Blog wants to call Carter a traitor, then so be it. Isn't that something one is allowed to do on a Blog? Would you have the same attitude if someone called W a traitor?


You may think that Carter was and is a man of high integrity, but there are those of us that don't. And we have reasons for saying so. His giving the seal of approval to fraudulent elections that he didn't even closely monitor, his receiving the Nobel Piece Prize as a political statement by the Nobel committee to stick their finger in our President's eye; his insulting Florida voters by comparing it to a 3rd world country and demanding UN watchers at the polls and then having to later apologize for having done so.

I respect the fact that Carter isn't motivated by money or greed. That's fine. But why don't you respect the fact that most people (if not all) are motivated by something, and usually those motivations are rather reflective of man's appetitive nature. I'd say Carter is motivated by vanity. The man you say is a Saint I say ran the White House with an iron fist. You want proof? There's plenty of it.

So Carter has done some good in the world, and he should be proud of that. But what if, in the name of peace, he does something that causes more violence? Shouldn't he be held accountable for his actions? Are we to judge him by his noble intentions and not by the dire, violent and bloody consequences of those actions? Carter's yielding to the Soviets and the Cubans let to millions of dead bodies, directly by his inaction. If you think this soi-disant "man of peace" doesn't have blood on his hands, then you need to learn a bit about your hero's history.


I agree with Blogworthy abo... (Below threshold)
Ray Midge:

I agree with Blogworthy above. A little ideosynchratic, hobbyhorsing around now and then gets my attention. What else ya got?

KCtrio writes: If... (Below threshold)

KCtrio writes: If someone on this Blog wants to call Carter a traitor, then so be it. Isn't that something one is allowed to do on a Blog?

Yeah, yeah... and if someone else calls that person a wanker, then so be that too.

The problem is that Spoons is trafficking in a pretty toxic meme here— a very old one, at that: the "stabbed in the back" meme about liberals and intellectuals being avowedly in league with the enemies of the proletariat— and if the rest of you pampered children won't scold him/her for it, then I'm ready to step up and be responsible adult in the room.

KC: As I said in my first ... (Below threshold)

KC: As I said in my first statement he was not an effective President. He still was President and honorably served in the military.

My own view is that Carter was the opposite of GWBush. Carter did nothing and Bush has done too much, most of it except Afghanistan being wrong.

Thomas:I agree, yo... (Below threshold)


I agree, you did say that he was not an effective president. But you also took some not-too-subtle swipes at W. That language implied to me that you don't regard W very highly, and that you do regard Carter quite highly, at least post-presidency. You also seemed to imply, rather clearly, that W had done some things that you find reprehensible, such as the comment about the mission accomplished banner.

I believe that, from your post, you hold Carter in high esteem based upon his lack of interest in making money after he left the White House. Thus, my retort.

Now, I do agree with you that the man did serve honorably in the military, and also was President of the US, and if that's what qualifies for the naming of a major piece of military hardware after oneself, then I also agree that you are correct that the ship did deserve his name.

In this respect, if I misinterpreted your statement in any way, I apologize immediately for having done so.

But there's simply too much W-bashing in your original post for me to have simply ignored it.

Let me ask you this: What's wrong with someone wanting to make lots of cash after leaving the White House? I know it's rather distasteful to think about, but who amongst us wouldn't do so? Carter, in this respect, is rather admirable, I agree. However, I also say that he does seem to enjoy the attention he gets by all the good actions he does around the world. Men of honor and dignity don't go on self-promotion tours about the good they've done. They just do it.

There is a ritual in the Jewish community, of which I don't know the name, that is considered the ultimate mizvat, or an act of giving, and it is this: The cleaning and watching over the body of the dead. This is the highest act of mitzvat because it cannot be returned. Furthermore, in our Jewish and Christian traditions, acts of giving are considered best when done anonymously. Think about Ted Turner and his glorious announcement of giving $1 billion on national TV about a decade ago. Something about that act smacked to me of silliness or worse.

Now, if I were a personal beneficiary of one of these men's acts of kindness, I'd never stop saying "thank you' to them. Furthermore, it's wonderful that Carter gives of himself. But he is also, completely and utterly, human, all too human.


Anyone who wants to defend ... (Below threshold)

Anyone who wants to defend Jimmy Carter should go to where the World Trade Centers USED TO BE and witness the ultimate result of Carter's Presidential policies.

Thanks for proving that radical Islam is an effective weapon against America, Jimmy.

Thanks for allowing an act of war against America without the least response, Jimmy. The world NEEDED a lesson in what a pack of helpless cowards we were when you ran the show.

Thanks for encouraging Soviet adventurism in Afghanistan, Jimmy (boycott the Olympics? That'll show 'em!)

Thanks for accepting a Peace Prize that was offered with the EXPRESS, STATED intention of "giving America a kick in the leg", Jimmy.

Bullwinkle, I love those na... (Below threshold)

Bullwinkle, I love those names. Iain M Banks is a British SF writer who writes about 'the Culture,' which is an anarchist utopia (Mr. Banks is himself a raving leftist/marxist loonie, but he writes well enough.) The ships in the Culture have names like:
Frank Exchange of Views, Attitude Adjuster, It's Character Forming, Reasonable Excuse, Kiss My Ass, Of Course I Still Love You, So Much For Subtlety, Big Sexy Beast, What Are The Civilian Applications?, and my favorite -- Funny, It Worked Last Time.

S9:Toxic meme? Me... (Below threshold)


Toxic meme? Meme's by their definition are neutral. What if there is some validity to this meme? Then is it then toxic? Or is it a fair meme?

And though I appreciate you stepping in, metaphorically speaking, and taking on the role of the adult surrounding by pampered children, I would prefer to learn for myself whether those I'm surrounded by are pampered or enlightened.

If you are a responsible parent, you'd wish to point the way to what is the truth, and not simply have me or others accept your version of the truth by force of will, or by the force of you simply saying it. And you'd also let us pampered children learn by our errors and misguided ways to evolve into a more enlightened individual, such as yourself.

