Monday, February 12, 2007

This and That Monday

Two big winners in the Grammy awards, Mary J Blige and the Dixie Chicks last night.

Mary comes from a poor Bronx background and has overcome enormous odds to form a most promising musical career.

The Dixie Chicks had the guts to stand up and voice their opinion about a war that would later be found to be very founded in reality.

The previous story has been removed due to authentication issues.


Saladin said...

Same lies, different war. Will the dems claim once again that they were misled? Or maybe they aren't paying attention while they busily vote on non-binding resolutions? Sally Forth!

DEN said...

Lie, lie, lie, apparently no one deserves the truth anymore.

Any day now we will be forced into an escalated war in the ME, all the more necessary to run the pigs out of town on a pole with tar and feathers before we regret NOT doing it.

David B. Benson said...

Today is Charles Darwin's 198th birthday.

Micki said...

Michael Gordon may be a lousy reporter. But, he's not an answering machine.

Micki said...

Flock of DoDos.

A movie.

Happy Birthday Charles!

Happy Birthday Abe!

Micki said...

Believing scripture but playing by science's rules

DEN said...

Micki, where do you get your Gordon info?

DEN said...

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day.....

DEN said...

I pulled the story from the post, apparently it is untrue?

Imagine that.

I strive for truth and there were too many holes in that one.


Carey said...

Okay wait. What???


This weekend Laura Flanders did a whole thing about The New York Times coverage of pre-Iraq and now. Alan says that there is no "Gordon", what? That was a joke, right? I'm mighty confused right now. Let me go back and look.

In the meantime I only heard about the radio coverage of the issues I mentioned towards the end of yesterday's thread. All I can say is that it started over the weekend in spades--the war cries.

Oh, please note there's hardly any mention of the Defense Dept. Investigation results that came out last FRIDAY and Feith's pre-war actions. That's cuz it's all chewed up by administration propaganda about Iran's weapons in Iraq. Coinky-Dinky????

Iran and Iraq, anonymously

In an August 2004 retrospective on journalism in the run-up to the Iraq war, Washington Post editor Leonard Downie Jr. was asked to explain how two stories that called into question the case for war wound up buried deep inside his newspaper. His answer, at least in part: The stories relied on anonymous sources.

So what's on the front page of the Washington Post today? A 2,600-word story linking Iran to weapons that are killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq -- a 2,600-word story that is based almost entirely on unnamed sources. We say "almost entirely" because the Post's Joshua Partlow does quote one official by name: Labeed M. Abbawi, an Iraqi deputy foreign minister, who says that it is "difficult" to "accept whatever the American forces say is evidence" because the Americans won't speak openly.

The rest of the story? The part that makes an Iran-Iraq link? Every bit of it comes from unnamed sources, some of whose identities the Post itself doesn't even know. The story starts with the words "senior U.S. officials" and descends deeper into anonymity from there. The Post says that reporters were briefed in Baghdad on the alleged Iran link by "a senior defense official, who was joined by a defense analyst and an explosives expert, both also from the military." The officials spoke "on the condition of anonymity," the Post says, and the analyst's "exact title and full name were not revealed to reporters."

And while Partlow cautions that the unnamed military officials weren't joined by U.S. diplomats or intelligence officials and offered "no evidence" that the "highest levels" of the Iranian government had sanctioned attacks on U.S. troops, the Post's editors still saw fit to put the piece at the top of A1 under the headline, "Military Ties Iran to Arms in Iraq: Explosives Supplied to Shiite Militias, U.S. Officials Say."

The New York Times also put its version of the story on the front page. The headline: "U.S. Says Arms Link Iranians to Iraqi Shiites: Using Serial Numbers as Proof of Origin."

Like the Post's Partlow, the Times' James Glanz dumps some cold water on the military's anonymous presentation. He says that an evidence-free "inference" of involvement by high-level Iranian leaders "and the anonymity of the officials" who made it "seemed likely to generate skepticism among those suspicious that the Bush administration is trying to find a scapegoat for its problems in Iraq, and perhaps even trying to lay the groundwork for war with Iran."

