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Archive Edition for   Wednesday, May 12, 2004Go to Current Page
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Quoted in this edition:

ABC News
American Digest
American Enterprise Institute
  Gertrude Himmelfarb
  Gary Farber
  Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
  Angry Bear
Arizona Republic
Associated Press
  Sam Hananel
  Jim Krane
  Louis Meixler
  Pauline Jelinek
  Jack Balkin
Baltimore Sun
  Mark Matthews
The Belgravia Dispatch
  Gregory Djerejian
Betsy's Page
  Betsy Newmark
Boston Globe
  Glen Johnson
Boston Herald
Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal
  Brad DeLong
  Jeff Jarvis
Captain's Quarters
  Captain Ed
CBS News
Change for America
  Joe Drymala
Chicago Boyz
  Jonathan Gewirtz
Christian Science Monitor
  Scott Peterson
CJR Campaign Desk Home
  Susan Q. Stranahan
The Claremont Institute
  Ken Masugi
Clayton Cramer's BLOG
  Clayton Cramer
Cold Fury
  Mike Hendrix
The Corner
  Ramesh Ponnuru
  Rich Lowry
  Tim Graham
  Jonathan H. Adler
  Michael Graham
  Kathryn Jean Lopez
Counterspin Central
Crooked Timber
  Ted Barlow
Daily Kos
  Damian Penny
Dan Gillmor's eJournal
  Dan Gillmor
  Daniel Drezner
Dean's World
  Dean Esmay
  Steve Antler
  David Allan Pell
  Nielsen Hayden
  Noam Scheiber
Front Page Magazine
  Laurie Mylroie
  Polly Toynbee
The Hill
  Mark Mellman
Hit & Run
  Jeff A. Taylor
  Charles Paul Freund
  Matt Welch
  Jacob Sullum
  Nick Gillespie
  Mike Alissi
  Glenn Reynolds
  Phil Carter
Ipse Dixit
  C. D. Harris
The Iraq War Reader
  Micah Sifry
Israel news and commentary from IsraPundit
  Fred Lapides
  Ted Belman
Jerusalem Post
  Margot Dudkevitch
Juan Cole * Informed Comment *
  Juan Cole
  Tom Maguire
  Mickey Kaus
Lean Left
  Kevin Raybould
The Left Coaster
  Mary InLosGatos
  Charles Johnson
The Liquid List
  Oliver @LiquidList
  Aaron @LiquidList
  Tarek @LiquidList
Los Angeles Times
  Bruce Herschensohn
  James Gerstenzang
Mark A. R. Kleiman
  Mark Kleiman
Matthew Yglesias
  Matt Yglesias
MaxSpeak, You Listen!
  Max B. Sawicky
Media Notes Extra
  Howard Kurtz
Mudville Gazette
The National Debate
  Robert Cox
National Review
  Catherine Seipp
  Rachel Zabarkes Friedman
  Jonah Goldberg
  Rich Lowry
The New Republic
  Andrew Sullivan
New York Post
  Ralph Peters
New York Times
  Andrew Kohut
  Eric Schmitt
  Nicholas D. Kristof
  Dexter Filkins
  Carlotta Gall
  David Brooks
  Ariel Hart
No More Mister Nice Blog
  Steve Messina
NY Daily News
Obsidian Wings
  Edward _
  Moe Lane
  Von @ObsidianWings
Oh, That Liberal Media
  Stefan Sharkansky
  Joshua Sharf
Oliver Willis
  Oliver Willis
One Hand Clapping
  Donald Sensing
Opinion Journal
  David Neiwert
Outside the Beltway
  James Joyner
  David Adesnik
  Patrick Belton
  Ezra Klein
  Jesse Taylor
  Pejman Yousefzadeh
  Steven Taylor
The Poor Man
  The Poor Man
Power Line
  The Big Trunk
Priorities & Frivolities
  Robert Garcia Tagorda
  Steve Bainbridge
protein wisdom
  Jeff Goldstein
  Jon Henke
  Cori Dauber
  Andrea Shalal-Esa
  Adam Entous
  Ghaida Ghantous
Right Wing News
  John Hawkins
the road to surfdom
  Tim Dunlop
Roger L. Simon
  Roger L. Simon
Secular Blasphemy
  Jan Haugland
Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing
Shark Blog
  Stefan Sharkansky
South Knox Bubba
  SK Bubba
Southern Appeal
  Nathan Hallford
  Michael DeBow
  Steve Dillard
The Spoons Experience
  Christopher Kanis
Steyn Online
t a c i t u s
Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
  Taegan Goddard
Talking Points Memo
  Josh Marshall
  Jeralyn Merritt
  Matthew Yglesias
  Nick Confessore
  Radley Balko
This Modern World
  Tom Tomorrow
Tim Blair
  Tim Blair
  Jonah Goldberg
  Rebecca Hagelin
UIUC News Bureau
USA Today
  Jill Lawrence
Village Voice
  Sanford Levinson
  Stephen Green
The Washington Monthly
  Kevin Drum
Washington Post
  William Branigin
  David Von Drehle
  James D. Villa
  Michael Getler
  Helen Dewar
  Glenn Kessler
  Mark Leibovich
  George F. Will
  Dan Morgan
Weekly Standard
  Jonathan V. Last
World O'Crap
  Sherrie Gossett

Bush Ratings Fall Amid Iraq Woes
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
"The public is just very unhappy with what has happened in the war. We are talking about perceptions of the war that are akin to the public's perception on Vietnam, or lower."
Mark Kleiman: And it turns out you can only fool most of the people some of the time: By 46 percent to 37 percent, more Americans...
Angry Bear: Waking Up and Smelling The Coffee — But why did it take so long?
Josh Marshall: Where's the floor? The new CBS poll has President Bush coming in at 44% job approval. Can he break through into the thirties?
Taegan Goddard: Another Poll Shows Bush In Free Fall — President Bush's approval rating "has fallen to the lowest level of his...
TChris: More Polls — A snapshot of recent opinion: From CBS News (Tuesday): "President Bush's overall approval rating has...
Steve Messina: Bush approval rating: 44%. Has any sitting president ever been elected with an approval rating this low six months before November?

Nader Wins Endorsement From Reform Party
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader has been endorsed by the national Reform Party, giving him ballot access in eight states, including Florida and Michigan, party leaders announced Wednesday.
Oliver @LiquidList: The scattered remnants of the Reform Party have endorsed Ralph Nader, putting him on the ballot in some battleground states.
Micah Sifry: The Reform Party Rises Again? So Ralph Nader has the Reform Party's endorsement. Talk about a shadow chasing a mirage!
Captain Ed: Nader May Accept Reform Party Endorsement — In a move that has to worry Democratic Party leadership, the Reform Party...
Steve Bainbridge: Reform Party Endorses Nader — What's left of the Reform Party has endorsed Ralph Nader's presidential bid, which will...
Michael DeBow: Nader on a roll: According to this AP story, Ralph Nader has won the endorsement of the Reform Party (the vehicle Ross Perot created in order to deny Bush 41 a second term).
Taegan Goddard: Nader Backed By Reform Party — Ralph Nader "has been endorsed by the national Reform Party, giving him ballot access in...
Also: Kos

Boston Globe publishes bogus GI rape pictures
  By / WorldNetDaily   —   Permalink 
Boston residents got more than they bargained for this morning when their copy of the Globe came complete with graphic photos depicting U.S. troops gang-raping Iraqi women.
Problem is the photos are fake.
Cori Dauber: Someone got a little too creative with some frame grabs from a porn site.
Jonathan Gewirtz: Whose Side Is the Nation of Islam On? This story raises legitimate questions.
Stephen Green: Bad Week Via Drudge, comes this WorldNetDaily story: [snipped quote] Neither is the US Army, which was, apparently, unjustly accused of allowing (if not encouraging) gang rape.
Moe Lane: She apparently wasn't skeptical enough for her editors, however, because World Net Daily called up and pretty much...
Clayton Cramer: But other newspapers are being taken in as well—like the Boston Globe. I guess that's why the professional journalists look down their noses at the amateurs.

