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July 26, 2008

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kim

That is highly amusing. Dissonance clangs loudly and jangly on the left over the war.
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Barry Dauphin

Wow, those guys must have a lot of time on their hands to waste. It borders on sheer silliness and will not do Obama one bit of good. They need to stick with the new age fluff, since that's they only way Obama is gonna win.

Cecil Turner

I really love the revisionist approach to the surge. As if it was just recognizing the Dems had been right all along on troop numbers. (Or, on odd days, that it was all about forcing Iraqis to "step up" by threatening to cut off support.)

The bottom line is that the Dems never found a single approach they would support, never had a positive proposal, and that the war is being won despite their active obstruction. Whether they can spin it to their political advantage remains to be seen. But it's nothing to be proud of.

JM Hanes

Cecil:

It's not just the surge. Republicans are recognizing that Obama has been right about everything. Check out comment #3, from GSpinks.

Elliott

Part four, and links to parts one, two, and three, can be found here. Part five follows:

Fort Meade, Maryland

"No. It was 'no' when you started talking, it was 'no' halfway through, and it is still 'no'."

"But, Mr. Stone..."

"For the last time, "No!" bellowed G. Quentin Stone, whose dislike of his first name was matched only by his displeasure at being referred to by his first two initials. "I would prefer not to repeat myself, but I will," he continued. "Step 1. We reported the State Department's findings, along with our own to that point meager contribution, to ONCIX." ONCIX was the Office of the National Counter-Intelligence Executive, itself part of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It was an office with which Stone who, led the National Security Agency's counter-intelligence unit, was frequently in contact.

"Step 2.," continued Stone, "ONCIX says, 'Thank you, Stone. You boys keep up the good work'."

Stone paused and took a long look at the subordinate he was addressing. Like most people in the counter-intelligence unit, he thought highly of Kevin Haag. But Haag had to learn that rules were for the guidance of the DNI's men and the obedience of NSA employees.

"Then we come Step 3. One hour later, The Director of National Intelligence himself, with whom I had never previously spoken, calls me on the telephone and says, "Mr. Stone, your unit is to discontinue work on this matter. Report any future information relating to it, whether obtained unintentionally through your own labors or through routine liaison with other agencies to the NSA Director who is to relay it to me personally. You may also contact your agency director if you think it necessary to confirm the order I am giving you now."

Stone got out of his chair, and taking a few steps to the side, faced the wall of his office on which he had always wanted to put some kind of artwork, something agency guidelines forbade. Not turning to face Haag, he returned to his lecture.

"As to Step 4 we need to understand each other, Kevin. Step 4 is chaos. But not the darkness of having your security clearance revoked, losing your job, and being investigated by the FBI for two years. At present, I would say that is how you define it. But that is incorrect. We are after a specific and ancient philosophical sense of chaos, namely "unformed matter." I need hardly add that, as we are neither physicists nor astrophysicists, we have no interest in such matter. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes," replied Haag, looking at the floor.

"Did you tell anyone why you wanted to speak with me?"

"No."

"And, fortunately, I don't remember any of your presentation. All that will do nicely," said Stone, returning to his chair and looking at Haag once more. "Now, after this lovely chit chat of the past quarter hour, we can discuss the reason you came to see me."

Haag opened his mouth to object, but Stone made a gesture that indicated he should be silent.

"Item 1," began Stone, whose love of making lists truly was remarkable. "Your girlfriend is a dual British and American national, her parents are British nationals living in Bermuda. Item 2. You are taking a week of vacation next month and her parents have generously offered to fly both of you over there. Item 3. The offer has made you suspicious, so you have come here to discuss your vacation plans. How does that sound so far?"

Haag nodded his head to show he understood, but, had he given the signal the motor vehicle codes prescribe to signal a right hand turn, it would not have altered of a word of Stone's forthcoming instructions.

"I am happy to inform you that your girlfriend's parents have no known connection with any intelligence agency, so permission for you to visit them is granted. However, as your girlfriends parents did not offer to fly the two of you to Bermuda, your first action on returning home this evening will be the purchase of said airplane tickets. For your sake, or at least for the sake of your bank account, I hope her parents will put you up so you will not have to bear the additional cost of a hotel."

Haag was in a state of shock. Stone was not surprised by this, for he had had this effect on his staff before and undoubtedly would again. Having ushered Haag out of his office, he walked back to his desk and picked up the telephone. He wanted to see the agency director as soon as could.

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