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Archive Edition for   Sunday, May 16, 2004Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

American Digest
  Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
  Angry Bear
The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
  Emperor Darth Misha I
Associated Press
  Katarina Kratovac
  Elaine Sciolino
The Belgravia Dispatch
  Gregory Djerejian
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Boston Globe
  Charles A. Radin
  Christine Chinlund
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
  Brad DeLong
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
  Micha Ghertner
Change for America
  Joe Drymala
Chicago Sun Times
  Mark Steyn
The Claremont Institute
  Ken Masugi
Clayton Cramer's BLOG
  Clayton Cramer
The Corner
  Ramesh Ponnuru
  Andrew C. McCarthy
  Andrew Stuttaford
Counterspin Central
Daily Kos
  Damian Penny
Dan Gillmor's eJournal
  Dan Gillmor
Dean's World
  Dean Esmay
  Joe Gandelman
  Edward Driscoll
  Martin Jacques
Harry's Place
  Harry @HarrysPlace
  Marcus @HarrysPlace
Hit & Run
  Jesse Walker
  John R Bradley
Informed Comment
  Juan Cole
  Glenn Reynolds
  Phil Carter
Israel news and commentary from IsraPundit
  Fred Lapides
  Joseph Alexander Norland
  Ted Belman
Jerusalem Post
  Caroline Glick
  Tom Maguire
  Charles Johnson
The Left Coaster
  Mary InLosGatos
Los Angeles Times
  Esther Schrader
  Tim Brown
  John Hendren
Marginal Revolution
  Tyler Cowen
Mark A. R. Kleiman
  Mark Kleiman
Mathew Gross
  Mathew Gross
Matthew Yglesias
  Matt Yglesias
MaxSpeak, You Listen!
  Max B. Sawicky
Michael J. Totten
  Michael Totten
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Mother Jones
  Joshua Wolf Shenk
  Brian Braiker
  Chris Bowers
National Post
  Stewart Bell
New York Post
  Deroy Murdock
New York Times
  Christine Hauser
  David D. Kirkpatrick
  Daniel J. Wakin
  Nicholas D. Kristof
New Yorker
  Seymour M. Hersh
Obsidian Wings
  Moe Lane
Oliver Willis
  Oliver Willis
One Hand Clapping
  Donald Sensing
Opinion Journal
Outside the Beltway
  James Joyner
  Patrick Belton
  David Adesnik
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Poor Man
  The Poor Man
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
Priorities & Frivolities
  Robert Garcia Tagorda
protein wisdom
  Jeff Goldstein
  Dale Franks
  Cori Dauber
  Jeremy Pelofsky
  Shasta Darlington
  Joe Conason
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing
  Fred Kaplan
  Julia Turner
  Phillip Carter
Southern Appeal
  Michael DeBow
The Spoons Experience
  Christopher Kanis
t a c i t u s
  Bird Dog
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Jeralyn Merritt
Toronto Star
  Antonia Zerbisias
Unqualified Offerings
  Jim Henley
USA Today
The Volokh Conspiracy
  Juan Non-Volokh
  Eugene Volokh
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  R. Jeffrey Smith
  Fred Hiatt
  Patrick J. Michaels
  Scott Wilson
  Charles Babington
  Paul Blustein
  Glenn Kessler
  Bradley Graham
Washington Times
  Simon Hart
Winds of Change.NET
  Andrew Olmsted

Insult-happy Web guns fall quiet
  By / Toronto Star   —   Permalink 
The warblog drums are growing silent.
They're either running out of time, or money, or steam — or the conviction that Operation Iraqi Freedom was going to be a cakewalk in the sand.
Dean Esmay: Wow — Who is this vicious jerk and what is she talking about?
Jeff Goldstein: protein wisdom, channeling Dean Vernon Wormer, offers the following advice to Canadian columnist Antonia Zerbisias: ...
Ted Belman: Where have all the pro war bloggers gone — Insult-happy Web guns fall quiet [WE'RE STILL HERE] ANTONIA ZERBISIAS, The Toronto Star The warblog drums are growing silent.
Glenn Reynolds: TORONTO STAR OPED PAGE FALLS SILENT: Antonia Zerbisias of the Toronto Star — last seen here making a fool of herself by...
Jeff Jarvis: First swipe: Toronto Star scribe Antonia Zerbisias saying that warbloggers are silent lately (I hardly hear the the...
Cori Dauber: NOT ALL CANADIANS ARE POLITE — I'd love to Fisk this amazingly ugly, amazingly ill-informed diatribe against war...
Also: Damian Penny, Charles Johnson

The Roots of Torture
  MSNBC   —   Permalink 
May 24 issue - The Bush administration's emerging approach was that America's enemies in this war were "unlawful" combatants without rights. One Justice Department memo, written for the CIA late in the fall of 2001, put an extremely narrow interpretation on...
Mary InLosGatos: Newsweek provides another glimpse into the growing scandal (or as Hersh's informant called it, "our heart of darkness").
Stryker: Roots of Torture — From shadowy Big Media cabal member, Newsweek: MSNBC - The Roots of Torture Indeed, the single most...
Kevin Drum: By the time Gitmo techniques were transferred to Abu Ghraib, the CIA was fully on board.
Angry Bear: Now, Newsweek has a story out, The Roots of Turture, that is completely in accord with Hersh's account.
Josh Marshall: Then there is another important Newsweek article which quotes a memo White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales wrote to the...
Jesse Walker: But now Newsweek is independently echoing his central contention: "The Bush administration created a bold legal...
Also: Mathew Gross, Matt Yglesias, Atrios, Dan Gillmor

