Saturday, April 29, 2006

AGs Say The Darndest Things

From Secrets of Success Revealed written by Sari Horwitz for Saturday's Washington Post:

It was the big day. Twenty-three sixth-graders from Northeast Washington were getting to go inside one of the most top-secret rooms in the world: the FBI command center. A lair deep within FBI headquarters downtown. The inner sanctum where all spy brains converge to make split-second decisions to protect American citizens and fight evil during national crises.

Not only that, but the students were also about to meet The Big Guys: the director of the FBI and the attorney general of the United States. And they were going to see whether they could pass muster on the agent fitness test.

Perhaps it's just a rumour but I was told by an uninformed source that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was once fired from a hot dog stand because he couldn't cut the mustard.

More from the Post:

A 12-year-old at the other end of the table had a question. "What do you think about the war?" he asked.

Gonzales put down his hamburger. "One thing you have to remember is that sometimes people have to die so we can all live in freedom. That's always been the case."

"I think they should end the war," Maurice said.

"You know what, I think everybody wants the war to end as soon as possible," Gonzales said. "I really do. Nobody wants young American soldiers to die, including the president."

"If the president made us go to war with Iraq, why doesn't he go over there and fight the war?" Christian May asked.

"Why doesn't he go do that?" Gonzales responded. "He's sort of the commander in chief. He's kind of leading the troops. That's what happens in wars. You have people making the plans and making the decisions...and then you have people who make sure those directives are carried out."

Did Gonzales really admit that President Bush was only "sort-of" the commander in chief?

The very next line in the Post article:

At that moment, a Justice Department public relations officer suggested that the onlooking reporter leave the two to "chat freely."

Was it time for a spanking?


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

When Will Jeff Gannon Respond to My Plagiarism Charges?

UPDATE: Jeff Gannon tells Washington Blade that he's "willing to compete in the marketplace in free ideas." The Blade calls James Dale Guckert "a bisexual conservative blogger and occasional opinion columnist for the Washington Blade."

Evidently, Jeff Gannon and his employer, The Washington Blade, both believe that in order "to compete in the marketplace" it's okay to take articles published by the Associated Press and without hardly adding a word except your own byline take credit for it yourself: link.

Why not?

It's all "free ideas" to Jeff Gannon and other plagiarists like him and the news organizations that ignore evidence of plagiarism but offer plagiarists outlets and the organizations that continue to call on plagiarists to appear on their silly little panels thereby allowing the plagiarists to represent themselves as journalists.


So Jeff Gannon's been tapped to participate in yet another illustrious media panel with fellow bloggers and journalists: link.

But wait...

How come Jayson Blair wasn't invited?

How come Stephen Glass isn't on the panel?

How come Ben Domenech ain't gonna be in the building?

Who is Jeff Gannon according to the Equality Forum?

Jeff Gannon is a syndicated columnist for the Washington Blade and publishes his own personal political blog, Gannon is also a former White House correspondent for Talon News.

Again...not one blessed word about the multiple examples of plagiarism I uncovered by Mr. Gannon while at Talon News, and even once at his eponymous blog.

Kudos to John Aravosis for dropping out:

It's the National Press Club all over again. Somehow the fact that Gannon was exposed as a $200/hour hooker while writing homophobic articles for some far-right religious-right suck-up rag now establishes him as a credible journalist when he wasn't before. He's been accused repeatedly of plagiarism and has yet to prove otherwise. Why not put the Washington Post ex-blogger, the one who had to quit because of his serial plagiarism, on a panel and get his expert advice on journalistic research and ethics?

Kudos to Pam Spaulding for doing likewise:

In my response, I made it clear that most regular readers of my blog have zero respect for Gannon as a representative or voice of the LGBT community in the blogosphere, regardless of politics. He's a homophobe and a serial plagiarist. He has little to add to the discussion about LGBT media and blogging, since his blog has no impact or influence in the community in terms blogger journalism; he's a joke.

Katherine Sender, an assistant professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania, is listed as the moderator of this shortened panel. Perhaps she doesn't mind the inclusion of a plagiarizing journalist/blogger who has never even responded to the charges and has mostly just ignored them.

Anne Gordon, the Managing Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, might also want to consider not being party to another media event which seems at least partly designed to cement Gannon as some kind of representative for people who use their own words to write.

I wrote the following last June to try to get Jeff Gannon to at least respond to my work exposing his serial plagiarism. I won't hold my breath for a response.

At his eponymous blog, Jeff Gannon seems to be suggesting that he's been unfairly accused of plagiarism. His word for the unfair accusations: "Gannonized."

In a post entitled Reporter "Gannonized" as he closes in on "anonymous" source, Guckert/Gannon writes, "David Collins, a veteran reporter for Baltimore's WBAL-TV has come under attack in the form of an anonymous letter sent to the editor of the Baltimore City Paper. Collins has been investigating the curious case of a former staffer to Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich allegedly spreading rumors in an internet discussion website about Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley."

Jeff doesn't mention the word plagiarism at his blog, but that's what the "spreading rumors" is about.

City Paper's Gadi Dechter writes in the article that Gannon linked to (Who’s Accusing WBAL-TV of Copying Other Media Outlets’ Reporting?):

"The anonymous letter to City Paper concludes with a comment suggesting that its author is displeased with the direction of Collins’ recent reporting: “In their inexplicable zeal to do Governor Ehrlich’s and Joe ‘The Prince of Darkness’ Steffen’s dirty work by exposing the Deep Throat who uncovered Ehrlich’s political hit man,” it reads, “WBAL’s ‘I Team’ has plagiarized the work of other journalists."

"Editors at both The Sun and the Post say they were already aware of the instances of alleged plagiarism and unethical reporting described in the letter to City Paper. Neither paper contests the basic facts as described in the letter. The unsigned letter details three instances of alleged wrongdoing by Collins, the most serious of which is the claim of plagiarism."

"On the morning of April 26, U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin, D-3rd, held a press conference announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Paul Sarbanes. That afternoon, Sun statehouse reporter David Nitkin filed his account of the announcement, which first appeared on the Sun’s web site at around 2 p.m., according to the paper’s online news editor, Matthew Baise."

"The first sentence of Nitkin’s 18th paragraph is: “Cardin begins the race with a reservoir of support among the Baltimore political establishment, as well as from environmentalists and women’s groups.”

"That evening on the Channel 11 evening news, Collins introduced his own coverage of the Cardin announcement with this line to news anchor Stan Stovall: “Well, Stan, Ben Cardin begins the race with a wealth of support from the Baltimore political establishment, as well as environmental and women’s groups.”

"The similarity between the sentences is a coincidence, Collins says, who insists he didn’t read Nitkin’s coverage before writing his own and didn’t have access to the internet besides. “I was out of the building that day, and my computer was down,” he says."

Is that Jeff's excuse, too?

Was Gannon's computer down on April 11, 2003 when he wrote the same exact paragraph that appeared in an Associated Press article that appeared the day before? (link)

"One of the slain clerics, Haider al-Kadar, was a widely hated loyalist of Hussein, part of the Iraqi leader's ministry of religion. The other was Abdul Majid al-Khoei, a high-ranking Shiite cleric and son of one of the religion's most prominent ayatollahs, or spiritual leaders, who was persecuted by Hussein. Al-Khoei had urged cooperation with U.S. troops."

Was Gannon's computer down on September 29, 2003 when he wrote an article very similiar to one written by Randy Dockendorf of The Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan written three days before, both of which contained an identical sentence? (link)

""Neuharth, a 1950 USD graduate, founded USA TODAY, the nation's largest daily newspaper."

Was Gannon's computer down on August 22, 2003 when he wrote an article that closely resembled one written by Bob Allen of the Associate Baptist Press ten days before? There certainly doesn't appear to be much of a difference between these two lines (link):

Allen: "The Christian Coalition of Alabama passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

Gannon: "The Alabama Christian Coalition passed a resolution in May opposing the raising of taxes and blaming the state's budget woes on "years of poor stewardship and fiscal irresponsibility.""