And I'll start here, under your steady guidance, by incorporating into my lexicon the use of the term "wanker" as a proper means of acting like an adult.

Now, I just need an opportunity to use the word. I just can seem to think of it yet. Perhaps I need to ruminate a bit, do some growing up, then maybe I'll find the target of my new word.


Naming a submarine after... (Below threshold)

Naming a submarine after him strikes me as an eminently honorable and decent thing to do.

And when those NK nuclear missles hit the west coast and I'm vaporized, I'll be thinking of you, Jay.

Jay:In my neck of ... (Below threshold)


In my neck of the woods, NOAA has a command group (civilian and military), and two of their hurricane tracker planes are named "Miss Piggy" and "Kermit." The name and the cartoon figure adorn the front of the plane, along with the dozens or even hundreds of hurricanes they've hunted.

Thinking of this gave me some sort of strange image of the next major Navy ship to be named after our Messiah and ex-president, who commanded the ship of State through four of the finest years in our nation's history, James Earl Carter, could be called "The Jimmy," along with a cartoon drawing of a rabbit being bashed upside the head with an oar.

Just a thought.

Thanks for a wonderful post. Those British ship names are a joy to read. Thanks so much for sharing.

Best regards,


S9:I'm starting to... (Below threshold)


I'm starting to think that this toxic meme of yours is beginning to look more and more to be grounded in truth, and therefore I deny your characterization of the charge Spoons made, and will aver now that his description is rather accurate in many cases.

In aggregate, of course, a generalization of any kind is never fair; but, after reading Spoons post again, he wasn't generalizing at all. He was as specific as one could get. Therefore, you found a meme where one wasn't placed. You inferred a generalized assault where none was written.

So not only is your charicterization of Spoons' post as perpetuating a toxic meme simply ungrounded, since it is nowhere to be found in his specific post, you've also not even spent a lick of time defending the assertion that you inferred from Spoons to be false or toxic.

You simply tried to talk down to one person in particular, then a wider group at large, and offered up no argument for why this generalization that you'd found lacked veracity.

It would seem to me that you are the child and Spoons was the adult.

Perforce, you are, in my mind, the wanker. And since the word "wanker" is a negative description of a masturbator, I think you have done just that, mentally speaking.

Thanks for your fine parenting skills. You've enlightened me.

Kind regards,


I wonder what the sailors a... (Below threshold)

I wonder what the sailors aboard U.S.S. Jimmy Carter will call their boat? "The Rabbit Habitat" might get a few votes among the more literate crewpersons.

Just as a matter of accura... (Below threshold)

Just as a matter of accuracy, Mr. Carter never commanded a submarine. He did serve on them.
There is some speculation that Mr. Carter's near-enemity for Israel comes from the fact that Adm. Rickover, a Jew, rejected him for command of a sub.
It's somewhat telling of the esteem in which Mr. Carter is held by the Navy that the sub named after him is simply called by it's hull number by the sailors and officers.

Jay, you're a warmongering ... (Below threshold)

Jay, you're a warmongering fascist. Also, insensitive.

Once again, the conservativ... (Below threshold)

Once again, the conservatives are completely divorced from reality. It's so hysterical to read some of these comments denouncing Carter, and yet we have a current sitting President who dodged his national guard duty and never served a day in the actual military. Wow, that seems like a honorable guy. Cheney had 4 (or was it 5?) deferrments from the Vietnam War, and you wackos have the audacity to criticize Carter for serving honorably and then having a sub named after him. I think it's fantastic. I think Carter is one of the best Ex Presidents we've had. Ya, his term in office was shitty, but who cares, he has made himself a great statesman, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and is not afraid to speak his mind when the Fuhrer Bush takes this country on the downward spiral that we are currently on. Carter rocks, and I think it's hysterical that all your panties are in a bunch because the Navy decided to name a sub after him. Too bad...do you think your whining and crying about it is going to change a damm thing? Go cry in a corner if you think it's so horrible.

Once again, the conservativ... (Below threshold)

Once again, the conservatives are completely divorced from reality. It's so hysterical to read some of these comments denouncing Carter, and yet we have a current sitting President who dodged his national guard duty and never served a day in the actual military. Wow, that seems like a honorable guy. Cheney had 4 (or was it 5?) deferrments from the Vietnam War, and you wackos have the audacity to criticize Carter for serving honorably and then having a sub named after him. I think it's fantastic. I think Carter is one of the best Ex Presidents we've had. Ya, his term in office was shitty, but who cares, he has made himself a great statesman, won the Nobel Peace Prize, and is not afraid to speak his mind when the Fuhrer Bush takes this country on the downward spiral that we are currently on. Carter rocks, and I think it's hysterical that all your panties are in a bunch because the Navy decided to name a sub after him. Too bad...do you think your whining and crying about it is going to change a damm thing? Go cry in a corner if you think it's so horrible.

Very interesting Jay... </p... (Below threshold)

Very interesting Jay...

I never nave gave boat naming much thought... I'm an airplane dude.

If Reagan has what he's had... (Below threshold)
Zell Miller Repub:

If Reagan has what he's had named after him, Carter deserves a sub.

Dave P, If I may repeat your post......Anyone who wants to defend Jimmy Carter should go to where the World Trade Centers USED TO BE and witness the ultimate result of Carter's Presidential policies.

I submit that instead you go to Crawford, Texas and look at the woodpile that Bush cut during his extended vactation in July/Aug 2001 and say to yourself, if not for that the FBI the CIA would have been on code red and odds are 9-11 prevented. Bush was cutting wood instead of doing the job of President. That's why we had 9-11....not Jimmy Carter, not Bush 41, not Clinton. The buck stops with the man in the office and the blame lies in what was his inability to grasp the significance of the Al-Qauida problem.



