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    November 2010
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    • The Wages Of Embarassing Elites Are Death
      Everyone remember the Panama papers? A leak of bank records showing that the ultra-rich are hiding massive wealth, tax-free and often breaking the law to do so? A rather weak set of laws designed to allow tax avoidance by rich people, at that. Found out the other day that the reporter who broke the Panama Papers story was killed by a car bomb. Coincidence, n […]
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The ship of state is the only known vessel that leaks from the top

I’m sure you’re all aware of the Wikileaks kerfluffle. The official story is that this was all the work of a 23 year-old Okie cybergeek:

Bradley Manning: The prime suspect of giving files to WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning, 23, enlisted in the US Army in 2007 and became an intelligence analyst in Iraq, sifting through classified information at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad.


As he spent his time looking through classified information for up to 14 hours a day, he is believed to have become increasingly disillusioned by US foreign policy, once describing “military intelligence” as an “oxymoron”. Manning is said to have tracked down and communicated with Adrian Lamo, a well known former computer hacker in the US, who he thought would help him get information out.

But Lamo later alerted the US authorities and provided them with a series of online exchanges between the two men.

Manning was alleged to have told Lamo that he had found “incredible, awful things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, DC”. He was also said to have boasted that he had used blank CDs to download classified information while pretending to be listening to Lady Gaga.

Manning’s clearance would have given him access to the Secret internet Protocol Router Network used by US military personnel, civilian employees and private contractors. However, investigators are trying to establish whether he had help, both from inside the military, and from civilians.

I was a nerd but not a geek. I still can’t figure out how to set the timer on my VCR. But apparently I carry the gene because my oldest son is a super-geek. When he was in junior high his hero was Kevin Mitnick. (if you don’t get the reference ask Dandy Tiger)

I was in the army though, so I do know a little about that organization. The Army does not give PFC’s the keys to the officer’s latrine unless they want the toilets cleaned.

Private First Class is the third-lowest rank there is. Most soldiers make PFC after one year in service. (When I was in some people actually started out at that rank, such as graduates of high school Junior ROTC.) If you stay out of trouble a promotion to Spec 4/E-4 is pretty much automatic after two years.

“Intelligence analyst” with a Top Secret clearance isn’t exactly a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) for high school drop-outs. The geekier your MOS, the faster you’ll make rank. A G-2 tech job is about as cushy as it gets in the Army. They stay “in the rear with the gear.”

If Manning was in the service working at Divisional G-2 for three years and is only a PFC then he’s had some troubles. It couldn’t have been anything serious enough to get him kicked out but he must have been reduced in rank due to an Article 15 at least once.

Once upon a time the Internet was like the wild west but instead of gunfighters it was ruled by hackers. Those days are long gone. Those 15 year-old hackers from 20 years ago are now highly paid 35 year-old cyber-security consultants

The idea that a PFC stationed in an overseas hot zone could not only access but download about a million documents without anyone noticing what he was doing doesn’t past the laugh test. Bradley Manning is not David Lightman and Siprnet isn’t WOPR.

To access classified government information a person needs two things – the proper clearance and the “need to know.” The government has security programs in place so that if someone tries to go exploring in cyber-places they don’t belong their activities will see off alarms.

I know this is true because I know an IRS employee who got in big trouble when he decided to take a peek at the tax returns of his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. If they have these programs for the IRS they have ’em for the military and the State Department too.

We’re not talking about somebody accidentally stumbling across a couple of documents. We’re talking about somebody spending hours and hours searching through classified archives and downloading them.

If it were that easy to do then the rest of the world would have already done it.

Why is this important? Anglachel:

This much information being released does not happen without some serious coordination and power. This wasn’t done by a few outraged whistle-blowers.

I don’t know who was behind this mess but it wasn’t somebody at the bottom of the food chain. Spys like Robert Hanssen and John Walker spent decades getting into positions of trust and they couldn’t have pulled this off.

The person or persons responsible for this are or were occupying high positions in our government. Some people suspect Dick Cheney. I’m not suggesting he had anything to do with this but he probably knows the people who did.

Last but not least, I find this piece of information offensive:

After arriving in Iraq the young soldier, who is gay, complained of feeling socially “isolated” in the military.

What does Manning’s sexual orientation have to do with anything? One of the bullshit arguments against allowing gays to serve in the military and other branches of government was that they could be blackmailed into betraying our nation by a foreign power threatening to expose them.