We'd add, as further cause for skepticism, the fact that the Bush administration was forced to postpone any evidentiary presentation to support the president's State of the Union claims about Iranian involvement in Iraq because, as Stephen Hadley acknowledged, an initial briefing planned by the military "overstated" the case that could be made. Glanz mentions the delay, but then says -- without any attribution whatsoever -- that it stemmed, in part, from "a view among officials in Washington that the original presentation was insufficiently strong."

Glanz also says that "whatever doubts were created about the timing and circumstances of the weapons disclosures, the direct physical evidence presented" by the anonymous military officials Sunday was "extraordinary."

Looking back in 2004 at their own prewar coverage, the Times' editors said that they wished they had been "more aggressive in re-examining the claims" about Iraq's WMD and ties to al-Qaida "as new evidence emerged -- or failed to emerge." With Glanz's having acknowledged room for "skepticism" over the Iran claims, can we expect to see that sort of "aggressive re-examining" before the shooting starts this time around?

Tim Grieve


Coinky-Dinky??? Not only are they engaged in a massive propaganda drive leading up to the imminent attack on Iran, they are covering up their past catastrophic mistakes that causes that deja-vu feeling.

This is called mind control-- crowd/media control.

Don't you all feel a little mindless right now. That inability to scream out to people that we're going through the same rigamarole again.

People say, with what will Bush attack Iran with? It doesn't matter that we really don't have the resources, since when has Bush/Cheney engaged reality?

I'e got alot to do today (Brandon's off), but I've got this overiding feeling that it's really, I mean really, all set. Everything is in place. It's not a good feeling, is it?

DEN said...

Carey, the lies and disinformation continue unabated.

Micki said...

Den, I've met him. He's been at the NYT for over 20 years, now as its chief military correspondent, not that that makes him an unbiased reporter! He wrote a book with General Bernard Trainor, Cobra ll, which has a couple of incarnations.

IMO, he's shown himself to be a neocon pushing the neocon agenda. He got himself into a little bit of hot water because on some interview show (forget which one) he blabbed his "personal opinion" that he favored a "surge" -- we've never tried to win in Iraq, we're only managing a defeat. (a slight paraphrase, but very close to his words). The NYT public editor smacked him around a little for that comment, but, alas...he's still on the payroll pushing the neocon agenda.

But, Paul Krugman writes for the NYT, too. And Frank Rich. And Bob Herbert. And Maureen Dowd. Some good science writers. Health news. The NYT still has its merits, IMO. Ya just have to be a discerning reader these days, I guess.

DEN said...

Micki, i posted the story from Alan's comment yesterday. You commented and I got a bit bewildered when the only references for the story were in one place; Tiny, alarm bells went off and out it went....THE BOOT!!!

I will have to be more careful with authenticity issues of stories, should have known something was up.

Alan said...

Yeah Den, they got me on that one. In the comments part, it's clear it was a joke about that guy being a stenographer for the neocons more than a reporter.
my bad

DEN said...

Alan, No sweat! the information superhighway is littered with trash and we picked it up, HA!!

Alan said...

Libby's trial is done for the day. The first post on FireDogLake after all the trial stuff is a piece about "24".
I've never watched it myself, but I hear it's quite popular with the wingnuts.

Saladin said...

That's me, a wing nut! I've heard watching two grown men beat each other to a pulp in front of monstrous crowds, for money, is also quite popular with "wing nuts." Go figure.

Alan said...

If he'd run, he'd get my vote. Grab Obama as VP... we're talking a winner!

Draft Gore Petition
If you sign it, it takes you to a page that shows you on the list, along with your comment. I'm 32,400 and something.

Alan said...

The General points out the wingnuts are punching back about the Dixie Chicks.

Dan Riehl makes a funny

But I can't resist - it seems the Dixie Clits were the focus of that music industry masturbatory fantasy they call the Grammy Awards.

Get it. He wrote "Clits" instead of "Chicks." Damn, he's funny.
And below that is one of his notorious letters to
Jason Apuzzo about "24". lol

Carey said...


On Gordon, the way you described him as a pusher for the neocon agenda--right on! That's exactly the slimy feeling one gets when you read him.

I'm not putting down The New York Times, mind you. They do, however, have a dented record on pre-Iraq reportage on weapons. Not much has really been said about that, analysis has not been deep enough. As you read Gordon now, it causes that same nauseous feeling from before.