I'm not so sure that Melissa Beecher, formerly of the Waltham Daily News Tribune, nor Richard Lodge, an editor-in-chief at the Community Newspaper Company, would be willing to buy the "computer was down" excuse when Jeff Gannon didn't credit Beecher for her exclusive story, changed a few words around here and there, but "borrowed" this complete sentence (link):

"Both sides agree that the children have not been abused mentally, physically, sexually, or emotionally."

That's just a few of the stories that Jeff Gannon incorporated for his "reporting", and others can be found elsewhere on this blog (more to come soon, as well).

At his blog, Jeff Gannon recently incorporated the ability to trackback to his posts. So far, no one has taken advantage of this. Until me. Let's see how long it takes Jeff Gannon to remove my trackback.

Jeff, if you think I've "Gannonized" you, then let me know your side of the story. Is it just a coincidence that so many Talon News writers wrote identical sentences in many of their stories to articles that ran in the mainstream press like The New York Times and Fox News?

Feel free to respond by email or by leaving a comment on my haloscan because I think you're a low down, dirty, stinking plagiarist and not anything close to a journalist.

If you disagree, Jeff, why don't you sue me?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Why Are We Back In Iraq? Act III Scene 1

(It is March 23rd, four days after the commencement of the "shock-and-awe" campaign during Iraq War II. The 3rd battalion, 4th regiment, a component of the United States Marines 1st Expeditionary Forces is on the march to Baghdad. The Marines are in the southern desert, outside of the city of Basra, and far away from any sign of significant action.)

(A group of five young marines sit and eat their MREs calmly in front of an armored tank. PFC MARKS, LANCE CORPORAL IRWIN, PFC SANTANA, CORPORAL LANG and PFC EDWARDS are dressed in jungle camouflaged NBC vests and desert camouflaged gear - with their M-16s nestled in between their legs - on their first real break from the relentless mobilization.

(SGT. DRUDGE enters the stage and joins his men. There are knives strapped to his chest and ankles.

(The desert is silent except for its invaders. They are currently camped out in the open desert at night.)

DRUDGE - Continue.

IRWIN - (to Lang) - So you think it's some kind of conspiracy.

LANG - That's what I'm saying, y'know what I mean, I'm not saying he's definitely still alive, I don't have any proof just eyes, but I honestly truly feel that there's a chance.

IRWIN - Dude, you're way off base. That mutherfucker's deader than dead, anyone can download his autopsy picture from off the Internet and see big bullet holes, thug tattoos and his bald shiny head.

LANG - Get real, Hollywood. That shit was as fake as the Hitler Diaries. The key detail that makes me suspicious is that they supposedly had his ashes cremated. Tupac was a Muslim and Muslims don't believe in that shit.

DRUDGE - Shit, I've seen plenty of A-rabs set themselves on fire on the news. It's some kind of honor to the sick fucks.

EDWARDS - Wish every fucking one of them would save us the trouble and do us the favor.

LANG - Those are crazy-ass Shiites. Not the same. It's like comparing David Koresh and George Bush since they're both born-agains. Personally, I suspect Tupac went into the witness protection program because he ratted out Suge Knight.

IRWIN - You must be hallucinating due to withdrawal from blunts and forties.

(TED enters the scene, dressed identically to the Marines, toting his ever-present weapons - a notebook and pen - plus an opened MRE. At first, the Marines pretend to ignore his presence. Then EDWARDS and DRUDGE direct their best battle stares at him with contempt in their eyes.)

TED - (trying not to show that he is nervous) Mind if I sit down and eat with you boys?

(The lower-ranked men all turn to DRUDGE - the squadron leader.)

DRUDGE - That depends. Are you a Republican?

TED - No, but I'm circumcised.

(All the MARINES laugh except for EDWARDS and DRUDGE. IRWIN then gives SANTANA a playful push.)

IRWIN - Move over and give my dog some room.

(TED sits in the space provided him between IRWIN and SANTANA. EDWARDS redirects his attention to the contents of his MRE while DRUDGE continues staring and casually moves his M-16 so that it leans in the direction of TED.)

DRUDGE - You gonna take notes on us, civvie?

TED (thinks for a moment) - I'd never dare allow my nose to get in the way of six armed infantrymen and their well-deserved appetites.

DRUDGE (slightly smiles before making a show of moving his weapon) That's a well-found strategic assumption. This is our first chance for CST - copious spare time. A little more SMOP and you might make it out alive.

TED - Huh? Is that like mopping up?



Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bush on Downing Street memos: Rumours

From In interview, Bush claims decision to invade Iraq came after ultimatum:

In an exclusive interview with a British journalist, President Bush categorically denied press reports based on leaked documents that the decision to invade Iraq had been made months in advance, RAW STORY has found.

Although a recently disclosed memo of a closed-door meeting between Bush and Blair suggested that the president was set on war in January of 2003 (link), Bush claimed that it wasn't until after the 48-hour deadline passed two months later that he made up his mind for certain.

"I took the decision after the ultimatum," Bush said emphatically, according to Con Coughlin.

"I guess in the UK there's all kinds of rumours about 'we made the decision nine months ahead of time,'" Bush continued. "It's just not true."

A year ago, British journalist Michael Smith reported on a leaked briefing paper - which would come to be known as one of the Downing Street memos - which indicated that Bush and Blair had decided on regime change as early as April of 2002 (link).

Also, in the interview - excerpted from Coughlin's book, 'American Ally: Tony Blair and the War on Terror' - Bush claimed that he offered the Prime Minister Blair a "way out" in March of 2003 because of widespread opposition in the U.K. to invading Iraq at the time.

Downing Street memos - otherwise known as rumours - can be seen here and here.

More info can be found in my extensive article from last summer 'Spikes of Activity' In The DSM which drew off of the incredible work done by Mick Smith at The Sunday Times and - even sooner - when he wrote for The Daily Telegraph (Mick's got a blog now, too). U.S. changed Iraq policy to begin airstrikes months before war published at Raw Story shortly after has even more.


Friday, April 21, 2006

AdNags Makes Brazile A Leader

In Saturday's New York Times AdNags is allowed to spin yet another attack on Dems.

From Democrats Try to Use Katrina as G.O.P. Used 9/11 by Adam Nagourney:

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, toured a house on Friday that the Hurricane Katrina floods wrecked, picking up debris, lamenting the federal response and leaving little doubt of the powerful symbolism his party sees in the ruined neighborhoods here.

As Mr. Dean's well-covered hurricane-cleanup mission suggested, New Orleans may well become for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 what New York was for Republicans after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, an evocative metaphor rooted in tragedy that can potentially be turned to electoral advantage.


"It brings back home the notion that there is a difference with the two parties," said Donna Brazile, a Democratic leader whose family home was ravaged by the flooding.

A Democratic leader?

Try political consultant turned pundit.

Brazile's jobs include "Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute," "campaign manager of the 2000 presidential campaign of Vice-President Al Gore," and "Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia," according to Wikipedia, but she's never been elected to a public office - unless it was back in high school as Student Council president.

Yet, aside from Dean's recent words, Nagourney's entire thesis seems to rely on the words of an out-of-work political consultant who is inaccurately described solely as a "Democratic leader."

More from AdNags:

Ms. Brazile rejected the notion that Democrats were exploiting a tragedy.

"We're highlighting the incompetence of the government," she said.

Ms. Brazile said she never agreed with Democrats who criticized Republicans for using Sept. 11.

"Oh no," she said. "We should have used it, too."

What wouldn't a political consultant want to exploit?

That's what they do.

That's their freaking job.

Yet Nagourney is passing this off as the plans by Democratic leadership.

Either Nagourney is acting duplicitous or he is completely clueless...because Donna Brazile has weighed in on Katrina before.

Remember last September?

Remember after weeks of shellacking by Democrats and the press when a certain president was the recipient of unusual and conveniently helpful adoration and flattery by a certain Democratic "not-really-a-leader" in a newspaper editorial?

