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(UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

:: Monday, June 30, 2003 ::

Arab Journalism at a Crossroads

Frida Ghitis writes on what al-Jazeera has -- and hasn't -- learned from its abysmal coverage of the Iraq War (registration req'd):
Jamal, a Palestinian man who preferred not to give his last name, said coverage of this war reminded him of the 1967 Six-Day War. He remembers Egyptian radio describe how the Israelis were being pushed into the sea. In a matter of days, he discovered the truth was quite the opposite. Arab military forces had experienced devastating losses.

"It's the same now," he said. "Still they don't tell the truth."

In the few weeks since the end of the combat phase of the war, there have been seminars, meetings and symposiums to discuss the war and the media. Much has been made of how, for example, Arab stations covered the Baghdad press briefings of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi information minister known even here as "Comical Ali" for his outlandish declarations. His statements were covered as credible facts, while the words of American officials were presented in the most skeptical light.

A study by the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo concluded that the Arab media, while impressive in its technological advances, was plagued with inaccurate reporting, bias and faulty predictions in its effort to play to the "Arab Street."

Working-class Arabs get their news almost exclusively from Arab outlets, while the elite supplements its news diet with heavy servings of Western satellite stations and the Internet.

Now let's be fair, here. Robert Fisk preferred to believe al-Sahhaf over the Anglo-American military spokesmen, too. And even if their soul-searching doesn't lead the Arab media to take a whack at objectivity, they'll still have some fans in Canada.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:39 AM [+] ::
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:: Friday, June 27, 2003 ::

Dean's Tantrums

Via Taranto, Terry Neal recounts this exchange at an editorial board for the Hill:
"I asked him about gay rights and civil unions and his commitment to it, about how he always talks about it as a moral principle on which he has staked his reputation and doesn't care about the political ramification," Rothenberg said. "I said, 'If that's the case and you use it as an example of why you are different, why did you sign [the civil unions] bill in cover of darkness with no public event?' I told him a Democrat from Vermont had told me that. And he turned his body halfway around as if he were reaching back to throw a fastball, and he yelled 'That's bull----! Nobody from Vermont said that. Nobody from Vermont told you that.'"

Here is how the Associated Press reported Dean's siging that bill into law in April 2000:
It reached his desk shortly before midday Wednesday. And by the time of a 2 p.m. news conference, he already had signed it far out of view of television cameras, photographers and reporters.

"I think it is a courageous and powerful statement about who we are in the state of Vermont," Dean said. "I also believe that this legislation speaks to the heart of this state, and certainly to my heart."

Dean signed the bill privately in his Statehouse office, surrounded only by about a dozen members of his staff. Uncharacteristic on a bill of any significance, the governor did not invite in advocates of the bill, its legislative authors, or the media to witness and record the signing.

He skipped a ceremony, he said, because he did not want to give the appearance of celebration on an issue that has divided the state.

"In politics, bill signings are triumphal," he said. "They represent the overcoming of one side over another. These celebrations, as the subject matter of the bill, will be private."

At his news conference, the governor gave an eloquent speech about why he supported and signed the bill.

Hmm. Maybe no one from Vermont did say that, but Dean himself came awfully close to admitting it himself.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:50 AM [+] ::
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Exploitation of the Iraqi WMD Issue

Via Henry Hanks, this revealing quote from the Hill:
Asked whether Democratic leaders were pressing the administration hard enough, Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.), said, “The election is 18 months away. We don’t want this to go away just yet. There’s plenty of time.”

I guess McDermott hasn't developed any shame since his trip to Baghdad last year.

But on a purely tactical (read: amoral) level, this seems to be quite a gamble. I, for one, can't wait to ask "so, how'd that work out for you" in about 18 months.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:26 AM [+] ::
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What the Centrifuge Parts Prove

Via Damian, Josh Marshall suggests that this discovery proves that the sanctions were working. THe Bush administration, of course, is citing the same discovery as proof that they could never have succeeded.