Knowledge of Abusive Tactics May Go Higher
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Army intelligence officers suspected that a Syrian and admitted jihadist who was detained at Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad knew about the illegal flow of money, arms and foreign fighters into Iraq. But he was smug, the officers said, and refused to talk.
Jesse Walker: Update: A reader calling himself "Matt XIV" directs us to yet another damning article, this one in the Washington Post.
Captain Ed: The Washington Post reports today on the continuing investigation into the Abu Ghraib abuses, reducing the story to two somewhat contradictory themes.
Betsy Newmark: The Washington Post has a breathless story trying to show that there was approval by higher ups for the prison abuse.
Matt Yglesias: More Documentation — Of a more widespread pattern of abuse comes to us through the Washington Post which is working off documents.
Cori Dauber: INNOCENT VICTIMS — Buried in today's coverage of the prison scandal, in which there really isn't much else new, comes...
James Joyner: Clearly, though, it was official policy to allow intense fear and disorientation as a tactic in certain cases.
Also: Ken Masugi

Now's not the time for Bush to go soft
  By / Chicago Sun Times   —   Permalink 
In his column last week, Robert Novak talked to a big bunch of Beltway insiders about Donald Rumsfeld's future, or his lack thereof. Among my colleague's sources was ''one senior official of a coalition partner,'' who, apropos the Defense secretary, put it this way: ''There must be a neck cut, and there is only one neck of choice.''
Michael DeBow: "Now's not the time for Bush to go soft" says Mark Steyn. Here's the final graph: "We always come back to that strong horse/weak horse thing.
Cori Dauber: But the media seems more interested in the metaphorical then the real: The American people, no thanks to their media,...
Betsy Newmark: Mark Steyn thinks that the Iraqi prison scandal has jumped the shark.
Joseph Alexander Norland: Somewhere towards the upper limit you'll finds today's warning, "Now's not the time for Bush to go soft ".
Charles Johnson: Now's Not the Time for Bush to Go Soft — From time to time Mark Steyn issues a call to the Bush administration to buck...

Bush's Job Approval Drops to Record Low 42%
  Zogby   —   Permalink 
President George W. Bush's job approval rating dropped to 42%— a record low for his administration and a drop of six points from last month, according to a new Zogby International poll. The poll of 985 likely voters was conducted Monday through Thursday (May 10-13, 2004).
Mathew Gross: The requisite disclaimer: it's early, six months is a lifetime in politics, anything can happen, etcetera... But...
Taegan Goddard: Bush Approval Continues Slide — President Bush's job approval rating "dropped to 42%— a record low for his...
Chris Bowers: New Zogby Poll — Information galore in the New Zogby Poll: May 10-13, 985 LV, MoE 3.2 (April 15-17 results in...

Shadow on the U.S. Beacon
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The first victims of U.S. prison abuse at Abu Ghraib were Iraqis. But those who will pay a price also live in Libya and Hong Kong, Venezuela and Burma, and anywhere else human rights are in jeopardy.
Matt Yglesias: Indeed, the board is shooting back: [snipped quote] Harsh. And then head honcho Fred Hiatt fires again.
Atrios: But, here I think he gets it about right: Some will say this is all to the good if it diminishes the hubris of what President Bill Clinton called the "indispensable nation."
Gregory Djerejian: Fred Hiatt, quoting Tommy Koh (Singapore's former Ambassador to Washington). Harsh and overwrought?

'In the Company of Those Involved'
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Post's focus on the possible uncertainty of the international legal status of the detainees held by the United States as the reason for the shocking abuse shown in the photos from Abu Ghraib detention facility is misplaced and wrongheaded ["Protecting the System," editorial, May 12].
Mark Kleiman: Decompensation — Lawrence di Rita, the same senior Pentagon flack who denied the Hersh story, also wrote one of the most bizarre letters-to-the-editor I've ever seen.
Atrios: Stunning — What can you say when the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs of the Department of Defense writes a letter like this to the Washington Post.
Matt Yglesias: Pissing on the Post — Not only, as Atrios says, is the content of this letter to The Washington Post totally unhinged,...

Anger Management
  Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
It's a cliché this is becoming the meanest year in politics yet. But it's true. Last week, Mike Lavigne, the spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party, admitted calling a state Supreme Court justice "a Nazi."
Edward Driscoll: PUTTING OUT THE FIRE WITH GASOLINE: John Fund writes that Democrats have started to realize that a campaign of hate won't beat President Bush.
Betsy Newmark: John Fund says that the Democrats need to get over themselves. "It's time that liberals police their own and flush out the nests of the most virulent Bush haters.

Iraqi General Urges Support of U.S. Troops
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
FALLUJAH, Iraq - A former Saddam Hussein -era general appointed by the Americans to lead an Iraqi security force in the rebellious Sunni stronghold of Fallujah urged tribal elders and sheiks Sunday to support U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq .
Andrew Olmsted: But at the same time, one of the former Iraqi generals in charge of the security force in Fallujah called on its leaders to support American efforts to stablize Iraq.
Betsy Newmark: A former Iraqi general offers some wise words. [snipped quote] He reminds me of Grant's campaign slogan, "Let us have peace."