From I Will Rebuild With You, Mr. President by Donna Brazile, as published on September 16, 2005 by The Washington Post:

On Thursday night President Bush spoke to the nation from my city. I am not a Republican. I did not vote for George W. Bush -- in fact, I worked pretty hard against him in 2000 and 2004. But on Thursday night, after watching him speak from the heart, I could not have been prouder of the president and the plan he outlined to empower those who lost everything and to rebuild the Gulf Coast.

Brazile thinks that Dems should exploit Katrina and there she was in the midst of the maelstrom engulfing George Bush, Mike Chertoff and Mike "doing a good job" Brown helping smooth things over.

The Democratic political consultant was helping out the head of the Republican Party just a few months before an election.

That makes her a lousy leader and a lousy consultant in my blog.


Congressman Ney's 'Good Faith'

John Byrne and I have a new Jack Abramoff related article today at Raw Story called Court filing in case of indicted Bush official suggests Ohio congressman provided false report to Congress:

A pre-trial motion filed by federal prosecutors in the case of indicted former Bush Administration official David Safavian contends that his share of the costs in a trip to play golf in Scotland and England arranged by convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff should have been nearly five times more than what he paid, RAW STORY has found.

Perhaps more significantly, however, it also provides the first formal evidence that powerful Ohio Republican Bob Ney – then chairman of the House Administration Committee – provided false figures for the cost of his own trip to Scotland. Ney has been under fire for his role in allegedly helping Abramoff aid his clients in violation of House ethics rules and possibly federal laws.


David Safavian, chief of staff of the United States General Services Administration (GSA) at the time, paid Abramoff $3,100 for a trip that prosecutors say "was in excess of $130,000." According to The Washington Post, tax records show that a non-profit owned by Abramoff, the Capital Athletic Foundation, doled out $150,225 for the trip.

A footnote contained in the government’s motion for pretrial determination of certain evidence – which includes hundreds of emails between Safavian and Abramoff, which prosecutors allege prove a business relationship between the two – notes that “Mr. Safavian’s pro rated cost [for the trip] would have been approximately $15,000.”


Ney, however, was obliged under Congressional rules to provide a “good faith” estimate of his share of the trip’s actual cost.


On September 9, 2002, a month after returning from the trip, Ney filed a form with the Clerk of the House of the Representatives which indicated that his share of the trip was $3200. He reported $1,500 for travel, $1,200 for lodging and $500 for meal expenses.

According to the prosecutors’ estimate, Ney likely should have reported the trip at $15,000. Ney's office did not respond to a call placed for comment Friday.

(I'd also like to thank the brilliant Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft for forwarding me the Abramoff-Safavian E-mails that led to this story)


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Five On The President's Men

Five articles you should be reading today.

From Grand Jury Hears Evidence Against Rove by Jason Leopold:

In an interview Wednesday, Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, confirmed that Rove remains a "subject" of Fitzgerald's two-year-old probe.

"Mr. Rove is still a subject of the investigation," Luskin said. In a previous interview, Luskin asserted that Rove would not be indicted by Fitzgerald, but he was unwilling to make that prediction again Wednesday.


Fitzgerald is said to have introduced more evidence Wednesday alleging Rove lied to FBI investigators and the grand jury when he was questioned about how he found out that Valerie Plame Wilson worked for the CIA and whether he shared that information with the media, attorneys close to the case said.

Fitzgerald told the grand jury that Rove lied to investigators and the prosecutor eight out of the nine times he was questioned about the leak and also tried to cover-up his role in disseminating Plame Wilson's CIA status to at least two reporters.

From Cheney has tapped Iranian expatriate, arms dealer to surveil discussions with Iran, officials say by Larisa Alexandrovna:

The Department of Defense and Vice President Dick Cheney have retained the services of Iran-Contra arms dealer and discredited intelligence asset Manucher Ghorbanifar as their “man on the ground,” in order to report on any interaction and attempts at negotiations between Iranian officials and US ambassador to Iraq, Zelmay Khalilzad, current and former intelligence officials say.


“Khalilzad has been authorized to enter into discussions with the Iranians over the issue of stability inside Iraq,” one former intelligence source said.

These discussions, however, are now on hold for unspecified reasons. Sources close to the UN Security Council and a former high ranking intelligence official say that this latest failed attempt to bring Iran to the table is part of an ongoing attempt by Cheney and Rumsfeld to squash diplomatic activities.

Another intelligence source confirmed the spiking of diplomatic action on Cheney’s behalf, explaining that the Bush administration sees such talks as a “sign of weakness.”

From The Jerk at the Podium: Scott McClellan Steps Away by Jay Rosen:

First, McClellan was a necessary figure in what I have called Rollback— the attempt to downgrade the press as a player within the executive branch, to make it less important in running the White House and governing the country. It had once been accepted wisdom that by carefully “feeding the beast” an Administration would be rewarded with better coverage in the long run. Rollback, the policy for which McClellan signed on, means not feeding but starving the beast, while reducing its effectiveness as an interlocutor with the President and demonstrating to all that the fourth estate is a joke.


...So this is the first thing to understand about McClellan and the job he was given by Bush. He wasn’t put there to brief the White House press, but to frustrate, and belittle it, and provoke journalists into discrediting themselves on TV...


The same goes for spin. Anyone who talks about McClellan “spinning” the press has got the wrong idea. The premise of spin is that by artful re-statement the facts can be made to look better for the President. But McClellan’s speaking style is artless in the extreme. He’s terrible at spin but it didn’t detract from the job he was there to do.

From The Un-Spokesman by Howard Kurtz:

He was painful to watch at times, gamely repeating the same stock phrases under a barrage of hostile media fire, grasping for new ways to deliver the same non-answers.


McClellan's tenure coincided with a rough reelection campaign and the lowest approval ratings of Bush's term in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Harriet Miers nomination and the continued carnage in Iraq. While Fleischer said McClellan would have preferred to stay on until year's end, his departure was engineered during a shake-up ordered by the new chief of staff, Josh Bolten. "I didn't need much encouragement to make this decision, even though you all kept tempting me," McClellan told reporters aboard Air Force One.


In an interview last fall, McClellan said: "The media's trying to get under our skin and get us off-message. My job is to help the president advance his agenda."

From Behind the White House Reshuffling by Mike Allen:

The most telling word in Bush’s comments was "integrity," making it clear that he does not blame McClellan — and McClellan should not be blamed — for passing on incomplete or inaccurate information he had been given. "I thought he handled his assignment with class, integrity," Bush said.


Official Don't Mean True

Never in my life have I wanted a movie to bomb more than United 93, the exploitative piece of crap set to hit theaters in a few weeks (and....yes...feel free to call me a hypocrite for attacking something I haven't seen yet when I've railed against others for doing that...let's just say this is an exception).

Not because I think 9/11 is untouchable.

It's not.

But it sickens me that the filmmakers claim that their film is based on a true story and that there is nothing political about their interpretation.

Trust me. This crap won't sell in New York City. Most people that live here aren't stupid enough to think that we've been told anything close to the truth about what really happened on September 11, 2001.

I've blogged about many inconsistencies in the "official version" over the last few years...going to places where too few liberals are brave enough to go.

At the same time, I've held back in attacking some of the crazier conspiratorial stuff because I think there is nothing more democratic than asking questions and there are too many unanswered questions that the media and the Democratic Party have just ignored.

To me, the craziest thing that happened that day is the completely unfathomable breakdown in everyday NORAD protection.

I believe that the explanation has something to do with the three-to-four tests going on that day, as I've written about before.

Anyway...if I'm going to attack United 93...which I haven't even's only fair to attack "Loose Change" which I finally checked out today and turned off after the first five minutes.

Please, please, please...people out there that aren't afraid to ask questions about that horrible day...stop linking to this nonsense on Mytube and elsewhere.

It doesn't help.

And it's sad as hell that anyone would actually believe that the planes that hit the World Trade Center shot missiles or rockets first (I mean...come on...the controlled munition blasts at least is somewhat believable).