( A Zell Miller Repub)

Oh The Bull:Thanks... (Below threshold)

Oh The Bull:

Thanks for adding the force of your adult-level opinions to that of S9's for the benefit of educating all of us pampered children here.

You've really gotten to the heart of the matter, haven't you. You see right through the clutter that us children have spawned, and sliced through with your penetrating wisdom. You see hand-wringing, complaining and lamenting that your hero has had a piece of military hardware named after him.

What in the world are you reading here? I've seen humor, sarcasm and frustration over the fact that Carter got his name on something that's designed to be used to make war. But I don't see anyone divorced from reality, or whatever else you've seen.

I do see one thing though, and it's rather odd: Why in the Almighty's name would you want your man of peace to have his name on a weapon of war? If you really do believe those things about Carter, then you should be the first person upset about this singular fact, not excited about it.

The very reason you love Carter is why we here find it unfitting for him to have his name on such a weapon of war. You're entire argument (if I could call it that; I'm being generous here) is a house of cards.

But as I said, thanks for teaching me how enlightened souls like yourself think.


Maybe you should check the ... (Below threshold)

Maybe you should check the ship lists.


It doesn't have a nuclear reactor, but it carries ~2000 Marines - good enough for you?

KCTrio,How funny, ... (Below threshold)


How funny, you've completely misrepresented my point, and missed the entire point ALL IN ONE FELL SWOOP... it's all so shocking.

Because he won the Nobel Peace Prize he shouldnt have a peice of millitary hardware named after him? Is that what I said, or is that what YOU said...maybe you need to check back again. This is hysterical. He's an Ex President, and whether you like him or not, he SERVED HONORABLY (as opposed to the current occupant of the White House) that was my only point.

Thomas:How can you... (Below threshold)


How can you deny the continuum that Dave P postulates? Reagan immediately saw the problems inherent in letting the Shah hang on the vine and letting the government be taken over by thugs and terrorists. He hammered on this constantly during his radio addresses, which he himself wrote and broadcasted.

How can you assert that there is no connection between that initial turning point in history and our 9-11? You seem to be satisfied to draw the line of causation at a moment in history that serves your purposes, without offering any argument against the claim.

For us to find the cause of 9-11, we must ask ourselves how extremists in the Middle East became so emboldened to do such a thing. And we must search for root causes. Carter doing nothing, then Clinton doing little led to 9-11. So did the murder of Robert Kennedy, for that matter. But I wouldn't say the major tipping point took place until 1979 and the Islamic revolution in Iran.

You make no statement as to why the above is wrong and yours is right, other than simply saying Bush was out chopping wood instead of doing his job. Nonsense. Everyone screwed up. Bush inherited the state of the world and the unrequited acts of war that were continuously perpetrated by enemies of the United States, from the Iran Hostage Crisis, to the Cole, to the bombings of our embassies in Africa, to turning down the offer of the capture of Bin Laden while Clinton was in office to the present day.

For you to simply ignore Carter's role in the rise of Islamofascism does nothing in terms of negating the veridical nature of Dave P's statement.

My Dear Mr. Bill:I... (Below threshold)

My Dear Mr. Bill:

I did read your post, and I responded. If you read my posts, you'll find that I stated more than once that Carter deserved the honor. Period. I even said that he served honorably.

I attacked the more general character of your post, and I think my assessment of it was fair. If I'm wrong on this matter, then tell me why you've lugged into this discussion W's service or his having served honorably or not? False dilemma logic failure.

Sorry to have shocked you, in one fell swoop,


I shipped to Okinawa on the... (Below threshold)

I shipped to Okinawa on the Barrett, named after an Army General. Really never thought about ship names. Neat post. I was too young and too sea sick at the time to appreciate it.
thanks for the post. Bought back some memories.

Had time to think about you... (Below threshold)

Had time to think about your post a little and get out of memory lane. I certainly don't possess the passionate conviction of spoons in this matter. You are right of course President Carter was an honorable man and a former submarine commander. It's not that it's wrong to name a submarine after him but an "attack sumarine"? Fromer President Carter's whole aurora is one of good samaritan and quite franlky almost pacifist.
"Attack submarines" should be named stuff like "Hammer of G-d" or "Knock Knock". Even "All your stuff are belong to me". I'm getting dumb because I'm up too late but laid back and easy going is not the attitude of a fleet attack boat.

You know how in cartoons of... (Below threshold)

You know how in cartoons of submarines they have big teeth painted on them? That's why they named it Carter.

Miguel,You made me... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:


You made me go back and re-read my posting, because I thought I remembered listing the name "Wasp" as available for use and then correcting myself, changing it to "Hornet."

"I'd also like to see carriers named Yorktown or Wasp, but those names are currently borne by a cruiser and an amphibious assault ship respectively. In fact, the first seven ships of the Wasp class are all named for World War II aircraft carriers."

Yeah, I had fixed it. The first 7 Wasp class LHD ships are Wasp, Essex, Kearsarge, Boxer, Bataan, Bonhomme Richard, and Iwo Jima, all names borne by Essex-Class carriers (save Bataan, which was an Independence-class light carrier).

Of course, I wasn't thinking of the Essex-class Wasp, CV-18, but the first carrier Wasp, CV-7, lost at Guadalcanal.

I was impressed by how the end of 1942, the Japanese had sunk five of our first 8 aircraft carriers ever built (Langley, Lexington, Yorktown, Hornet, and Wasp), and we soon had new carriers bearing those honored names back in the fight.


Sir, A great piece... (Below threshold)


A great piece on the perfidious Mr. Carter over at Powerline. For years, I liked Saint Jimmy, felt he was a good man but inept president. Read the book. It'll be an eye opener for you.


You recall the smirk from t... (Below threshold)

You recall the smirk from the left as Carter got the Nobel award to take a whack at Bush.

Somehow, I can't help think that many at the Pentagon are smiling today at the thought of an attack sub named Carter.

same same.

