This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



May 2009

Plouffe Piece

Just finished listening to David Plouffe speak. Interesting, but nothing new I hadn’t heard talked about before, including things he has said before, but also others analyzing the campaign. Kind of like watching C-Span, but in person. Good overview of an inside look at the Obama campaign though.

Edit 20:41 UTC – This of course coming from someone who likes watching C-Span. :-)

Stan the Man

I have never met the General. I have however met two of his brothers.

Of the two brothers I met, one seemed to have integrity… although he once told me a story that disturbed me involving him shooting a neighbor’s dog and seemingly enjoying it. The other brother, in the end, seemed to have few redeeming features and no moral compass I could recognize other than doing whatever it took to get ahead. I guess over time we’ll see how General McChrystal, who to me is the “third brother”, fares. Now, I know that it is not proper to judge someone by their family, but overall I can tell you that if the General is anything at all like his siblings, the thought of him in charge of anything strikes fear into my heart. The bits below from and old Esquire story don’t inspire any additional confidence.

Acts of Conscience
(John H. Richardson, Esquire, 1 Jul 2006)

“Once, somebody brought it up with the colonel. ‘Will

ever be allowed in here?’ And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal and the Pentagon that there’s no way that the Red Cross could get in: “they won’t have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators.”

They could keep a prisoner on his feet for twenty hours, and although the rules required them to allow each prisoner four hours of sleep every twenty-four hours, nowhere did it say those four hours had to be consecutive–so sometimes they’d wake the prisoners up every half hour. Eventually they’d just collapse. “This was a very demanding method for the interrogators as well, because it required a lot of staff to monitor the prisoner, and we’d have to stay awake, too,” Jeff says. “And it’s just impossible to interrogate someone when he’s in that state, collapsed on the ground. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Within the unit, the interrogators got the feeling they were reporting to the highest levels. The colonel would tell an interrogator that his report “is on Rumsfeld’s desk this morning” or that it was “read by SecDef.” “That’s a big morale booster after a fourteen-hour day,” Jeff says with a tinge of irony. “Hey, we got to the White House.”

“Was the colonel ever actually there to observe this?” “Oh, yeah. He worked there. He had his desk there. They were working in a big room where the analysts, the report writers, the sergeant major, the colonel, some technical guys–they’re all in that room.”

To Garlasco, this is significant. This means that a full-bird colonel and all his support staff knew exactly what was going on at Camp Nama. “Do you know where the colonel was getting his orders from?” he asks. Jeff answers quickly, perhaps a little defiantly. “I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times.” Back when he was an intelligence analyst, Garlasco had briefed Stanley McChrystal once. He remembers him as a tall Irishman with a gentle manner. He was head of the Joint Special Operations Command, the logical person to oversee Task Force 121, and vice-director for operations for the Joint Chiefs.

(via Andrew Sullivan)

I have mentioned General McChrystal before on this blog here and here.