Category Archives: Uncategorized

Misplaced Priorities

Posted by lex, on June 14th, 2011

Pakistan’s ISI has finally gotten around to capturing the true miscreants responsible the revealed presence of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad:

Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials.

Pakistan’s detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid, is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It comes at a time when the Obama administration is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

It’s good to learn that, with near daily explosions in the schools and marketplaces of Pakistan’s urban warrens, the intelligence service has kept its eye on the prize.

Pakistani Judge: You have been charged with providing information leading to the death of the world’s most wanted terrorist. How do you plead?

Defendant: Is this a trick question?

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Preaching the benefits of capitalism

In todays WSJ, Peggy Noonan had a great piece on a “non idiot” billionaire: Ken Langone, founder of Home Depot.

“An occasional preoccupation in this space is that young people have no particular loyalty to or affection for free-market capitalism, the economic system that made America a great thing in history and a magnet for the world. There are two reasons. One is that in their short lives they’ve witnessed and experienced only capitalism’s scandals—the 2008 crash, inequality. The other is that they’ve never heard capitalism defended—not in K through college, not in our entertainment culture. When you don’t especially admire something you feel no inclination to protect it, which will have serious political implications down the road.

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Sympathy for the Devil

Posted by lex, on February 22nd, 2012

The NYT has some for disgraced ex-Marine – I use that term advisedly – and Iraq “expert” Scott Ritter. Who also, as it turns out, is a very bad man.

This isn’t a matter of white and black making gray. An apple that is only rotten on one half is a rotten apple.

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More on Stuxnet

Posted by Lex, on January 16, 2011

Elegant little thing

The worm itself now appears to have included two major components. One was designed to send Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spinning wildly out of control. Another seems right out of the movies: The computer program also secretly recorded what normal operations at the nuclear plant looked like, then played those readings back to plant operators, like a pre-recorded security tape in a bank heist, so that it would appear that everything was operating normally while the centrifuges were actually tearing themselves apart.

The attacks were not fully successful: Some parts of Iran’s operations ground to a halt, while others survived, according to the reports of international nuclear inspectors. Nor is it clear the attacks are over: Some experts who have examined the code believe it contains the seeds for yet more versions and assaults.

Many experts are on the record as having said that a  virus with Stuxnet’s complexity could only be fashioned with the resources of a nation-state, although this is perhaps wishful thinking. What’s probably not in dispute is that unleashing the virus at this time represents a the first volley in a cyber war campaign.

It’s useful to remember that some targets can shoot back.

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The Magnificent Seven

Posted By lex, on January 5th, 2011

Danger Room charts the rocks and shoals of some spectacular career-enders:

Commit this to memory, you valiant souls who put yourselves in harm’s way for your country: Do not film yourself making lewd remarks. Do not mouth off about your superiors with reporters present. Do not rage against the bureaucracy, do not humiliate the men and women under your command, and above all else, do not have sex with people you work with.

Navy Capt. Owen Honors was the latest military officer to learn these lessons, after his amateur blue-comedy vids cost him his command of the U.S.S. Enterprise yesterday. But chances are he won’t be the last. In the new issue of Proceedings, retired Capt. Kevin Eyer writes about the rise of a post-Cold War “zero-defects mentality” that strips officers of their commands for infractions unrelated to the accomplishment of their missions. He’s talking specifically about the Navy — which is more strict than other services about relieving officers — but that doesn’t mean officers from the Army, Marines or Air Force are safe from the phenomenon. The important thing is not to sabotage yourself…

Here’s our guide to seven of the stupidest, most boneheaded, most defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory unforced errors that have cost officers their jobs.

See the whole list at the link.

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Cue Judy Garland

by Lex, on September 23, 2010

Serendipitous, or merely tasteful?

Cue Judy Garland


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On Crosswind Landings…

I have another story percolating in my head when I finally finish putting in Lex’s posts.

But for now, I’ve never told you this story.

I’d like to tell you it involved superb flying, saved at the last minute by superior flying skills. And I got the girl at the end.

Nope, it isn’t that kind of story. 

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