But that argument only works if being gay is a crime or something to be ashamed of. Throwing that information out there like that reminds me of what the Navy did to Clayton Hartwig.

99 Responses

  1. The Guardian

    The US military believes it knows where the leak originated. A soldier, Bradley Manning, 22, has been held in solitary confinement for the last seven months and is facing a court martial in the new year. The former intelligence analyst is charged with unauthorised downloads of classified material while serving on an army base outside Baghdad. He is suspected of taking copies not only of the state department archive, but also of video of an Apache helicopter crew gunning down civilians in Baghdad, and hundreds of thousands of daily war logs from military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    It was childishly easy, according to the published chatlog of a conversation Manning had with a fellow-hacker. “I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like ‘Lady Gaga’ โ€ฆ erase the music โ€ฆ then write a compressed split file. No one suspected a thing … [I] listened and lip-synched to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.” He said that he “had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months”.

    Manning told his correspondent Adrian Lamo, who subsequently denounced him to the authorities: “Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public … Everywhere there’s a US post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed. Worldwide anarchy in CSV format … It’s beautiful, and horrifying.”

  2. Joe Cannon speculates

    Most of the documents are piffle. A few will reveal important things. But somewhere in the pile will be the set of documents; their revelation serves a distinct political purpose. Those few pages are the real reason why the entire flood occurred.


    • Not sure if the reason of the flood was to hit certain people. More likely, TPTB will use it for that. I just can’t buy that Wikileaks was there to help Obama in 2012 or some trivial purpose like that.

      • I think the speculation is that, unknown to wikileaks, these docs were leaked to further a political in-fight.

        Not far-fetched considering what happened to Plame.

        • From what I’ve seen, my best current guess was that the leak came straight from Obama’s aparatchiks in an effort to embarass Bush and sabotage any pospective run by Jeb in 2012.

          Because according to what I’m hearing from the grassroots right now, Jeb could take Teh Precious despite his last name.

  3. OT – sorry but really curious. What happened to dakinikat? Thanks and again, apologies for inserting my question into comments.

    • Hi Scoutt, She moved on to her own blog, Sky Dancing

      • Thanks, Katiebird.
        Hope it was drama-free. I hate friends unfriending.

        • Me too, I am dreading the coming primary wars.

        • It was a power struggle. She lost and moved on down the road, but was given the Bukharin treatment here.

          • Always another perspective:

            People are allowed to have their own opinions, share them, discuss and take in others opinions, and decide – upon reflection to keep their own opinion.

            That doesn’t necessarily make them ill-informed, or low information, or watercarriers. Sometimes people have their own opinions based on their own life experiences… and disrespecting someone else’s opinion – whether you share or disagree – is thoughtless, insulting and divisive.

            One could always argue the merits of your own position and try to influence others – how else will you build support to get a majority of people to vote or enact meaningful measures?

            Sometimes we’re so wrapped up and invested in our own opinions, we forget how to interact with others in a respectful way. Comparing those you disagree with to the most vile ‘others’, or calling people names (bigot, racist, -whatever-phobe) shuts down the debate – that’s what those words were designed to do – someone disagrees with you, and you cannot convince them your argument/thoughts are better, call them a name – that’ll do the trick.

            I for one watched these two specific former TC bloggers (and others) do just that.

            I still respect their opinions and positions, and often they add to or change my perspective – but just because they don’t on one subject or another, does not mean my opinions should be denigrated – disregarded maybe, on a personal level – but not publicly derided.

            This site takes on tough, difficult issues – it is not for the faint of heart… but that doesn’t mean we name call each other or cannot recognize when someone else has a position they feel passionately about – and maybe just leave it at that.

          • Replying to Jeffhas:

            It would be nice if people would actually say what really happened instead of talking in riddles about it.

            Not that it’s any of my business to know what happened, just would be nice not to hear the riddled version either maybe?

          • About once a year there is a blow up of “they said that and you shouldn’t let them. how can you possibly have that opinion…MOM! you better ban them”. This has happened before and no doubt will happen again.

            I may not always agree with everything typed here on the TC. But…overall it is still the sanest truthiest most thought provoking place on the intertubes.

            Plus having a klown around is a feature not a bug.

          • Jeffhas, on November 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm

            Thank you for that comment, sincerely.

