“You know, Mr. Speaker, you and I have a lot in common,” Kean said. “You were a high school history teacher?”
“Yes,” Hastert replied.
“And so was I,” Kean said, reminiscing about his two-year stint as a teacher at St. Mark’s, the Massachusetts prep school that he had attended as a student. “And you were a wrestling coach?” he continued.
“Yes,” Hastert said, clearly softening. “Yes, I loved that.”
—Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, (New York: Twelve, 2008), 229.
From Shenon’s work it seems quite possible the 9/11 Commission received an extension in its mandate in part because of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives’ fond memories of sexually abusing teenage boys.
It occurred to Kean that this might be the commission’s most frightening discovery of all: The emperors of espionage had no clothes. Perhaps the reason the White House had fought so hard to block the commission’s access to the PDBs was that they revealed how ignorant the government was of the threats it faced before 9/11.
—Philip Shenon, The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation, (New York: Twelve, 2008), 221.
This is consistent with Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes.
Der Spiegel has an interesting article on Günther Rüdel’s grandson and one’s civic responsibility in a criminal state.
The Council on Foreign Relations:
Mansur’s potential death provides a real-world, real-time ability to test two hypotheses about the policy of killing terrorist leaders. These are based upon the objectives of the strike, according to the Pentagon press release, as well as subsequent statements by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Hypothesis one: Mansur’s death will reduce Taliban attacks and fatalities against Afghanistan national security forces, U.S. and coalition troops, and Afghan civilians.
Hypothesis two: Mansur’s replacement will be more likely to participate in the long-stalled peace and reconciliation negotiations with the Afghan government.
There has been a tremendous amount of social science research on these challenging policy puzzles.
“If people want to stand in the way of peace and continue to threaten and kill and blow people up, we have no recourse but to respond, and I think we responded appropriately.”
—John Kerry, explaining a US missile attack blowing up the occupants of a vehicle in Pakistan
In a highly unusual public statement about a drone strike, a Pentagon official described Mansoor as “an obstacle to peace and reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, prohibiting Taliban leaders from participating in peace talks with the Afghan government”.
We blew the Taliban leader up because he was an obstacle to reconciliation between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
Just had this strange exchange with someone I used to play Chess with in high school:
The extent to which it is difficult to conduct political discussions without degeneration into slinging invective disappoints.
In the paranoid nightmare as reality department, KPIX is running this story saying FBI agents hid microphones inside light fixtures and at a bus stop outside the Oakland Courthouse without a warrant to record conversations, between March 2010 and January 2011.
The fact remains that meaning, and its perception, as seen from the logotherapeutic angle, is completely down to earth rather than afloat in the air or resident in an ivory tower….the perception of meaning, as I see it, more specifically boils down to becoming aware of a possibility against the background of reality or, to express it in plain words, to becoming aware of what can be done about a given situation.
—Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, (Boston: Beacon Press, 2006), 144.