  By / New Yorker   —   Permalink 
The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq.
Andrew Olmsted: TOP TOPICS A report claiming that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld approved the use of tougher interrogation techniques is drawing a strong backlash from the Pentagon.
Michael Totten: Operation Copper Green — Seymour Hersh dropped another bomb, so to speak, on the Pentagon this weekend in The New Yorker.
Dale Franks: Copper Green — I'm not sure what to make of the Seymour Hersh article that appeared on the New Yorker web site yesterday.
Mary InLosGatos: Our Heart of Darkness — Steve's post below talks about what a lethal blow Sy Hersh's incredible exposé is providing to be.
Angry Bear: Rumsfeld Should Go — By now, you've probably read or read about Seymour Hersh's latest for the New Yorker, The Gray...
Josh Marshall: All attention is now focused, and rightly focused, on Sy Hersh's latest installment (who says there are no second acts?)...
Also: Harley, Jesse Walker, Juan Cole, Matt Yglesias, Moe Lane, Tom Tomorrow, Dan Gillmor, James Joyner, SK Bubba, Mark Kleiman, Billmon, Adam Mordecai, Brad DeLong, Joe Gandelman, Phil Carter, Charles Johnson, Digby, Brian Linse, Jeralyn Merritt, Atrios, Kevin Drum

U.S. and British Forces Battle Shiite Rebels in 4 Iraqi Cities
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 15 — American-led occupation forces battled with insurgents and militias loyal to a rebel Shiite cleric in at least four cities in Iraq over a 24-hour period ending Saturday, killing at least 38 Iraqis in what one American official said was part of a "minor uprising."
Andrew Olmsted: Other Topics Today Include: the U.S. puts down an uprising in Baghdad; Coalition command structure revised; Fallujah...
Cori Dauber: IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE — Battles between the Coalition and the Mahdi Army continue in the south.

The Policy of Abuse
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
UNTIL THIS MONTH very little was publicly known about the Bush administration's procedures for handling and interrogating foreign detainees. Human rights groups had collected reports of abuses at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in Afghanistan, reports that the administration dismissed or denied.
Mark Kleiman: How's that again? I think the pressure must be getting to these folks. The Post responds. Matt Yglesias and Atrios comment.
Cori Dauber: THE PENDULUM SWINGS — And now the Post's editorial page, long the most moderate and reasonable that I've seen, jumps in...

Apocalypse Soon?
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
On March 13, the Guardian newspaper of London, beating the American networks by nearly eight months, called the U.S. presidential election — for Sen. John F. Kerry. The Democrat would win, the paper declared, not because of his plan for Iraq, or his proposals for the economy, but because of . . . a movie.
Glenn Reynolds: As far as I know, it didn't, and Patrick Michaels writes in The Washington Post that anyone who gets his or her climatology from the film is an idiot.
Betsy Newmark: Pat Michaels goes through all the bad science that is in "The Day After Tomorrow" and examines the real goal of this movie.
Juan Non-Volokh: The Disaster Movie Without Facts: Patrick Michaels explains why "The Day After Tomorrow" should be called "The Climate...

What Must Come Next
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
The photos and reports of abuse at Abu Ghraib have understandably commanded America's attention. The soldiers who committed these atrocities have marred the reputation of our country and have made the lives of American personnel in Iraq more dangerous and difficult.
Andrew Olmsted: With the push for early elections in Iraq growing, al-Sadr may end up becoming a successful political player in Iraq regardless of his success on the battlefield.
Max B. Sawicky: Why must more Americans die? Worst fear: President John Kerry enlists John McCain to lead the U.S. to success in Iraq.

Backers of Gay Marriage Ban Find Tepid Response in Pews
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Just four months after an alliance of conservative Christians was threatening a churchgoer revolt unless President Bush championed an amendment banning same-sex marriage, members say they have been surprised and disappointed by what they call a tepid response from the pews.
Tom Maguire: No Traction For The Federal Gay Marriage Amendment — So says the Times, and we believe them.
Kevin Drum: GAY MARRIAGE AND THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT...The New York Times reports that the Christian Right isn't having much luck...

U.S. athletes told to cool it at Olympics
  By / Washington Times   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK — American athletes have been warned not to wave the U.S. flag during their medal celebrations at this summer's Olympic Games in Athens, for fear of provoking crowd hostility and harming the country's already-battered public image.
Tacitus: Memo for the timorous — Self-flagellating nonsense like this and this will get us nothing in terms of respect, goodwill, or admiration.
Charles Johnson: US Athletes Told to Cool it at Olympics — In a "charm offensive" to try to get the world to like us, US athletes have...

Divided Iraqi South Posing New Obstacles
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, May 15 — The battle for Iraq's Shiite-populated south that engaged U.S. forces again Saturday is presenting U.S. officials with a more serious political challenge than the insurgency's still potent strongholds farther north, U.S. officials and Iraqi political leaders say.
Andrew Olmsted: Scott Wilson at the Washington Post examines other problems Sadr's revolt has raised for Coaltion forces, and why a Fallujah-style solution may not work with the Shi'ites.
Juan Cole: The Implication of Shiite Divisions — Scott Wilson of the Washington Post says that "A Divided South Moves to the Fore in Iraq."
Deacon: A case in point when it comes to news stories out of Iraq is this report in the Washington Post called "Divided Iraqi...