Dr. D & DM
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
I went on Dennis Miller's new CNBC show for the first time a few weeks ago and realized I'd better stop by the ophthalmologist first, because one of my fake tear ducts had become dislodged again, and a dripping eye is particularly unattractive on TV.
Libertarian: See here and here. Oh, and Seipp is wrong about the Eric Alterman and Dennis Miller episode.
Glenn Reynolds: HOWARD STERN IS DISSING CATHY SEIPP: Knowing her as I do, that strikes me as unwise.
Jeff Jarvis: Glenn Reynolds says Howard Stern is dissing Catherine Seipp. But the truth is, Seipp dissed Stern's audience.
Nathan Hallford: National Review Online has several good articles up today. First, a look at how Dennis Miller drives the Left nuts.

General who made anti-Islam remark tied to POW case
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by U.S. officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas.
David Neiwert: Yesterday came the confirmation of this: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army general under investigation for...
Steve Messina: Boykin has declined comment.... —Reuters (Link via Seeing the Forest.)
Jack Balkin: "Jerry" Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, may have been involved in the recommendation to...

Why the Polls Don't Add Up
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — You can hardly blame the Democrats if they seem a bit confused. After all, as the situation in Iraq has worsened over the past six weeks and national polls have shown a steep decline in President Bush's job-approval ratings (some, including the...
Mark Kleiman: Relax — Andrew Kohut says that Kerry's failure to gain ground on Bush is normal for this stage of the cycle, and consistent with the patterns of 1980 and 1992.
Aaron @LiquidList: The post references observations by Andrew Kohut on the 1980 and 1992 races.
Ezra Klein: Andrew Kohut, on the other hand, has a good op-ed this morning explaining why the President's problems don't translate...
David Adesnik: WHY ISN'T KERRY SURGING? Pew's Andrew Kohut makes an interesting argument in a NYT op-ed.
Rich Lowry: Well, Andrew Kohut explains in the New York Times today that weak incumbents always tend to be tied around this time...
Mary InLosGatos: Open Thread — So, is there something to worry about when the polls don't budge? Andrew Kohut says probably not.

  New York Post   —   Permalink 
Indeed, you can't get much more barbaric than the filmed beheading of 26-year-old Nick Berg that splashed across a terrorist group's Web site yesterday.
In case the world needed a reminder of why America is waging its War on Terror, it got one yesterday.
Kevin Drum: TALKING TOUGH....The New York Post says it's time to kick some ass: "This war cannot be waged with half-measures.
Steve Messina: NEW YORK POST CONDEMNS BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR IGNORING AL-QAEDA — Well, not exactly, but that's an unintended subtext...
Rich Lowry: If you want a pretty good distillation of Jacksonian opinion on Iraq at the moment, consider the end of the New York...
Ted Belman: NICK BERG'S MURDER — NY Post editorial What cruel, sick bastards.

Kerry's legendary lead
  By / The Hill   —   Permalink 
"So Mark, how well is John Kerry doing?"
"Better than any challenger in modern times has ever been doing at this point in this race!"
"You wouldn't know that from the press spin."
Ezra Klein: Poll Check — Eh. Kerry's poll numbers don't look that good to me.
Kos: Kerry's poll numbers looking GOOOOD — Democratic pollster Mark Mellman gives us the straight scoop: [snipped quote] But...
Brad DeLong: Pollster Mark Mellman Rallies the Democratic Troops — Pollster Mark Mellman says that Kerry is in a very strong...

Gen X in the Green Zone
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
"I can't sleep. I lie awake in my luxurious trailer and my mind is racing through possible scenarios. A few days ago there was a stretch where we were attacked several days in a row at clockwork.
David Adesnik: THIS IS WHERE I'M NOT: A tribute to the young men and women who've left the comforts of home to volunteer for the CPA.
Sparkey: They Serve As Well... A great article on NRO about some of the civilian 20-somethings working in Iraq: [snipped quote] So begins an April 16 diary entry of 25-year-old Brendan Lund.
Glenn Reynolds: GEN-X IN THE GREEN ZONE: An interesting report.
Matt Yglesias: The Best And The Brightest — My friend Rachel Friedman (née Zabarkes) has an interesting piece in The National...

Liberal radio is airing bad jokes and worst taste
  NY Daily News   —   Permalink 
The United States "is on the slippery slope to theocratic fascism." "The Catholic Church has been secretly encouraging oral sex for years."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "ought to be tortured." President Bush should be taken out and shot.
Betsy Newmark: Michael Goodwin has been listening into Air America. It does not sound like it has been an edifying experience.
Stephen Green: The whole story is here.
Charles Johnson: Bad Radio — Michael Goodwin has a spot-on look at the venom and street-corner-crazy ranting of Air America: Liberal radio is airing bad jokes and worse taste.
Steve Antler: Among other problems... Air America seems to be having trouble keeping sponsors: During a day of torture by radio, I...

Kerry a no-show when it counts
  Boston Herald   —   Permalink 
We never thought we'd be grateful to have Sen. John Kerry [related, bio] too busy on the campaign trail to tend to his day job. But there's a first for everything.
A Democratic election-year favorite - extending federal unemployment benefits for six months - went down the drain yesterday by one vote.
Ezra Klein: Senate Games — Here's the problem with running for President as a sitting senator, particularly when your party is out of power.
C. D. Harris: One and only one Senator missed the vote. Care to guess who it was?
Robert Garcia Tagorda: Why was he the lone senator absent from the floor — as the bill went down in flames by a single vote?

Powell says Bush was 'informed' of Red Cross concerns
  By / Baltimore Sun   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he and other top officials kept President Bush "fully informed ... in general terms" about complaints made by the Red Cross and others over ill-treatment of detainees in U.S. custody.
Von @ObsidianWings: If this statement by Powell (via Marshall, who has commentary) proves true, however, it seems my defense has been in vain.
Josh Marshall: The Baltimore Sun quotes Colin Powell as saying that "we kept the president Advertisement informed of the concerns that...

Media ethics, consistency questionable in release of photos
  By /   —   Permalink 
It's time to put up or shut up. Last week I wrote a column saying that CBS should have thought twice before showing the photos from Abu Ghraib prison. The response from readers and even some journalists was like I'd proposed banning the printing press.
Cori Dauber: Otherwise, how can they be true, as Goldberg notes, to their own arguments?
SLZoll: Jonah Goldberg cuts open his beloved foozball table to save the life of Gary Aldrich, who had climbed inside and...
Jeff Goldstein: And these. update 2: Jonah Goldberg. And more. update 3: "H&C" transcript, courtesy Henry Hanks. update 4: A poem
Betsy Newmark: Jonah Goldberg calls for the televising of Nicholas Berg's murder, along with Daniel Pearl's and, for good measure, photos of a partial birth abortion.
Mickey Kaus: "But you've got to stop somwhere. Editors draw lines all the time. (Did we see, for example, all the grisly photos of Nicole Simpson's near-decapitated corpse?"