I guess this all depends on how you define success, and what the real expectations of the sanctions regime were. As Jonah Goldberg wrote back in January, the French were able to call the program a success by dumbing down the expectations to "freezing," or "blocking" Iraq's WMD program, rather than the complete dismantling and disclosure of those weapons programs clearly called for in UNSC Resolution 1441. It's quite remarkable that anyone would adopt the Chirac position on this issue now.

This line of reasoning assumes, of course, that the materials buried in Mahdi Obeidi's back yard make up the sum and substance of Saddam's WMD programs, dormant or otherwise, and that the countless protective suits, atropine injections, and other protective equipment found during the war meant absolutely nothing. But for the sake of argument, lets asume we never find a single shell filled with chemical agents, or the undeployed chemical and biological weapons they had on record in the 1990's.

This shortsighted conclusion would still presume that it would have been perfectly acceptable to continue the inspections and sanctions in perpetuity, as the centrifuge discovery certainly proves that Saddam would have worked toward a nuclear capability if we ever ended them. It's easy for the French to make such a conclusion, since they stopped participating in the enforcement of the program in 1996. And if sovereignty and the international rule of law was the reason you objected to our invasion, then this seems to be a hypocritical position to take.

Even before 9/11, I was troubled by the this ten-year regime that kept Saddam in power, but didn't really treat Iraq as a sovereign nation. And after 9/11, I came to believe that this policy was untenable. It was inaccurately described as "containment," though it was nothing more than low intensity conflict. It gave the Iraqi people the double whammy of economic hardship coupled with an unabated reign of terror, and all of the arguments "inflaming" the region were far more applicable to this policy than to a full-blown war that lasted about three weeks. The truth was that our "containment policy" was slowly achieving the same status as the Isreali-Palestinian conflict as an "identity issue" for the Islamists to exploit, but now we finally have the opportunity to prove them wrong.

And I don't want to put words into Joshua's mouth, but he also seems to be arguing that Saddam did not intend to reconstitute its nuclear weapons program in the future, saying that "the call never came -- even though inspectors did in fact leave the country in 1998 and were absent for almost four years." This is obtuse, to say the least. The sanctions remained in effect during that four year period, and if the call wasn't going to come eventually, why bother furrowing away these parts and documents in the first place?

So, if the question is whether this discover proves the sanctions "were working," I would answer by asking, working to do what exactly?
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:12 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 ::

Not to Quibble, but ...

An aircraft painted haze gray, with military markings, operating in international waters, is not a "spy plane." It would be nice if at least one media outlet could get that right.

UPDATE: I did notice throughout the day yesterday that Wolf Blitzer used the term "surveillance plane."
:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:31 PM [+] ::
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:: Sunday, June 22, 2003 ::

Pot, This is Kettle, You're Black

I don't usually find letters to the editor -- even in the New York Times -- as needing a response, but this indictment by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) founder H. Jack Geiger screams for one:
As the fruitless search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction drags on, an even more important search is being frustrated on both sides of the Atlantic. That is the search for full understanding of the threat to democracy posed by the weapons of mass deception apparently deployed to select, distort and even fabricate intelligence information, corrupting the principle that valid consent to government policy requires an honestly informed citizenry.

But trying to cow the citizenry with hysterical predictions of 250,000 dead Iraqis in the first three months of the war in order to prevent the overthrow of a brutal dictator apparently poses no threat to democracy.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:26 PM [+] ::
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Says It All, Don't It?


:: COINTELPRO Tool 6:15 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, June 20, 2003 ::

So, Does This Mean They Don't Want an Islamic Republic?

Despite the best efforts of the media to paint Iraq as another Vietnam, it appears, so far at least, that the opposite is true:
But in a candid acknowledgement that there is as yet no alternative, only 17 per cent of those polled by the independent Iraqi Institute of Strategic Studies said that the coalition should leave now. Half wanted the US forces to stay until a permanent government had been elected, a process that could take up to two years.

