As the world turns


Well okay, it is, but it’s also Johnny Cash. The Red Headed Stranger and Snoop Dogg recently cut a tribute single to Johnny Cash called, “My Medicine,” which of course refers to a certain type of “medicine” mainly prescribed in California.

Earlier this summer, Snoop Dogg joined Willie on stage in—where else—Amsterdam for a duet of Willie’s newest song, “Superman.”

Willie Way is a broad avenue indeed.

Thx to Stereohyped

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Now that\'s zealous advocacyAnd now looking like a sane person

Covington & Burlington (former) partner David Remes submitted his letter of resignation this past Friday after making worldwide headlines (which generously noted his firm affiliation) for dropping his pants to reveal his stylish tighty-whities in Yemen–of all places.

Remes apparently pulled the disrobing stunt to somehow show mistreatment of prisoners at GitMo (the indefatigable “liar, liar, pants on fire” defense perhaps?), but may have just wound up mistreating every unfortunate soul who can never forget the sight of him in his underpants.

Thx to the WSJ Law Blog

Amazing

Sixty-four years ago today, on D-Day, our troops stormed the Normandy beaches and began the brutal assault on Hitler’s hold on Europe.

Horrific

President Eisenhower‘s message to the troops on June 6:

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thx to Newsbusters, Ace of Spades, Dave in Texas, and the News Buckit

The good guys

Because we’ve covered how some counsel for 9/11-affected insurers pursued a sanctionable and despicable course of conduct in order to avoid paying claims arising from the horrific attacks, we’re pleased to bring you a story of one law firm that has manifestly done the right thing by both its insurer clients and the country.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a fascinating couplet of articles chronicling Cozen O’Connor‘s groundbreaking lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for tort liability arising from the sovereign’s alleged complicity in–and even direct support of–the 9/11 attacks

Part one of the series documents some of the key assertions in the suit “missed not only by the 9/11 Commission but also by Congress in its investigations”, including:

Senior Saudi officials and members of the royal family or their representatives served as executives or board members of the suspect charities when they were financing al-Qaeda operations. Overall, the Saudi government substantially controlled and financed the charities, the lawsuit alleges.

The charities laundered millions of dollars, some from the Saudi government, into al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups and provided weapons, false travel and employment documents, and safe houses.

Regional offices of the charities employed, in senior positions, al-Qaeda operatives who helped coordinate support for terror cells.

Part two details how the suit—brought under the auspices of the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA)—alleges the “Saudi government and members of the royal family engaged in conduct that breached the standards of normal government activities when they supported Islamist charities that funded extremist groups.” By acting outside the statutory standards of conduct the suit contends, the Saudi government and royal defendants made themselves liable under the FSIA.

The Cozen plaintiffs are currently awaiting a Second Circuit decision that will decide whether the earlier dismissal of Saudi government and royals as defendants was proper. However, “[e]ven if Cozen loses the appeal and the Saudis retain immunity, U.S. District Judge Richard Conway Casey ruled that there is enough evidence to proceed against several Islamist charities, banks, and alleged terrorism financiers named in the lawsuit.”

Thx to How Appealing and the Philadelphia Inquirer

Glad he's on our side

This past weekend, I finally sat down to watch Frontline‘s recent, two-part report on the lead-up to and the conduct of the war in Iraq. Despite Frontline‘s well-earned reputation for being left-leaning, the report itself was very well done and comprehensive, including interviews with almost every single person of note both within and without the Bush Administration. The interplay between the Administration heavyweights is enthralling, and the documentary does a great job of providing the contextual background to each person’s strongly-held views. Even realizing the documentary has a political agenda, any viewer (including one as avowedly conservative as myself) can learn a lot from this report.

I found Part I, which covers the period of time from 9/11, through the CIA‘s war in Afghanistan, to the beginning of the fighting in Iraq, to be the most enlightening. It is fascinating to watch how the whole of the U.S. foreign policy apparatus was drastically and immediately changed by 9/11, from being perennially cemented in a defensive posture, to a proactive, “kick a[$$]” footing.

Part I also delves into the flawed intelligence leading up to the war in Iraq, but curiously fails to include the intelligence reports that actually did turn out to be accurate, as recently published by the Institute for Defense Analyses after reviewing some 600,000 Pentagon documents.