          • Jeffhaus, that’s a whole post in itself.

            Start a “civility” blog.

          • ๐Ÿ™‚

          • “Plus having a klown around is a feature not a bug.”

            My favorite comment. And from a neighbor no less. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wonk also left to go to her own blog. No worries, it was peaceful. ๐Ÿ™‚ http://letthemlisten.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/an-impasse-and-an-olive-branch/

      • Dakinikat and WTV mud wrestled Myiq. The clown lost, so he stayed with us.

        That’s my version of the affair.

        • โค

        • I must have missed the mud. Until the powers that be at TC decide to endorse Sarah Palin for President, I personally have no problem discussing her. She is in the political arena and newsmedia, whether everyone likes it or not. TC did not put her there. She has become an undeniable factor in the public and even cultural life of the nation. I see no reason to shirk from dialogue or debate relating to her. For me, TC works because it is primarily a forum (a decidedly liberal one as RD makes clear) for a range of opinions and infomation, not because it is an advocacy movement. Echo chambers are tiresome and boring imo.

          • Are you serious? I was making a joke about mud wrestling the clown. Mud, two women in bikinis and a clown, in a pit. It’s supposed to bring a funny image. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • I was serious, but not directed at you Dario or anyone else in particular. I was always left out of the mud wrestling outings during spring break…my loss. ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Food fights are better. Mud is icky. I took a mud bath at a spa once. It was good, but knowing that the mud is recycled made it icky.

          • As usual, I agree with you Three Wickets ๐Ÿ™‚

        • If there weren’t any pictures or video, it never happened. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I was unaware of how this place operates…I just thought people took turns writing the posts depending on their schedules etc. and so these two posters were currently out of the cycle.

      I think Dak and Wonk were two of the best informed posters here, so I am glad to know that they have actually left and where to find them.

      TC’s loss, IMO.

      • …best informed posters here, so I am glad to know that they have actually left
        Oh, thanks so much. You’re so kind….

        They left of their own accord. Their choice. It’s all good. People come and go all the time. It’s the nature of the beast. No need to be an ass about it.

        • I was glad to see some discussion on this. I never quite understood what was thought to have occurred that was so offensive.

          I really enjoy this site. I find that it is free of spin and close to my own political thinking

      • TC stands on its own. There’s no point in comparing the different bloggers. I like apples, pears, berries and oranges, but I don’t believe one fruit is better than the other, just different.

  4. So far the biggie to come out of the State documents is that it is generally believed Iran has greater capabilities than we’ve let out and lots of people seem to want us to attack them. Whether that will bring us closer to war with Iran or help keep us out of one is a big question to me.

    These leaks don’t seem likely to have come from PFC Manning. Certainly not alone.

    • Agree re the biggie.

      I think it will be used to justify billions of dollars being spent for the missile defense system in Europe as part of NATO.

  5. I’d guess that Manning was some sort of cheap throwaway…

    easy ‘nuf to toss the gay guy to the wolves…

  6. “I donโ€™t know who was behind this mess but it wasnโ€™t somebody at the bottom of the food chain.”

    I completely agree. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous then the storyline that some private had full access to the State Dept, embassies, diplomats, etc.

    Somebody obviously wanted these documents dumped. Why? I haven’t got a clue. A diversion I suppose. The media is practically salivating over the silliest nonsense, like, ” breaking news, leak shows corruption in Afghanistan government!” Well,duh! It’s so silly it feels like manufactured news.

    • I think it is someone high up (in a group think) who saw something they didn’t want to be associated with and perhaps that is what is in the ‘Insurance file’, the ‘event’.

      As too Jeb Bush, and his mama going Grizzly on Palin, it is too cool down the “We are not a dynasty!”-Ma Bush, bit… They want to stay on script, and since Obama’s election, Bush II’s positive numbers have gone up???????????? The GOP FLATLINERS were resuscitated back to their HAWKISHNESS and want to SAVE US AGAIN FROM TERRORISM…while they strip search you and pat your privates down and porno scanning you and your children and store the information, cuz they can and cuz Michael Chertoff (former Homeland Security Chief) if now a consultant.

      Where all all those folks yelling ‘CONSTITUTION’, during the elections?

  7. I just watched Hillary speak to this issue. I agreed with her message to stop this kind of leaking, and to continue to work the globe to solve complex problems.

