Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The above is from Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts (October 30, 2006 -- and yes, the link's not perfect, but it works). You see Karl Rove, Scooter Libby, Judith Miller and Matt Cooper skipping happily along. Why start with that?

"Cooper’s Credibility in Question" (Rory O'Connor, Media is Plural,
With Washington’s attention focused on the murky fate of top White House official Karl Rove, one surprising and potentially significant development in the ongoing CIA leak case against top White House official I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby has largely escaped notice. It concerns questions about the credibility of one of the reporters at the center of the case. To the surprise of many, however, the reporter in question is not the much-maligned ex-New York Times reporter Judith Miller -- but Time magazine correspondent Matthew Cooper.
The issue surfaced recently when US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton issued an
Order and Memorandum Opinion in response to efforts by attorneys for Miller, Cooper, two journalists from NBC News and their respective news organizations to quash subpoenas from Libby’s attorneys seeking a wide range of the journalists' work material.After personally reviewing the documents in question, Judge Walton upheld Miller's motion to quash her subpoena in full -- meaning she would not have to turn over anything -- but ordered at the same time that Time magazine must turn over drafts of articles written by Cooper. Walton noted there were variations in the drafts, written after Cooper had testified before the grand jury that investigated and indicted Libby in the case involving the leaking of C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame Wilson's name. "Upon reviewing the documents presented to it, the court discerns a slight alteration between the several drafts of the articles which the defense could arguably use to impeach Cooper," the judge wrote in a memorandum opinion.

Matt Cooper sat on information. As a reporter and as a citizen. He knew that the administration was outing CIA agent Valerie Plame. He did nothing. He did nothing in 2003 and he did nothing in 2004. Since Bully Boy all but had a sash around proclaiming "Miss National Security," Cooper's actions did make a difference -- they allowed the lie of Bully Boy caring about national security to go unchallenged.

Cooper had already been asked to name his sources (Rove and Libby). He didn't. Nor did he get the story out. We had an election in 2004, in case anyone's forgotten. Cooper is disgusting. There's no other way to put it. He is not a journalist. He's not even someone who cares about democracy. I hope others will challenge his "reputation."

This is a post in progress. When it's complete, this opening will disappear. Mike's not able to publish bit by bit because his site's read by technorati. And bit by bit might screw up it being read.

"Army Lt. Refuses Iraq Deployment" (Democracy Now!):
Meanwhile, a US army officer has announced he’s refusing his deployment to Iraq slated for later this month. The officer, First Lt. Ehren Watada, says he first asked for permission to resign his position in January. He says he wrote: "I am whole-heartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership." Lt. Watada is believed to be the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq since the invasion. Simultaneous news conferences by his supporters are expected to be held today in his home state of Hawaii and in Olympia, Washington. Military officials told Watada he cannot attend the news conference because he is barred from speaking publicly about his case while on duty at the base.

This is news. C.I. led with it this morning by noting William Cole's "Lieutenant defies Army over 'illegal' war" (The Honolulu Advertiser) article on the subject. Why not note the New York Times article? Because the paper of no record didn't cover it. Could someone please help the last living American who really thought the paper of no record was interested in news up from the floor when they recover from their fainting spell?

"Vermont Peace Activists Disrupt Negroponte Speech" (Democracy Now!):
In Vermont, two peace activists were arrested on Monday for disrupting a commencement address given by National Intelligence Director John Negroponte at St Johnsbury Academy. Moments after Negroponte began his address, a protester stood up and yelled: "In the name of democracy I object to this man speaking. He has blood on his hands from his work in Central America and Iraq. He shouldn't be at the podium, he should be in jail. He is a war criminal." As the protester was being escorted away, Negroponte said "Now it's my turn." But before he could continue, another protester stood up and accused Negroponte of overseeing torture, killings and rape in Honduras, where he served as ambassador in the 1980s.

Please visit Mikey Likes It! for Mike's thoughts.

"Thomas Friedman, the Jayne Mansfield of the New York Times."