But it ain't the government's fault.

It's the cowards.

Why is it that no Democrats trust the Bush when it comes to Iraq, Iran, Plame, social security, or bike accidents but they accept the crap fed to us about 9/11?

Again...cause they're cowards.

Here's the latest "untold story of 9/11" according to Newsday:

Former federal terrorism investigators say a piece of luggage hastily checked in at the Portland, Maine, airport by a World Trade Center hijacker on the morning of Sept. 11 provided the Rosetta stone enabling FBI agents to swiftly unravel the mystery of who carried out the suicide attacks and what motivated them.

A mix-up in Boston prevented the luggage from connecting with the plane that hijackers crashed into the north tower of the trade center. Seized by FBI agents at Boston's Logan Airport, investigators said, it contained Arab-language papers revealing the identities of all 19 hijackers involved in the four hijackings, as well as information on their plans, backgrounds and motives.


A former FBI agent and a former federal prosecutor who helped direct the New England investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks told Newsday that one bag found in Boston contained far more than what the commission report cited, including the names of the hijackers, their assignments and their al-Qaida connections.

"It had all these Arab-language papers that amounted to the Rosetta stone of the investigation," former FBI agent Warren Flagg said. The former federal prosecutor, who declined to be identified publicly, supported Flagg's account.

Oh fucking please.

A certain blogger I don't link to anymore (the only one I won't) pegged it as the "second miracle bag."

More from Newsday:

"How do you think the government was able to identify all 19 hijackers almost immediately after the attacks?" Flagg asked. "They were identified through those papers in the luggage. And that's how it was known so soon that al-Qaida was behind the hijackings."

Too bad some of those hijackers are still fucking alive and well. Too bad no one seems to give a shit about that.

(Hat tip to Luke at wotisitgood4 for the Newsday link...and he links to the blogger I quoted from above who I tired of sending traffic to since he/she ripped me off too many times)


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

'I think you're an asshole,' wrote Rep.

From the too fucking funny file:

Nobody expects to get a letter from a member of Congress that ends with an expletive.

But that's what happened when Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., recently corresponded with a resident of her southeast Missouri district.

The letter ended with a profane, seven-letter insult beginning with the letter a — "i think you're an. ..."

Apologies if I assumed incorrectly and the correct term used was "ass wipe" or "ass muncher" or "ass fill-in-the-blank."

No congressman ever called me an asshole, although plenty others have (including moi - but never ma - many times), but I suppose there's still time for that.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Times says 'bad leak,' Post said 'good'

From my Raw Story article, NY Times calls it 'a bad leak' while Post said 'good':

What the Washington Post editorial page called 'a good leak,' the New York Times calls 'bad,' RAW STORY has found.

"President Bush was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons," began the Post's editorial, "A Good Leak," last Sunday.

In contrast, Sunday's Times editorial, "A Bad Leak," begins with "President Bush says he declassified portions of the prewar intelligence assessment on Iraq because he "wanted people to see the truth" about Iraq's weapons programs and to understand why he kept accusing Saddam Hussein of stockpiling weapons that turned out not to exist."

"This would be a noble sentiment if it actually bore any relationship to Mr. Bush's actions in this case, or his overall record," continues the Times editorial.


Since the Times directly cited the Post in its editorial many readers (and especially liberal bloggers and media critics) are likely to assume that its title was deliberate.

From my R.S. article Retired colonel claims U.S. military operations are already 'underway' in Iran:

During an interview on CNN Friday night, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner claimed that U.S. military operations are already 'underway' inside Iran, RAW STORY has found. "I would say -- and this may shock some -- I think the decision has been made and military operations are under way," Col. Gardiner told CNN International anchor Jim Clancy (as noted by Digby at the blog Hullabaloo).

(Crooks and Liars has a video clip of the interview)


Last Thursday, Raw Story's Larisa Alexandrovna reported (On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say) that, according to former and current intelligence officials, the Pentagon has been using a right-wing terrorist organization known as Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) as an operational asset "to create strife in Iran in preparation for any possible attack."

"[I]nstead of securing a known terrorist organization, which has been responsible for acts of terror against Iranian targets and individuals all over the world – including US civilian and military casualties – Rumsfeld under instructions from Cheney, began using the group on special ops missions into Iran to pave the way for a potential Iran strike," Larisa reported.

And this is a comment I left at Jay Rosen's PressThink regarding Saturday's Washington Post article written by David Finkel, The Left, Online and Outraged:

I love Maryscott O'Connor. She's brilliant, hysterical, poetic and not afraid to get right in your face.

She also has the brass to write about topice that most bigger bloggers on the left wouldn't dare. Case in point: Darfur in the Post (hell...this might be the first time a liberal's thoughts about what's happening there ever appeared in the mainstream press).

Is she angry? Yes. But it's a compassionate anger. A deep felt anger. An emotional anger. Unlike any anger coming from anywhere on the right...or the left for that matter.

As for the argument - I guess - that she doesn't represent the online left. Bullshit. There's a little bit of Maryscott in nearly every single bigger blogger on the left (but mostly just the rage part).

Now I completely agree that this article was most probably revenge by the Post on the liberal bloggers...but it could have been worse...instead of profiling someone whose every word lives and breathes with humanity...they could have just gone to the biggest blogs on the left in any given week and used stuff from the posts without having to go into the comments.

Does anyone care what Maryscott thinks of the article about her?

A reader at My Left Wing writes, "I'm scared to read it. Please, someone, tell me it's okay."

Maryscott replies, "It's better than okay. It's real."



Thursday, April 13, 2006

Larisa Strikes Again!

On Cheney, Rumsfeld order, US outsourcing special ops, intelligence to Iraq terror group, intelligence officials say

Also at Raw Story, a less colorful version of my Judy Miller post from the other day: Fallen New York Times reporter had questioned 'biolab' trailers.

Plus Prosecutor, Libby make new filings in CIA leak case which is most interesting for what I wrote about The New York Times' 'bizarre' excuse for belatedly publishing a correction for their article last Sunday based on the original Fitzgerald filing which was wrong (go read Jeralyn Merrit's take on the Libby filing for the best blog account of that and The Washington Post's R. Jeffrey Smith for the best in the printed press).

Also a few things I'm a little late in linking to:

Jay Rosen's Murray Waas is Our Woodward Now (which includes a brief mention of my Raw Story scoop about The Washington Post's decision to hire a liberal blogger...and a jab at some A-list bloggers who have cowardly froze me out the last year...but I would like to thank Matt Stoller for correcting the record...Matt has class...the others don't).

And more Larisa. Luke interviewed the star reporter for Raw Story (I think we're all in full agreement on that): Part 1 and Part 2.


Jeez. I just don't get why there doesn't seem to be much blogosphere interest in the work that John Byrne and I (along with Muriel Kane, Larisa, and others who may have helped along the way) have done exposing Amy Ridenour's synchronized collaboration with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Aside from the kick-ass crew at Talking Points Memo and Muckraker (link), nobody fucking links to our articles.

What the hell is up with that?

Is it too boring a story or something?

While others (like Franklin Foer) have touched upon the collaboration between the conservative "non-profit" thinktank and Abramoff's clients, Byrne and I have proven it.'s the latest chapter which ropes in Tony Rudy: Former DeLay aide paid thinktank to advance Washington lobbying efforts.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Judith Miller Proved Fucking Right

In my last post I raved about Joby Warrick's article in the Washington Post today: Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War.

Finally...three years later the truth has come out.


This is mostly old news...covered three years you believe it...Judith Fucking Miller?

From Some Analysts of Iraq Trailers Reject Germ Use by Judith Miller and William J. Broad:

American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence are disputing claims that the mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making deadly germs. In interviews over the last week, they said the mobile units were more likely intended for other purposes and charged that the evaluation process had been damaged by a rush to judgment.

"Everyone has wanted to find the 'smoking gun' so much that they may have wanted to have reached this conclusion," said one intelligence expert who has seen the trailers and, like some others, spoke on condition that he not be identified. He added, "I am very upset with the process."