    I was thinking, Obama gave his freeze out speech this morning, and here we have a “Grave Problem”
    with the leaks that effects the entire globe. Why is it that Pres. Obama could not stand up, and next to Hillary to address this grave problem? Don’t get me wrong, she did good, and even answered questions, but where was our Commander in Chief?

  8. Good to get your take on this, because this guy’s access doesn’t make any sense. I am all for whistleblowers if there is illegal activity but how does it serve anyone to reveal strategic conversations and opinions? It’s absurdly idealistic to believe we don’t need some level of privacy when negotiating & trying to gain leverage in dealing with Russia, N Korea, Iran & China.

    Totally OT: any suggestions for the best sources/sites online for free or inexpensive images (eg: istock.com etc) thanks for any help!

  9. I’m left wondering why these are even coming out. From what I’ve read thus far, there is nothing here but (what I believe to be) standard diplomatic cables. There is nothing scandalous.

    Yes, there are some that paint an ugly light on Iran and Pakistan. However, they weren’t perpetrated by the U.S. Every single cable that came from countries in the Gulf region expressed dismay at handling Iran with other cables from U.S. allies unsure of whether to commit more troops to Afghanistan, etc.

    I don’t see the big deal and, god help me I’m going to sound like a dirty politician, this causes many internal problems for the U.S. and its allies, but more importantly the work that Hillary is accomplishing.

    • Iran must be totally surprised to read that the Arabs don’t like the Iranian president or its nuclear work. Uh-huh. Shocked and stunned.

    • Yeah, I was noticing the same thing in the few I read. That it was exactly what you would expect from these cables and there was nothing scandalous.

      The only I found slightly interesting at this point was that Obama thought Cameron was a lightweight…..Obama of all people.

      Also it seems very likely that Obama doesn’t actually use all the diplomatic information developed for him. With all the information provided in these cables I have yet to see any indication that Obama utilizes any of it when dealing with world leaders. Lazy, arrogant, or too dumb to retain it….not sure….but it once again Obama reminds me of Bush II.

  10. The person or persons responsible for this are or were occupying high positions in our government. Some people suspect Dick Cheney. Iโ€™m not suggesting he had anything to do with this but he probably knows the people who did.

    Damn right. It’s a feature, not a bug. Just keeping checkmate on schedule. Ain’t it the damnedest shame that it was the Republican Corporatocracy who were the real 11D chess players. And those (expletives deleted) can play the game in their sleep.

    Hey, DT, what do you think of Barbara Bush going all mama grizzly on Palin’s ass? Let’s put our money on Jeb 2012 now. You know any bookies? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Nope, the king makers have already decided ’12 is still Obama’s turn and ’16 will then be Jeb’s turn. Luckily for all of us, the king makers don’t always get their way. But that’s the intent from the top. A birdie told me.

      • Wikileaked from a latrine-cleaning private, no doubt.

      • Interesting. If the king makers are backing Obama, I don’t think they’re gonna get their way this time. If the economy is still in the toilet, they’re going to have to do something drastic. Like, maybe, let SCOTUS decide the election. ๐Ÿ˜€

        I couldn’t help but be amused though when Barbara went all mama grizzly on Sarah. I guess I’m a little bit evil, or too easily entertained, ’cause it gave me a chuckle.

      • Gotta say, the kingmakers are SCREWED. Usually they can piss off the populace and then just throw the election to the other guys like a cruel game of pig in the middle. This time there’s a populist spoiler on either side.

      • The new census will turn all those red states blue.

  11. My theory is this is about tarring Hillary… aside from keeping her on her heels by defending the comments, consoling allies, explaining context… the whole meme about ‘The State Department is not secure’ seems to be a possibility. I don’t see her challenging BO in the primary – but the argument from BO “Well, I don’t hold Mrs.. Clinton personally responsible for the Wikileaks that reflected poorly on the State Department” sound like words he’d actually utter.

    Little does he know that she will work tirelessly to make sure all the bases are covered – and precisely because BO does NOT work tirelessly, he will not see how this could be done – expect her to make Lemonade out of Lemons.

    That’s my Warren Commission take on events for the morning.

    • I don’t know if there was an effort to go after Hillary, but this will indeed make a run iin 2012 more difficult. She’s been gettin extremely high marks as Secty of State, but this can surely be used against her.

      And, for the record, I don’t see her being willing to primary Obama — he needs to find it necessary to spend more time with his family. Or drop out for some other reason.