From GOP, Zero Tolerance For Democratic War Critics
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Republicans have adopted a scorched-earth strategy toward Democrats who challenge the wisdom of the way the war in Iraq is being conducted. Such critics, GOP officials say, are not merely misguided but are craven cut-and-runners who help the enemy and put politics ahead of U.S. troops' safety.
Cori Dauber: TWO PIECES — Ignore, for a second, the opening paragraph of this piece.
The Poor Man: Jim VandeHei broke the seal, and now Charles Babington gets even more direct, in an article entitled "From GOP, Zero...
Digby: And in other news, the sun came up this morning: [snipped quote] Joe Biden said this morning on Meat The Press that we...

Jack Kelly: No easy victory
  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette   —   Permalink 
Public opinion in America on the war in Iraq seems to be divided chiefly between those who think the cause is hopeless, and those who wonder why Iraq isn't Switzerland yet.
Deacon: Two views of the Iraqi south — Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette compares the upcoming election to the election of 1864.
Betsy Newmark: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is right when it says that the War in Iraq can be lost only at the ballot box.

Statement from DoD Spokesperson Mr. Lawrence Di Rita
  DefenseLINK   —   Permalink 
"Assertions apparently being made in the latest New Yorker article on Abu Ghraib and the abuse of Iraqi detainees are outlandish, conspiratorial, and filled with error and anonymous conjecture.
Angry Bear: The Pentagon, of course, refutes Hersh's account in its entirety and released a statement on Saturday saying in part...
Brad DeLong: Update: The Pentagon just issued a press released titled "Statement from DoD Spokesperson Mr. Lawrence Di Rita" in...
James Joyner: The Pentagon is denying these allegations in the strongest terms.
Phil Carter: Update I: The Pentagon just issued a press released titled "Statement from DoD Spokesperson Mr. Lawrence Di Rita" in...

Rumsfeld and Aide Backed Harsh Tactics, Article Says
  NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, May 15 — Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and one of his top aides authorized the expansion of a secret program that permitted harsh interrogations of detained members of Al Qaeda, allowing these methods to be used against prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, according to an article in The New Yorker.
Brad DeLong: Will the Republican Grownups Please Do Something?
Phil Carter: Update II: Sunday's NY Times carries a report on the Sy Hersh story, as well as the Pentagon's response to it.

Pioneers Fill Campaign War Chest, Then Capitalize
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Joined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and a host of celebrities, hundreds of wealthy Republicans gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge here in the first weekend in April, not for a fundraiser but for a celebration of fundraisers.
Joe Drymala: The Buying of the Presidency — An article in today's Washington Post details the Bush fundraising machine, including...
Tbogg: Pay for play... Access, GOP-style: As Bush "Pioneers" who had raised at least $100,000 each for the president's...
James Joyner: Bush Rewards Fundraisers — If this WaPo story is to be believed, people who spend a lot of time raising a lot of money...

Powell pledges justice on abuse
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
DEAD SEA, Jordan — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell launched a multipronged effort yesterday to mend US relations with the Arab world, promising to bring to justice the Americans responsible for abusing Iraqi prisoners and to reinvigorate the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Andrew Olmsted: Colin Powell was in Jordan Sunday trying to repair U.S. -Arab relations in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Fred Lapides: Powell pledges justice on abuse — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell launched a multipronged effort yesterday to mend...

US guards 'filmed beatings' at terror camp
  Observer   —   Permalink 
Dozens of videotapes of American guards allegedly engaged in brutal attacks on Guantanamo Bay detainees have been stored and catalogued at the camp, an investigation by The Observer has revealed.
Mark Kleiman: The Observer reports that there is a unit called the Extreme Reaction Force at Guantanamo, whose mission is dealing with instances of prisoner recalcitrance.
Jeralyn Merritt: Guantanamo Punishment Squad Filmed Prisoner Abuse — If you read no other articles today, you must read these: A third...
Kevin Drum: The Abu Ghraib revelations have given new life to their allegations: [snipped quote] Tapes of beatings at Guantanamo?

Far From Ready for More War
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
FT. CAMPBELL, Ky. — From their first days as "Screaming Eagles," the 18,000 soldiers of the Army's 101st Airborne Division are taught to be ready for anything. As the force's proud creed goes: "First in, last out."
Glenn Reynolds: Eugene Volokh mercilessly dissects a story by Esther Schrader from today's L.A. Times and then, with help from his readers, dissects it some more.
Eugene Volokh: From today's L.A. Times: [snipped quote] Wow, "as far from ready as it has ever been": There's sand in the seams of rucksacks.
Matt Yglesias: Now, I would have a lot more sympathy for the Bush administration's need to face down this semi-unfair attack by The Los...

Report: Rumsfeld policy allowed Abu Ghraib abuse
  CNN   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK (CNN) — The Abu Ghraib prison scandal was not the result of a few misguided soldiers, but of a decision last year by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to expand a clandestine operation against al Qaeda to the treatment of prisoners in Iraq, according to a report in The New Yorker.
Dan Gillmor: Rumsfeld's decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat...
Jeralyn Merritt: Update: The Hersh article is the story of the day—Associated Press; CNN; over 1400 articles on Google already.
Mark Kleiman: The Pentagon is denying it all : no surprise there. Update Michael Froomkin parses Di Rita's prose and finds that it doesn't actually deny the facts Hersh alleges.

