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8:50 AM ET, May 23, 2007


 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
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
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 …
Discussion: Wizbang
The Age:
Iran planning strike on Europe: analyst
Discussion: New York Times
Faiz / Think Progress:   ABC News: Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran
Shailagh Murray / Washington Post:
Democrats Relent On Pullout Timetable  —  Democrats gave up their demand for troop-withdrawal deadlines in an Iraq war spending package yesterday, abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home and handing President Bush a victory in a debate that has roiled Congress for months.
Carl Hulse / New York Times:
Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill  —  Congressional Democrats relented Tuesday on their insistence that a war spending measure set a date for withdrawing American combat troops from Iraq.  Instead, they moved toward a deal with President Bush that would impose new conditions on the Iraqi government.
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.
Nicholas Blanford / Time:
Catching Their Breath in Lebanon
Discussion: Gateway Pundit
Ralph Peters / New York Post:
Rush Transcript / The Raw Story:
Discussion: Balloon Juice and The Agonist
Associated Press:
Iraqis in Hunt for Missing GIs Find Body in U.S. Uniform  —  BAGHDAD — Iraqi police found the body of a man who was wearing what appeared to be a U.S. military uniform and floating in the Euphrates River south of Baghdad on Wednesday morning.  One Iraqi official said the body was that of an American soldier.
Discussion: Pajamas Media and Jules Crittenden
CNN:   Iraqi police say body in U.S. uniform found
Ravi Nessman / Associated Press:
Iraqi police: Body found in U.S. uniform
Discussion: CBS News and On Deadline
Bomb Plot Thwarted at Falwell's Funeral  —  Student Arrested With Homemade Bombs, Three Other Suspects Sought  —  Even in death, the Rev. Jerry Falwell rouses the most volatile of emotions.  —  A small group of protesters gathered near the funeral services to criticize the man …
Paul Kiel / TPMmuckraker:
Why The Tears?  —  Tomorrow morning at 10:15 AM, Monica Goodling will testify before the House Judiciary Committee.  —  Goodling, remember, was the Justice Department's liaison to the White House and the last of the Department officials involved in the U.S. attorney firings to talk to Congress.
Former Gonzales Aide / Washington Post:
Officials Describe Interference by Former Gonzales Aide
Discussion: Think Progress
Russia angered by Litvinenko extradition call  —  A major diplomatic row loomed last night after Tony Blair demanded the extradition from Russia of the man accused of murdering the former security service agent Alexander Litvinenko.  —  Andrei Lugovoi was formally accused by British authorities yesterday …
John Steele / Telegraph:
Ex-KGB man faces polonium murder charge
Discussion: and Slate
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.
Ann Scott Tyson / Washington Post:
New Strategy for War Stresses Iraqi Politics  —  U.S. Aims to Oust Sectarians From Key Roles  —  Top U.S. commanders and diplomats in Iraq are completing a far-reaching campaign plan for a new U.S. strategy, laying out military and political goals and endorsing the selective removal …
Deb Riechmann / Associated Press:
Bush: bin Laden ordered non-Iraq attacks  —  WASHINGTON - Seeking to rally support for the war, President Bush is pointing to U.S. intelligence asserting that Osama bin Laden ordered a top lieutenant in early 2005 to form a terrorist unit to hit targets outside Iraq, and that the United States should be first in his sights.
Kevin G. Hall / Real Cities:
Swiss authorities question U.S. counterfeiting charges against North Korea  —  WASHINGTON - Swiss police who closely monitor the circulation of counterfeit currency have challenged the Bush administration's assertions that North Korea is manufacturing fake American $100 bills.
Discussion: Washington Monthly and Angry Bear
Michael Arrington / TechCrunch:
Silicon Valley Could Use A Downturn Right About Now  —  Silicon Valley is paradise for geeks, and people flock here from all over the world to be part of something very special.  When I speak at events here one thing I often do is ask people in the audience to raise their hand if they live in Silicon Valley.
Damien Cave / New York Times:
As Comrades Search, Fatal Bomb Wreaks Havoc  —  The ground exploded under an ashen sky at dawn.  Dust, dirt, blood and military equipment filled the air, clearing after several seconds to reveal a frenzied scene of horror.  —  Where Sgt. Justin D. Wisniewski, 22, had just been standing …
Discussion: On Deadline and The Agonist
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 More Items: 
Manny Fernandez / New York Times:
Legal Status Brings Security to Some Same-Sex Marriages
Simon Tisdall / Guardian:
Bush may turn to UN in search for Iraq solution
Video: George Allen Weighs in on 2008 Race
Discussion: MSNBC and Salon
Deacon / Power Line:
SO CORRUPT IT HURTS  —  Although Jack Murtha currently occupies …
Digby / Hullabaloo:
Liberation … You can view more of the video at this Chicago Tribune link.
Discussion: The Sideshow
Hindrocket / Power Line:
WHO CAUGHT SCOTT?  —  Scott was on the O'Reilly Factor tonight …
Discussion: KARE-TV
Chris Frates / The Politico:
Local officials take on voting rights groups
 Earlier Items: 
John Amato / Crooks and Liars:
Obey Presser on Iraq
Dean Barnett /
A Decree from Markos  —  Under the headline, "Record Everything …
Chris Bowers / MyDD:
On Checks And Balances In The Progressive Movement
Discussion: TalkLeft
James Boyce / The Huffington Post:
Just Off The Phone With Al Gore — With Special Note To Tony Snow
Daniel Friedman / Federal Times:
GSA chief violated Hatch Act, OSC report finds
Discussion: Tech Insider and MyDD
Agence France Presse:
Gay flamingos pick up chick