Not sure how valid this survey is, since the London Times deemed this little piece of extraneous information worthy of only one graf, buried at nearly the end of a story devoted to bad news. But at least they reported it at all.

But if there is any merit to this survey, it would be truly remarkable how that 17% has dominated Western media coverage. If you look at the photo galleries on Defendamerica.mil and other DoD propaganda sites, you see a lot of the other 83% interacting with their American occupiers. It would be funny if the picture painted by the government was closer to reality than the impression given by independent reporters.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:13 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 18, 2003 ::

Department of Missing the Point Entirely

In response to Tim Blair's post on this story about reporter Lindsey Hulsom's withholding information about alleged Scud missile launchers in a Baghdad residential area, Bruce Rolston writes:
1) There is still no firm evidence that the Iraqis were lying when they said all their long-range missiles prohibited by the UN from the last Gulf War were destroyed. Wastern intelligence agencies, doing the math on pieces that could be reliably traced, at most said perhaps half-a-dozen were still unaccounted for. Given that the Al-Hussein missiles were made by welding two Scuds together, however, they admitted there was a large margin for error in that number, and the Iraqis could well be telling the truth.
2) If there was still a Scud or two left this spring, they almost certainly would have been in a position at the start of the war where they could hit something, like, say, Israel. A Scud in Baghdad would only have the range to hit other targets in Iraq, making Hulsum's entire story highly questionable. I deeply doubt Lindsey Hulsum would recognize a Scud if she saw one (as opposed to, say, a shorter range Ababil missile, or even a SAM-2 anti-aircraft missile).
3) There is no corroborative evidence to support her claim.

So would it really have been best for her to throw an uninformed, almost certainly incorrect allegation of an Iraqi war crime out in the middle of a war? Her reasoning was contemptible, but the truth was better served by it.

WTF? Of course there's no "corroborative evidence to support her claim." The fact that she never wrote a flippin' story might have something to do with that. Apart from that, we're talking about journalism -- not law -- and I've never heard of a requirement for reporters to get corroboration for things they witness with their own eyes.

Bruce is right about one thing: it would have been equally irresponsible for Hulsum to report seeing Scud launchers if she wasn't sure that's what she saw. That's why responsible journalists do a little thing called checking their information. If they simply sat on a story every time they weren't 100% sure of their information, we'd have some pretty blank newspapers.

Another reason Bruce gives for saying that Hulsum "was probably right to shut up" is that the placement of missile launchers in a rediential area wasn't really a war crime, because neither the U.S. nor Iraq have ratified the 1977 Geneva Protocols that outlaw that sort of thing. This is shaky reasoning, to put it mildly.

Even if this wasn't a war crime, it was clearly reprehensible behavior by any standard. And given the amount of coverage dedicated to the two incidents of U.S. missiles hitting Baghdad residential areas, I'd say it was definitely newsworthy. And as a general rule, if a reporter is ever worried that a story might get them kicked out of the country they're covering, then killing the story is probably the wrong thing to do.

That said, I'm not ready to bite off Hulsum's head for this lapse of moral courage. I think she should get some credit for bringing this to light now.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:22 PM [+] ::
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Note to Self ...

If I'm ever put in charge of a newspaper in a major metropolitan area that relies heavily on the ignorance of the masses to maintain the appearance of credibility, remind me to pay Stefan Sharkansky a shitload of money just to live somewhere else.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 12:53 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 17, 2003 ::

A Bill O'Reilly Beat-Down Party and I'm Not Invited?

So he doesn't like the internet, eh?

Doesn't surprise me. Anyone who relies so heavily on the ignorance of his audience couldn't possibly find a home here. Plus, it's been firmly established that he cannot tolerate any forum that he cannot control. Composure in the face of criticism isn't his strong suit, either.