The Bush administration has said the two trailers, which allied forces found in Iraq in April and May, are evidence that Saddam Hussein was hiding a program for biological warfare. In a white paper last week, it publicly detailed its case, even while conceding discrepancies in the evidence and a lack of hard proof.

Now, intelligence analysts stationed in the Middle East, as well as in the United States and Britain, are disclosing serious doubts about the administration's conclusions in what appears to be a bitter debate within the intelligence community. Skeptics said their initial judgments of a weapon application for the trailers had faltered as new evidence came to light.

Bill Harlow, a spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency, said the dissenters "are entitled to their opinion, of course, but we stand behind the assertions in the white paper."

Read the rest. I dare you.

The date of that article was June 7, 2003...yep...that's right...more than two weeks before Judy's first noted conversation with Scooter Libby.

Not to take anything away from Warrick's work (the news that the experts' report was shelved certainly qualifies as a scoop-and-a-half) but check out this graphic from the Washington Post which accompanies the big article: From 'Biological Laboratories' to Harmless Trailers.

On the timeline June 27 is marked as the day "Powell says the U.S. intelligence community is increasingly confident that the trailers were used to make bioweapons" followed by "Summer: News reports raise doubts about the intended use of the trailers."

But The New York Times got there much quicker than that.

Judith Miller was proved fucking right.

Imagine if Judy Miller hadn't been transferred off the WMD beat soon after that article was published. Maybe the fuller picture raised in this Washington Post story could have come out in 2003 or sometime before November of 2004.


Judith Miller proved fucking I've heard everything.


A lot of good stuff at this link including the CIA's white paper referred to in the Post article ("Iraqi Mobile Biological Warfare Agent Production Plants" is also viewable at the CIA website at this probably dangerous link) and a few Times articles from the spring of 2003 including the Miller one noted above.

The white paper actually attacked the New York Times for an editorial written on May 13:

A New York Times article on 13 May 2003 reported that an agricultural expert suggests the trailers might have been intended to produce biopesticides near agricultural areas in order to avoid degradation problems. The same article also reported that a former weapons inspector suggests that the trailers may be chemical-processing units intended to refurbish Iraq’s antiaircraft missiles.

* Biopesticide production requires the same equipment and technology used for BW agent production; however, the off-gas collection system and the size of the equipment are unnecessary for biopesticide production. There is no need to produce biopesticides near the point of use because biopesticides do not degrade as quickly as most BW agents and would be more economically produced at a large fixed facility. In addition, the color of the trailer found in mid-April is indicative of military rather than civilian use.

* Our missile experts have no explanation for how such a trailer could function to refurbish antiaircraft missiles and judge that such a use is unlikely based on the scale, configuration, and assessed function of the equipment.

* The experts cited in the editorial are not on the scene and probably do not have complete access to information about the trailers.

From the May 13 Times editorial:

American military inspectors have found what they consider their most persuasive evidence yet that Iraq was pursuing weapons of mass destruction: three trailers that look as if they may be mobile biological weapons laboratories. Should the evidence hold up after more thorough analysis, it would validate at least one of the claims made by the Bush administration in arguing that Iraq had an active biological weapons program. But at this point it is difficult to know for sure whether these mobile units were part of a program to produce unconventional weapons or served a more benign purpose.

Two of the suspicious trailers contained equipment that American military experts concluded was almost certainly intended to produce biological weapons. These included, in one trailer or the other, a fermenting machine, a dryer, a system to bring in fresh water and eliminate contaminated water, and equipment to contain the emission of gases that might give away the laboratory's purpose. Yet outside critics say it remains possible that the military investigators, who have cried wolf several times in the past, may once again have misinterpreted what they are seeing.

From a New York Times editorial published on June 1, 2003:

President Bush may be convinced that two trailers found in Iraq were used as biological weapons labs, but the evidence is far from definitive. Referring to the two trailers in an interview with Polish television before he departed for Europe last week, Mr. Bush said the United States had found weapons of mass destruction and banned manufacturing devices in Iraq. Reports from the Central Intelligence Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency support that view, but they are based on inconclusive information.

Intelligence analysts told reporters last week that the configuration of equipment in the trailers would not work efficiently as a biological production plant, is not a design used by anyone else and would not lead anyone to link the trailers intuitively with biological weapons. The intelligence officials took all that as a sign that the Iraqis were ingeniously clever in trying to hide the true nature of what they were doing from international inspectors. But the uncertainties leave open the disquieting possibility that the trailers might not be what the intelligence agencies think they are. It seems increasingly imperative, as this page has argued before, to get an authoritative, unbiased assessment from the United Nations or some other independent body.

But the strongest Times article on the phoney baloney bio lab trailers isn't on the above cited Website.

That would be Agency Disputes C.I.A. View of Trailers as Iraqi Weapons Labs reported by Douglas Jehl and published on June 26, 2003 (the day after Libby and Miller talked):

The State Department's intelligence division is disputing the Central Intelligence Agency's conclusion that mysterious trailers found in Iraq were for making biological weapons, United States government officials said today.

In a classified June 2 memorandum, the officials said, the department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research said it was premature to conclude that the trailers were evidence of an Iraqi biological weapons program, as President Bush has done. The disclosure of the memorandum is the clearest sign yet of disagreement between intelligence agencies over the assertion, which was produced jointly by the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency and made public on May 28 on the C.I.A. Web site. Officials said the C.I.A. and D.I.A. did not consult with other intelligence agencies before issuing the report.


The reasons cited in the State Department memorandum to justify its dissent could not be learned. But in interviews earlier this month in Washington and the Middle East, American and British analysts with direct access to the evidence also disputed the C.I.A.'s claims, saying that the mobile units were more likely intended for other purposes and that the evaluation process had been damaged by a rush to judgment.


The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research is a small but important agency in the intelligence community. Its principal purpose is to provide the Secretary of State and his top advisers with intelligence analysis independent of other agencies, but it also has a voice in the drafting of national intelligence estimates and other documents that are supposed to reflect the consensus of the intelligence community.

The fact that the C.I.A. and the D.I.A. did not consult with other agencies in producing the so-called white paper reflects a rare but not unknown approach, officials from the intelligence agencies and Congress said. The government's intelligence apparatus spans more than a dozen agencies, and officials usually try to reach consensus before making their findings public.

The exclusion of the State Department's intelligence bureau and other agencies seemed unusual, several government officials said, because of the high-profile subject.

Administration officials said the State Department agency was given no warning that the C.I.A. report was being produced, or made public.

Yep...that would be the same Central Intelligence Agency that right wingers claim conspired against the Bush Administration to hurt their dirty, not-so-little war. The bad guys that forced Bush to heroically defend against by authorizing selective intelligence leaks which were little more than lies.

The Times took pride in these articles. They singled them out in their post-war "apology."

From The Times and Iraq: A Sample of the Coverage

The "biological weapons labs":

This is one example of a claim that was quickly and prominently challenged by additional reporting

• May 21, 2003: U.S. Analysts Link Iraq Labs to Germ Arms

The story left the impression that the Administration claims represented a consensus, because we did not know otherwise. By June 7, however, the same reporters, having dug deeper, published a front-page story describing the strong views of dissenting intelligence analysts that the trailers were not bio-weapons labs, and suggesting that the Administration may have strained to make the evidence fit its case for war. (Last Sunday, Mr. Powell conceded that the C.I.A. was misled about the trailers, apparently by an Iraqi defector.)

• June 7, 2003: Some Analysts of Iraq Trailers Reject Germ Use

• June 26, 2003: Agency Disputes C.I.A. View on Trailers as Weapons Labs

Already, the right wing blogs are in attack mode...implying that the Washington Post is lying, misinterpeting or just plain treasonous.

