Political Web, page A1 … for 4:14 AM ET, February 20, 2006
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Top Items:

James Wolcott:
MARY QUITE CONTRARY  —  I only caught the bitter end of Meet the Press so I'm not sure what provoked Mary Matalin's pout-fest (I'm sure Arianna will issue a full forensics report later), but she made quite a petulant spectacle of herself, shaking her head from side to side in silent …
Steve Soto / The Left Coaster:
Matalin Trots Out The J-Word All Too Easily  —  If you watched Meet the Press this morning, you got to see a prime example of how this administration's defenders manage to equate criticism and dissent with terrorism.  David Gregory from NBC News, as well as Maureen Dowd of the NYT were on the panel …
Charles Babington / Washington Post:
White House Working to Avoid Wiretap Probe  —  But Some Republicans Say Bush Must Be More Open About Eavesdropping Program  —  At two key moments in recent days, White House officials contacted congressional leaders just ahead of intelligence committee meetings that could have stirred demands …
Bush Didn't Need to Get Court Approval for Wiretaps, Frist Says
Discussion: TalkLeft and Sisyphus Shrugged
Los Angeles Times:
Advise and assent  —  THAT THE UNITED STATES Senate has a body called …
Discussion: Norwegianity
Wichita Eagle:
Discussion: War and Piece
Steven R. Hurst / Associated Press:
Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive  —  CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden promised never to be captured alive and declared the United States had resorted to the same "barbaric" tactics used by Saddam Hussein, according to an audiotape purportedly by the al-Qaida leader that was posted Monday on a militant Web site.
Francis Fukuyama / New York Times:
After Neoconservatism  —  As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly.  By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy …
Discussion: Legal Fiction and Balkinization
Tim Golden / New York Times:
Senior Lawyer at Pentagon Broke Ranks on Detainees  —  One of the Pentagon's top civilian lawyers repeatedly challenged the Bush administration's policy on the coercive interrogation of terror suspects, arguing that such practices violated the law, verged on torture and could ultimately expose senior officials …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Associated Press:
Navy Counsel Issued Warning On Torture  —  The Navy's general counsel warned Pentagon officials two years before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that circumventing international agreements on torture and detainees' treatment would invite abuse, according to a published report.
Discussion: Nitpicker and The Left Coaster
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
When fear cows the media  —  THE PHOENIX is Boston's leading ''alternative" newspaper, the kind of brash, pull-no-punches weekly that might have been expected to print without hesitation the Mohammed cartoons that Islamists have been using to incite rage and riots across the Muslim world.
Captain Ed / Captain's Quarters:
The Misguided And Cowardly Outrage Of The Press
Discussion: Ed
Jonathan Alter / Newsweek:
The Imperial (Vice) Presidency  —  Since Cheney doesn't have a real chance of moving up, he felt he could change the rules.  —  Feb. 27, 2006 issue - Fox News's exclusive interview with Vice President Dick Cheney was, as CNN's Jack Cafferty sniped, "like Bonnie interviewing Clyde," but Brit Hume posed some good questions.
Jason Burke / Observer:
Torturers' Iraq link  —  Criminals who tortured and killed a young hostage, keeping him naked and hooded and burning him repeatedly before throwing him from a train, were inspired by images from Iraq, according to a French prosecutor.  —  Jean-Claude Martin, a senior government lawyer …
Discussion: lgf and Daimnation!
Agence France Presse:
Hugo Chavez to Condi Rice: 'Don't mess with me, girl'  —  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez launched a new verbal attack against US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, bluntly warning her "don't mess with me, girl."  —  Responding to remarks before the US Congress last week in which Rice called Chavez a …
Michelle Malkin:
WORLD ON FIRE: ISLAMISTS GONE WILD  —  Your weekend Cartoon Jihad photo album (click on thumbnails for full-size images; via Yahoo! News):  —  Pakistan...  India...  Indonesia...  Philippines...  Malaysia...  Libya...  Nigeria...  Next?
Andrew Stuttaford / The Corner on National …:
BLAIR'S BRITAIN: THE COMING DISASTER?  —  This, via, the Sunday Telegraph, is what Patrick Sookhdeo, director of Britain's Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity has to say about the way that the neocons' favorite prime minister has contributed to the disastrous manner in which Islamic opinion in the UK is developing:
Michelle Malkin:
TRACKING THE CARTOON JIHAD  —  Click for interactive Google map of Cartoon Jihad demonstrations, riots and deaths:  —  Via Lasting News (hat tip: John Little).  —  Previous:  —  Cartoon Jihad: The map
Discussion: Lasting News and A Blog For All
New York Times:
Lawmakers Increase Criticism of Dubai Deal for Ports  —  WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 — Legislators from both parties continued today to sharply criticize the Bush administration's approval of a recent sale that would give a Dubai company control over shipping facilities at six leading American ports …
Adam Liptak / New York Times:
New Clerk for Alito Has a Long Paper Trail  —  JUSTICE SAMUEL A. ALITO JR., who was so bland and self-effacing at his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last month, made a bold decision on arriving at the court.  He hired Adam G. Ciongoli, a former top aide to Attorney General John Ashcroft …

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More Items:

John Wilkens / San Diego Union-Tribune:
A breed apart  —  When Japanese-Americans became prisioners …
Discussion: The Heretik
Linton Weeks / Washington Post:
New Orleans Locals Think Katrina's Toll Is Still Rising
Discussion: First Draft
Cornelia Dean / New York Times:
At a Scientific Gathering, U.S. Policies Are Lamented
Discussion: Bad Attitudes
Alexandra von Maltzan / All Things Beautiful:
A Dangerous Precedent  —  Read the insightful article written …
Bill Roggio / The Fourth Rail:
An Interview with Colonel Davis
Juan / Informed Comment:
Muqtada al-Sadr on Aljazeera  —  "Ready to attack the Americans …
Los Angeles Times:
Industries Get Quiet Protection From Lawsuits
Steve Clemons / The Washington Note:
The Jordan Imperative: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi vs. Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein

Earlier Picks:

Jyllands-Posten: "My Day in Florence"
Discussion: ¡No Pasarán!
George Megalogenis / The Australian:
Howard hits out at 'jihad' Muslims
Discussion: Tim Blair
New York Times:
They Served, and Now They're Running
Jane Hamsher / firedoglake:
Dana Milbank Gets Froomkined by Lil' Debbie
Leon Wieseltier / New York Times:
The God Genome  —  THE question of the place of science …
Ali Kotarumalos / Associated Press:
Muslims Assault U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Sonja Barisic / Associated Press:
Pat Robertson Accused of Damaging Movement
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