'Holy war' general linked to Iraq prison scandal
  ABC News   —   Permalink 
The US Army general under investigation for anti-Islamic remarks has been linked by US officials to the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, which experts warned could touch off new outrage overseas.
Tom Maguire: General Boykin, Again — He insulted Islam. He led the capture of Saddam. He may have inspired the abuse of prisoners.
Mark Kleiman: But it's hard not to wonder what might have been in the briefing he delivered last summer on "ways military interrogators could gain more intelligence from Iraqi prisoners."
Max B. Sawicky: ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS — Loony-fundy general embroiled in Iraqi prison scandal. (Background)

A City of Quitters? In Strict New York, 11% Fewer Smokers
  NYT   —   Permalink 
In the wake of huge tobacco tax increases and a ban on smoking in bars, the number of adult smokers in New York City fell 11 percent from 2002 to 2003, one of the steepest short-term declines ever measured, according to surveys commissioned by the city.
Kevin Drum: LEGISLATING MORALITY...Cigarette smoking is down in New York City: [snipped quote] You can argue all day long about...
Jacob Sullum: Vice Charge — Survey data released today indicate that the share of New Yorkers who smoke fell from 21.6 percent in 2002 to 19.3 percent in 2003.
Radley Balko: Nurse Bloomberg — Jacob Sullum does a good job putting into perspective a new survey purporting to show that...

Kerry Suggests Replacements for Rumsfeld
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday any number of people, including Republican Sens. John McCain and John Warner, could replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, rejecting concerns that a change in Pentagon leadership could hurt the war effort.
Donald Sensing: Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry named Senators John McCain, John Warner and Carl Levin as potential...
Kos: And he does so by citing Secretary of Defense possibilities who are, well, Republican... [snipped quote] But I'm not offended.
Captain Ed: If He Can't Figure This Out ... John Kerry continued his irresponsible rhetoric this morning on the Don Imus show, again...

Kerry Calls Iraq War a Failure
  AP   —   Permalink 
ORLANDO, Fla. - Presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday the war in Iraq is a failure and that a shake-up is needed to end the Bush administration's mistakes and incompetence, a sharp critique that sparked more Republican criticism that the Democrat is making the war a political issue.
David Adesnik: KERRY ON THE AIRWAVES: While trying to find a transcript of Kerry's comments from today about Iraq, I came across the webpage with all of his recent commercials.
Oliver Willis: Whether you were in favor of this war or not, the Bush execution of it has been a miserable failure "Why should we reward more of the same?

It's a Fight for Survival -- Pull Out All Stops
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
It may seem to be a radical idea, but why not use every means possible — without politically correct detours — to win the war against terrorism?
Our victory in World War II was not achieved by trying to win the hearts and minds of Germans and Japanese.
Kevin Drum: Meanwhile, here in Los Angeles, just to prove that we can be as tough as any New Yorker, über-conservative hawk...
Ted Belman: Even the LA Times — It's a Fight for Survival — Pull Out All Stops By Bruce Herschensohn, LATimes Bruce Herschensohn...
Matt Welch: When Opposing Torture Becomes "Politically Correct" — Perennial failed California Republican candidate Bruce Hershenson...

U.S. Military Strikes Mosque Held by Iraqi Cleric's Militia
  NYT   —   Permalink 
KARBALA, Iraq, Wednesday, May 12 — The American military attacked a mosque in this holy city on Tuesday in its largest assault yet against the forces of the rebel Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, even as the first signs emerged of a peaceful resolution to the five-week-long standoff with him.
Joe Drymala: More Images For Al-Jazeera — From the New York Times today: [snipped quote] Can we please, please just try not to mount...
Christopher Kanis: Karbala — Not only does it appear that we don't know what we're doing, but it appears that we can't decide what we're...
Juan Cole: On the other hand, Dempsey is drawing the wrong conclusion if the thinks the lesson here is that the US should have gone after Muqtada earlier.
Cori Dauber: Here's the headline on the front page of today's New York Times: "U.S. Military Strikes Mosque Held by Iraqi Cleric's Militia."
James Joyner: U.S. Begins Offensive Against Al Sadr — NYT: U.S. Military Strikes Mosque Held by Iraqi Cleric's Militia [RSS] "The...

Decrying Iraq, Kerry Cites McCain for Defense Chief
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - Democratic challenger John Kerry said on Wednesday his first choice as defense secretary would be Republican Sen. John McCain as he criticized the Bush administration for failed policies in Iraq.
Aaron @LiquidList: Politics: Kerry's Choice — Out on the campaign trail today, John Kerry announced that his first choice for Secretary of...
SK Bubba: UPDATE: I thought I was pulling that McCain pick out of thin air. Apparently not.
Andrew Sullivan: KERRY-McCAIN: Well, if not vice-president, defense secretary? A fascinating wrinkle on my suggestion yesterday.

American Beheaded on Web Video
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, May 11 — A 26-year-old Pennsylvania businessman missing in Iraq since early April was shown being decapitated by five masked Islamic militants in a fuzzy video posted on the Internet on Tuesday.
Stephen Green: Mail Bag — Tom P writes: [snipped quote] Do with all that contact info what you will. . .
Cori Dauber: Yet here's how the Washington Post writes it this morning.
Aaron @LiquidList: War: Nicholas Berg — The beheading of American Nick Berg by Islamic militants in Iraq was an act of pure barbarism,...
Joshua Sharf: Washington Post Reuters AP NY Times Daily Telegraph - Beheaded on camera American murdered in revenge for abuse of Iraqi...

Bush Escapes Capital to Stump in the South
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
VAN BUREN, Ark., May 11 — While Congress held another hearing about the abuse of detainees in Iraq and negotiated to view explicit photos and videos, President Bush flew into the South on Tuesday to joke with a mayor about filling potholes and to lavish praise on a junior high school with strong test scores.
Noam Scheiber: NOT EXACTLY: I'm not sure I entirely buy the analogy, laid out in today's Washington Post, between George W. Bush's way...
Taegan Goddard: Rumsfeld May Yet Resign — Tucked at the end of a Washington Post article on President Bush's latest campaign trip: ...
David Allan Pell: At times, it seems absurd to even try to gain traction in such areas when everyone's mind is on something else.

Poll: Support For War At New Low
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
The public overwhelmingly thinks that the war in Iraq is making the U.S.'s image in the Arab world worse. Only 6 percent think the war's result has improved the U.S.'s image.
(CBS) News of the abuse charges against American soldiers appears to have exacerbated what were already growing American concerns about the situation in Iraq.
Angry Bear: And this is probably the worst news for the President: "BUSH'S HANDLING OF CAMPAIGN AGAINST TERRORISM Approve Now 51%...
Atrios: No. I want things to work out, but I'm enraged by it, actually." ...and so is everyone else.

Film deal for 'Baghdad blogger'
  BBC   —   Permalink 
The Baghdad Blog, a book based on an online diary written by an Iraqi man about life during the conflict there, is to be made into a film.
Media group Intermedia is searching for a scriptwriter to adapt the book by the man, who calls himself Salam Pax.
Charles Paul Freund: The BBC reports that Salam Pax's The Baghdad Blog, the book that consists largely of his famous blog entries, will be produced as a film by Intermedia.
Jeff Jarvis: Lights! Camera! Post! : Israelly Cool sends notice of Salam Pax' film deal.
Jan Haugland: Blog becomes movie? Salam Pax, the Baghdad blogger, has landed a movie deal to make his blog entries into a film.

Iraq Soccer Team Qualifies for Olympics
  AP   —   Permalink 
AMMAN, Jordan - Iraq 's soccer team qualified for the Athens Olympics on Wednesday, less than three months after the country was reinstated by the International Olympic Committee .
Iraq beat Saudi Arabia 3-1, and then clinched the third and final Asian qualifying spot when Kuwait held Oman to a scoreless draw.
Edward _: Iraq Soccer Team Qualifies for Olympics [snipped quote] God bless 'em.
Jeff A. Taylor: Feel Good Story of the Day — Iraq's soccer team is going to the Olympics.

U.S. Denies Berg Family Claims
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
An American civilian who was beheaded in Iraq had been visited three times by FBI agents while in the custody of Iraqi police, but he was never held by U.S. forces, contrary to claims by his family, U.S. officials in Baghdad said today.
TChris: The family of Nicholas Berg insists that he had been had been held by U.S. authorities in Iraq, causing him to miss his scheduled departure.
Hesiod: UPDATE: What was Nick Berg doing in Iraq? And why are the stories from his parents and the Government so at odds?