Advice Rejected
  ABCNEWS   —   Permalink 
W A S H I N G T O N, May 15, 2004 — Lawyers from the military's Judge Advocate General's Corps, or JAG, had been urging Pentagon officials to ensure protection for prisoners for two years before the abuses at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison came to light, current and former JAG officers told ABCNEWS.
Kevin Drum: Newsweek and several other news outlets also report that the JAG corps has been complaining about abusive interrogation techniques for two years but was systematically ignored.
Atrios: Feithy — Link: Lawyers from the military's Judge Advocate General's Corps, or JAG, had been urging Pentagon officials...

De-Crowning Moment
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
The Lakers are perhaps not the finest team ever assembled as originally believed, but apparently they're willing to work toward something like it. That's how they eliminated the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: UGH — Have I mentioned recently just how loathsome I find the Lakers, who, if there actually was any semblance of...
Kevin Drum: LAKERS....I'll admit that for about 0.4 seconds on Thursday night I was afraid that the famous Laker luck had finally run out, but obviously it hasn't.

Newsweek Poll: Bad Days for Bush
  By / MSNBC   —   Permalink 
May 15 - As his administration grapples with the fallout from the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, President George W. Bush's approval ratings have dropped to 42 percent, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll, a low for his presidency.
Taegan Goddard: Meanwhile, a new Newsweek poll also shows Bush's approval ratings have dropped to their lowest level of his presidency.
Kash: From the latest issue of Newsweek: [snipped quote] For some historical context on how these numbers may translate into an election outcome, see this post on The American Street.

Army Limits Methods Used on Detainees
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — In the face of widening international criticism and congressional scrutiny, the U.S. Army said Friday that it had overhauled interrogation procedures used for Iraqi detainees and banned the use of techniques such as placing hoods over the heads of prisoners or forcing them to stand naked.
Mark Kleiman: Note that the Army announced yesterday that it was cutting back on the use of aggressive questioning techniques in Iraq.
Ken Masugi: That's a nasty question to ask, but the LALATimes John Hendren quotes "two senior Army officials": 'In the most...

Al-Qaeda says Canada deserves bombing
  By / National Post   —   Permalink 
Karim Khadr, 14, who was paralyzed when shot in the spine by Pakistani security forces last year near the border with Afghanistan, has returned home to Canada for medical treatment. His father was killed in the gun battle.
Cori Dauber: They're a Western liberal democracy. In other words, they aren't an Islamic state run entirely by Sharia.
Charles Johnson: The Voice of Jihad — Here's the jihad mindset revealed in all its anti-rational glory, in an interview with a friend of...
Damian Penny: They still hate us — Khalid Khawaja, an associate of Osama bin Laden, says Canada remains on the Islamofascist hit...

Get Me Rewrite!
  By / Mother Jones   —   Permalink 
George W. Bush has stationed 135,000 troops in harm's way for a cause that seems increasingly hopeless and he's presided over one of the worst economies of the century. He ran promising to be a centrist, lost the popular vote, and went on to govern from the radical right.
Matt Yglesias: Fiction Is Stranger Than Truth — Joshua Shenk in Mother Jones writes about the conservative story and how liberals need to come up with a better one if we want to win.
Kevin Drum: NEEDED: A GOOD STORY...Over at Mother Jones, Joshua Wolf Shenk writes that conservatives have a pretty compelling story...

Ukraine celebrates Eurovision win
  BBC   —   Permalink 
Ukraine has won the 2004 Eurovision song contest in Istanbul, Turkey - only the second time the country has taken part in the competition.
Ruslana, a successful singer, producer, dancer and composer in her home country, won for her song Wild Dance.
Jan Haugland: "Wild Dance" — Ruslana from Ukraine I am proud to say I did not watch the Eurovision Song Contest this year either (in...
Kevin Drum: And while we're on the topic of Europe, Ukraine has snagged first place in the 49th annual Eurovision song contest.

Building War Chest With Few Restraints
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
GREENSBORO, Ga. — Joined by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and a host of celebrities, hundreds of wealthy Republicans gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge here in the first weekend in April, not for a fundraiser but for a celebration of fundraisers.
Angry Bear: Meanwhile, by way of Mark Kleiman, I find this in today's Washington Post: [snipped quote] Since Atrios has raised...
Dan Gillmor: Buying the White House — Washington Post: The Bush Money Machine: Building War Chest With Few Restraints.
Mark Kleiman: Tom Edsall and his colleagues at the Washington Postcan help satisfy your curiousity: When Kenneth L. Lay, for example,...

Rumsfeld Approved Iraq Interrogation Plan -Report
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved a plan that brought unconventional interrogation methods to Iraq to gain intelligence about the growing insurgency, ultimately leading to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners, the New Yorker magazine reported on Saturday.
Max B. Sawicky: THE SECRETARY OF OFFENSE — What does it take to do a superb job? This.
Jeralyn Merritt: A senior C.I.A. official, in confirming the details of this account last week, said that the operation stemmed from...

Islamist schools are blamed for bloody uprising in Thailand
  By / Independent   —   Permalink 
Hidden a few kilometres down a remote country lane in the heart of Thailand's troubled deep south - where a Muslim separatist uprising has left more than 200 dead this year - is the multi-million-dollar new campus of the Yala Islamic College.
Glenn Reynolds: Read the whole thing. And note this story about Saudi-funded Islamist schools promoting the violence in Thailand.
Andrew Stuttaford: Now the Thais are pointing fingers, and, yes, it turns out that the Saudis have been vomiting their bile across yet another previously pleasant part of the planet.

