Video: The sailor who didn’t smile; Update: One sailor was held in solitary confinement

Great video and links to the release of the British hostages from Allahpundit and Hot Air. 

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: The sailor who didn’t smile; Update: One sailor was held in solitary confinement

Video: The sailor who didn’t smile; Update: One sailor was held in solitary confinement

posted at 9:00 am on April 5, 2007 by Allahpundit
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Derb’s taking heat from the usual suspects for suggesting that the stiff upper lip shown by some of the sailors while in Iran might have been a jot stiffer. I suspect he won’t be the last Englishman to make that point now that they’re home safe and out of harm’s way; in fact, the Telegraph’s already taken a gentle swipe in passing in today’s lead editorial.

Rather than criticize, though, Sky News chose to accentuate the positive by paying tribute to the sailor in the black three-piece suit who seemed, rather pointedly, never to crack a smile. He’s on the far right in the image. Click it to watch.


Through the magic of cropping, he’s already being nudged out of the record. A check of the wires reveals multiple copies of this photo from AFP:


But as Getty reveals, the enthusiasm at the time was not unanimous.

They’re back in the UK now, thank god, and on their way to a base in Devon. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during the debriefing.

Update: Captain Ed wonders what the deal is too and links to QandO, where vet McQ has this to say:

Yes, anyone can be broken. And no, we’d prefer our soldiers weren’t tortured. But for heaven sake, was any attempt at all made here to resist? Any? As far as I can tell, and I’m sure we’ll find out eventually, there was little if any such attempts. When you see two officers on video “admitting” to wrong doing you would think they were doing so only under severe duress and after weighing threats against themselves and those in their command against doing propaganda work such as that. I’d actually be heartened (and much more accepting) if that turns out to be the case. But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not.

Update: Well, no surprise here.

Update: Solitary, eh? They don’t say who it was, but I’m thinking it probably wasn’t the guy in the gray suit with the thousand-watt smile seen waving like he was marching in the Thanksgiving Day parade float.

Surprise! Columbia thugs wrist-slapped for rushing Minutemen during speech; Update: Stiffer punishments for three more students

Here’s an update from Hot Air on the Columbia debacle.  Make sure to click through to Hot and and get all the video. 

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Surprise! Columbia thugs wrist-slapped for rushing Minutemen during speech; Update: Stiffer punishments for three more students

posted at 12:18 pm on March 28, 2007 by Allahpundit

They’re gloating about it, too. Evan Coyne Maloney, call your office.

A number of students who rushed the stage during Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist’s Oct. 4 speech at Columbia received letters yesterday informing them that they would be punished with “disciplinary warnings” for their conduct at the event.

Three students-one of whom received the verdict more than a month ago-confirmed yesterday that they were charged with simple violations of the University’s Rules of Conduct. The resulting warnings, which will be notated on students’ transcripts and remain there until the end of 2008, are the lowest of four possible outcomes for those found to be in violation of the rules. Disciplinary warnings place no financial or academic constraints on the person charged and state “that future violations will be treated more seriously.”

“It’s a light punishment, it’s a slap on the wrist,” Monique Dols, GS, who was given a disciplinary warning, said. “It’s a victory for free speech and anti-racism.”…

[One] student, Andrew Tillet-Saks, CC ‘09 was also found to have engaged “in conduct that places another in danger of bodily harm.”…

“I’m glad they [the Minutemen] are outraged. They get press from whining, but an impression of strength is more important in the long run for a vigilante group which thrives on intimidating immigrants, and this verdict, like the protest, helps subvert that,” Judd said.

The irony is fragrant. Stinnnngs the nostrils.

Thanks to Weasel Zippers for the tip. Below you’ll find the video that started it all. Make sure you watch this clip, too, if you haven’t seen it before, to see what Dols means by “anti-racism.”

Update: Thanks to Alex K. for catching this. Still not exactly a stiff sentence, but it’s a step in the right direction.