Lessons of a by-the-Book Soldier
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
His name has been famous for about 10 days, since his report on the abuse of prisoners in Iraq burst into the global spotlight — but only yesterday did the world get a good look at Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba.
David Adesnik: WATCH OUT FOR HEROES: Both the WaPo and NYT have posted unabashedly positive profiles of Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba.
Max B. Sawicky: FORGET THE PICTURE, WATCH THE FRAME — What needs to be considered in the Taguba buzz are any limits put on the scope of...
James Joyner: Taguba Profile — WaPo's feature on MG Antonio Taguba, "Lessons of a by-the-Book Soldier," is worth a read.

Uneven Standard
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
It's time to put up or shut up. Last week I wrote a column saying that CBS should have thought twice before showing the photos from Abu Ghraib prison. The response from readers and even some journalists was like I'd proposed banning the printing press.
Sparkey: It's okay to inflame the "Arab street" but irresponsible to show pictures of 9/11 victims jumping from the twin towers...
Clayton Cramer: I see that Jonah Goldberg is making the same point today: [snipped quote] Of course, they won't be consistent.
Andrew Sullivan: JONAH TAKES THE BAIT: I can see where he's coming from, but Jonah Goldberg is surely wrong when he writes: "Well, CBS'...

General Overseeing Prison Says She Was Overruled
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
The U.S. general who was in charge of running prisons in Iraq told Army investigators earlier this year that she had resisted decisions by superior officers to hand over control of the prisons to military intelligence officials and to authorize the use of...
David Adesnik: According to Gen. Karpinski, she sparred constantly with May. Gen. Miller and Lt. Gen. Sanchez about how to run the prison system in Iraq.
Atrios: Scapegoated General Says Not Me — Link: The U.S. general who was in charge of running prisons in Iraq told Army...
Phil Carter: The brigade commander, BG Janis Karpinski, has become quite proficient at pointing fingers downwards, sideways, and anywhere else but her own chest.
Kevin Raybould: Prison General Claims to Have Been Overruled — If this is true, then its more evidence that they abuses were systematic...
Gregory Djerejian: Drip (Karpinski is blaming higher ups; but note I find Karpinski's behavior in much of this detestable). Drip (Afghanistan too?)

Not Just Following Orders
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
From 1989 to 1992 I commanded the 372nd MP Company, the Army Reserve unit from Cumberland, Md., that is at the center of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. In the years since then, I've had an enduring affection for the unit and those who serve in it.
Mark Kleiman: An opinion from an expert — The former commander of the MP unit whose soldiers have been charged in the Abu Ghraib...
James Joyner: Command Failure — James D. Villa, former commander of the 372nd MP Company, has an provocative op-ed in today's WaPo...
Stryker: What He Said — A snippet from an op-ed by the former Commander of the 372nd MP Company: To minimize the egregious...
Phil Carter: "A Failure of Leadership" - Part II — James D. Villa, an attorney in Washington DC who used to command the now-infamous...

Rumsfeld Aide and a General Clash on Abuse
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON, May 11 — The Army general who first investigated abuses at Abu Ghraib prison stood by his inquiry's finding that military police officers should not have been involved in conditioning Iraqi detainees for interrogation, even as a senior Pentagon civilian sitting next to him at a Senate hearing on Tuesday disputed that conclusion.
David Adesnik: The place to begin such an investigation is with the contradictions between the testimony of Gen. Taguba and Undersecretary of Defense Stephen Cambone.
Digby: First, here's the relevant excerpt from the Times: "[Taguba] told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it had been...
Noam Scheiber: According to today's New York Times: [snipped quote] The comparison with Guantánamo is obviously designed to show that the treatment of Iraqi prisoners wasn't really that bad.
Ken Masugi: See the NY Times story on Cambone, which gives a clue to the struggles within the Administration over...

Kerry Focused on 5 Possible Running Mates, People Say (Update2)
  Bloomberg   —   Permalink 
May 11 (Bloomberg) — Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is focusing on five potential running mates, including former party nomination rivals Senator John Edwards and retired General Wesley Clark, according to campaign and party officials familiar with the selection process.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Taking his cue from a rehash of the supposed Veep "short list," published by Bloomberg News, Kos says he likes Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and retired Gen. Wesley Clark.
Tim Graham: KERRY'S VEEP LIST — Bloomberg reports that it's Edwards, Gephardt, Clark, Bob Graham, and Tom Vilsack. Still nobody but white guys?
Taegan Goddard: Kerry Narrows List To Five — Sen. John Kerry "is focusing on five potential running mates," Bloomberg reports.
Kos: Bloomberg claims to know Kerry's short list: [snipped quote] The Democratic Party seems to be currently split in at least...

Kerry Names Replacements for Rumsfeld
  AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Wednesday any number of people, including Republican Sens. John McCain and John Warner, could replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, rejecting concerns that a change in Pentagon leadership could hurt the war effort.
Betsy Newmark: I'm not impressed with Kerry's list of replacements for Rumsfeld.
Steven Taylor: How Helpful of Him — Kerry Names Replacements for Rumsfeld

The Images Are Getting Darker
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The war in Iraq is now 14 months old. But it seems that it is only in the past month or so that a line has been crossed. The images being presented to newspaper readers and television viewers more recently seem to capture the horrors and human costs of war more starkly, and they are stirring stronger emotions.
Robert Cox: The Washington Post ombudsman, Michael Getler calls publishing images of Nicholas Berg's decapitation "patriotic" and "necessary".
Cori Dauber: Update: Lets remember what the Washington Post's ombud, Michael Getler, said to readers complaining about the number of...
Andrew Sullivan: Michael Getler, ombudsman of the Washington Post, May 9, 2004. BBC WATCH: "His killers shouted "Allah is great" before holding what appeared to be a head up to the camera."
Mike Hendrix: I want to know where the pictures of Nick Berg's head being held up by Zarqawi are, especially in light of this: [snipped quote] Bold mine.
Mickey Kaus: I'm with Goldberg, whose column is quite measured and reasoned, especially when compared with the pat,...

More Iraqis accept their US-trained forces
  By / Christian Science Monitor   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD - Accused of being collaborators with American occupation forces, Iraqi policemen, guards, and soldiers have endured ridicule, threats, and targeted violence that have left hundreds dead over the past year.
Robert Garcia Tagorda: Public attitudes toward US-trained forces have, according to the Christian Science Monitor, begun to soften.
James Joyner: CSM: More Iraqis Accept Their US-Trained Forces "Accused of being collaborators with American occupation forces, Iraqi...

Bush administration has used 27 rationales for war in Iraq, study says
  UIUC News Bureau   —   Permalink 
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — If it seems that there have been quite a few rationales for going to war in Iraq, that's because there have been quite a few - 27, in fact, all floated between Sept. 12, 2001, and Oct. 11, 2002, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Tom Tomorrow: 27 reasons why — From a University of Illinois press release: "CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — If it seems that there have been...
The Poor Man: Baskin Robbins Should Sue — According to this study from U of I Urbana-Champaign, George Bush has offered 23 different...

Senate Breaks Tax Bill Deadlock
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
The Senate yesterday broke a two-month deadlock and approved a major corporate tax bill that would end a trade dispute with Europe and shower U.S. corporations with billions in new tax breaks.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Linking to a story from yesterday's Washington Post about Kerry missing a crucial vote in the Senate, Sawicky offers two words: "Just Great."
Max B. Sawicky: THANKS, JOHN — Just great. But the vote on the unemployment measure turned into an embarrassment for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Prison Abuse Said Bigger to U.S. Than 9/11
  AP   —   Permalink 
ROME - The scandal of prisoner abuses by U.S. soldiers in Iraq has dealt a bigger blow to the United States than the Sept. 11 attacks, the Vatican foreign minister told an Italian newspaper.
Fred Lapides: [quote]Except that the blow was not inflicted by terrorists but by Americans against themselves," Lajolo was quoted as saying in La Repubblica...more>> [end quote]
Charles Johnson: Vatican Babbles Nonsense — In the most insanely out of proportion statement yet on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the...