The Buck Stops ... Where?
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
And so it seems I, too, have misunderestimated the president. This past Wednesday, I wrote a column holding George W. Bush responsible for our recent disasters—the torture at Abu Ghraib and the whole plethora of strategic errors in Iraq.
Brad DeLong: "But Fred Kaplan, who knows his business, believes it."
Mark Kleiman: But Fred Kaplan, who knows his business, believes it.

Rabbis' Rules and Indian Wigs Stir Crisis in Orthodox Brooklyn
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
Synthetic wigs flew off the shelves yesterday at Yaffa's Quality Wigs in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn.
On the crowded streets of the neighborhood, an increasing number of Orthodox Jewish women were seen wearing cloth head coverings, having left their wigs at home.
Micha Ghertner: Apparently, many of the human-hair wigs come from India, and according to a recent rabbinic ban, "the hair may have been...
Brad DeLong: Barriers to World Trade — No, I am not making this up: [snipped quote] Do we need to convene a WTO panel to assess...

Velvet Hand, Iron Glove
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
I had just about convinced myself that Iran is not a police state — and then the authorities detained me for a second time.
The first time was in Isfahan, for committing journalism. The police apologized and let me go after 30 minutes when my papers were found to be in order.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: THE INEFFICIENT POLICE STATE — Another interesting story from Iran, via Nick Kristof: "I had just about convinced...
Cori Dauber: He discovers that even though it's said to be a police state, it isn't a very "effective" police state since people have...
Jeff Jarvis: Keystone Cops state : The NY Times' Nicholas Kristof finds himself detained twice by the authorities in Iran: "The...

Undeterred by McCain Denials, Some See Him as Kerry's No. 2
  NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, May 14 — Despite weeks of steadfast rejections from Senator John McCain, some prominent Democrats are angling for him to run for vice president alongside Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, creating a bipartisan ticket that they say would instantly transform the presidential race.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: INCOMPREHENSIBLE — I really don't understand the rationale of pushing a Kerry-McCain ticket when McCain has made it clear that he won't run with Kerry.
Ramesh Ponnuru: McCAIN VEEP TALK — On the assumption that nothing actually comes of such talk, it is helpful to Bush's re-election...
Kevin Drum: KERRY-McCAIN AGAIN....More speculation about a Kerry-McCain ticket, this time on the front page of the New York Times.
Tom Maguire: Don't Offer Your Kid A Pony And Deliver A Hamster — The NY Times lets a few named and un-named Democrats fans the flames of the Kerry-McCain fantasy ticket.
Jim Henley: Kevin Drum thinks the Kerry-McCain rumors are a chance for the rare "moderate Republican" to "make one last stand" by at...
Matt Yglesias: More McCain! Count me among the ranks of the enthusiastic Democrats, though I sadly don't count as "prominent."
Also: Joe Gandelman, Captain Ed, The Big Trunk, Ken Masugi

In U.S., Cotton Cries Betrayal
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
If Daniel Sumner's actions be treason, as some of his critics contend, then he is glad the most has been made of it.
Sumner, an agricultural economist at the University of California at Davis, played a key role in an international trade case that is shaping up as one of the most significant defeats the United States has ever suffered on the trade front.
Mark Kleiman: Academic integrity at UC Davis — Brad DeLong is right: Either the Washington Post needs to fire its reporter Paul...
Brad DeLong: If Paul Blustein's story below is correct, then the answer is clearly "No," and UC Davis's Chancellor Vanderhoef badly...
Moe Lane: Hey, does anybody here... ...not spit at hearing the words "Agricultural Subsidies"? (pause) Thought so.
Tyler Cowen: Economist accused of treason — [snipped quote] Here is the full story.

Arafat Makes Call to 'Terrorize' Enemy
  AP   —   Permalink 
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday called on his people to "terrorize your enemy" as he bitterly marked the 56-year anniversary of Israel's establishment, but also signaled that he is ready for peace.
Andrew C. McCarthy: Thanks for clearing that up. Full story is here.
Bird Dog: From AP: [quote] Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Saturday called on his people to "terrorize your enemy" as he bitterly...[end quote]
Pejman Yousefzadeh: THE TRUE FACE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY — No matter what pacific sounds and gestures Yasser Arafat makes, no matter...
Charles Johnson: The al-Reuters release for this story is an amazing example of media cognitive dissonance: Arafat Makes Call to 'Terrorize' Enemy.

Should cowboy Bush ride into the sunset?
  USA Today   —   Permalink 
As a former combat infantryman in World War II, I've always believed we must fully support our troops. Reluctantly, I now believe the best way to support troops in Iraq is to bring them home, starting with the "hand-over" on June 30.
Emperor Darth Misha I: Another Asshat Wearing His Service as a Shield — Boy, oh boy is that Kerry Ketchup tactic ever catching on, as LC...
Atrios: Neuharth Tells Bush to Go — Wow. When? After 9/11. Bush bravely took on a necessary fight against terrorists who attacked us.
Sandwichman: JUST LEAVE! by the Sandwichman Via Atrios this eloquently pithy column by USA Today founder Al Neuharth. Excerpt: Who?