The University has censured at least three students for their disruption of an Oct. 4, 2006 protest by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, one of the implicated students confirmed Tuesday. The disclosure, which came one day after it was revealed that three students had received lesser disciplinary warnings, signifies the harshest known punishment for any of the protest participants to date…

According to the Rules of University Conduct, censure is a step up in severity from a disciplinary warning. If a censured student is found in violation of the rules a second time, he or she is automatically suspended from the University for at least a semester or, if the violation is serious, is expelled…

In addition to an automatic suspension or expulsion for any future offenses, a censure remains on a student’s record until the student completes a degree or certificate.

Sean Penn’s angry Rant.

Click the link for the full story at SFGate. Audio will be in the pod viewer. Full story and embedded audio are on our homepage. EDIT: While the audio is being uploaded, you can also listen here.

Actor Penn, Rep. Lee appear at town hall meeting on Iraq war / Hundreds gather in Oakland to discuss how to get U.S. troops home

18:20 PDT OAKLAND — Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was the star attraction at a town hall meeting today in Oakland, where hundreds of people gathered to denounce the war in Iraq and call for an immediate withdrawal of American troops.

Neither Penn nor Rep. Barbara Lee, the Oakland Democrat who has opposed the war since before it began four years ago, offered much in the way of specifics for ending the conflict, and they were largely preaching to the choir. The enthusiastic and occasionally boisterous crowd of 800 or so crammed into the Grand Lake Theatre wildly cheered as Penn excoriated President Bush.

“You and your smarmy pundits — and the smarmy pundits you have in your pocket — can take your war and shove it,” Penn said. “Let’s unite not only in stopping this war, but in holding this administration accountable.”

The town hall meeting came six days after peace marches were held nationwide to mark the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and one day after the House of Representatives voted 218-212 to withdraw combat troops by Sept. 1, 2008.

Penn reiterated a point often made by opponents of the war when he said he supports the troops but opposes the war.

“Let’s make this crystal clear: We do support our troops, but not the exploitation of them and their families,” he said. “The money that’s spent on this war would be better spent on building levees in New Orleans and health care in Africa and care for our veterans. Iraq is not our toilet. It’s a country of human beings whose lives that were once oppressed by Saddam are now in Dante’s Inferno.”

Hot Air:House Republicans introduce bill to protect passengers from flying imams’ lawsuit

Hot Air » Blog Archive » House Republicans introduce bill to protect passengers from flying imams’ lawsuit

Did anyone not see this coming? This is why I never understood the hand-wringing about CAIR allegedly trying to exploit the flying imams to help Democrats get their anti-profiling bill passed. If anything, it’s the GOP that’s going to use the imams and their quirky little air-travel habits to get the bill killed. The latest shinola about suing the passengers for reporting suspicious activity is just hot fudge on the sundae.

House Republicans are pushing legislation to protect airline passengers from lawsuits for reporting suspicious behavior that might be linked to a terrorist attack.

[New Mexico Rep. Stevan] Pearce has 10 Republican co-sponsors for his bill, including: Rob Bishop of Utah, Dan Burton of Indiana, Geoff Davis of Kentucky, Trent Franks of Arizona, John Kline of Minnesota, Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan, Howard McKeon of California, Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Lynn A. Westmoreland of Georgia and Frank R. Wolf of Virginia…

A public interest law firm that fights against religious discrimination publicly condemned the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) yesterday for supporting a case it calls “legal terrorism” and said it will file a brief with the court on behalf of the passengers.

“This is a first for us,” Kevin Hasson, president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, wrote in a letter to Nihad Awad, president of CAIR. “We have never opposed someone else’s claim for religious discrimination.

Hasson (who served in the DOJ under Reagan) has put the PDF of his letter online. Your quote of the day: “In short, we know religious liberty. Religious liberty is a client of ours. And this claim is not about religious liberty.” If you support profiling and are the praying sort, pray that CAIR and the imams ignore him and pursue the suit anyway. They very well might — CAIR is always looking to maximize its victimization, and a conservative firestorm over the suit would be even better for them in that regard than suing and winning on the discrimination claim.