If anyone hasn't yet seen his spat with Al Franken (at this page select the third video under May 31), it's definitely worth the torture of Pat Schroeder and Molly Ivins. Or you can just FFWD to the midpoint, at O'Reilly's introductory remarks.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:54 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 16, 2003 ::

The More a Lie Is Repeated ...

Now I see how patent falsehoods like Paul Wolfowitz' war for oil confession continue to circulate in the media long after being debunked. Phillip Knightley writes:
When New York magazine writer Michael Wolff broke ranks at the coalition's daily press conference at Qatar and asked General Brooks: 'Why are we here? Why should we stay? What's the value of what we're learning at this million-dollar press centre?' Fox TV attacked him for lack of patriotism, and right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh gave out Wolff's email address - in one day he received 3,000 hate emails.

Spinsanity fans should recognize the canard about Limbaugh giving out Wolff's e-mail address as having been debunked by Brendan Nyhan. But Nyhan didn't address the former claim -- that Fox News "questioned his patriotism." I searched Lexis-Nexis transcripts and could only find one instance in which Wolff's grandstanding was addressed, in a March 27 broadcast of Special Report with Brit Hume. It is clear that they indeed questioned Wolff's sincerity -- and could even have been construed to have called him a coward -- but there's nothing in the transcript that supports his claim of being called unpatriotic. This would have been beyond the pale even for Fox. Here is the exchange:
HUME: All right. We're back with our panel. We just looked at those excerpts from a couple of those military briefings in Doha, Qatar today.

Mara, what did you think principally, first of all, about the question from the guy from "New York" magazine" about the value proposition of being there?

LIASSON: Well, that was really puzzling to me. I mean, he is the media reporter. In other words, he is reporting on the whole process, not necessarily -- he is not getting information about the war to relate to his readers back at home. I mean...

HUME: And he works for a weekly.

LIASSON: He works for a weekly, but also he writes on the media. So, he clearly wants to know if the media is somehow being, you know, shortchanged or something. And I guess he wanted to see if he could provoke some kind of interesting comment about the media value of the briefings from the briefer, which he didn't get it. I think the answer was correct. It's like, you can be here or not, you know? You have to decide on the value of it on your own.

I think you know -- I don't -- I think that it's very possible that they're not getting very much anymore, or not getting more than the Pentagon and Washington is giving now. Then that's why some reporters have chosen to leave and report the war from elsewhere.

BARNES: Of course. Yes, when is the press briefing room ever been the place to be during a war? I don't think so. I mean, look, you have these brave reporters, men and women who are embedded in the American units and the British units. We have these even braver reporters who are still in Baghdad. You have a lot of reporters in Kuwait who are going in tomorrow; Matt LaBash of the "Weekly Standard," Chris Hitchens of "Vanity Fair" and P.J. O'Rourke have rented a car, they are all going together on their own into Iraq.

HUME: Risky.

BARNES: Look, there are lots of places to be where you can do some great reporting. It isn't in the pressroom.

KONDRACKE: The independents are really risking their lives to do that. That may be a fool's errand. But if Wolf really wants to cover what the media are doing, he ought to go and ask to be embedded in a unit to really report what you know, what kind of experience reporters are undergoing.

I mean, he made a bad choice. The fact is there is more information coming out of the Pentagon than there is out of Centcom and he ought to pick up and go some place else.

HUME: Well, I heard the Centcom briefing. Let's talk for a second about that briefing. Have you found the Centcom briefings uninformative?

BARNES: I haven't found them richly informative. But OK.

KONDRACKE: But there seems to be a lot more back grounding at the Pentagon ...

BARNES: Yes.

KONDRACKE: ... than there is at Centcom. I mean, reporters off camera are getting information; Bret Baier comes on with real information.

HUME: The questioner went on to demand to know why they haven't seen more of Tommy Franks.