A bumpy takeoff for Air America liberal radio network
  Minneapolis Star Tribune   —   Permalink 
NEW YORK — Last week, Al Franken and Katherine Lanpher basked in the warm spring sun outside the Park Avenue skyscraper that serves as hub to the Air America radio network. Their distinctive laughs bounced off the courtyard wall as the pair relaxed after their 3-hour show.
Atrios: AAR news — Here's a pretty balanced look at what's going on at AAR which fits with the rumors I've heard.
The Big Trunk: Ring of fire — The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a puff piece on the ongoing meltdown at Hate Bush radio, a/k/a Air...
Captain Ed: The Star Tribune's Deborah Caulfield Rybak reviews the "bumpy start" that has plagued the netlet's first few months ...

The Many Faces of Helen
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
Listen to this story on NPR's Day to Day.
For the producers of Troy, the forthcoming Warner Brothers spectacle, finding an actress to play Helen was tricky. There is no shortage of beautiful women in Hollywood, but faces that can reliably launch thousands of ships are scarce.
Robert Garcia Tagorda: Meanwhile, Patrick Belton links to this Slate item, which questions Diane Kruger's casting as Helen.
Patrick Belton: SLATE'S COMMENTATORS say Diane Kruger's face only succeeds in launching about three ships.

Man angry at Verizon hurls phones
  AP   —   Permalink 
FARGO, North Dakota (AP) — A man who said he was fed up with his cellular phone service went to a Fargo mall and started hurling phones across a store, striking an employee and causing more than $2,000 in damage, authorities said.
Micha Ghertner: Can You Hear Me Now? [snipped quote] Talk about revealed preference!
Jan Haugland: Jason Perala of Fargo, North Dakota, was so fed up with mobile Verizon's service, or lack thereof, that he went to a...

Our moral Waterloo
  By / Guardian   —   Permalink 
Underpinning the argument in support of the invasion of Iraq has been the idea of the moral virtue of the west. In contrast to Saddam Hussein's brutal dictatorship, the "coalition" espouses the values of democracy and human rights.
Andrew Stuttaford: Here he is on how the horrors of Abu Ghraib have eroded supposed claims by the West of a monopoly of both virtue and modernity.
Marcus @HarrysPlace: In today's Guardian the journalistic equivalent of just such an unappetising platter is dressed up to resemble a juicy...

Powell Says Troops Would Leave Iraq if New Leaders Asked
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, joined by the foreign ministers of nations making key contributions of military forces in Iraq, emphatically said yesterday that if the incoming Iraqi interim government ordered the departure of foreign troops after July 1, they would pack up without protest.
Christopher Kanis: Well, then, what to make of this? [snipped quote] I trust my readers will forgive me if I stop listening to the President's defenders on this issue.
Billmon: He (Powell) is giving a press conference tomorrow morning, which should be entertaining, considering the furor over the...
TChris: Colin Powell says the U.S. military will leave if asked to do so on July 1 by the interim government.
Kevin Drum: Finally, later on Friday, Colin Powell, echoed by the foreign ministers of Britain, Italy and Japan, confirmed that this...

  By / New York Post   —   Permalink 
WE interrupt America's self-flagellation over the Iraqi prison abuse scandal to ask three key crucial questions:
1) Just who were the inmates photographed at Abu Ghraib? Did they innocently wander into that Baghdad-area jail after Friday prayers, or were these the types who turned minarets into snipers' nests?
Betsy Newmark: Deroy Murdock asks some serious questions about how far we're willing to go in our self-flagellation over Abu Ghraib to...
Whiskey: When reading Deroy Murdock's recent op-ed in the New York Post, I was reminded of the famous quote, "Good people sleep...

New Limits On Tactics At Prisons
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq has barred military interrogators from using the most coercive techniques potentially available to them in the past, declaring that requests to employ the measures against detainees will no longer even be considered, officials said yesterday.
Cori Dauber: Look at the Post's quite blunt assessment this morning: The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq has barred military...
Captain Ed: Love Or Let Them Be Lonely — General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of US forces in Iraq, has issued an order putting some...

Poll: Support for Bush, Iraq war dropping
  CNN   —   Permalink 
(CNN) — As Americans express growing unease about Iraq, President Bush's job approval rating has taken a hit, according to a poll released Friday by CNN and Time magazine.
That development appears to be helping Sen. John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Atrios: I just might... Bush's overall job approval rating fell from 49 percent to 46 percent since the last CNN/Time poll on...
Joe Gandelman: The Latest See-Saw Poll (Joe Gandelman) The latest see saw poll is in.
Bodhisattva: New CNN/Time Poll — Likely Voters: Bush 46 Kerry 51 Bush Approval Approve 46 (49) Disapprove 49 (47) There's more.
Hesiod: We all know it's not. But, thankfully, a majority of the American people are beginning to see through Bush's bulls**t.
Chris Bowers: Generic Congressional Ballot Update — It is too bad today is not November 2nd: Rasmussen: Dem 44-35 GOP (5/11-13)...

Top Commander Bars Coercive Tactics in Interrogation of Iraqis
  NYT   —   Permalink 
A senior military official said the American headquarters in Baghdad expected interrogators and their commanders to request exceptional permission for any approach that was not in the pre-approve category.
Dan Gillmor: U.S. Stops Abuse of Prisoner (but only in Iraq) NY Times: Top Commander Bars Coercive Tactics in Interrogation of Iraqis.
Jeralyn Merritt: U.S. Bars Harsh Interrogation Techniques — Even Wolfowitz disagrees with Rumsfeld on what constitutes excessive...

