Bunch of stuff

Here's a random assortment of stuff I never got around to posting about (had a busy week and won't be posting over the weekend).

How a Democrat Can Get My Vote: Advice from seven recent war veterans.

I don't have anything to add, but pretty interesting.

Andrew Sullivan - "Verscharfte Vernehmung."

Comparing current American interrogation policy with the interrogation policy of Nazi Germany. I am not completely sure whether it's absurd or not. The most important thing to remember when thinking about loosening regulations on interrogation policy, however, is
As time went on, historians have found that all the bureaucratic restrictions were eventually broken or abridged. Once you start torturing, it has a life of its own.
True pretty much across history, due to the psychological impact torture has on the torturer.

Rising to a New Generation of Global Challenges - Mitt Romney.

Renewing American Leadership - Barack Obama.

Notable only for their blandness and mediocrity.

DNI Inadvertently Reveals Key to Classified National Intel Budget - RJ Hillhouse.

The intel budget is $60 billion (for FY 2005), not $40-45 billion as previously thought. 70% of that money goes to private contractors.

Giuliani: Worse Than Bush - Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone
Yes, Rudy is smarter than Bush. But his political strength -- and he knows it -- comes from America's unrelenting passion for never bothering to take that extra step to figure shit out. If you think you know it all already, Rudy agrees with you. And if anyone tries to tell you differently, they're probably traitors, and Rudy, well, he'll keep an eye on 'em for you. Just like Bush, Rudy appeals to the couch-bound bully in all of us, and part of the allure of his campaign is the promise to put the Pentagon and the power of the White House at that bully's disposal.
The Paul incident went to the very heart of who Giuliani is as a politician. To the extent that conservatism in the Bush years has morphed into a celebration of mindless patriotism and the paranoid witch-hunting of liberals and other dissenters, Rudy seems the most anxious of any Republican candidate to take up that mantle. Like Bush, Rudy has repeatedly shown that he has no problem lumping his enemies in with "the terrorists" if that's what it takes to get over. When the 9/11 Commission raised criticisms of his fire department, for instance, Giuliani put the bipartisan panel in its place for daring to question his leadership. "Our anger," he declared, "should clearly be directed at one source and one source alone -- the terrorists who killed our loved ones."
Matt Taibbi is no Democratic Party apparatchik - I remember him being quite critical of John Kerry in 2004.
I recently got John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience for my birthday. Hopefully I'll get around to it this summer (still working on The Shield of Achilles).

Possible Glimmer of Some (Modest) Hope in Iraq - Counterterrorism Blog.

The reason for optimism is that some Sunni tribes will go after Al Qaeda without American help. And in other news, other Sunni tribes are concluding cease fires with Al Qaeda (H/T John Robb).

Of course, Al Qaeda isn't really the biggest problem in Iraq - the problem is the total lack of state legitimacy. Hopefully I'll be co-authoring a paper this summer on reconciliation in Iraq as a path to state legitimacy. If we get it published I'll post a link on the blog.

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