Incidentally, Powerline had the scoop about Pearce’s bill yesterday, a day before WashTimes had it. Audrey Hudson, the Times’s reporter on this beat, also credited Powerline by name for information in her last article about it. Funny to see a blog feeding a fairly major paper on a story.


(03/20/2007) CODEPINK’s Desiree Fairooz interrupts Hillary Clinton Fundraiser with the “Why, Why, Hillary Why?” song to the tune of “American Pie” as another CODEPINK protester Jodie Evans gets dragged out by 3-4 secret service officers.

Video Here.

The virus of Al Gore on the internet.

It’s amazing to me the way the internet loops in on itself sometimes. Maybe I’m just too new at this stuff to not be amazed.

But last night we linked to Hot Air’s post “Scientists to Goracle”.   Which is a very funny post, BTW.   Allahpundit is my diarist of the month.

So this morning, The New York Times posted this piece, which linked to “House of Chin” through their co-opted Sphere service.

And by this afternoon, Newsbusters has linked to the New York Times piece in this post.

Anyway, hat’s off to Hot Air and Allahpundit, as usual.

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Scientists to Goracle: Relax

Allahpundit over at Hot Air is quickly becoming my favorite diarist.
Hot Air » Blog Archive » Scientists to Goracle: Relax

It’s a breezy read — although if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions soon, in a few decades that breeze could become a hurricane.

It’s not so much that he’s wrong, they say, as that he’s, well, hysterical.

Some of Mr. Gore’s centrist detractors point to a report last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations body that studies global warming. The panel went further than ever before in saying that humans were the main cause of the globe’s warming since 1950, part of Mr. Gore’s message that few scientists dispute. But it also portrayed climate change as a slow-motion process.

It estimated that the world’s seas in this century would rise a maximum of 23 inches — down from earlier estimates. Mr. Gore, citing no particular time frame, envisions rises of up to 20 feet and depicts parts of New York, Florida and other heavily populated areas as sinking beneath the waves, implying, at least visually, that inundation is imminent…

So too, a report last June by the National Academies seemed to contradict Mr. Gore’s portrayal of recent temperatures as the highest in the past millennium. Instead, the report said, current highs appeared unrivaled since only 1600, the tail end of a temperature rise known as the medieval warm period.

You don’t win Oscars with 23-inch waves, buddy. Other scientists, meanwhile, disagree: it’s not that he’s hysterical, it’s that he’s really hysterical. And by “really hysterical” I mean “totally wrong.”

Geologists have documented age upon age of climate swings, and some charge Mr. Gore with ignoring such rhythms.

“Nowhere does Mr. Gore tell his audience that all of the phenomena that he describes fall within the natural range of environmental change on our planet,” Robert M. Carter, a marine geologist at James Cook University in Australia, said in a September blog. “Nor does he present any evidence that climate during the 20th century departed discernibly from its historical pattern of constant change.”

In October, Dr. Easterbrook made similar points at the geological society meeting in Philadelphia. He hotly disputed Mr. Gore’s claim that “our civilization has never experienced any environmental shift remotely similar to this” threatened change.

Nonsense, Dr. Easterbrook told the crowded session. He flashed a slide that showed temperature trends for the past 15,000 years. It highlighted 10 large swings, including the medieval warm period. These shifts, he said, were up to “20 times greater than the warming in the past century.”

Top Iranian general dies, disappears, defects, or is kidnapped

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Top Iranian general dies, disappears, defects, or is kidnapped

Everyone’s already linked this, but for the benefit of our three readers who missed it, it seems a very big fish has vanished from his tank:

One respected analyst with sources in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard says Gen. Ali Reza Asgari has defected and is now in a European country with his entire family, where he is cooperating with the U.S…

“This is a fatal blow to Iranian intelligence,” said the source, explaining that Asgari knows sensitive information about Iran’s nuclear and military projects. Iran called tens of its Revolutionary Guard agents working at embassies and cultural centers in Arab and European countries back to Tehran out of fear that Asgari might disclose secret information about their identities, according to the analyst…

Asgari’s years with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian defense ministry would make him an invaluable source of information. He was reportedly based in Lebanon in the 1990s and was in charge of ties with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.