BARNES: Yes, Tommy Franks doesn't like to brief. He sends somebody else out, you know. That's like saying why isn't President Bush out here in the White House briefing every day? The president sends Ari Fleischer.

KONDRACKE: Tommy Franks has got a war to run.

I e-mailed Knightley, who admitted that he was basically taking Wolff's word for both of these claims. The good news is that he has agreed to correct future versions of his polemic. The bad news is that this will make scant difference in a piece that plays fast and loose with other facts, and draws conclusions that aren't supported by the facts.

But more on Michael Wolff's whining. It appears that he continues to peddle his tale of woe despite failing to provide any evidence for his claims. In his Guardian piece, he was also guilty of censoring himself, selectively editing his "question" at the March 27 CENTCOM briefing. Here is how he recounts his snivel:
"I mean no disrespect, but what is the value proposition of these briefings. Why are we here? Why should we stay? What's the value of what we're learning at this million dollar press centre?"

And here is what he actually said:
I'm Michael Wolf (sp) from New York Magazine. I mean no disrespect by this question, but I want to ask about the valued proposition of these briefings. We're no longer being briefed by senior-most officers. To the extent that we get information, it's largely information already released by the Pentagon. You may know that ABC has sent its senior correspondent home.

So I guess my question is, why should we stay? What's the value to us for what we learn at this million-dollar press center? (Applause.)[emphasis added]

Now why would he remove the reference to "senior-most officers" in retelling this episode? Is he ashamed of this personal attack at Brooks?

He certainly has reason to be. Kondracke hit the nail on the head when he said that Franks had a war to run, and if Wolff really cared about the quality of the information given at the CENTCOM briefings -- and it should be noted that he has never written a piece that relied on that information -- he wouldn't have brought it up.

It's ironic that someone like Wolff -- who claims to care about the quality of information given to the public about war -- would brush off the very valid criticisms made by his peers and make up a blatant lie about having his patriotism questioned. It's even more ironic that another such media critic would repeat this and other falsehoods in a dirge about the nefarious tactics used by the Pentagon to cover up the truth.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 9:05 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 09, 2003 ::

Damn -- Another Role Model Fallen From Grace

The Reality TV shows are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now:
The defining moment of Luis Roberto Campos's Marine tenure came in early-June 1999 at the Navy Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. After graduating law school in 1994, Campos spent several years in private practice before entering the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in June 1998. As part of the training program, Campos traveled to Newport for the 10-week JAG program.

Three weeks into JAG school, Campos's Marine Corps career came unhinged. What follows is an account of the groping incident, based on interviews with the female Navy officer involved, Marine Corps records, and interviews with other sources familiar with aspects of the incident. The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, remains in the Navy's JAG unit. She did not contact TSG. Instead, we tracked her down after another source provided her first name and military branch affiliation.

"The whole process was quite uncomfortable for me," the woman recalled, noting that she did not report the matter to military police. But when word of the incident began filtering through the naval base (and the 30-student JAG class), she was approached and interviewed by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agents. Though she refers to Campos as "that big jerk, that big meathead" the Navy officer told TSG that Campos was the incident's real victim, since his "stupid and drunk" behavior resulted in irreparable damage to his own military career.

It's a classic love story -- boy mets girl, boy gets drunk and tries to sexually assault girl, boy gets kneed in the nuts, vomits, and passes out. Boy washes out of the Marine Corps after serving less than half of a four year commitment and goes on to become a criminal defense lawyer.

Sounds like NBC material to me.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 5:10 PM [+] ::
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What a Jackass

I was pissed about Navy aviators who were within a 50 mile radius of Tailhook having their promotions held up, but this takes the cake:
WASHINGTON, June 8 — Senator Larry E. Craig of Idaho is blocking the promotions of more than 850 Air Force officers, including young pilots who fought in Iraq and the general nominated to bail out the scandal-plagued United States Air Force Academy, in a rare clash between the Pentagon and a senior Republican lawmaker.