"Iraq snapshot" ("Democracy Now: Nancy A. Youssef, Eric Boehler," The Common Ills):

Chaos and violence continue.

Though most press reports lead with "nearly 600" reporting on the prison release program or note that 13 kidnapped victims have been found alive (out of the over fifty kindapped), it's not all the Operation Limited Happy Talk some reports might convince you of.

The AFP reports on one of the released prisoners, Raed Jamil, who says of the amount of people released, "It's nothing, because on an average they are arresting 1,000 people daily." The same AFP report also breaks from the pack regardding the kidnapping news. The kidnappers released seventeen hostages. The police found eight "wandering aimlessly together late at night on Canal street" and then began searching for others (a group of seven and a group of three were found).

CNN reports that "Iraq's Interior Ministry . . . launched an investigation into whether Iraqi police, or insurgents posing as police, were responsible for the kidnappings." CNN notes that Sunni politicians have accused "the government of involvement in the abduction" and noted that along with the 'commando uniforms' the kidnappers drove "at least 13 vehicles with Iraqi police markings." The Associated Press notes: "Suspicion has fallen on militias, which are believed to have infiltrated police forces and have killed hundreds in sectarian violence, personal vendettas and kidnappings for ransom."

That's reality. Howard LaFranchi (Christian Science Monitor) explores possibilities regarding what is being seen as occupation puppet and Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki "tougher stance" towards the United States. Former State Department analyst Henri Barkey tells LaFranchi, "The trick for the US is to boost this guy, because there may not be another one after him."

Meanwhile, KUNA reports that Tony Blair has "welcomed news of the innocence of three UK servicemen suspected of killing an Iraqi young man." Less welcoming may be the ongoing talks in the British House of Commons regarding the situation in Basra? Especially considering the dueling reports on a shooting in Basra today. The Associated Press reports that British soldiers fired on civilians and did so because 100 people (presumably adults) were stoning them, Iraqi police say that the "people" were children and that a thirteen-year-old boy was killed and a twelve-year-old girl was wounded.

Certainly less welcoming news for Tony Blair (and the Bully Boy as well) is the confirmation by the "new Italian administration .. . [that] all Italian troops would withdraw from Iraq by the end of the year" (Guardian of London).

In the United States, Dan Whitcomb (Reuters) reports that the defense of marines accused of murdering 24 Iraqis will be "chaotic battle conditions . . . if they are charged with murder." Reuters' source states that the coverage has been limited with no one pointing out that the slaughter could have been "an accident or collateral damage." Certainly 24 Iraqis can't point that out -- they're dead.

The BBC reports that, in Hawija, a "Sunni mosque preacher" was shot to death. The AFP notes that he was first dragged from his home. The Associated Press reports "three rockets landed on a house" killing a man inside and "wounding his two brothers." China's People's Daily notes the death of six police officers -- four were killed when they were attacked in Baghdad, two more died from a roadside bomb in Baghdad. Reuters notes that two police officers were also wounded in that roadside bombing. In Mosul, the AFP notes three college students were killed (gunfire) as they waited at a bus stop. Also in Mosul, Reuters reports that a police officer and two other people were killed in a drive by shooting. The AFP esitmates that "at least 20 people" died today from violence in Iraq.

Two other events that seem to mark life in Iraq also took place. Kidnappings? Reuters reports that "[f]our Iraqi oil employees" were kidnapped yesterday and the police acknowledged the kidnappings today. The other regular event? The discovery of corpses. CNN notes that five were found on Wednesday, the AFP identifies the gender of the corpses, three male, two female ("all of them were shot to death).

Meanwhile, Ferry Biedermann (Financial Times of London) interviews Ali Baban (Iraq's minister of planning) who feels that foreign donors "spend too much of their aid to Iraq outside the country and ordinary Iraqis do not feel they are behing helped by the international community." And the Associated Press reports that the US army's 2nd Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division is being readied for deployment to Iraq "leaving unclear when and if a sizable reduction in U.S. troops levels will begin this year."

Finally, CBS and the AP report that CBS reporter Kimberly Dozier is returning to the United States "where she will be admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital near Washington."