Captain's Quarters, Riehl World View and Confederate Yankee are all trying to make hey-hay out of this paragraph from Joby Warrick's Post article:

Intelligence analysts involved in high-level discussions about the trailers noted that the technical team was among several groups that analyzed the suspected mobile labs throughout the spring and summer of 2003. Two teams of military experts who viewed the trailers soon after their discovery concluded that the facilities were weapons labs, a finding that strongly influenced views of intelligence officials in Washington, the analysts said. "It was hotly debated, and there were experts making arguments on both sides," said one former senior official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.

See...that's what the Post gets for trying to appear balanced. They threw in a paragraph quoting unnamed intelligence analysts and a former senior official so that the opposing pundits wouldn't attack them for being one-sided. Instead...the right uses that paragraph in an attempt to attack the article.

As Miller noted above, the opposing experts were "more senior analysts." And they appear to be the third team on the scene. They're the ones that did a fuller analysis. As Rumsfeld noted many times in the war...first reports are often wrong.

The fact is that the work of "more senior analysts" was suppressed...and the Bush Administration went with a sloppy rush report which reflected what they wanted to reflect.

Captain's Quarters calls this the Minority Report but in reality it appears to be the Final Report and the ones that took place before were probably not even deliberately deceptive reports. The earlier reports could have been just to be on the safe side reports.


More spring of 2003 news...this time from Britain's Guardian (Sunday Observer), Iraqi mobile labs nothing to do with germ warfare, report finds by Peter Beaumont, Antony Barnett and Gaby Hinsliff and published on June 15, 2003:

An official British investigation into two trailers found in northern Iraq has concluded they are not mobile germ warfare labs, as was claimed by Tony Blair and President George Bush, but were for the production of hydrogen to fill artillery balloons, as the Iraqis have continued to insist.

The conclusion by biological weapons experts working for the British Government is an embarrassment for the Prime Minister, who has claimed that the discovery of the labs proved that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction and justified the case for going to war against Saddam Hussein.

Instead, a British scientist and biological weapons expert, who has examined the trailers in Iraq, told The Observer last week: 'They are not mobile germ warfare laboratories. You could not use them for making biological weapons. They do not even look like them. They are exactly what the Iraqis said they were - facilities for the production of hydrogen gas to fill balloons.'

The conclusion of the investigation ordered by the British Government - and revealed by The Observer last week - is hugely embarrassing for Blair, who had used the discovery of the alleged mobile labs as part of his efforts to silence criticism over the failure of Britain and the US to find any weapons of mass destruction since the invasion of Iraq.

The Post reported that the Pentagon sent the team which appears to be the same as the Guardian reported on. Perhaps it was Blair's government that insisted on sending this third team of experts...or they did it in unison with the Pentagon.

Come on, Mick Smith...quit slacking...there's gotta be some good Downing Street memos you can round up with more on this.

Did the Brits fight for this report to be released?


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Washington Post On A Roll...

Who cares about stupid editorials!

The Washington Post has been on a kick-ass tear for months.

Bush hailed biolab capture in 2003 as Iraq WMD proof even though intel officials knew it wasn't true!

Kudos to Joby Warrick and researcher Alice Crites for the latest WaPo article which proves what millions of us pretty much knew when we amassed in protests across the world three years ago before the illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq had even begun: everything Bush said about Iraq was bullshit.

Those weren't biological weapons labs that they captured in May of 2003. They were, according to some of the experts sent to investigate, "the biggest sand toilets in the world."


Kurtz Links To Hate

Of course...on the Internet a link doesn't necessarily mean an endorsement...depending on the wording.

So I'm not going to attack Washington Post media critic and journalist Howard Kurtz like I did Michelle Malkin and Instapundit yesterday just for linking to a post. Kurtz doesn't link to back-up his own personal political opinions as those two do (and most bloggers, as well).

In his Media Notes Extra earlier today, Kurtz wrote:

LaShawn Barber is comparing the woman accusing the Duke lacrosse players of sexual assault to Tawana Brawley.

So it would be a stretch to call that an endorsement. I've linked to many blogs without comment like that at Raw and here which I didn't necessarily agree with.

But it's a shame that Howard Kurtz linked to Barber's post without even warning his readers that if they followed they would be taking a voyage to the slimiest cess pool that there is on the Internet: La Shawn Barber's Corner.

The great thing about Barber is that you don't have to do a lot of heavy digging to pull out the sick, twisted, hate-filled, poisonous venom. She serves a healthy dosing of each in nearly every post she writes (or spits out).

All excerpts from her repellant post, Is Duke Stripper Channeling Tawana Brawley?:

Although black-on-white rape is much more common than white-on-black rape, there’s something about the idea of a white man raping a black woman that brings out the retro speeches about slavery, white privilege, patriarchy, and the usual revisionist tirades.


Knowing that blacks would believe the woman’s story before the relevant facts emerged, I avoided blogging about it until now.


Right or wrong, an alleged rape victim’s character is always at issue. I’m not so quick to believe a woman (regardless of color) who takes off her clothes in front of strangers for a living. No one deserves to be violated, of course, but if you’re taking off your clothes and gyrating in front of a group of drunk men (regardless of color)…


Black people can be such babies, can’t we? We need to be placated and coddled like whiny toddlers.

I apologize to my readers for forcing them to read this unadulturated hatred.

Barber also is pissed that the coach quit:

The gutless, faithless coach quit for nothing, and the team’s season was canceled because of a lie.

Rape or not (and admittedly...some of the reports do indicate that the victim may not be telling the whole truth) is a fact that the coach's team held a wild party involving strippers.

I guess Barber thinks that this is okay for college students...that they have a constitutional right to have stripper parties on or off campus...and that the coach should have been proud of his kids.


Dr Victorino de la Vega of The Middle East Memo blog has more on Barber's post:

The Neocon’s favorite feminine “Uncle Tom” figure these days is undoubtedly La-Shawn Barber, a self described “former liberal and current renegade supporter of conservative ideals” which is a pretty accurate description…if you define “conservatism” as an ideological brew combining Billy Graham’s bigot activism and Attila the Hun’s moral ethics, or vice versa for that matter!


Monday, April 10, 2006

Random Bigots

Have you heard about the trauma that one Brian Epps went through this weekend?

It's a travesty...I tell you...

What this poor man went through for apparently no reason is so fucked up that any reasonable person would cut him some slack for something "borderline" racism for instance.

From Brian Epps' blog, Random Numbers:

For the most part, the protest was peaceful. The organizers were smarter than the idiots who set up those disgraces last week, and they passed out US flags and suggested that Mexican flags be less prominant. On the march from the Virgin of Guadelupe to City Hall, I got a lot of pics of really cute babes young women and thought that this one might do these folks some good in the PR department.

Then came the ugliness. There was a very millitant group holding provocative signs and loaded down with very angry looking young men. Some were shouting “Gringos go back to Europe!” and waving fists. Che was all over the place and the reconquista theme was all over them.

I was trying to get a good shot of a sign with Che Guevera on it when my camera was slapped out of my hand and kicked down the street. I turned to the asshole who decided he didn’t like me and found myself facing about a half-dozen Latino males approx 19-25 years old and looking like trouble.

“You got a problem, white boy?” said the thug closest to me.


When I got home I began writing a post that was, in a word, ugly. It was scathing, angry and borderline racist. When I read it through after typing it I decided that such language would be ill-advised, and instead of saving it I copied it into Notepad as a reference and decided to wait until I calmed down more to write about the protests in Dallas.

I am now out one $300 digital camera and trying very hard not to think badly of all Latinos over this incident.

Instapundit and Michelle Malkin apparently approve of this message, since they linked to the racist victim of racism.

Someone named CheezNCrackers left this comment:

I am now out one $300 digital camera and trying very hard not to think badly of all Latinos over this incident.

Nice bit of whining there, White boy. You just justified their racism.

Brian Epps responds:

Wht is that, Cheesy? I was the victim of overt racism and was frankly frightened by these thugs. A black man having a cross burned on his yard would have a hard time for a while to think of any white person favorably afterwards. It is not rational and I know that.