Mr. Craig's price to free the frozen promotions now awaiting final Senate approval? Four C-130 cargo planes for the Idaho Air National Guard.

Pentagon officials express outrage that for more than a month Mr. Craig has single-handedly delayed the careers of hundreds of officers and stymied important Air Force business for a handful of parochial planes. They are vowing not to give in to his pressure. Calling the move blackmail, one senior military official said, "If we say yes to this, Katie bar the door." The official, like others contacted for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity, fearing retribution from the senator.

This is pretty brazen, right after a war. Having just been reelected, I'm sure he chose to pull this now in the hopes that it will be forgotten by 2008. And he's probably right.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 2:02 PM [+] ::
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:: Thursday, June 05, 2003 ::

And Now, A Very Lame Charlton Heston Impersonation

Via Perry de Havilland, a snivel from Jim Henley:
God damn the men who put our troops in this situation. God damn the men who brought our country to this pass. God damn Cheney and Rumsfeld and their cadre of little geniuses. God damn the media poodles who obligingly spun the way they were spun. God damn Colin Powell for the narcissistic lie he told himself about how he was needed "inside the system" when he had the chance to blow it all open by publically resigning. God damn George W. Bush for accepting the advice of knaves and dreamers. God damn Tony Blair and the Third Way messianism that sees war as the engine of human progress, damn the cowardly Democrats in Congress for confusing their short-term political viability with the welfare of the country and damn the freelance cheerleaders, with blogs or syndicated columns, who imagined that their September 11-induced post-traumatic stress disorder was clarity and toughness rather than hysteria. Damn every Annie Hall with a keyboard demanding that Woody Allen come over and kill the spider now, and not just the one in her apartment but every spider on earth, dammit, because someday, someday, one of them just might bite her. God damn every fool who decided to support the war just because the protesters were icky.

Most of all, god damn you if you promise that if we just knock over Iran now, or Syria, or whoever, that all the old lies will come true. God damn your smug, cowardly little souls to hell.

Right back atcha, little fella!

My favorite part is the "narcissistic lie" bit, but I'm a sucker for irony. I also confess to being a sucker for hysteria disguised as moral clarity. Like this:
It makes me sick everytime I surf the net and see all these people in Europe and back home saying that the war was not justified because we haven't found 50 tons of sarin gas yet. I wish those people would come to this country and look at ruined villages between here and Kirkuk and the bare mountains. Anyone who protested against this war and defended Saddam ought to be ashamed of themselves. Its just unimaginable the things that went on here.

Or this:
"Citizens discovered on May 30 a communal grave close to Debs, in Kirkuk. But this is different from other mass graves discovered since the fall of Saddam Hussein's terrorist regime because it contains the remains of 200 child victims of the repression of the Kurdish uprising" in 1991, the paper said.
"Even dolls were buried with the children," it said.

Dozens of mass graves have been uncovered all over Iraq since Saddam's ouster by invading US-led forces on April 9.

Or this:
The more I learn about this place, the more creeped out I am, period. It's... look, it's not like we set up shop somewhere that normal Iraqis would be anyway. So where in Iraq are normal citizens generally verboten? That's right, former regime places.

I never expected the folks we kicked out to be Boy Scouts, but sometimes you hear stories, of what took place here, before we came... and to live on a spot where maybe it happened... it's not a total creepshow, mind you, but sometimes your mind just turns a corner before you do and you're left feeling, for a split second, like you're trodding on somebody's grave.

Don't worry, Henley. None of what we're doing now is in your name. Kind of funny how you once claimed that we would be the ones to dehumanize Iraqi civilians, so no one would mind our having to slaughter them. Ass.






:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:01 PM [+] ::
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Putz

Some anti-war fuckwit is taking pot shots at LT Smash for not "volunteering to goto Zimbabwe."

Bush lied, blah, blah, war was for oil, yada yada. You get the picture. He concludes, "you'll excuse me if I don't say thanks." Actually, I won't. But your sniveling has been duly noted.