Oh, that's what happened, couldn't figure out your initial comment about deletion and authentification issues. The New York Times could not get away with such a thing as a "voice-activated recorder standing in for a real reporter. That's illegal and false reprsentation and all that, there good stuff. C'est impossible!


You're a wing-nut!! She's a professed 24 watcher! Caught!!



You read my mind. I was just dreaming this morning about a Gore/Obama ticket and considered sharing the dream with y'all.

This is a pretty fair assessment of where we're at.

Unravel al-Queda or Fight Iran

What also seems clear from Linzer's article is the degree to which the top levels of the Bush administration are ready to compromise the anti-Qaeda campaign in the interests of maintaining their current campaign to isolate, encircle, and threaten Iran.

.....the Bushists' campaign of anti-Iran escalation has already forced many unwelcome costs onto the world community. One of these is that the anti-Qaeda campaign-- to which the Iranians have already made many significant contributions-- is being compromised. We should all be very, very concerned.

Carey said...

IMO, Zbigniew Brzezinski scores with this Iraq occupation solution. It's got thoughtful teeth.

A Road Map Out of Iraq

Here, for instance, is a plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran: Iraq fails to meet the benchmarks for progress toward stability set by the Bush administration. This is followed by U.S. accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the United States blamed on Iran, culminating in a "defensive" U.S. military action against Iran. This plunges a lonely United States into a spreading and deepening quagmire lasting 20 years or more and eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

.....[M]ost Muslims are not embracing Islamic fundamentalism. Al Qaeda is an isolated, fundamentalist aberration. Most Iraqis are engaged in strife not on behalf of an Islamist ideology but because of the U.S. occupation, which destroyed the Iraqi state. Iran, meanwhile, though gaining in regional influence, is hardly a global threat; rather, it is politically divided, economically and militarily weak. To argue that the United States must respond militarily to a wide Islamic threat with Iran at its epicenter is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A public declaration that the U.S. intends to leave is needed to allay fears in the Middle East of a new and enduring American imperial hegemony. Right or wrong, many view the establishment of such a hegemony as the primary reason for the U.S. intervention in a region only recently free of colonial domination. That perception must be discredited. If the president is unwilling to do so, perhaps Congress could by passing a joint resolution.

Only by holding serious talks with Iraqi politicians about an exit date can we identify the authentic Iraqi leaders with the self-confidence and capacity to stand on their own legs, without U.S. military protection. The painful reality is that the current Iraqi regime, characterized by the Bush administration as representative of the Iraqi people, largely defines itself by its physical location: the 4-square-mile U.S. fortress within Baghdad — protected by a wall 15 feet thick in places and manned by heavily armed U.S. military — popularly known as the Green Zone. Only Iraqi leaders who can exercise real power beyond the Green Zone can eventually reach a genuine Iraqi accommodation.

Carey said...

Couple Brzezinski's plan with Dennis Kuninich's and we've got a good deal.

What's your Iraq strategy, Mr. President?

Declared presidential candidates answer, 'Where do we go from here in Iraq?'

February 11, 2007

While Congress debates whether to approve resolutions opposing President Bush's "surge" strategy in Baghdad, and as a new national intelligence estimate paints the war in dire terms, Current asked potential and declared presidential candidates: "Where should we go from here in Iraq?" Below are the answers, edited for length, of those who responded. Full statements can be found at

Rep. Dennis Kucinich


The U.S. should announce it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw our troops, which will help dampen the insurgency and set the stage for negotiations; use $70 billion in already-appropriated funds to bring the troops and necessary equipment home; order all U.S. contractors home and their work turned over to the Iraqi government; convene a regional conference to develop a security and stabilization force for Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations. Attendees should include the five permanent members of the Security Council, representatives of the European community and all Arab nations, and delegates from Iran; ask the U.N. to establish an international security and peacekeeping force and replace U.S. troops, a process likely to take at least three months; develop and fund national reconciliation in Iraq, beginning with a national conference, with the assistance of the U.N., to air grievances and create pathways toward open, transparent talks; restart the failed reconstruction program in Iraq; establish a program of significant reparations to Iraqis; stop all initiatives to privatize Iraqi oil interests or other national assets and establish an Iraqi National Oil Trust to guarantee the oil assets will be used to create a fully functioning infrastructure and to protect the oil wealth for the people of Iraq; stabilize Iraq's cost for food and energy to preinvasion levels; work with the world community to restore Iraq's fiscal integrity; and establish a policy of truth and reconciliation between the people of the United States and the people of Iraq.

