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3:20 AM ET, May 23, 2007

memeorandum

 Top Items: 
The Blotter:
Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran  —  Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:  —  The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.
RELATED:
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
ABC exposes Bush's secret order to CIA to destabilize Iranian regime  —  It's not a secret anymore.  Some righty media outlet must have already linked it, too, because Brian Ross and company are getting reamed in the comments over there for revealing it.  —  I assumed we've been doing covert ops …
Faiz / Think Progress:
ABC News: Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran  —  This evening, ABC's World News Tonight reported that the "United States has opened a new front in its showdown with Iran."  According to the report, President Bush has directed the CIA to carry out covert operations both inside and outside Iran …
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Well, This Takes All The Fun Out Of It  —  ABC News has revealed a top-secret order from George Bush that orders the CIA and other intelligence agencies to take action to undermine the Iranian mullahcracy.  Needless to say, the revelation makes the mission almost impossible (via Hot Air):
Discussion: The Newshoggers
The Age:
Iran planning strike on Europe: analyst  —  Iran is attempting to draw up plans to strike targets in Europe and has reconnoitered European nuclear power stations, a security analyst told a meeting at Britain's parliament.  —  Claude Moniquet, president of the European Strategic Intelligence …
Discussion: New York Times
RELATED:
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Drop Troop Pullout Dates From Iraq Bill  —  Congressional Democrats relented today on their insistence that a war spending measure sought by President Bush also set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq.  The decision to back down, described by senior lawmakers and aides …
CNN:
Deadline pulled from war funding bill … WASHINGTON (CNN) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi will present a plan to House Democrats for a war funding bill that won't include a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but will feature benchmarks with consequences, according to Democratic leadership aides.
Guardian:
Cave-in, or smart politics?
Discussion: TalkLeft and The Mahablog
RELATED:
Ed Morrissey / Captain's Quarters:
Pre-Emptive Stupidity At Falwell Funeral
Discussion: Obsidian Wings and Shakesville
Rush Transcript / The Raw Story:
A RUSH TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS THE VIDEO  —  HALA GORANI: Well, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh reported back in March that in order to defeate Hezbollah, the Lebanese government supported a Sunni militant group, the same ones they're fighting today.  Seymour joins us live from Washington.
RELATED:
The Independent:
Robert Fisk: The road to Jerusalem (via Lebanon)  —  Inspired by al-Qa'ida, a hitherto little-known militant group is behind the outbreak of bloody violence which has left scores dead  —  They came into Lebanon last summer when the world was watching Israel smash this small nation in a vain attempt to destroy the Hizbollah.
Discussion: The Agonist and The Belmont Club
Nicholas Blanford / Time:   Catching Their Breath in Lebanon
Pew Research Center:
Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream  —  War on Terror Concerns  —  The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world.
RELATED:
Allahpundit / Hot Air:
Pew poll of American Muslims chock full o' nuance
Faiz / Think Progress:
Snow Slams Gore's Book, Says It Should Be 'Reprinted' Because It Calls Out Bush's 'Deception'  —  In his new book The Assault on Reason, Al Gore wrote that Bush's efforts to connect Iraq to 9/11 were an example of the administration's willful "deception" of the public:
RELATED:
James Boyce / The Huffington Post:
Just Off The Phone With Al Gore — With Special Note To Tony Snow
Discussion: New York Times and Liberal Values
Laura Litvan / Bloomberg:
Lieberman, Sticking With Democrats for Now, Warns Them on Iraq  —  Senator Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, says his disagreement with the Democrats over the Iraq war won't prevent him from working with his former party.  For now.  —  ``I hope the moment doesn't come that I feel …
RELATED:
Chris Bowers / MyDD:
On Checks And Balances In The Progressive Movement
Discussion: TalkLeft
Simon Tisdall / Guardian:
Bush may turn to UN in search for Iraq solution  —  If troop surge fails, strategy is to involve other nations under UN umbrella  —  The Bush administration is developing plans to "internationalise" the Iraq crisis, including an expanded role for the United Nations, as a way of reducing …
Agence France Presse:
Gay flamingos pick up chick  —  LONDON (AFP) - A pair of gay flamingos have adopted an abandoned chick, becoming parents after being together for six years, a British conservation organisation said Monday.  —  Carlos and Fernando had been desperate to start a family, even chasing other flamingos …
Susan Crabtree / The Hill:
Murtha sent earmark letter five weeks after deadline  —  Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) submitted an earmark certification letter for the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) May 1, more than five weeks after the Intelligence Committee's deadline and the day before the panel marked up its authorization bill …
Discussion: Flopping Aces and Bluey Blog
Thomas Harding / Telegraph:
Taliban 'stalled by lack of commanders'  —  The Taliban's much-vaunted spring offensive has stalled apparently due to lack of organisation after dozens of middle-ranking commanders were killed by British troops in the past year, according to military sources.
Discussion: Don Surber and Hot Air
Daniel Friedman / Federal Times:
GSA chief violated Hatch Act, OSC report finds  —  An Office of Special Counsel report has found that General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan violated the Hatch Act, which bars federal officials from partisan political activity while on the job, sources say.
Discussion: MyDD, Tech Insider and Firedoglake
 
 
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 More Items: 
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Silicon Valley Could Use A Downturn Right About Now
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
New Strategy for War Stresses Iraqi Politics
Telegraph:
Russia angered by Litvinenko extradition call
CBN.com:
Video: George Allen Weighs in on 2008 Race
Discussion: MSNBC and Salon
Deacon / Power Line:
SO CORRUPT IT HURTS  —  Although Jack Murtha currently occupies …
Former Gonzales Aide / Washington Post:
Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide
Discussion: Think Progress
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Liberation … You can view more of the video at this Chicago Tribune link.
Discussion: The Sideshow
Kevin G. Hall / Real Cities:
Swiss authorities question U.S. counterfeiting charges against North Korea
Discussion: Washington Monthly
 Earlier Items: 
Jean Hopfensperger / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Attack on 'sex slavery' targets 8 brothels
Discussion: Captain's Quarters
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Local officials take on voting rights groups
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Obey Presser on Iraq
Discussion: Think Progress
Dean Barnett / Townhall.com:
A Decree from Markos  —  Under the headline, "Record Everything …
Stewart M. Powell / Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
U.S. quietly, dramatically increasing Iraq troop levels
Discussion: Firedoglake
Justin Rood Reports / The Blotter:
U.S. Government Gave Airtime to Terrorists, Official Admits
 

 
From Mediagazer:

Andrew Khouri / Los Angeles Times:
Layoffs hit Freedom Communications as it ceases publication of L.A. Register

Agence France-Presse:
Somali pirates release German-American journalist and writer Michael Scott Moore after more than two years

Leslie Kaufman / New York Times:
Dataminr, which detects breaking news on social media, now commercially available to news orgs

 
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