FBI Questioned Berg on 9/11 Link
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, May 14 — Nicholas Berg, the American businessman who disappeared here last month and was later decapitated by Islamic guerrillas, was interviewed by FBI agents in the United States in 2002 because of a tangential connection to the case of alleged al Qaeda member Zacarias Moussaoui, U.S. officials said Friday.
Cori Dauber: Although everyone now knows that his link to Mousaoui is utterly coincidental, just one of those spooky things that...
Jeralyn Merritt: Berg was last seen on April 9. His body was found May 8. Update: The CIA maintains the beheader was Abu Musab Zarqawi.

Tainted by Torture
  By / Slate   —   Permalink 
There are plenty of good reasons to avoid using torture in interrogations. It's an immoral and barbaric practice condemned by most Western nations and theological traditions, for starters. International human rights law and U.S. criminal law both outlaw it.
Dan Gillmor: "Tainted by Torture, Phillip Carter's explanation of why "evidence obtained through coercion is undermining the legal war on terrorism."
Glenn Reynolds: AGAINST TORTURE: Phil Carter has an interesting article in Slate. I share his opposition to torture, as I noted back when Alan Dershowitz was floating the idea.
James Joyner: Torturing Terrorists — Phil Carter has yet another piece in Slate.
Mark Kleiman: Torture, trials, and tribunals — Phil Carter points out that using torture will make it virtually impossible to try...
Phil Carter: "Methods too close to the rack and the screw": Slate has just published my Jurisprudence article "Tainted by Torture" on...
Donald Sensing: Update: Phil Carter explains how torture is actually counterproductive.

The Vietnam investor behind the "Swift Boat Vets" attack
  By / Salon   —   Permalink 
When the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" launched its campaign against John Kerry 10 days ago, leadership and guidance were provided by Republican activists and presidential friends from Texas — notably Houston attorney John E. O'Neill and corporate media consultant Merrie Spaeth.
Hesiod: But Joe Conason has been on their case, and has some new, very interesting information.
Oliver Willis: Smear Watch — Joe Conason is on the case, as usual.
Jeralyn Merritt: Joe Conasen at Salon writes that the group attacking Kerry for his antiwar record (the "swift-boat vet attacks") is...

Mirror editor sacked over hoax
  Guardian   —   Permalink 
Piers Morgan was last night sacked as editor of the Daily Mirror as the newspaper apologised "unreservedly" for publishing photographs of Iraqi prisoner abuse that were faked.
Andrew Sullivan: The editor, Piers Morgan, refused even yesterday to resign or acknowledge that he had published a falsehood.
Jeralyn Merritt: UK Mirror Editor Fired over Phony British Abuse Photos — The UK's Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been fired...

France and Germany Jointly Criticize Abuse of Iraqis and Express Horror at Beheading
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
PARIS, May 13 — President Jacques Chirac of France and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany on Thursday criticized the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers and expressed horror over the beheading of an American civilian.
Tom Maguire: Does he read the newspapers? I think he is a day late with the France invite.
David Adesnik: We now know exactly what kind of response John Kerry will get when asks for French help in governing Iraq:...
Pejman Yousefzadeh: Because it probably is not going to happen (thanks to David Adesnik for the pointer): [snipped quote] If anyone from the...

Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican warned Catholic women on Friday to think hard before marrying a Muslim and urged Muslims to show more respect for human rights, gender equality and democracy.
Fred Lapides: Vatican Warns Catholics Against Marrying Muslims — The Vatican warned Catholic women on Friday to think hard before...
Charles Johnson: Vatican Warns Catholics Not to Marry Muslims — The Vatican continues a history of flip-flopping and mixed signals...

Column One: Stop navel gazing
  By / Jerusalem Post   —   Permalink 
We are in a world war and yet we do not notice it.
Over the past few weeks reports have abounded about the widening berth of the forces of global jihad. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that al-Qaida linked groups are operating in Africa from the Western Sahara to the Horn of Africa.
Deacon: Navel gazing — Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post is onto something when she identifies "navel gazing" as the central...
Charles Johnson: Stop Navel Gazing — An excellent Column One from Caroline Glick: Stop navel gazing.

A series of errors on lewd images
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
IT IS AN understatement to say that the Globe erred when it ran a photo that, if you look closely, showed images of men dressed as soldiers having sex with unidentified women. It's also an understatement to say the paper regrets the error — as was evident in the apology published yesterday as an editor's note.
Cori Dauber: APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED — The Globe has apologized (sort of) and explained how they came to publish sexually explicit...
Harry @HarrysPlace: This is how they reacted - within two days. Rather different to how long it took the Mirror to own up to how they had been duped.
Vanderleun: [quote] Boston Globe — A series of errors on lewd images "We are not firing anybody," responds Baron.[end quote]
Glenn Reynolds: Meanwhile, here's the Boston Globe's ombudsman on its own fake-photo scandal. They're still not coming right out and admitting that the photos are bogus, though.

Slippery Grease Bandits Make Slick Getaway
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma police are looking for grease bandits who made off with 5,000 pounds (2268 kg) of used cooking oil and grease from three restaurants.
Police in Edmond, north of Oklahoma City, said on Thursday the grease bandits have hit an area of Mexican, Chinese and steak restaurants over the past three months.
Joe Gandelman: Police Seek Grease Bandits (Joe Gandelman) Reuters reports: [snipped quote] Police are looking for the Crisco Kid.
Clayton Cramer: Crooks This Hardworking Deserve A Real Job — From Reuters: "OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma police are looking for...