"Hornet" is presently being... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

"Hornet" is presently being used as the name for the carrier-based F-18 fighter, so I'd argue that's memorialized as well.

I never did like the names ... (Below threshold)

I never did like the names of the carriers John C Stennis and Carl Vinson. They just seemed too political. Of course, the whole shipnaming thing has IMHO gone down the tank, probably starting with the Forrestal. It used to be as you said; that you knew what a ship was by its name, and maybe you still can, but its changed too many times for me to keep up.
The other tradition that has gone bye-bye is that once upon a time in order to have a ship named after you, you had to be dead. Now there's a thought . . . .

KC Trio says .....How can y... (Below threshold)
Zell Miller Republican:

KC Trio says .....How can you assert that there is no connection between that initial turning point in history and our 9-11? You seem to be satisfied to draw the line of causation at a moment in history that serves your purposes, without offering any argument against the claim.

Are you a tort attorney, because that is exactly how they postulate an event. They rationalize that accountability for any event is due to a chained cause and effect (until it reaches deep pockets). Instead of focusing on the immediate cause and effect, i.e. John was drunk and ran over Joe Blow. They will postulate that it really wasn't John's fault. It was because GM didn't have drunk driving interlocks, because the bar tender didn't recognize the problem, because the state didn't have a satisfactory cross walk, and because the beer tasted too good. You get the idea.

I'm a strong believer in personal accountability. Obviously the terrorists were immediately responsible for 9-11. That said, Bush as President had a constitutional responsibility to prevent such an event and he was negligent. He fiddled while he should have been vigilant.

Sorry for diverging from the immediate thread.

Zell Miller Republican:... (Below threshold)

Zell Miller Republican:

No, I am not an attorney. The analogy between a car accident and historical persepctive is not appropriate here.

Whether you read history, are a student of Hegel, or simply apply common sense to the question, you cannot simply look at 9-11 at look for direct causation. One must always look at significant turning points in our history (like 9-11) and look for things that may have led to that event. Of course, picking a line in the chain of history (I would aver that it's more organic and less linear, as I may have implied in my previous post) is always difficult. But to ignore history's unfolding over years and decades does an injustice as to why this event happened.

One only need to read the 9-11 Commision's Report to find just this same reasoning. Remember after the event, everyone was saying "Connect the dots?" Well, that's what they were talking about.

Your assertion that Bush should have been minding the office instead of wandering about ignoring things is simply not a fair attack. I am willing to grant you that there is some truth in what you say. But to the full hilt of your statement, that Bush bears near complete responsiblity, is simply too much.

Using your logic, you could blame FDR for Pearl Harbor. Doesn't work. You could blame Neville Chamberlain. That doesn't work. Studying any of these turning point events forces everyone, you and I and all responsible Americans to demand answers from our leaders, and then demand solutions from them.

I think that Bush has lived up to both of those demands. But saying the buck stops with him and that is the sum total of your thoughts on the matter is unfair to the President and unfair to those that have taken the time to answer these questions and struggled to offer solutions.

Why don't you blaim Richard Clarke? Wasn't he the self-proclaimed voice of reason surrounded by idiots? Well, his accusations have proven false. Not only that, I'd aver that there's plenty of blame to go around. And Bush should receive a bit of that blame.

But, ultimately, when a devastating event like 9-11 takes place, people usually want to know why it happened and then how to fix it. To simply find one big scapegoat defeats that purpose, but it might make you feel good in doing so.

I don't mind yourr commments. I've enjoyed them; I just don't agree with you.

Best regards,


Why don't you blame Richard... (Below threshold)

Why don't you blame Richard Clarke? Richard Clarke resigned because he couldn't get the administration to pay attention to Al Queida, and asked NUMEROUS times (as has come out recently in a declassified memo from him to Rice) for a principals meeting about the possibility of attacks. No, I blame Bush directly for 911, for allowing it to happen, for looking the other way, and reading a story about a goat on that day. The man is an idiot, and should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Mr. Bill:I know yo... (Below threshold)

Mr. Bill:

I know you loathe our president, and therefore you'd find comfort in Mr. Clark. But if he was so smart and everyone else was so dumb, then should not he bear a little blame for not successfully enlightening those around him? When one has such deep knowledge as he, the onus is on him and him alone (as he has said over and over again) to convince others. Otherwise, he's not using his information to aid others.

Richard Clark has been discredited by so many people I needn't go through that here. Suffice it to say that I think if you look at his motive of writing a book, coupled with his ersatz tears before the 9-11 Commission, you'd have to at least suspect the guy's a nihilist.
Best regards,


No, I disagree that he's be... (Below threshold)

No, I disagree that he's been discredited. He worked for Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II, do you think that those Presidents thought he was as inept as you do, or do you think that because he wrote a book he's discredited? I actually met him once at his book signing and he explained that this Iraq war (which basically has been proven now, because there was no threat, and no WMD) was tantamount to the United States attacking Mexico after the Pearl Harbor attack. The CIA has come out and said this war was inane and now Iraq is more of a terrorist nation than BEFORE the war..so I'm not sure where you come up with Clarke being discredited, when he was the one fighting AGAINST the war in Iraq, and fighting FOR the dismanteling of AL Quieda since 2000.

>which basically has been p... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

>which basically has been proven now, because there was no threat, and no WMD) was tantamount to the United States attacking Mexico after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Actually, we attacked a French colony.

I don't know whether to be more appalled at your ignorance or his.

Sure, claim that I'm ignora... (Below threshold)

Sure, claim that I'm ignorant, but go ahead and try and claim that Richard Clarke, the counterterroism expert that worked for many of your conservative Presidents is 'ignorant', that argument has basis in reality...no really, keep on telling yourself that. Once again, you're divorced from reality.

Well, if Richard Clarke thi... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

Well, if Richard Clarke thinks we didn't invade Africa in World War II, I guess it never happened. I mean, he's so clever and stuff.