Fortunately, I only have to look next door for a reminder that racist thugs of this stripe are very much in the minority of Latinos. My next door neigbors are Latino if I stop and think about it. Ususlly they are just my neighbors, and good neighbors at that.

So how have I justified any racism by trying hard to not be racist after a racially charged incident?


I love it when bigots point to friends or past lovers and say I can't be racist because of these people I know or love or who know and love me and the truth is I don't ever even think about what race they are except of course when I'm trying to prove that I'm not a racist.

Sorry about your camera, dude. But writing that you're "trying very hard not to think badly of all Latinos over this incident" goes way past the border (pun intended of course) and is as racist as you can get.

And you silly...

Mr. Cheez is 100 percent correct.

You, Brian Epps, are trying to justify your bigotry by claiming that all victims of racism would react in the same way.

Um...they wouldn't.

But, aside from that, you and your right wing buddies who are linking to you on this are fools.

If your rage and racism is acceptable because of what happened to you...then it's only fair to apply the same standards to those who you've all been criticizing and attacking for the last few weeks: the "America haters."

Brian Epps, Instapundit and Michelle Malkin are okaying reverse racism. It's okay to hate if you've been hated. If any of them had principles they would realize this but they don't so it's moot.


NY Times' Dexter Filkins: Propagandist

The Common Ills is right:

If you're going to discuss Iraq, you have to discuss Filkins at some point. I'm aware it's more pleasing to discuss Judith Miller. But if she had a part in getting us over into Iraq, it's the "reporters" like Filkins who keep us there.

How does New York Times Iraq war correspondent Dexter Filkins do that?

From Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi written by Thomas E. Ricks for Monday's Washington Post:

The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi's role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist.


One briefing slide about U.S. "strategic communications" in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the "home audience" as one of six major targets of the American side of the war.

One slide in the same briefing, for example, noted that a "selective leak" about Zarqawi was made to Dexter Filkins, a New York Times reporter based in Baghdad. Filkins's resulting article, about a letter supposedly written by Zarqawi and boasting of suicide attacks in Iraq, ran on the Times front page on Feb. 9, 2004.

From Dexter Filkins' selectively leaked 2004 scoop, U.S. Says Files Seek Qaeda Aid in Iraq Conflict:

American officials here have obtained a detailed proposal that they conclude was written by an operative in Iraq to senior leaders of Al Qaeda, asking for help to wage a "sectarian war" in Iraq in the next months.

The Americans say they believe that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian who has long been under scrutiny by the United States for suspected ties to Al Qaeda, wrote the undated 17-page document. Mr. Zarqawi is believed to be operating here in Iraq.

More from Ricks in today's Post:

Leaks to reporters from U.S. officials in Iraq are common, but official evidence of a propaganda operation using an American reporter is rare.

Filkins, reached by e-mail, said that he was not told at the time that there was a psychological operations campaign aimed at Zarqawi, but said he assumed that the military was releasing the letter "because it had decided it was in its best interest to have it publicized." No special conditions were placed upon him in being briefed on its contents, he said. He said he was skeptical about the document's authenticity then, and remains so now, and so at the time tried to confirm its authenticity with officials outside the U.S. military.

Filkins' reaction to learning that he got Punk'd by military psy-ops is that he was and is skeptical.

This is the only "skeptical" line from Filkins' selectively leaked scoop:

Yet other interpretations may be possible, including that it was written by some other insurgent, but one who exaggerated his involvement.

The rest of Filkins' reporting from February of 2004 was just what his military handlers wanted.

More from Ricks:

"There was no attempt to manipulate the press," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military's chief spokesman when the propaganda campaign began in 2004, said in an interview Friday. "We trusted Dexter to write an accurate story, and we gave him a good scoop."

Back to Filkins' selectively leaked scoop (in fact...let's cut right to the next immediate paragraph after his one "skeptical" line):

Still, a senior United States intelligence official in Washington said, "I know of no reason to believe the letter is bogus in any way." He said the letter was seized in a raid on a known Qaeda safe house in Baghdad, and did not pass through Iraqi groups that American intelligence officials have said in the past may have provided unreliable information.

More from Filkins' selectively leaked scoop which as Ricks notes "helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks":

Since the war ended, little evidence has emerged to support the allegation of a prewar Qaeda connection in Iraq. Last month, Mr. Powell conceded that the American government had found "no smoking gun" linking Mr. Hussein's government with Al Qaeda.

Back to the Common Ills (a blogger friend who I've often discussed Filkins' propagandistic bullshit with):

Christian Parenti mentioned Filkins last night on The Laura Flanders Show: "Dexter Filkins politics are very different from the Dexter Filkins politics we know in the New York Times. [In person, he's saying] 'Oh it's awful, the situation is totally out of control.'" That's a paraphrase (I've left out a "Dude" among other things).

If that's true, how does Dexter Filkins sleep?


From A Purloined Letter: The Zarqawi Gambit by Greg Weiher written in February of 2004:

The letter confirms all of the fondest theories of the Bush administration about the war in Iraq.

First, it apparently dispels all doubt about an Al Qaeda-Iraq connection by virtue of its authorship (Zarqawi, Qaeda associate) and its destination (Qaeda's "inner circle").

Second, the letter establishes that the insurgency is being carried out by alien jihadis who are planning dastardly deeds.


Third, the letter shows that stalwart American efforts are succeeding in winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.


Wow, what a gold mine!

This is the intelligence mother lode, isn't it? I mean, if you were Karl Rove, you couldn't design a better scenario to validate the administration's slant on the war than this.



Another "special" to the times. It has all the earmarks. Note the lack of citations of any specific CPA or Bush Administration contacts. Note the lack of any confirmation of the authenticity of this letter/CD from experts or authorities aside from "U.S. officials." Note the failure to consult third-party intelligence experts, authorities on Al Qaeda, authorities on wars of national liberation. Note the failure to provide any background on the validity of claims that Zarkawi actually could have written such a letter, is still in Iraq, or collaborated with Saddam Hussein. There is one disclaimer, two lines in a three-page piece: "Yet other interpretations may be possible, including that it was written by some other insurgent, but one who exaggerated his involvement."

Give that political scientist and freelance writer from Houston Texas a prize.

Maybe we should give that man a certain someone's George Polk Award for War Reporting.

More smart bloggers who blasted Filkins in 2004:

Billmon: "Bottom line: I'm fairly convinced the letter is a forgery. This leaves the question, though, of who created it, and who might have the means, the motive and the opportunity to plant a fake CD in the hands of U.S. intelligence and/or a doctored hard copy of that CD in the hands of a New York Times reporter."

Reading A1's Michael: "That's because if the Times reported what they were saying, and that they were saying it to anyone they could manage to buttonhole, it'd be apparent that the document story isn't a pure result of enterprising journalism. It's the product of an Administration propaganda campaign."

In Ricks' Post article Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt is quoted as saying Filkins got a "good scoop." The following are excerpts from a Coalition Provisional Authority Briefing from Iraq held on February 9, 2004 in which Kimmitt - deputy director of operations, Combined Joint Task Force 7 at the time - participated:

Q: Alan Fryer from Canadian Television. General, I'd like to ask you about the report in The New York Times today about this letter that they reported on, purportedly from a high-level al Qaeda person, which essentially lays out a strategy for sparking civil war in this country by targeting Shi'a. How credible is it and how seriously do you take it?

Kimmitt: We believe the report and the document is credible, and we take the report seriously -- and we take the threat seriously as well.


Q: Kevin Flower with CNN. So back to this letter. Do you think that it is -- is it your belief that Zarqawi is the author of this letter? And who is the letter to? Was it written to al Qaeda operatives outside the country? And finally, can we see the letter? Can we -- can you make portions of it available to us?

Kimmitt: Yeah, we are persuaded that Zarqawi was the author of this letter. It is our understanding that this letter was being taken by a courier outside this country for delivery abroad. And it is our intent and our -- certainly our hope that -- in the near future that this letter can be declassified.

