Julie Myers in the crosshairs

The blowback continues. Julie Myers, President Bush’s nominee to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency under the Department of Homeland Security, looks like a baldfaced example of a political crony being rewarded with a fat paycheck for having all the right connections.
Michelle Malkin fires a second blog broadside into the Julie Myers nomination, and follows up with a syndicated column. Debbie Schlussel’s latest post lifts the slimy rock concealing ICE’s corruption, mismanagement, and border-enforcement laxity, and asks how Myers can possibly be qualified to clean it all up. RedState.org joins the chorus, and even finds legal support to torpedo the cute 36-year-old lawyer. The Roanoke Times posts a three-paragraph editorial that’s dead on-target.
Bush crony nominated to guard U.S. borders

Bush crony nominated to guard U.S. borders

Julie MyersI’m happy to see that Michelle Malkin is on the warpath against Julie Myers, President Bush’s nominee to head the the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Myers is a woefully underqualified 35 year old Washington lawyer whose resume reveals scant experience with immigration law … or law enforcement of any kind. If confirmed, this youngster will report to Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and she’ll be running the second-largest investigative agency in the federal government. Among other things, she’ll have a multi-billion-dollar budget, 20,000+ subordinates, and she will be responsible for guarding our leaky borders against terrorist infiltrators, illegal aliens and drug smugglers.
Here’s the real outrage. Myers has two family connections to the Bush Administration, says The Washington Post:

Her uncle is Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She married Chertoff’s current chief of staff, John F. Wood, on Saturday.

Holy freakin’ cannolis! Rescind that nomination now, Mr. President, and deliver a swift kick in the rump to whoever advised you to choose Julie Myers.
Incidentally, The Washington Times jumped on this four days ago.
Hat tip: Froggy Ruminations (who rips the nomination a new one)
More conservative criticism:
Diggers Realm
Debbie Schlussel (I love the “Brunette Barbie” line)
Ankle Biting Pundits
Rod Dreher
Jack Kelly

Fallujahgrad, or just a skirmish?

OK, what gives? Yesterday, the news is something along the lines of “Marines withdraw from Fallujah, former Republican Guard general takes over.” One story had things deteriorating thusly:

Cries of “victory over the Americans” echoed from minarets and guerrilla gunmen celebrated in the streets under the green banner of Islam and Saddam-era Iraqi flags. Thousands who had fled a month of heavy fighting streamed back to their homes after U.S. Marines pulled back from their siege positions.

“The city’s defenders are celebrating,” yelled one man as a group of gunmen in civilian clothes raised green banners and rifles aloft on a street to acclaim the “defeat” of the Marines.

“God has given this town victory over the Americans,” wailed a message from one mosque. “This victory came by the acts of the brave Mujahideen of Falluja who vanquished the American troops.”

Today, we have senior American generals saying “Nope, we’re not retreating … and by the way, that Republican Guard fella ain’t in charge o’ nuthin’!” Here’s some of what General Myers said:

Myers said, “We want Iraqis to do this work, and this is a microcosm of what we want to happen all over Iraq.”
He said the original objectives in Fallujah remained:
— “Deal with the extremists, the foreign fighters.”
— “Get rid of the heavy weapons out of Fallujah.”
— “Find the folks who perpetrated the Blackwater atrocities.”

“The reports that the Marines have pulled back, not true. The Marines are still where they’ve been,” Myers said. “The Marines are prepared to follow through on this action if they have to.”
But, he said, “We think this is far preferable than the U.S. going in there in a very major combat operation to achieve those objectives. If we can do it with Iraqis, that is preferable.”

Alright then, which is it? Are the Marines pulling back, or not? Are we rounding up the thugs in Fallujah, or not? Are wobbly politicians and their advisors holding back our forces, or not? Are we going to trust our local “allies” to do our work for us, or not? Is this battle the “whatever it takes” fulcrum of our war in Iraq (like Stalingrad), or not?
One thing’s certain: we don’t look decisive, unified, focused, and in control. Over in Islamofascist Kookburgerland, that gets interpreted as weakness (think of Osama’s “strong horse/weak horse” quote), which encourages more attacks. Flattening Fallujah now may very well save lives in the long run by convincing our enemies not to turn every other town into a Fallujah-like fortress. I prefer one Fallujah now over twenty Fallujahs next year.
Somebody get a grip on what we’re doing, and get it quick.

U.S. military police investigated for prisoner abuse in Iraq

Reports are surfacing of photos showing Iraqi prisoner abuse by US troops.
If this is true, then the guys who did it need to be punished severely, and the officers who should have prevented this should be tossed in jail, not just forced into retirement with a letter of reprimand. If General Karpinski’s culpable, nail her too. Don’t tell me that the guards never heard of the Geneva Conventions, or my BS-o-meter will peg out at 100%.
An investigation’s been brewing since January, but there had better not be a late and hasty whitewash on this one now that somebody finally lifted up the flat slimy rock it’s been hidden under. This is one retired officer who isn’t afraid to raise an unholy stink if the Army scapegoats the enlisted troops and gives the officers a slap on the wrist.
This little blurb from the UK Daily Mail (transcribed by Drudge) really frosted my giblets:

CBS executives received an appeal from the chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard Myers, two weeks ago to hold the story because of the dangers of a backlash against soldiers in Iraq from outraged insurgents.

If CBS is being up-front here, then shame on you, General Myers. If you failed to drop the hammer on the wrongdoers by mid-April in an explosive and obviously critical investigation that started in January, then it’s your fault if the enemy’s spine stiffens with the news of our inexcusable behavior.
How in God’s name is the Arab world going to believe our claims to occupy the moral high ground when our troops do inexcusable things like this, and the brass sits idly by?

UPDATE: The reports say the abuses happened in Abu Ghraib Prison, which Saddam used as one of his main torture facilities. Why is Abu Graib still standing, much less being used by American troops to hold Iraqis? Our using it now is about on a par with using Buchenwald as a prison for Germans after WWII (thank God we didn’t). I can almost hear the REMF brass talking it over after Baghdad fell: “Hmm, Abu Ghraib’s nice and convenient and ready to go … shame to let it go to waste.” This mess doesn’t pass the sniff test, folks.
UPDATE 2: The Taguba Report on the criminal investigation at Abu Ghraib is now available.
UPDATE 3: Islamists have beheaded American hostage Nick Berg, and claim it’s retaliation for Iraqi prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib. I’m not buying it.