Mr. Nowak:Are you ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Nowak:

Are you referring to Clark's ignorance in the "or his" portion of Mr. Bill's post, or mine? Just asking.

Mr. Bill:

Yes, one must be suspicious of Clark. Any time a man labels himself, by his declaration, a one-man think-tank surrounded by buffoons, one is forced to question the man's motives. This is axiomatic.

But it does not suffice to discredit him entirely. Here are some who have discredited Dick Clark:

1) The 9-11 Commission report itself;
2) Tommy Franks;
3) Bill Clinton;
4) Porter Goss; and,
5) The real all-knowing, our Creator.

That's just a short list. I believe number 5 above is a rather nice description of Mr. Clark, or at least who he thinks he is.

But I'm glad to hear that you met him, and actually spoke with him. That must have been a nice moment, and I'm not kidding here. It's great to get to meet with someone you look up to.

That's it for now. I think that we've made our differences clear.

Best regards,


Where in the 9/11 Commissio... (Below threshold)

Where in the 9/11 Commission report do they so called "discredit" Richard Clarke? I'd like to know ,I have a copoy of it and would like you to cite your references.

KCTrio, my apologies for be... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

KCTrio, my apologies for being unclear.

I was referring to OhTheBill's apparent ignorance.

The United States' first major ground actions in World War II were directed against French troops in Africa. I am astonished that anyone could try to use the Allied strategy in the Second World War to argue that counterattacks must only be made against direct aggressors, and amused that others would actually think this was an insightful comment worth repeating.

You're missing the entire p... (Below threshold)

You're missing the entire point John N., Clarke's point was that not only did it make no sense to attack Iraq after 9/11, but it had nothing to do with ANYTHING associated with Al Quieda, or Bin Laden.

"Jay, you're a warmonger... (Below threshold)

"Jay, you're a warmongering fascist. Also, insensitive."

If your going to call someone a fascist, tacking on insensitive is pointless. Why not call him ugly while you're at it?

As a former (enlisted) Navy nuke myself, I'd prefer they name a tender or oiler or some other non-combatant ship after him. That would seem to be more fitting.

My Dear Oh No Its Mr. Bill:... (Below threshold)

My Dear Oh No Its Mr. Bill:

As you probably well know, this is a nice little trick you're using to somehow show your greatness. Citing page numbers and the like is a ridiculous request and you know it.

Suppose you and I were to discuss Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, and take certain quotes out of context, and that be what underpins our discussion? That'd be crazy and you know it.

I'll offer up one reference, since when I read the book I didn't keep copious notes preparing to write a thesis. When one debates a subject like this, one must provide an argument that Clark made in his testimony, and then show an argument made in the report that discredits the point made by Clark. Here's the example:

Clark argued that the best way to thwart 9/11 was to have more meetings. He said that this approach is what thwarted the LAX millennium bombing. Wrong. An alert, female customs agent did this.

If you want page numbers, I'll try to find them. But I haven't time for that now. If you've ever had to write an essay that critiques a body of work as massive as the commission's report, you wouldn't do it by simply citing page references. Those page references would merely be used as a subtext (in the form of footnotes) to your broader case.


Somehow I'm not suprised th... (Below threshold)

Somehow I'm not suprised that you can't substantiate your claims with facts or references in the 9/11 report that YOU yourself brought up as evidence of him being discredited. Leave it to republicans to claim something and then say "i dont have time" to back it up with facts, but believe me anyway because I really REALLY know it to be true. Good going!

>You're missing the entire ... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

>You're missing the entire point John N., Clarke's point was that not only did it make no sense to attack Iraq after 9/11, but it had nothing to do with ANYTHING associated with Al Quieda, or Bin Laden.

1) It is a shame that Bush didn't chose to call the War on Al Queida "The War on Terror," because that would make the objective of the war more clear, except to people who willfully misunderstand things.

2) Are you now claiming that French colonists in Algeria bombed Pearl Harbor? And if not, exactly how did the French colony of Algeria participate in the attack?

Where have I said anything ... (Below threshold)

Where have I said anything about french colonists? LOL, the only reference to WWII that Ive made was Richard Clarkes analogy that this current Iraq war can be compared to America (as a result of the attack on pearl harbor) attacking Mexico. His point, and it's hysterical that i have to point this out, was that Iraq had 1. nothing to do with 9/11, 2. nothing to do with Al Quieda, and nothing to do with Bin Laden. MUCH LIKE ATTACKING MEXICO WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH PEARL HARBOR.

Mr. Bill:Did your ... (Below threshold)

Mr. Bill:

Did your read what I wrote? Did you respond to a single thing that I stated. Where's your counter-argument?

I stated that citing page references is not how one goes about the exercise of making a case for or against a given point. Page

references are simply footnotes.

Of course, you either don't understand this, believe it but choose to ignore it, or don't believe it but don't argue why I'm wrong

about citing page numbers.

I gave you evidence. I gave you specifics. Now be a gentleman and respect that. I'll not fall prey to your self-sealing trap of

an argument that since I refuse to go through finding page numbers then I must be wrong.

Engage or desist.


Wow how did this thread get... (Below threshold)

Wow how did this thread get so out there? Thank you fior the nice post on Mr. Carter. All this being said I actually served in the Navy while Mr. carter was the president, the military brass did not like his policies but in 1976-1980 when I was in there were a lot of Vietnam era leftovers who were given the choice of jail or join, military-wise he didn't have the best and brightest voulenteers as we do now. So under him as commander in chief I don't have much outside perspective. I don't feel he was a great president either, but he was somewhat responsible for the Trident submarine program during that time, which was a mega nuclear boomer submarine that had a mission of maintaining cold war peace. That would give Mr. carter some credability of having a submarine named after him. I think everything else here is for another day.