Overdosing on Islam
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
QOM, Iran — In the offices of an ayatollah here, I was jokingly introduced as coming from the Great Satan.
"Humph," a young man responded immediately. "America is only Baby Satan. We have Big Satan right here at home."
Stephen Green: We Have Met the Great Satan, and He is Us — Nick Kristof continues reporting from Iran: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing.
Ted Belman: Ripe for revolution — Overdosing on Islam By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, NYT ""How can you have hope for life any more?" said...

Blair's perversity does him harm and Iraq no good
  By / Guardian   —   Permalink 
Iraq is near meltdown. The White House and Downing Street seem transfixed in a state of denial, incapable even of damage limitation. The UN - the last best chance - is on the brink of walking away from Iraq, leaving Bush and Blair to reap the whirlwind they have sown.
Kevin Drum: NAJAF UPDATE...Via Atrios, Polly Toynbee in the Guardian suggests that UN negotiator Lakhdar Brahimi is about to throw...
Atrios: Brahimi to Walk? Uh-oh. On June 30, the fabled handover of sovereignty is to take place.

Iraq Videotape Shows the Decapitation of an American
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 11 — An Islamist Web site posted a videotape on Tuesday showing the decapitation of an American in Iraq, in what the killers called revenge for the American mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
Robert Cox: Reporting in today's New York Times, Dexter Filkins omits any description of the murder of Nicholas Berg in The Times front page story on the murder of Nicholas Berg.
Matt Welch: Trigger Finger — Abu Musab Zarqawi, the monster who apparently sawed through Nick Berg's neck, was targeted on three...

President Imposes Sanctions on Syria
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Under pressure from Congress, President Bush slapped sanctions on Syria yesterday for supporting terrorism and interfering with U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq.
Patrick Belton: NATIONAL SECURITY WATCH: "One day after the United States announced sanctions on Damascus for its support of...
Cori Dauber: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER — I have one question about our new Syria policy — WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE DIDN'T DO THIS TWO YEARS AGO?

An Afghan Gives His Own Account of U.S. Abuse
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
KABUL, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 12 — A former Afghan police colonel gave a graphic account in an interview this week of being subjected to beating, kicking, sleep deprivation, taunts and sexual abuse during about 40 days he spent in American custody in Afghanistan last summer.
Howard Kurtz: With so many detainees having been rounded up, there are lots of potential witnesses out there, and the New York Times...
Kevin Drum: The New York Times has a story suggesting that the same kinds of abuses uncovered at Abu Ghraib have been happening in Afghanistan for quite a while too.

Heinz Kerry paid $750,000 in taxes
  By / Boston Globe   —   Permalink 
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Teresa Heinz Kerry paid $750,000 in federal, state, and local income taxes last year, roughly 14.7 percent of the $5.1 million in income she received primarily from tax-exempt interest accrued on her vast bond holdings, Senator John F. Kerry's presidential campaign announced in a statement yesterday.
Howard Kurtz: Another peek at the finances of the ketchup heiress, as the Boston Globe notes: "Teresa Heinz Kerry paid $750,000 in...
The Big Trunk: One variety of tax avoidance — The Boston Globe has an interesting story on the taxes paid by Teresa Heinz Kerry in 2003: "Heinz Kerry paid $750,000 in taxes."

Pedal to the Metal
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
John McCain drives like he lives: with conviction, impatience and a willingness to cross dividing lines.
"JOHN, A TRUCK!" an aide yells from the back seat.
"I see it, I see it," says McCain, veering right, just missing the truck.
James Joyner: McCain in Drivers' Seat [snipped quote] Yep. McCain is an interesting character and, certainly, the suffering he endured...

Prisoner abuse and the rot of American culture
  By /   —   Permalink 
Every decent person I know has reacted in horror to the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners in Al Ghraib prison near Baghdad. When the lewd photos emerged of American soldiers forcing prisoners to engage in sexual acts, and leading them around on leashes with hoods over their heads, and threatening them with electrocution, people were speechless and horrified.
Jesse Taylor: Case in point: Rebecca Hagelin.
SLZoll: Ditzy Rebecca Hagelin is mean and hateful to everybody — and since the writers hate her, she doesn't get her own storyline.

Horror show
  Salon   —   Permalink 
Before Tuesday, none of us knew about the missing American in Iraq named Nick Berg. His family had been agonizing over his fate for weeks and had been hounding the U.S. government for any information it had about the 26-year-old freelance contractor who'd gone...
Howard Kurtz: 'Not only are they drawing everyone's attention to the report — and where it can be seen — but attempting to muzzle...
Stefan Sharkansky: UPDATE 3: The single most sickening, but indispensible image from the video that the media won't show you is posted here...
Jeralyn Merritt: Digital Technology as the Tool of War — Farhad Manjoo, writing for Salon (free day pass available) theorizes why Nick...

Dems divided over Kerry's performance
  By / USA Today   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — Democrats following the presidential campaign are divided into two factions these days: people who are frustrated that John Kerry isn't crushing President Bush in polls, and people who say Kerry is in great shape compared to past challengers.
Howard Kurtz: USA Today invokes the dreaded Letterman ridicule: "Democrats following the presidential campaign are divided into two...
Mary InLosGatos: Andrew Kohut says probably not. (This article says Democrats are all over the map on that question.) So let's hear from you.

'Terrible' images to come
  Arizona Republic   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld apologized Friday for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and failing to convey the gravity of the offenses but warned Congress that many more photos and videotapes of "blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman" behavior by U.S. soldiers exist and could further damage America's reputation.
Dean Esmay: I Missed This — Military man Black Five notes that the media betrayed our military. Again. I did not know this.
Blackfive: This is from the May 8th edition of The Arizona Republic: ...In mid-April, when the CBS program 60 Minutes II obtained...

Topical Take
  Steyn Online   —   Permalink 
An American, Nicholas Berg, is beheaded by al-Qa'eda in Iraq, and America's dopey media take the killers' word for it that they were driven to do it by the "humiliation" of Abu Ghraib: "Abuse Scandal's Deadly Fallout," says...
Damian Penny: In Bizarro World. Update: this Mark Steyn column, written just after the killing to Daniel Pearl, is worth revisiting.
Tim Blair: Mark Steyn: "The media are happy to show us Iraqi criminals on dog leashes night after night, because they shame Americans.

Kofi's Coverup
  Opinion Journal   —   Permalink 
So now there's a third "hush" letter from the United Nations demanding that an Oil for Food Program contractor cease cooperation with Congressional investigators. Dated April 27, the note—like earlier ones to inspection companies Saybolt and Cotecna—is signed by another U.N. official "for Benon V. Sevan," the outgoing Iraq Program chief.
Captain Ed: The memo instructs their contractors to withhold any documents or information until the UN gets around to authorizing...
Roger L. Simon: Kofi Annanymous — The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today, asking a question that has been bothering me too...
Glenn Reynolds: UNSCAM UPDATE: [snipped quote] Indeed. (Emphasis added.)
Stephen Green: Good Question — Speaking of the Oil-for-Food scandal, why isn't the White House saying anything at all?
Cori Dauber: SAY, HERE'S A QUESTION — has a not unreasonable question: if we're all screaming about the...