Part II delves into all the different players and chapters of the Iraq war, giving noticeably short shrift to the recent success of the “surge.” However, it is a very thorough recounting of the ebbs and flows in the Iraq War and provides background information on many familiar events of which I was unaware. Recommended viewing all around.

I thought the most intriguing interviews were those in Part I of the CIA guys, including Cofer Black (who served as director of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Counterterrorism Center from 1999 to 2002), Gary Berntsen (a CIA field officer who was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal and the Intelligence Star for commanding a team of CIA and special forces during the war in Afghanistan in 2001), Michael Scheuer (chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Desk from 1995 to 1999 and headed an internal CIA investigation into the allegations of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda), and Gary Schroen (CIA operator who was chosen soon after 9/11 to lead the first trip into northern Afghanistan to connect with leaders of the Northern Alliance, offer money, equipment and political support), who detail how the CIA went immediately into Afghanistan after 9/11 and began to bring the fight to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

“You[, (Black),] have a personal involvement with Al Qaeda and [Osama] bin Laden. The way the story goes, he tried to kill you …. Tell me a little bit of that story.”

They thought I was the target; actually, I was the hunter, and we turned it on them (snaps fingers) like that. And when they had their chance, they ran home to Mama.

Black, on his immediate thoughts after learning of the 9/11 attacks that morning:

We are now in a situation where we’ll no longer be like the junkyard dog staked to the ground, … and that our capabilities were going to be unleashed and realized.

Schroen, on the orders he received from Black on September 13, 2001:

He basically said to me: “I want to make it clear what your real job is. All these other things — linking up with the Northern Alliance, preparing the battlefield, helping the special forces get in or whatever happens — is fine. But once the Taliban are broken, your job is to find bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back on ice.”

Scheuer, quoting Black’s directives regarding Al Qaeda:

“We’re going to put their heads on pikes. And we want flies crossing–crawling across their dead eyes.”

Berntsen, describing the orders he received from Black around September 15, 2001:

One-third of your men will die. Be prepared for that. I accept it; you need to accept it and proceed aggressively. I want you killing the enemy in 48 hours.

Schroen, recounting Black’s summary of the strategy against Al Qaeda:

[T]he gloves are off.

Black, on implementing the war plan against Al Qaeda:

We really took momentum. And George Tenet said OK, take the plan and have it ready by tomorrow. We spent years working on this stuff, so when everybody else is looking for their maps on Afghanistan, we’re ready to rock; we’re ready to roll ….

Black, on the CIA’s performance in Afghanistan:

[W]e’d like the survivors of 9/11 to know that those of us in the business consider it the CIA’s finest hour. We went in to kick a[$$], and we did that.

Black, on 20/20 hindsight:

Well, I would like to put this into perspective for you. … It always gives me pause when I think about the fact that the 9/11 Commission hired twice as much staff … and were allocated twice as much money than I was provided to fight Al Qaeda worldwide on an annual basis.

Thx to Frontline

Sappho

So says a male plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by three inhabitants of the Greek Island of Lesbos against the only officially-registered homosexual group in Greece to use the word “lesbian” in its name.

One of the ways the only male plaintiff stated he has been damaged is that:

My sister can’t say she is a Lesbian … [o]ur geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos.

Proving yet again why he is the master, Professor Volokh predicted (and maybe influenced) just such a suit last summer:

A separate question, which might make some point, but which I stress is analytically distinct from the empirical questions I ask above: Say that the inhabitants of Lesbos find the term offensive. Should others, including lesbians, try to shift to a different term? Or should they go ahead with the term that they’ve used for a long time?

Thx to Volokh, the AP, and AbovetheLaw

Never forget

Al-Qaida is apparently upset at conspiracy theorists (including Iranian “President” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and–unfortunately–our own Willie Nelson) who insist that 9/11 was an inside job.

Evil hobbit Ayman al-Zawahri denounced Iran for stealing the hellfire spotlight from AQ, saying “[t]he purpose of this lie is clear—[to suggest] that there are no heroes among the Sunnis who can hurt America as no else did in history. Iranian media snapped up this lie and repeated it.”

Thx to Volokh

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