Political Web, page A1 … for 7:45 AM ET, December 28, 2005
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Top Items:

New York Times:
Defense Lawyers in Terror Cases Plan Challenges Over Spy Efforts  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 - Defense lawyers in some of the country's biggest terrorism cases say they plan to bring legal challenges to determine whether the National Security Agency used illegal wiretaps against several dozen Muslim men tied to Al Qaeda.
ReddHedd / firedoglake:   Meet the Fan  —  In a NYTimes article that should come …
Defendants Plan Suits Over NSA Surveillance
Discussion: Alternate Brain
Wall Street Journal:
Pro-War Group Takes to the Airwaves  —  Move America Forward Ads Aim to Lift  —  Bush's Approval Rating by Backing WMD Claims  —  WASHINGTON — The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction …
John / AMERICAblog:
Are the kurds trying to influence US public opinion in favor of the war?  —  We reported earlier on a story about a pro-war advocacy group running ads in the US claiming that we found WMD in Iraq (we didn't) and that there is proof Saddam is linked to Al Qaeda (he isn't).
Matt Stoller / MyDD:   Secret Cash Going into Electioneering: Where Are You FEC?
Bill Roggio / ThreatsWatch.Org:
Disinformation Operations  —  Flaws in The Washington Post's article on Information Operations  —  Monday's Washington Post featured an article written by Jonathan Finer and Doug Struck titled Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War - U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front …
Francis Turner / L'Ombre de l'Olivier:
FUD and the MSM  —  The WaPo has hit piece on Bill Roggio which is, at first sight, an example of the usual "blogger falls foul of stuck up MSM hack" article that have become all too common over the last couple of years.  But this one is a little different, IMO.
Discussion: Gates of Vienna
Mark Tapscott /
How Will The Washington Post Handle This?  Simple Corrections Won't Do it  —  Mainstream media giants like The Washington Post repeatedly claim to have layers and layers of editors and fact checkers to make sure only verified facts appear in the daily newspaper.
Discussion: Rantingprofs and Daily Pundit
Secret surveillance up sharply since 9/11  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal applications for a special U.S. court to authorize secret surveillance rose sharply after the September 11, 2001, attacks, and the panel required changes to the requests at an even greater rate, government documents show.
John / AMERICAblog:
Now Bush says he was only spying on people with …
Discussion: archy, Alternate Brain and BottleOfBlog
Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
CIA Probes Renditions of Terror Suspects  —  WASHINGTON - The CIA's independent watchdog is investigating fewer than 10 cases where terror suspects may have been mistakenly swept away to foreign countries by the spy agency, a figure lower than published reports but enough to raise some concerns.
Robert Fisk / Los Angeles Times:
Telling it like it isn't  —  I FIRST REALIZED the enormous pressures on American journalists in the Middle East when I went some years ago to say goodbye to a colleague from the Boston Globe.  I expressed my sorrow that he was leaving a region where he had obviously enjoyed reporting.
C.J. Karamargin / Arizona Daily Star:
McCain brings his message to MTV audience  —  "Let the student decide."  With those well-chosen words John McCain summed up his view on the teaching of "intelligent design" along with evolution in public schools.  —  Even — or perhaps especially — with controversial topics …
Steve Benen / The Washington Monthly:
'LET THE STUDENT DECIDE'....Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) …
Kristen Philipkoski / Wired News:
2005's 10 Sexiest Geeks  —  Some people say the term "sexy geek" is an oxymoron.  Here at Wired News, we say it's redundant.  With so many accomplished and delectable nerd types to choose from, picking 10 of the sexiest geeks of 2005 was no easy task.  But after much deliberation, here …
Poland postpones Iraq withdrawal  —  Poland's government says it has taken the "very difficult decision" to extend its military deployment in Iraq until the end of 2006.  —  The new conservative government's decision reverses the previous leftist administration's plan to pull troops out in early 2006.
Cam Simpson / Chicago Tribune:
U.S. stalls on human trafficking  —  Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor  —  WASHINGTON — Three years ago, President Bush declared that he had "zero tolerance" for trafficking in humans by the government's overseas contractors, and two years ago Congress mandated a similar policy.
Discussion: Making Light and Air America Radio
Joseph Kahn / New York Times:
When Chinese Sue the State, Cases Are Often Smothered  —  SHIQIAO, China - The peasants surrounded the clerk in the busy court anteroom, badgering him to let them sue the officials who had seized their land.  —  No, no, the clerk said, shaking his head and waving his hands, as the peasants recalled it.
Discussion: The Peking Duck
Tom Lasseter / Knight Ridder:
Kurds in Iraqi army proclaim loyalty to militia  —  KIRKUK, Iraq - Kurdish leaders have inserted more than 10,000 of their militia members into Iraqi army divisions in northern Iraq to lay the groundwork to swarm south, seize the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and possibly half of Mosul …
Matthew Yglesias / TAPPED:
THE RULE OF LAW.  Bill Kristol doesn't really care: … This is honestly just dumb.  The story we're all talking about isn't a story about how, in September and October 2001, the president authorized some kind of illegal program on a temporary emergency basis before getting things sorted out.

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More Items:

Associated Press:
Former Twins great arrested on robbery charges
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New York Times:
No Left Turn  —  IN 1781, an Aymara Indian, Tupac Katari …
New York Times:
Time for Chemical Plant Security
Discussion: Confined Space
Staci Hupp / Indianapolis Star:
On college applications, just the facts'll do
Discussion: Number 2 Pencil
Lyle Denniston / SCOTUSblog:
Padilla tells Court of "manipulation"
Discussion: PrawfsBlawg
Philbq / The Nation:
The I-Word is Gaining Ground
Discussion: King of Zembla
Hindrocket / Power Line:

Earlier Picks:
Bring On the Rebels  —  By William Greider, The Nation.
Discussion: firedoglake Customers Order …
Jane Hamsher / firedoglake:
What's He Up To?  —  Things sure have been quiet on the Plame front of late.
Discussion: TalkLeft and Preemptive Karma
Devlin Barrett / Associated Press:
Sen. Schumer Sets Sights High for 2006
Austin Bay Blog:
UPDATED: The Big Story of 2005
Colin Brown / Independent:
Bush's envoy sparks another diplomatic incident over war claims
Munich mastermind spurns Spielberg's peace appeal
Jason Leopold /
Rice authorized National Security Agency to spy …
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