Smash has a good retort, which is overkill, since a simple "eat a dick" would have sufficed.

This TBogg guy is all over that Wolfowitz "swimming in oil" quote as well. Ass.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 1:10 PM [+] ::
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Toronto Star Moral Blindness Watch

Antonia Zerbisias' latest:
Al-Jazeera is the channel that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It's been called biased and seditious by many of the countries to which it broadcasts, it's been denounced by the Pentagon, banned from Islamic nations and the New York Stock Exchange and, most recently, been accused of collaborating with Saddam Hussein.

If that's true, and it may be, is it any different from CNN playing footsie with the Pentagon, or covering up Saddam's atrocities to maintain its Baghdad bureau?

Gee, I don't know. Maybe the two are a little different, considering that one is a case of playing footsie with the Pentagon and the other is accepting bribes from Saddam Hussein? Somebody help me out here.

What's particularly striking is Zerbisias' constant reference to the pluckiness of al-Jazeera, as if that somehow excuses collusion with a dictator who murders children. This deluded sea cow actually makes MoDo look scrupulous by comparison.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 10:27 AM [+] ::
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:: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 ::

Will They Never Learn?

Via Instapundit, yet another example of British media taking liberties with Paul Wolfowitz quotes. Do they not have nerve endings, or are they just shame gene deficient?

BTW, the Belgravia Dispatch link to the actual transcript is broken, but you can find it here.

UPDATE: It seems quite a few people are falling for this. But the most striking idiocy of all is South Knox Bubba's insistence that the Guardian got Wolfowitz' statements right. Read the comments. Un-fucking-believable.

UPDATE II: Even more incredibly, SKBubba has now added the Guardian's correction to his original post, but still thinks the difference between the reportage and Wolfowitz' actual statements is insignificant. I presume he'll be sticking to his guns at least until Dennis Kucinich has time to fire off a strongly-worded letter to Rumsfeld, which should be two or three weeks from now.

UPDATE III: Kevin Drum is one liberal who gets it:
Why did I take the time to set the record straight on the Wolfowitz quote in the post just below? Aside from my well-known dedication to truth and light, the reason is simple: I don't like to see liberals make fools of themselves, and the Guardian's version of the quote was so obviously wrong that accepting it was just a setup for trouble.

Very well said.

:: COINTELPRO Tool 3:47 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 ::

Way Too Friggin' Stupid To Be President

Dennis Kucinich has weighed in on the PFC Lynch controversy, with a missive that makes Bob Scheer's sniveling look lucid by comparison:
Second, I would like you to answer formally the following questions about the health status of Private Lynch and the military operation to recover her:


-- Did U.S. forces encounter any Iraqi forces in the hospital?

-- Were U.S. troops fired upon during the rescue operation? If so, please describe specifically the nature of the interchange.

-- Did U.S. [forces] have any information suggesting that Iraqi forces had abandoned the hospital?

-- Did Private Lynch sustain any gunshot or knife wounds?

-- Did U.S. officials have any information suggesting that Iraqi medical staff were trying to deliver Private Lynch to American forces?

-- Did U.S. forces at any time fire on any ambulances?

I expect this from Scheer, who isn't running for office. But I have to wonder whose vote Kucinich is trying to secure with these obtuse questions.

UPDATE: a Jeff Jarvis reader points out where this fits in the news cycle. For a little guy, Kucinich really knows how to lead with his chin.
:: COINTELPRO Tool 8:41 AM [+] ::
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:: Monday, June 02, 2003 ::

Notes on the Failure to Find WMD

Jurjen has an excellent post that puts our inability to find a "smoking gun" into perspective. He also linked to this Economist piece that does the same. And if one presumes that this has indeed been an intelligence failure, Safire's piece from this weekend also gives it some scale.


:: COINTELPRO Tool 11:20 AM [+] ::
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