Haaretz also says it has reason to believe (without saying how) that he may have defected, and that he’s likely to have “intimate knowledge” of the nuclear program. An Iranian Revolutionary Guard news site claims he was kidnapped by the CIA or Mossad; naturally they’d prefer that storyline to one in which he crosses over willingly to our side, but the Debka thinks there may be some truth to it. Specifically, they think this might be an American reprisal:

The missing general has been identified as the officer in charge of Iranian undercover operations in central Iraq, according to DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources. He is believed to have been linked to – or participated in – the armed group which stormed the US-Iraqi command center in Karbala south of Baghdad Jan. 20 and snatched five American officers. They were shot outside the Shiite city.

An Middle East intelligence source told DEBKAfile that the Americans could not let this premeditated outrage go unanswered and had been hunting the Iranian general ever since.

Another tantalizing detail: the Saudi press seems to have known about this earlier than the rest.

More to come in the next few days, I’m sure. Meanwhile, via Defense Tech, here’s Defense News’s projection of what the first stages of a U.S. run at Iran would look like. Cakewalk for the Air Force, potential quagmire for the Navy thanks to Iran’s mines, ballistic missiles hyperspeed torpedoes, Russian subs, and unconventional small-boat attacks. Exit quote: “[T]here appears to be little enthusiasm for such a move within the Navy.”

Thanks, Hot Air! 

Redneck Jihadi Shouts “Death to Israel” in Court

“Borrowed” from the folks over at Jawa.

You really need to see this video of “not-a-terrorist” Mohammed Taheri-azar. Not just see it, listen to it. It’s not so much that he shouts that he that “hates all Americans,” & “hates all Jews”, followed by the oh-so-predictable “Death to Israel”–it’s his accent.

That’s a geniune redneck right there. Regular “bubba”. But I’m sure the accent explains why very few of the media outlets covering his trial mentions that he’s a Muslim who went out of his way to kill infidels at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, last year. He’s simply described as “crazy”, and with that accent, who could argue?

And, even though he’s on the record as saying

My attack on Americans at UNC-CH on March 3rd was in retaliation for similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government on my fellow followers of Allah.

Just remember: this-was-not-an-act-of-terrorism. Repeat that three times while clicking your heels together.Hot Air has the video.

Unbelievable Tripe…You gotta love the Dems

Dig on the faux outrage while simultaneously passing the collection plate. Thanks to Hot Air for always keeping it real! You guys rock.

Dear Friend,

Did you hear about Anne Coulter’s speech this afternoon attacking John? A friend just forwarded me the video and it’s one of the worst moments in American politics I’ve seen.

I can’t bring myself to even repeat her comments. Her shameless display of bigotry is so outrageous you actually have to see for yourself to believe it.

This is just a taste of the filth that the right-wing machine is gearing up to throw at us. And now that it’s begun, we have a choice: Do we sit back, or do we fight back?

I say we fight. Help us raise $100,000 in “Coulter Cash” this week to show every would-be Republican mouthpiece that their bigoted attacks will not intimidate this campaign. I just threw in 100 bucks. Will you join me? Just click here.

Coulter’s attack was no accident. It happened on national television at one of the year’s biggest conservative conferences. Dick Cheney and most of the Republican candidates were in the audience. She was even introduced by Mitt Romney.

John was singled out for a personal attack because the Republican establishment knows he poses the greatest threat to their power. Since they have nothing real to use against him, Coulter’s resorting to the classic right-wing strategy of riling up hate to smear a progressive champion. And the Republican attack dogs will keep playing this despicable trick as long as they think it works.

But this time, you and I can change the game.

If we can raise $100,000 in “Coulter Cash” this week, we can show that bigotry will only backfire on those who use it. John is not the first progressive leader to face this kind of slime, but together, we can make sure he is one of the last.

Tonight, I’ve put in 100 bucks of “Coulter Cash” to get us started. Can you match me, or chip in whatever you can afford? Just click here:


David Bonior
Campaign Manager
John Edwards for President