Qaeda Leader Beheads U.S. Civilian in Iraq -Web Site
  By / Reuters   —   Permalink 
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq beheaded an American civilian and vowed more killings in revenge for the "Satanic degradation" of Iraqi prisoners, an Islamist Web site said Tuesday.
Pejman Yousefzadeh: SPEAKING OF THINGS NAUSEATING AND OUTRAGEOUS — Let's get something clear: Anyone who believes that al Qaeda needed the...
Betsy Newmark: Is this the reason General Myers didn't want the pictures aired?
Billmon: It's the mental pathway to atrocity and genocide, and Americans sure the hell aren't the only ones who have it hardwired...
Jeff Jarvis: Bastards : What more can be said about the evil slime who behead an American civilian? Nothing.

Taguba Cites Lack of Training, Supervision
  By / LAT   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON — The Army general who investigated the abuse of Iraqis by U.S. guards at the Abu Ghraib prison told a Senate hearing today the misconduct resulted from a failure of leadership, a lack of discipline, "no training whatsoever" and no supervision.
Howard Kurtz: On the Hill, meanwhile, the scandal is still being unraveled, as the Los Angeles Times reports: "The Army general who...
Phil Carter: "A Failure of Leadership" — The New York Times has the full transcript of today's Senate Armed Services Committee...

Inside Iraq's U.S.-Run Prisons
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
60 Minutes II exclusively obtained an American soldier's home video from Camp Bucca in Southern Iraq and Abu Ghraib in Baghdad.
"We've already had two prisoners die...but who cares? That's two less for me to worry about."
Kevin Drum: WEDNESDAY MORNING ABUSE ROUNDUP....60 Minutes II plans to air a home video on Wednesday about possible prisoner abuse at another prison in Iraq, Camp Bucca.
Jeralyn Merritt: From the '60 Minutes' show site: "Throughout the tape, the soldier records her anger at the thousands of Iraqi prisoners under U.S. control at Camp Bucca.

Video Seems to Show Beheading of American
  AP   —   Permalink 
CAIRO, Egypt - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site appeared to show a group affiliated with al-Qaida beheading an American in Iraq , saying the death was revenge for the prisoner-abuse scandal.
Mark Kleiman: What am I missing here? * Al Qaeda thugs murder an American on camera as a publicity stunt.
Steve Dillard: Take them out: The bastards who beheaded this American are evil to the core. Update: Jeff of BCC has various links to the video here.
Andrew Sullivan: THE AP VIDEO: You can see the first part of the video on this page. They leave out the actual murder.
Jon Henke: If the pictures of abuse at Abu Ghraib were legitimate news, then so is the death of Nick Berg. And Daniel Pearle.
Donald Sensing: The terrorists videotaped his murder, and the tape was posted on an Arab web site .Reports AP, "The video showed five...
Joe Drymala: Beheading — Reported earlier today: [snipped quote] Link via Kos.
Also: Max B. Sawicky, Captain Ed, Kos, Glenn Reynolds, KJL, Stephen Green

Memo: Iraq Abuse Was 'Vigilante Justice'
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A female Army soldier in the notorious 320th Military Police Battalion meted out "vigilante justice" on Iraqi prisoners she believed had raped former POW Jessica Lynch, according to a letter from her battalion commander obtained by The Associated Press.
KJL: A CLAIM — Some of the Abu Ghraib abuse was "vigilante justice" against believed Jessica Lynch rapists.
Clayton Cramer: The Story Just Gets Murkier—And There Was No Reason To Leak Those Photos — AP is reporting: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A...
Jeralyn Merritt: The AP reports that Lisa Girman's commander said she engaged in vigilante just to revenge the rape of Pvt.

Tape Shows U.S. Contractor Being Beheaded in Iraq
  AP   —   Permalink 
A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site based in Egypt showed a group affiliated with al Qaeda beheading an American contractor in Iraq, saying the death was revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.
Jon Henke: Show and Tell (Warning: Graphic Pictures) 6222BE80080E4D1F8BCAAC6E15EB2D EF.jpg Andrew Sullivan is right...
Andrew Sullivan: They keep referring to an al Qaeda website that carries the video of the beheading of Nick Berg. But they won't tell us the name of the website!
Greyhawk: Update: Looks like Seymour's getting results: "A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site based in Egypt...
Tim Dunlop: And so it continues — Using US abuses of Iraqi prisoners as an excuse (as if they've ever needed an excuse before),...
Tim Blair: BUSH YET TO APOLOGISE FOR NHL SHAME — "There is no Arab country - none - in which prisoners aren't treated immeasurably...

Abu Ghraib & Us
  By / NRO   —   Permalink 
Donald Rumsfeld assures us that the abuses at Abu Ghraib are "un-American."
Indeed they are, but the perpetrators of these acts were Americans. That is not an incidental fact. Soldiers always reflect their societies.
Jon Henke: Rich Lowry, in a column following the long and stupid tradition of blaming the transgression on "society"... "The...
Atrios: Bizarre. Here's little Rich Lowry: Then, there is the very fact of the pictures.

Paternalism and Abu Ghraib
  By / Weekly Standard   —   Permalink 
PRESIDENT BUSH is fond of implying that anyone who questions whether or not liberal democracy is compatible with the radical Islam prevalent in much of the Middle East is a racist.
Whiskey: Yesterday, the Weekly Standard posted an article by Jonathan V. Last cricitizing the President's paternalistic treatment of the Muslim world regarding the Abu Ghraib incidents.
Ramesh Ponnuru: JONATHAN LAST makes a good point about the president's now-you-see-it-now-you-don't paternalism toward about Arabs.
Radley Balko: From the Weekly Standard, of All Places — Jonathan Last has an interesting piece on President Bush, paternalism, and Arab/Muslim folk.

Brutal Logic
  By / Village Voice   —   Permalink 
It's bad, it's disgusting, it's wrong. But is it torture? Lawyers have some explaining to do.
For over a decade, the United States has lived with a loose definition of "torture" that is significantly out of line with that of most of the rest of the world and invites the kind of manufactured distinctions that give lawyering a bad name.
Jack Balkin: Manipulating the Definition of "Torture" — My friend and co-author Sandy Levinson writes in this week's Village Voice...
TChris: Leadership and Torture — Law Professor Sanford Levinson asks a timely question: What is torture?

Video 'shows US man beheaded'
  BBC   —   Permalink 
An Islamic militant website has shown a video purporting to show the beheading of an American in Iraq.
The video showed five men in headscarves and ski masks cutting off the man's head with a knife.
Cori Dauber: In their coverage of the killing of Nick Berg they write: His killers shouted "Allah is great" before holding what appeared to be a head up to the camera.
Sandwichman: HEADS YOU LOSE, TAILS YOU LOSE by the Sandwichman The not so subtle message in the most recent outrage is unambiguous...
Andrew Sullivan: What appeared to be his head? Who do they think Zarqawi is: Penn or Teller?
Captain Ed: UPDATE: More from the BBC: "The victim identified himself as Nick Berg, a US contractor whose body was found near a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday.

Video Shows Beheading of American in Iraq
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A video posted Tuesday on an al-Qaida-linked Web site showed the beheading an American civilian in Iraq in what was said to be revenge for abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
Jeralyn Merritt: American Decapitated on Iraqi Video - Abuse Retaliation Claimed — Nick Berg, a 26 year old American contractor whose...
Tom Tomorrow: Horrible — [snipped quote] Things just get worse and worse.
Charles Johnson: Religion of Decapitation — Video Shows Beheading of American in Iraq. [snipped quote] | rss last comment: Sword of Gideon 12:19:06 pm 5/12/04
Nick Gillespie: "Video Shows Beheading of American in Iraq" — That's the grim headline of a new story out of Iraq.