I gave you evidence. I g... (Below threshold)

I gave you evidence. I gave you specifics. Now be a gentleman and respect that. I'll not fall prey to your self-sealing trap of

You gave no such thing. You gave a list of people who have supposedly "discredited" Clarke. You gave no links, no quotes, no direction at all as to where someone might find these discreditings (except the 911 Commission report, which you refuse to elaborate on). I looked around a bit, and all I could find was a Powerline entry whose sole contradiction with Clarke's assertions was that Rice said she had no evidence that his meeting with Bush took place. The rest talked about how Clarke failed to stop terrorism under Clinton.
By the way you're not writing an essay critiquing the Commission report; you made an assertion. Back it up.

>MUCH LIKE ATTACKING MEXICO... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:


It's obvious you still think this is a clever analogy, when in fact, it betrays a hilarious ignorance of actual history. In fact, I'm starting to suspect you're a kid -- I doubt that a grownup could be quite this incomprehending.

Did we make a French colony our first major target in World War II?

Did the French attack Pearl Harbor?

Mantis:In my origi... (Below threshold)


In my original e-mail, I gave a list. In my follow-up e-mail, I gave a specific example. Either you've merged these two separate posts into one entity, or you've neglected what I said regarding the LAX millennium bombing. That's specific. Perhaps not as specific as page references, bur as I stated before, I gave an example.

Here's another: Tommy Franks spoke viscerally about Richard Clarke, and debunked the guy thoroughly.

That's enough for now.

Best regards,


Hey Bill, John is right abo... (Below threshold)

Hey Bill, John is right about this. Look up Operation Torch and you will see that the first people we fought in WWII were in fact the French in Algeria. We needed the area to launch a second front in North Africa. The analogy could easily be carried to the WOT, with Iraq being our staging point for further battles in same. Whether you agree with this strategy or not is a moot point; the similarities are there. And yes, Iraq did not attack us on 911, but Bush didn't declare a war on Al Qaeda, he declared a war on terror, just as we didn't declare war on just Japan, but on all the Axis powers.

KCTRIO,you gave no... (Below threshold)


you gave no information, you gave no credible information regarding the 9/11 commission report, I'll repeat the question?

Where exactly in the 9/11 report does the report "discredit" Richard Clarke?

If you make a claim, I agree with mantis, you really should back it up with facts. Or, if you can't ADMIT that you can't and lets move on to the next point.

Nicely put, Mantis, and smo... (Below threshold)
John Nowak:

Nicely put, Mantis, and smoother writing than I'm capable of.

Of course, if you want tot be hyper-picky, the first aggressive order given in WWII by the White House were actually naval; the US Navy patrolled an exclusion zone in the Atlantic and attacked U-Boats well before the US entered the war. And the first White House level directive seems to have been "Execute unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan."

But yeah, the first ground force invasion of land that was taken and held was on the opposite side of the planet from the people who attacked Pearl Harbor.

Regarding Clark, I think the most damning bit against him were press releases his office produced before 9-11: clearly, his primary concern was organized attacks on the Internet. This is not at all stupid, except with the benefit of hindsight he could not possibly have had. But it absolutely does not fit in with his post-facto Cassandra fantasies.

KCT,Ok, I will grant... (Below threshold)

Ok, I will grant you that Clarke was taking credit for something that he shouldn't have in the millenium bombing capture, however this hardly discredits him.

Here's another: Tommy Franks spoke viscerally about Richard Clarke, and debunked the guy thoroughly.

Looked around a bit in TF's book, and the only real dispute I can see, other than he thinks Clarke is pompous and generally doesn't like him because he's a civilian, is that Clarke never sent him a piece of actionable intelligence. Don't know if that's true, but if it is it jibes with Clarke's story which is that he couldn't get resources or attention paid to the Al Qaeda threat. So basically he asserted the threat was real and out there, but didn't have any specific places for Franks to bomb apparently (I certainly doubt that is true, since we knew where the Afghanistan camps were.) He needed more resources and yes, meetings. But the problem Clarke states is he couldn't get the principles interested, all his meetings were with lower level functionaries and the threat was basically brushed off as unimportant. Now I don't necessarily believe everything Clarke says as the whole intelligence game is pretty muddy for us regular Joes, but I still don't think he's been discredited.
Btw you still offer no links, quotes, or direct evidence of any kind.

Didn't Yasser Win the Nobel... (Below threshold)

Didn't Yasser Win the Nobel Peace Prize as well? I don't believe I would use that accomplishment on Carter's resume.

Mantis:You still w... (Below threshold)


You still want links, quotes, page references. As I stated, I am not in the business of writing treatises about Richard Clark or the 9/11 commission report. I am in the business of assessing people's honesty, and the core conclusions contained in the 9/11 commission report, as well as the overall thrust of the narrative of said report.

Here's what I will summarize in response to Richard Clark's importance:

You and others have hung your hat on Clark. I and many others say Clark has been discredited on a number of levels. These are:

1) Taking credit for something he had nothing to do with;
2) The very loadstone of his argument to the 9/11 commission was that there needed to be more meetings, and that this process worked in the millenium bombing. He said that's what was needed to avoid 9/11 from happening, and nobody listened. So, he gave a false example to buttress his central argument;
3) Anyone who writes a book entitled "Against All Enemies," and proclaims themselves as the sole bearer of truth surrounded by idiots is suspect to their core. He's vainglorious, self-centered, and has delusions of grandeur. That's a very lethal criticism of his motives, and you must address this.
4) Franks on mulitple occasions implied, in his gentlemanly way, that Clark didn't provide him with anything of much value.

If Clark is your hero, and I say that he's not as important as he says he is, and has been discredited, and also has baser motives, then the burden is upon you to show us why the weight of his statements and the veracity thereof is greater than the totality of the others that he worked amongst.

You ask me to provide specifics about why Clark is not credible? I say to you, tell me why he's right and everyone else is wrong. It would seem to me that if you claim he's so great, then provide me with evidence that his claims are true.