    • I’m WAY behind on this thread, but yeah, this was definitely about tarring Hillary. They’re starting to see her as a primary threat. Hence the leak. Which is BULLSHIT, btw. High profile retired diplomats (including Sir Christopher Meyer) are already coming out of the woodwork to comment: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/28/where-diplomacy-end-spying-begin

      But here’s the poop: Diplomacy and Intelligence are linked, much moreso in the US than elsewhere. And that is not in any way NEW. What Hillary is asking for is not in any way shocking or unprecedented. It just isn’t something that one talks about in polite company. It’s the grown-up political equivalent of “So and So FARTED!” No shit. Everyone does. It’s just that not everyone gets a headline about it. And of course the American public (especially the fragile little fauxgressives) are going to get their panties in a twist over this because they have no idea how common this shit is.

    • I was wondering along the same lines too.

      Even the worst claim about Hillary asking for acct numbers and passwords of diplomats is a well known security request that was made of anyone who came into contact with Obama during the trip to India. The journalist that was doing the live report of Obama’s airport arrival complained about the security procedure. So, that bit isn’t exactly a bombshell revelation. Neither is trying to gather information during these gatherings of world leaders.

      So, like you said, it seems to point back to the overall damage to her reputation and the communication lines that Hillary uses as being a goal.

      It will be interesting what shakes out in the next releases and how the MSM frames it.

  12. The width of the topic suggests to me that it’s a group of not necessarily collaborating people. I doubt that high officials are involved since it requires low level knowledge they don’t typically possess.

    Despite Arcangel: “This much information being released does not happen without some serious coordination and power. This wasnโ€™t done by a few outraged whistle-blowers.” I have difficulty seeing a widespread conspiracy. Although, it’s is possible.

    We can hypothesize about who and why, but lack information that the government failed, so far, to find.

  13. Hi–I also heard Hillary on TV today and she was good, as usual. The pundits were saying that the private had access because it was a reaction to the stove–piping of Cheneys time when not enough was shared. They think this will cause info to again be more guarded. This explanation doesn’t ring true to me though.

  14. Btw, are we the only ones that find it odd that Hillary works her butt off while Obama plays BBall.??

    She looked very tired today.

  15. I think it was just a network of hacker kids who have apparently learned to their amazement that this country, like all countries, has an intelligence service. I don’t know if the material will put our diplomatic corps, foreign service workers or our soldiers at greater risk, but I will take Hillary at her word. The snickering kids in basements will not care of course.

    If we want to protest and bring an end to the wars, we should do that. We don’t need wikileaks to do it. As far as politics and the possibly of conspiracies higher up, I doubt it. But now that this round of leaks has been dumped, it appears the right is determined to get more mileage out of the public relations fallout than the left. They probably learned from the earlier dumps. The newsmedia as well, desperate for ratings and traffic, seems determined to make hay from this now that it’s out there. We get the democracy we deserve.

  16. Clinton: U.S. ‘Deeply Regrets’ Embarrassment of WikiLeaks Documents

  17. Can someone who knows about downloading give an estimate of how long this many documents (the whole Iraq, Afghanistan, now State Dept) would take?

    And, seriously, Manning is just a PFC?

    I did hear on some program over the weekend that State used a kind of web with the Web that was opened up more widely in Iraq, thus making it possible for Manning to do what he allegedly did. One of our embassies could not access material that young Manning could…or something like that. And the need to widen the lfow of info to avoid the stovepiping is also part of the narrative.

    • I don’t know how long (depends on the file types), but anything worth having would probably be encrypted and the army probably watches their bandwidth like hawks.

      • You’d like to think so. I fear they’re way to lax on this. Perhaps a good time for them to reevaluate and make a few changes.

        Same goes with people in the civilian world. Communications within a company, between companies, between council and client, etc. should all be encrypted. It’s easy peasy lemon squeezey. There’s no excuse.

        If that’s of interest, that will be the next topic in the long awaited next technical corner post.

        • Yay!

          Actually, I know dick all about encryption and security issues, except some security stuff is basically airtight and available on a consumer level, that you can erase data beyond the possibility of recovery if you go out of your way to do so, and that if your computer is plugged into the wall it’s a security risk. I’d also love to see you write about Carnivore and internet privacy stuff.