IDF: Troops will stay in Gaza until bodies recovered
  By / Jerusalem Post   —   Permalink 
The IDF troops will remain in the Gaza Strip neighborhood Zeitun until they recover the missing bodies of six soldiers killed Tuesday after a bomb exploded under their armored personnel carrier, GOC Southern Command Major General Dan Harel said.
Vanderleun: "Al-Jazeera showed Islamic Jihad members holding up the head of one of the soldiers — Jerusalem Post" OKAY, TELL ME...
Charles Johnson: Al Jazeera Delights in Decapitation — JihadTV has broadcast a video of Hamas terrorists with the head of one of the IDF...
KJL: From the Jerusalem Post: [snipped quote] The terrorists are evidently open to negotiating for body parts. How civil.

Video shows beheading of American captive in Iraq
  CNN   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — An al Qaeda-linked Web site posted video Tuesday of a man who identified himself as an American and then was beheaded.
His captors said the United States refused to exchange him for prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison.
John Hawkins: Arab Street Erupts in Rage Over Beheading Video By Scott Ott — The so-called 'Arab Street' erupted in rage and grief...
Dan Gillmor: Monstrous in any Culture — If the people who beheaded (CNN) an American captive in Iraq — and then tried to cloak...

American in Iraq Beheaded by Militants
  AP   —   Permalink 
A 26-year-old American from Pennsylvania was beheaded to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers and the militants who killed him videotaped the crime and posted it on a Web site.
Baldilocks: Equal Time — I suppose that this will make things even-steven. I hope that the person who leaked the Iraqi POW abuse photos to the media is satisfied.
Stefan Sharkansky: Meanwhile today the non-Iraqis from Al Qaeda claim to have beheaded an American civilian who was working in Iraq.
Jan Haugland: Update: Fox has what it says is an edited version of the video (see link in right margin).

Three Paths to Modernity
  By / American Enterprise Institute   —   Permalink 
The Enlightenment has come upon bad times. In some circles, it is denigrated as the "Enlightenment Project"—a peculiar illusion, or delusion, of modernity, a time when such terms as "reason," "nature," "rights," "truth," "morality," were used without benefit of quotation marks, and without the sense of irony befitting those "privileged" concepts.
Michael DeBow: "Three Paths to Modernity: The British, American, and French Enlightenments" Gertrude Himmelfarb's lecture at AEI...
Patrick Belton: VICTORIAN LITERATURE SCHOLAR Gertrude Himmelfarb (whose husband, Irving, and son, Bill Kristol, are also both scholars...

Senator 'Outraged by Outrage' at Prison Abuse
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As others condemned the reported abuse of Iraqi prisoners, U.S. Sen. James Inhofe on Tuesday expressed outrage at the worldwide outrage over the treatment by American soldiers of those he called "terrorists" and "murderers."
Andrew Sullivan: Oklahoma senator, James Inhofe. TOURIST HELL: The abuses of the INS - now called the BCIS - are legendary.
Harley: I'm Outraged by Your Outrage! Couple days back, Kevin Drum put up a post describing the conservative reaction to the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Oliver @LiquidList: Politics: Tie Them To Rummy and Push — Inhofe should go.
Kevin Drum: AMERICAN VALUES...Not content with claiming that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American...
Jack Balkin: The World According to Inhofe — Shameless: [snipped quote] You tell'em Jim, it's the fault of that goddamn Red Cross sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong!
Josh Marshall: Clothing himself in shame, Sen. Inhofe on Abu Ghraib: [snipped quote] Of course, according to American military...
Also: Ramesh Ponnuru, Oliver Willis, Mike Alissi

For Iraqis to Win, the U.S. Must Lose
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
This has been a crushingly depressing period, especially for people who support the war in Iraq. The predictions people on my side made about the postwar world have not yet come true. The warnings others made about the fractious state of post-Saddam society have.
Matthew Yglesias: Yesterday's David Brooks column further explores the logic of the early elections proposal his former boss at The Weekly...
Mickey Kaus: Update: Goldberg responds to his critics here ... Faster Iraq Watch 5: The NYT's David Brooks joins the call for...
Max B. Sawicky: THE TALENTED MR. BROOKS wrote a column today that reminded me of this. It loses a lot in translation from commentary to inanity.
Rich Lowry: But yesterday he said we went into Iraq beholden to "a childish fantasy." Yes, many of our assumptions have proved false.
Matt Yglesias: We could achieve a result (see David Brooks' latest for one) that would be preferable to what we've got now, and that would be preferable to a panicky pullout.
Ezra Klein: America in Crisis — David Brooks makes an astoundingly good point: [snipped quote] He's probably right.
Also: Billmon, Robert Garcia Tagorda, Tom Maguire, Tom Tomorrow, Cori Dauber, Edward _, Ed Cone, Ken Masugi

Top Officials Hold Fake Degrees
  CBS News   —   Permalink 
Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Abell has a master's from Columbus University, a diploma mill Louisiana shut down.
(CBS) They are safety engineers at nuclear power plants and biological weapons experts. They work at NATO headquarters, at the Pentagon and at nearly every other federal agency.
Matthew Yglesias: Via Patrick Nielsen Hayden, here's a very strange story from CBS news: [snipped quote] Leaving aside the question of...
Mark Kleiman: Elitist intellectual snobbery in action — I think Patrick Nielsen Hayden is being unfair to Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Abell.
Atrios: Top Officials Have Bogus Degrees — Lovely: Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Abell has a master's from Columbus University, a diploma mill Louisiana shut down.
James Joyner: Degree Mills — CBS News: Top Officials Hold Fake Degrees [snipped quote] This doesn't surprise me in the least, as I've seen a lot of this, especially from the DoD.
Nielsen Hayden: Still, I have to wonder: if I'd actually fitted myself out with a degree from a diploma mill, could I, too, have become an Assistant Secretary of Defense?
Taegan Goddard: Top Defense Officials Have Fake Degrees — CBS News found Pentagon employees "with degrees from phony schools."
Also: Aaron @LiquidList

Prison abuse report author testifies
  CNN   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (CNN) — The author of a 53-page Army report critical of the "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuse" of some Iraqi prisoners is testifying before a Senate committee Tuesday.
Mark Kleiman: Gen. Taguba's testimony — Gen. Taguba's testimony: 1. "We did not find any evidence of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did.
Clayton Cramer: General Taguba, on the other hand, says that there was no evidence he found of complicity in leadership—just...
Mike Alissi: [Update: Here's a report on Inhofe's statement] Meanwhile: Should the public see the remaining images of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners?
Captain Ed: Dismissing the opportunity to actually get information from an important witness, Dayton instead spewed forth with his...
David Allan Pell: Orderless — Taguba: "We did not find any evidence of a policy or a direct order given to these soldiers to conduct what they did.
Hesiod: TAGUBA HUG: Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba is testifying before Congress today. Read his report here.
Also: Greyhawk

Secret World of U.S. Interrogation
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
In Afghanistan, the CIA's secret U.S. interrogation center in Kabul is known as "The Pit," named for its despairing conditions. In Iraq, the most important prisoners are kept in a huge hangar near the runway at Baghdad International Airport, say U.S. government officials, counterterrorism experts and others.
Tom Tomorrow: This is what's happening in our country's name: [snipped quote] There's much more. Go read it.
Phil Carter: The Dark World of American Interrogations — Dana Priest and Joe Stephens have a must-read article in today's Washington...
Tarek @LiquidList: Politics: America's Shame — Continuing my post from last night, the Washington Post has helpfully concluded its...
David Allan Pell: The CIA's Ghost Detainees.
Matthew Yglesias: Today's Washington Post gives us some good reasons to be skeptical of this: [snipped quote] Now do I know for sure that...
Gary Farber: But, of course, it's not just Abu Ghraib. [quote] In Afghanistan, the CIA's secret U.S. interrogation center in Kabul is known as "The Pit," named for its despairing conditions.[end quote]
Also: Betsy Newmark