Best regards,


Mr. Bill: It must be nice t... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Mr. Bill: It must be nice to live in the bubble that you live in. Obviously nothing is ever going to convince you that Richard Clarke has been utterly, throughly, discredited. He was a civil servant for most of his time at the CIA and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm fairly sure there has never been a President who was personally familiar with every single person employed by the federal government during his presidency.

If you want to continue embarassing yourself by continuing to beat the Richard Clarke drum, you just go right ahead. We'll just watch as your already very tenuous connection with reality slips away entirely. Now, for some other matters:

You have, like Eason Jordon recently, made a very serious charge (that Bush was AWOL during his Guard stint) for which you have provided no evidence whatsoever.

Prove it.

You have accused the Vice President of draft dodging during Vietnam.

Prove it.

I've got $100 that says you can't. Real money. Seriously. If you can, I will forward the money to Jay and have him send it to you. So give it your best shot.

Or just keep showing us how proud you are of your ignorance. But not on my nickel.

Links for Richard Clark Lic... (Below threshold) ... (Below threshold)

try">http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Politicians/DickCheney_VN_Hypocrisy.html">try here it's WIDELY known that Cheney had 5 deferrments for the Vietnam war, he's WIDELY quoted as saying that he had "other priorities" in that era. Call me names all you want, it's hysterical that you people have to resort to name calling in order to NOT prove your point. but the problem trio, is that you need to have two people in on your wager, and I dont belive that you have that now do you?

Between 1963 and '65, Cheney used his student status at Casper College and the University of Wyoming to apply for and receive four 2-S draft deferments. As the war in Vietnam heated up, Cheney fought to defend and expand his deferments. Twenty-two days after Congress approved the Gulf of Tonkin resolution in August 1964, raising the prospect of a rapid expansion of the draft, he "coincidentally"-in the words of a Washington Post profile-married Lynne. The advantage was that even if his student deferment was lifted, his married status might carry some weight with his draft board.
But the Vietnamese were not cooperating with Cheney's schemes. The war kept demanding more and more young American men, and the range of those who were eligible for the draft expanded rapidly. On May 19, 1965, Cheney was reclassified with the most dangerous draft status: 1-A, "available for military service." Soon afterward, Lyndon Johnson announced that draft call-ups would double, and on October 26, Selective Service constraints on the drafting of childless married men were lifted. Danang was calling. And it didn't look like Dick had any excuses left.
But there was one way for ambitious young men to avoid serving their country while maintaining their political viability. If Cheney had a child, he'd be reclassified 3-A, removing him from the pool of those likely to be drafted. Cheney needed a kid-quick. And he got one. Precisely nine months and two days after the Selective Service eliminated special protections for childless married men, Cheney was no longer childless. His daughter Elizabeth was born on July 28, 1966. Convenient? Coincidence? That's not Cheney's style. Writer Timothy Noah did the math and suggested that the timing of Elizabeth's arrival "would seem to indicate that the Cheneys, though doubtless planning to have children sometime, were seized with an untamable passion the moment Dick Cheney became vulnerable to the Vietnam draft. And acted on it. Carpe diem! Who says government policy can't affect human behavior?" Cheney applied for 3-A status immediately, receiving it on January l9, 1966, when Lynne was still in the first trimester of her pregnancy.

sorry, i wrongly referred t... (Below threshold)

sorry, i wrongly referred to trio, when it was cousin dave

Oh Mr. Bill:No pro... (Below threshold)

Oh Mr. Bill:

No problem. I don't mind. Spirited debate is fair, as long as it doesn't devolve into virulent language and insults alone (this stuff might be tolerable if coupled with sound argument, but I digress).

I never cared one way or the other whether Cheney dodged the draft or not. Since when is prior military experience a big factor in one being a President or a Vice-President of the US?

Lincoln, whom many regard as the best we've ever had, had served as a Captain in the Blackhawk wars but never saw any active combat. And, during his 2-year tenure in the Congress, he opposed the Mexican war as unconstitutional along with most of the Whigs. But he did vote for providing troops with arms, medicine and uniforms every time.

Folks back in Sagamo County, Illinois were furious with Lincoln's stance on the war. And, the guy who followed Lincoln in Congress (he made a deal with his fellow Whigs, 3 I believe, that they'd each serve one term) voted against such legislation. Lincoln got smeared pretty heavily because Douglas was spreading rumors that it was Lincoln who'd voted against legislation that provided troops with these things.

Why do you care if Cheney dodged the draft? Why should you care? If you liked Clinton, then you should be happy that Cheney did the same thing.

Now, you might aver that it's important because Cheney is such a hawk. But this is a false dilemma logic flaw, and has nothing to do with the temperature of spit in China. Clinton authorized the use of troops while in office, and people died under his Presidency, so it's a red herring.

Best regards,


I'll repeat the question.</... (Below threshold)

I'll repeat the question.

Where in the 9/11 report (not the sources you've cited) does it discredit Richard Clarke?

Either you can cite some references that YOU HAVE used, or your argument is totally invalid. You still haven't proved anything re: the 9/11 commission report.

Here's an interessting twis... (Below threshold)

Here's an interessting twist on things: Richard Clark doesn't seem to like the 9/11 commission report:


Slade Gorton doesn't think Richard Clark was as all-knowing as you seem to think:


Clark's leaked to an Arab Government that the Clinton administration was going to attack Bin Laden's camp:


From the 9/11 Report:

Even after bin Laden’s departure from the area, CIA officers hoped he might return, seeing the camp as a magnet that could draw him for as long as it was still set up. The military maintained readiness for another strike opportunity. On March 7, 1999, Clarke called a UAE official to express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden. Clarke later wrote in a memorandum of this conversation that the call had been approved at an interagency meeting and cleared with the CIA. When the former bin Laden unit chief found out about Clarke’s call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such clearance. Imagery confirmed that less than a week after Clarke’s phone call the camp was hurriedly dismantled, and the site was deserted. CIA officers, including Deputy Director for Operations Pavitt, were irate. ‘Mike’ thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting bin Laden.