Carey said...

Seeing as how Kucinich is unelectable, unfortunately, here's Obama's answer. (??)


Sen. Barack Obama


No amount of American forces can solve the political differences that lie at the heart of somebody else's civil war, which is why the president's decision to escalate this war has been opposed by Democrats and Republicans, generals and experts, Americans and even the Iraqis. There is no military solution in Iraq. Our best remaining hope is to pressure the warring factions to reach a political settlement that can end the bloodshed. The Iraqis have not yet been willing to take this responsibility, and so the real leverage we have left is to start the phased redeployment of our troops to let the Iraqis know that America's commitment is no longer open-ended.

I have introduced a bill in Congress that would cap the number of troops in Iraq at pre-"surge" levels and commence this phased redeployment of American forces no later than May 1, with the goal of removing all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush administration, my bill would allow temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met and that the suspension is in the national security interest of the United States.


David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Who is Sally Forth? ;-)

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Who is Sally Forth? ;-)

David B. Benson said...

Well, I thought it was funny. But not so funny as to be worth repeating.


Carey said...

Christopher Hayes of The Nation writes a fair and to my mind, frankly skeptical assessment of Obama as a candidate. It gives voice to some inescapble contemplations.

Circling the Square


Then we come back around to the possibility of a Gore candidacy. (Signed the Draft Petition Alan.) With Gore's concentration on other key issues, particularly global warming along with his experience and quoted stand on the Iraq occupation and what led up to it, we're getting closer to an ideal ticket.

Mere wishes.

Carey said...

Dan Froomkin of WaPo writes about what his colleague, Joshua Partlow, wrote of the "official" presentation of "the evidence" or not of Iran's interference with weapons.

"With so much official U.S. buildup about the purported evidence of Iranian influence in Iraq, the briefing was also notable for what was not said or shown. The officials offered no evidence to substantiate allegations that the 'highest levels' of the Iranian government had sanctioned support for attacks against U.S. troops. Also, the military briefers were not joined by U.S. diplomats or representatives of the CIA or the office of the Director of National Intelligence."

And Partlow offers this useful perspective: "Iraq's deputy foreign minister, Labeed M. Abbawi, said in an interview Sunday that the Iraqi government remains in the dark about the full U.S. investigation into Iranian activities in Iraq. 'It is difficult for us here in the diplomatic circles just to accept whatever the American forces say is evidence,' he said.

"'If they have anything really conclusive, then they should come out and say it openly, then we will pick it up from there and use diplomatic channels' to discuss it with Iran, he said. 'The method or the way it's being done should be changed, to have more cooperation with us.'"


Jesus, this is sickening to stand by and watch our worst fears play out.

DEN said...

Dimly lit brains produce dimly lit results.

Too many dimwits in powerful positions to suit me.

And what marvelous results don't you think?

It is not OK to be stupid with lives on the line.

DEN said...


Jeanne said...

Did you see Johney Lang won too. He has got some great music out there right now. Bob Dylan picked up some grammies too. Those MN boys.

DEN said...

Jeanne I always liked Johnny and Bob.

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, Sally is very much in favor of throwing the entire middle east against the wall just to show them who's boss!

Micki said...

North Kores Agrees to Nuclear Disarmament

BEIJING, Feb. 13 -- In a landmark international accord, North Korea promised Tuesday to close down and seal its lone nuclear reactor within 60 days in return for 50,000 tons of fuel oil as a first step in abandoning all nuclear weapons and research programs.

North Korea also reaffirmed a commitment to disable the reactor in an undefined next phase of denuclearization and to discuss with the United States and other nations its plutonium fuel reserves and other nuclear programs that "would be abandoned" as part of the process. In return for taking those further steps, the accord said, North Korea would receive additional "economic, energy and humanitarian assistance up to the equivalent of 1 million tons of heavy fuel oil."

Micki said...


...not kores

Gerald said...

Amazing Similarities

We could say the same is true for Adolph Hitler and Hitler Bush!!!

Gerald said...

Praying Each Day: February 13