No Flinching From the Facts
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
Listen to the language. It is always a leading indicator of moral confusion.
The lawyer for a soldier charged in the Iraq prison abuse investigation was explaining a photograph.
Stephen Green: Required Reading — George Will: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing already.
Nick Confessore: AS GOES GEORGE WILL... If you haven't seen it yet, George Will's column on the Abu Ghraib scandal is worth reading, as are various posts on Andrew Sullivan's site.
Matt Welch: George Will continues his wandering off the reservation, in a column about Abu Ghraib: "That pornography is, almost inevitably, part of what empire looks like.
Ted Barlow: George Will points out that there are no indispensable men, and gently points out that Rumsfeld's greatest contribution...
Vanderleun: "—No Flinching From the Facts (" That's what the Washington Post brought you this morning. Why?
Atrios: Those responsible for it, and those who didn't think it necessary to make sure this kind of activity wasn't happening, are not fit to do their jobs.
Also: Gregory Djerejian, The Big Trunk, Ken Masugi, Roger Ailes

Kerry Warns Opponents Not to Attack His Wife
  Reuters   —   Permalink 
LOUISVILLE, KY. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry warned his political opponents on Monday against attacking his outspoken wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, saying, "They're going to have to go through me."
Tom Maguire: K-Lo Bites A Gift Horse In The Mouth — Kathryn Jean Lopez of NRO, writing in the Corner, sees an insidious Kerry attack...
Jonathan H. Adler: RE: MRS. KERRY — John Kerry says he doesn't want his political opponents attacking his wife. That's fine.
KJL: LOW BLOW — Kerry's new line of attack: Says to an interviewer, "Have you had a beer with me yet?," knowing full well the reporter will never have a beer with George W. Bush.
Stephen Green: Play Ball — I like Teresa Heinz Kerry. She's brassy, outspoken, occasionally crass, and has a yachtload of money.
Taegan Goddard: Sen. John Kerry, quoted by Reuters, seeking "to dispel the notion he was aloof" to a television interviewer.
Betsy Newmark: Kerry talks tough to defend his wife, saying [snipped quote] So, she can not pull her punches and call Cheney unpatriotic, but no one can respond.

Mistreatment Of Detainees Went Beyond Guards' Abuse
  WaPo   —   Permalink 
BAGHDAD, May 10 — Problems in the U.S.-run detention system in Iraq extended beyond physical mistreatment in prison cellblocks, involving thousands of arrests without evidence of wrongdoing and abuse of suspects starting from the moment of detention,...
Kevin Raybould: The Rule of Men bound to produce abuses [snipped quote] And some of those innocents were tortured, sometimes to death.
Daniel Drezner: In the wake of the ever-widening prisoner scandal (see the heretofore secret Red Cross report here and the Washington...
Deacon: The rumblings that I previously detected in the Washington Post have now become a roar, as this story "Mistreatment Of Detainees Went Beyond Guards' Abuse," demonstrates.
Tom Tomorrow: Hah! Gotcha, lying liberal media! Here's the article, which Inhofe has clearly proven to be factually flawed, right?
Steve Messina: The Washington Post, by the way, put its Red Cross story on page 1.)
Michael Graham: WHERE WERE THE SADDAM-ERA PRESS RELEASES? [snipped quote] I wonder if the Iraqi Bar Association issued any similar complaints regarding Saddam's rape rooms?
Also: TChris, Cori Dauber

That's the Ticket
  By / TNR   —   Permalink 
There is one obvious possible result of the Abu Ghraib fiasco, and it affects the presidential election profoundly: It has, I think, made the possibility of a Kerry-McCain ticket much more imaginable.
Susan Q. Stranahan: Andrew Sullivan at The New Republic seconds the idea, but for different reasons: "[A] Kerry-McCain pairing would be an...
Kevin Drum: Andrew Sullivan makes the case in The New Republic today. Check it out.
Kathryn Jean Lopez: KERRY-MCCAIN — Sullivan makes the case. IMHO, McCain was auditioning for the SecDef job in a second Bush administration on Friday when he badgered Rumsfeld.
David Allan Pell: My Two Johns — Andrew Sullivan: "A Kerry-McCain ticket, regardless of the many difficulties, would, I think, win in a landslide.
Matthew Yglesias: The increasingly disgruntled Andrew Sullivan is now pushing the idea that John Kerry should pick John McCain has his vice presidential nominee.
Andrew Sullivan: KERRY-McCAIN? : After Abu Ghraib, it's an obvious thought. It may be unlikely but it just became more likely - and desirable.

Out of Prison and Back on the Job
  By / NYT   —   Permalink 
David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan who was released to a halfway house in Baton Rouge, La., a month ago after serving a year in federal prison for fraud, has been meeting his work release obligations by performing duties for the "white civil rights" group where he is president, he said yesterday.
TChris: David Duke Returns — Some people never learn. [snipped quote] His job duties are unclear. Washing sheets and hoods, perhaps?
Captain Ed: Addendum: Perhaps this man headed their advance team in Baton Rouge? Hey, he's in town, and available — it would explain the table signs ...
Tarek @LiquidList: Running a white supremacy organization, naturally. "My work-release plan was approved in the normal channels," Duke adds, helpfully.

The Saddam-9/11 Link Confirmed
  By / Front Page Magazine   —   Permalink 
Important new information has come from Edward Jay Epstein about Mohammed Atta's contacts with Iraqi intelligence. The Czechs have long maintained that Atta, leader of the 9/11 hijackers in the United States, met with Ahmed al-Ani, an Iraqi intelligence official, posted to the Iraqi embassy in Prague.
Captain Ed: Mylroie: More Evidence of Saddam-9/11 Ties — Laurie Mylroie writes in today's Front Page that the Czechs have further...
The Big Trunk: The Saddam 9/11 link — In her column for FrontPage this morning Laurie Mylroie collects much of the useful information...
Clayton Cramer: Still, it isn't like the crazies just made this one up: the Czech intelligence service still apparently believes this to...
Betsy Newmark: Laurie Mylroie who was an adviser on Iraq to the 1992 campaign of Bill Clinton and is the author of Bush vs. the...

Military Spending Raises Questions
  By / WaPo   —   Permalink 
When Rep. David L. Hobson (R-Ohio) went on an inspection trip to several Persian Gulf countries in the summer of 2002, he was dazzled by the state-of-the-art command centers, airstrips and other facilities being built there for the U.S. military.
Atrios: High Crimes — Digby brings us back to something the press doesn't care about - Bush's illegal diversion of congressionally authorized money from Afghanistan to Iraq.
Tarek @LiquidList: Did somebody notice that our government has been spending gobs and gobs of money on this war that even the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee didn't approve?
Digby: GOP Patsies — [snipped quote] This is the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors, kids.

Taguba Cites Mismanagement in Iraq Abuse
  By / AP   —   Permalink 
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Army general who first investigated prisoner abuse in an Iraqi prison told Congress on Tuesday the mistreatment resulted from faulty leadership, a "lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision."
James Joyner: Taguba Congressional Testimony — AP: Taguba Cites Mismanagement in Iraq Abuse "The Army general who first investigated...
Robert Garcia Tagorda: Major General Antonio Taguba just fielded this question before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Jon Henke: Taguba speaks — Today... [snipped quote] This seems consistent with the analysis previously done by Dale and McQ - that...

  By / New York Post   —   Permalink 
THE events in Abu Ghraib prison shamed America and our military. The mistreatment of prisoners is utterly unacceptable. And we haven't accepted it.
As a nation, we've taken responsibility for the tragic actions of a few. Our military has been investigating the misdeeds for months.
Porphyrogenitus: Unacceptable — Ralph Peters, spot on as usual: [snipped quote] Read the whole thing and, again, "yah, what I said."
Betsy Newmark: Ralph Peters has a good column on how we should be proud of our response to the prison abuse story compared to some other countries.
Tim Blair: Ralph Peters kicks off a mini wrap-up of various Abu Ghraib pieces. My own view?