          I know that MOST security measures aren’t taken by most people and companies. I always thought that I’d be pretty good at social engineering stuff. I actually once got the direct number and email of the head of a film studio by calling the main switchboard. Right now I have an email address for a billionaire, but no interest in using it for anything (and it probably gets answered by her PA anyway). Anyway, I just always figured the military would be better about it than most companies because they have the hierarchy to enforce adherence and the money to pay people to be responsible for it.

          • Social engineering is what will get around most anything, and that’s what people have to watch out for the most. It’s amazing what most people will blab over the phone given half a chance.

            And the military definitely has much better trust / security mechanisms that us civilians. But we can still legally do quite a bit. We can make sure any text messages, instant messages, and email that need to be are trusted and secured. And shared disk space or shared web sites can be made the same (that are private that is). So I’ll focus on those things. But also a bigger picture of digital privacy.

          • Standards vary for data protection. My company has to perform drive wiping because of sensitive financial data. Like most other places, we use the DoD standard (write zeros, writes 1s, write random & verify) which takes out anything of any use on a magnetic drive.

            I interviewed at an Indian casino so paranoid about security, everyone had two computers. One was on the internet and the other was local. This was before everyone had a thumb drive.

            If you think it’s bad that someone can pull an entire hard drive (128GB now) with a flash drive the size of a Dentyne, how about the fact that you can run a Linus operating system off one and get directly onto an open network?

          • I meant Linux, although Linux is technically a Linus operating system.

          • Sadly those disk wipes don’t offer much protection. Forensics can now uncover what was there, even with those wipes. There’s only one way, complete destruction of the disks.

          • Sorry, I fell off the thread for a sec, but isn’t the Gutmann 35 pass erase pretty damn permanent?

          • There’s a level of diminishing returns at that point. It’s not like you’re going to find an intact term paper or something.

          • I’m pretty sure it ain’t term papers people are trying to erase at this level.

          • isnโ€™t the Gutmann 35 pass erase pretty damn permanent?
            Nope. You can now recover even from that. Yea, pretty irritating what they can do at the atomic level these days. If you want permanence, you have to completely destroy the material.

          • I’m frankly incredulous. What can they recover? How much? What data? How much would it cost to scan a disk with an electron microscope?

            You can say that bits (and I mean literally 1-bit skips by the head) and pieces might survive, but most modern hard drives will be blank after 1 pass, let alone 3 or 7 (or 35).

  18. It’s kind of funny that he would use the cover of listening to Lady Gaga CDs. I’d think it would be less embarassing to say he was saving secret government documents.

  19. I just got back from watching the movie, Fair Game. It was astonishingly good.

    Going into it, I didn’t know what expect … I had followed the story as it broke and developed … The Ambassador & the Yellow Cake, The spy revealed … The whole Fitzmas anticipation. But most of the action took place in 2003 and after seven years of nearly continuous shocking developments some of the details had faded from my memory.

    I was going to write a post with a review but, I’d have to post a disclaimer and I didn’t want to get into it (BIL edited it & sister had a telephone-speaking role)

    Anyway … the film was deeply emotional. Which I didn’t expect at all. I expected to feel sort of like I did when watching All The President’s Men. Another story based on real events that I had followed very closely. And I did.

    But, there was more to this story than that. It was a much more layered story than I expected. That the story focused on the effect of Novak’s story had on Plame & Wilson (their careers & marriage) wasn’t a surprise. The shocking thing were the scenes set in Iraq.

    I didn’t NOT expect to cry through those scenes – or any scenes. Yet, I did.

    It was really well done. Oh, and the editing was flawless! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Then, while I was gone (about the time I left) this fire broke out about 2 blocks from my house:

    And by the time I got home it was doing this (flash slideshow)


    Just now on TV, they tried to say that it was under control but you can clearly see flames shooting high into the air. And she immediately corrected herself and said that it ISN’T under control.

    The fire department is about 3 blocks from the club (my house is in between) I don’t know HOW this could have gotten so out of control.

    Weirdly, I’m not at home tonight so I’m missing all the direct excitement. Which probably isn’t a bad thing.

  21. Cannon has more.

    myiq extensively quoted.

  22. Narcissism No Longer a Psychiatric Disorder. Who says Washington doesn’t keep itself busy.

    Narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and the need for constant attention, has been eliminated from the upcoming manual of mental disorders, which psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness.

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