Here's a nice article:


Clark says that there's no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Period. None. From the report:

Page 66:

“In March 1998, after Bin Ladin’s public fatwa against the United States, two al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraq intelligence. In July, an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet first with the Taliban and then with Bin Ladin. Sources reported that one, or perhaps both of these meetings was apparently arranged through Bin Ladin’s Egyptian deputy, Zawahiri, who had ties of his own to the Iraqis.”

Page 66:

“According to the reporting, Iraqi officials offered Bin Ladin a safe haven in Iraq. Bin Ladin declined, apparently judging that his circumstances in Afghanistan remained more favorable than the Iraqi alternative. The reports describe friendly contacts and indicate some common themes in both sides’ hatred of the United States.”

Page 128:

On November 4, 1998, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah. The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had “reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.” This passage led (Richard) Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was “probably a direct result of the Iraq-Al Qaida agreement” Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the “exact formula used by Iraq”.

That's a bit for now; I believe that this gets at some of the underlying accusations I was making. The 9/11 Report discredits Clark's own claims, both specifically and in general.


Nice try, Bill, but no cook... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Nice try, Bill, but no cookie. Although Cheney isn't as old as I thought he was, he was 23 years old in 1964, the year that LBJ (a Democrat, cough, cough) broadened the war and the draft got going in earnest. That was already at the outer fringe of the draft age. By 1970, he was 29 and way past draft age.

Furthermore, I loved that bit in the article you cited about how he "conveniently" married Lynne and had a child, and about he "opposed the draft for the wrong reasons". I love it when deranged liberals appoint themselves the arbiters for the whole human race of who is allowed to marry and have children, and who is entitled to break the law and who isn't. Sorry, no payout on this spin.

But thanks for playing.

Furthermore, I loved tha... (Below threshold)
Gannon Who?:

Furthermore, I loved that bit in the article you cited about how he "conveniently" married Lynne and had a child, and about he "opposed the draft for the wrong reasons".

Even sunk so low as to "count backwards" like an old biddy.

Actually, JayTea, as a nava... (Below threshold)

Actually, JayTea, as a naval historian, I have to disagree with you vis-a-vis the Royal Navy ship names compared to historical American warship names. The USN scheme actually makes sense, so you know what kind of ship you're dealing with, whereas with the Brits, you can be all over the map, especially given their propensity for using the same name for different periods to "carry on a tradition". Most disturbing. Look up HMS Orion or even King George V and you'll see what I mean.

Also, their names can seem a bit...well, silly. HMS Opossum? How about Flamingo, or Fennel or Marjoram? I mean, how embarrasing is it to be sunk by a rodent, a pink tropical bird, or your mother's spice rack?

However, subs do need to go back to fish. Except for Shark.

Andrew J.

Anyone who thinks Clarke ha... (Below threshold)

Anyone who thinks Clarke has not been at least as discredited as Ritter and Lewis just has not been paying attention.

After six months of self-serving, book backing, Bush bashing invective, Mr. Clarke did himself in when answering the question: "Mr. Clarke, even if all your ideas had been adopted would 911 have been prevented?".

Mr. Clarke, in the first completely honest statement in at least six months, answered: "No."

KCT,Just to respond ... (Below threshold)

Just to respond a bit to your exaggerations about me.
You and others have hung your hat on Clark.
I've done no such thing. I just asked you to back up your assertions.
If Clark is your hero,
Clarke is not my hero.
then the burden is upon you to show us why the weight of his statements and the veracity thereof is greater than the totality of the others that he worked amongst.
Well, not really, since I made no assertions, I was simply asking you to provide some evidence of his being discredited, as I have not seen it. I never claimed it is not there, nor do I say that Clarke is right about everything he said, nor that his critics are wrong, I just asked for links.
You ask me to provide specifics about why Clark is not credible? I say to you, tell me why he's right and everyone else is wrong.
See above.
It would seem to me that if you claim he's so great, then provide me with evidence that his claims are true.
Once again, I never said he was great, and I don't feel the need to provide evidence that his claims are true, since I never asserted that they were, I just said I'm not familiar with his discrediting.

Anyway, you have supported your assertions now, and from the links you posted it does seem that Clarke has thrown around his share of bs here. I of course will have to check up on those, but I thank you for doing so. However, I would appreciate it if you wouldn't argue against things I clearly never said. And while I appreciate the use of archaic terms, I ain't no lickspittle. BTW I don't know how much of what Clarke says is true, and while I certainly intend to look into it more before I come to any conclusions, I've always thought he was kind of a pompous ass.

Mantis:You see why... (Below threshold)


You see why Powerline doesn't allow comments?

Anyway, you are correct, across-the-board. I inferred from your joining with Mr. Bill that you were of the same mindset. That was inappropriate. Please forgive my mischaracterizations of you, and for me having assumed things about you that weren't true.

As to the lickspittle comment, I didn't mention you in the particular, so on that one I'll simply say that it's a nicer way of saying ass-kisser. Would you have preferred I use "toady?" Anyway, I didn't apply the words to you specifically, but if my use of the word offended you, and you took it as me classifying you in that group of Clarke's worshipers, then again, please forgive me.

Best regards, and thanks for setting me straight on your perspective,


Here's an idea. How about ... (Below threshold)
Zell Miller Repub:

Here's an idea. How about an open face to face public debate between Richard Clark and Condi Rice on the period between the innaugaration and 9-11? I would have voted for it.

Clark comes across as sure of himself (and yes pompous) while Condi (we never thought they'd use airplanes as missiles) Rice comes across as unsure and after that statement, incompetent.

That actually is an interes... (Below threshold)

That actually is an interesting idea. Clarke has actually called for the declassification of ALL documents pertaining to 9/11 and his office, to expose Condesleeza as the liar and hypocrite that she is, but of course they've denied the request. I would be all for that debate.






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