Let me just give you sort of a picture of the 17 pages of it on the screen here, not very -- it's not very clear to you. But we are hoping in the near future to be able to release this, because this document does in fact demonstrate what we have been assessing all along, and the impact of this letter on our operations and as we take operations forward is very, very dramatic.

The next day Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff held a DoD News Briefing which was a helluva lot more skeptical about the Zarqawi letter than the bullcrap that Filkins wrote:

Q: Mr. Secretary, this attack today seems to line up with the plan outlined in that document recovered from Hassan Ghul, the al Qaeda operative who was captured in Iraq.

Rumsfeld: It does.

Q: Do you -- what do you think that document says about the current state of operations, terrorist operations in Iraq?

Rumsfeld: I don't know. I haven't read it. I don't know if it's authentic. People who have read it think it is, but I haven't read it. My friend Dick has read it. Why don’t we ask Dick. (Laughter.)

General? (Laughter continues.)

Myers: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.

You know, authenticity is still being evaluated, okay? So with that caveat -- and this is initial analysis. But I think the obvious points from it are -- one is that the coalition and the Iraqis themselves are being very successful, because one of the things they discuss in the letter is the desperate tactic of trying to get Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence; in other words, incite the Shi'a to attack the Sunni, and -- as a way to ensure that extremism continues, a different brand of extremism than the Ba'athist, but extremism continues in Iraq. So I think that's one of the things you can draw for it. They simply do not -- the other thing I think, the other major point is, that the al Qaeda is clearly involved, if that letter is authentic, that the al Qaeda is involved in this, and has been for some time.

Q: General --

Q: Do you think that letter was heading out to top leaders in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or -- ?

Myers: I'm not going to -- I don't want to discuss it any more.

Q: General Myers --

Rumsfeld: You know, given all the discussion about absolutely perfect precision in any -- every single thing anyone might want to say, I would like to help General Myers and have -- and correct what I said. He probably did not read the letter, because it was in Arabic.

Myers: Good point.

Rumsfeld: I think he probably read a translation of that letter.

Myers: Actually, I read a first translation, and the warning on the first translation was, you better wait for the second translation. (Laughs.) That because they'll -- you know, the first one was done fairly quickly, and there are nuances there that somebody else is going to have to take a look at. So that's why I hit what I thought were the broad themes and not some of the specifics. And -- and --

Rumsfeld: So I don't want someone coming back and saying that we -- that he read the original letter.

Q: You're going to be even more careful with your words now?

Rumsfeld: I've always been careful. I'm going to -- (laughs) -- I'm going to try to be more successful. (Laughter.)

Q: Mr. Secretary --

Q: May I follow up on this letter? This -- you say you're not sure whether it's authentic, or -- you, understandably, if you haven't read it, can't say anything about that. But yesterday General Kimmitt was in Baghdad talking as if it was, and seemed quite confident, commenting on this document. Are you walking this back a bit?

Myers: No. I'm just trying to tell you what I know. And --

Q: But, sir, why would you allow General Kimmitt to go out there and talk about this as if it was fact if you're so unsure, if you think he --

Myers: It wasn't a matter of allowing General Kimmitt to do that.

Q: But certainly --

Myers: People -- people make their own judgments, and --

Q: -- the Pentagon has some say on who goes out and says what, no?

Myers: No.

Rumsfeld: Oh, no. (Cross talk, laughter.) No seriously, we don't talk to him on a daily basis -- say "do this, do that." We just can't. There's too many things going on in our lives. He's a general officer; he's very competent. He makes his judgments. I'm sure he believes what he said. He's probably right. Time will tell.

The next day Kimmitt spoke on the inconsistencies in what Filkins reported and what Safire editorialized about the letter's discovery:

Q Christopher Dickey with Newsweek. Can you tell us a little bit more about how this document was found? The New York Times has carried now two versions. One says the Americans found it directly. William Safire says it was found by the pesh merga. Who found this thing and how was it found?

GEN. KIMMITT: The important thing is that we have this document in our hands. How it was found is not as important as the fact that we have it, we've reviewed it, we understand what it is saying, and we can use it, as Mr. Senor said, to understand the thought process behind the terrorists, so that we can use that in future operations to kill or capture those that would create and conduct anti-coalition and anti-Iraqi operations.

The next day Kimmitt announced some big news (accompanied by CPA Senior Advisor, Daniel Senor):

GEN. KIMMITT: Good afternoon. Today the Coalition Provisional Authority and Combined Join Task Force 7 announce that the award for information leading to the apprehension of Abu Musaab al-Zarqawi, a suspected leader of terrorists in Iraq, will increase to $10 million. Abu al- Zarqawi and his organization are closely linked to the al Qaeda terror network. Zarqawi, born in Jordan, is the most capable terrorist in Iraq today and his networks and contacts extend to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.


MR. SENOR: Over the days ahead the coalition will be launching a public information campaign on Mr. Zarqawi that will be as elaborate and as widespread as the public information campaigns launched with regard to Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein. Outside we have available to you a number of the products that will be distributed throughout the country. We will be alerting Iraqis to the wild card, Mr. Zarqawi. We will also be ensuring that every Iraqi is intimately familiar with this blueprint for terror in Iraq document, Mr. Zarqawi's memorandum, his action plan to tear this country apart.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Seymour Hersh

Today in History - April 8 (by the Associated Press)

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 69.

Still going superman-strong, Hersh has got a doozy of a story that just went up at the New Yorker today, THE IRAN PLANS: Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb?:

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. Natanz, which is no longer under I.A.E.A. safeguards, reportedly has underground floor space to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and laboratories and workspaces buried approximately seventy-five feet beneath the surface. That number of centrifuges could provide enough enriched uranium for about twenty nuclear warheads a year. (Iran has acknowledged that it initially kept the existence of its enrichment program hidden from I.A.E.A. inspectors, but claims that none of its current activity is barred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) The elimination of Natanz would be a major setback for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete.


The attention given to the nuclear option has created serious misgivings inside the offices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he added, and some officers have talked about resigning. Late this winter, the Joint Chiefs of Staff sought to remove the nuclear option from the evolving war plans for Iran—without success, the former intelligence official said. “The White House said, ‘Why are you challenging this? The option came from you.’”

Again...I'd like to link to Larisa Alexandrovna's story of the year, Outed CIA officer was working on Iran, intelligence sources say, which has still been ignored by America's mainstream press.

British journalist Mick Smith (or Michael Smith) from the Sunday Times, the one who broke the Downing Street Memo story, is one journalist who did note Larisa's story at his Times Online blog:

We were the first mainstream newspaper to confirm the story. But it was actually broken by a US internet newspaper known as Raw Story, an extraordinarily good website which combines links to the best of other media around the world with its own scoops. Raw Story has persistently led the way on Plamegate, breaking story after story that the US mainstream media have subsequently been forced to follow up. Now Larisa Alexandrovna, the Raw Story reporter who has taken the lead on most of these stories, has come up with what appears to be an extremely interesting new line.


If this Raw Story exclusive is as accurate as its predecessors, Plamegate will have been the trigger to something far more damaging than even some of the administration’s most vociferous critics believed.

Speaking of Smith, he's got a huge one himself today, Niger embassy forged documents used as basis for Iraq war, paper to report :

According to NATO sources who spoke to the SUNDAY TIMES, the investigation has evidence that Niger's consul and its ambassador's personal assistant faked a contract to show Saddam Hussein had bought uranium ore from the impoverished west African country.

The documents, which emerged in 2002, were used in a State Department fact sheet on Iraq's weapons programme to build the case for war. They were denounced as forgeries by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shortly before the 2003 invasion.

According to the SUNDAY TIMES' sources, an official investigation believes Niger's Adam Maiga Zakariaou, the consul, and Laura Montini, the ambassador's personal assistant, known as La Signora, forged the papers for money.

The link to Smith's full article, 'Forgers' of key Iraq war contract named, is here.

Also Times attacking Hersh?


Friday, April 07, 2006

Liberal Blogger Wanted At WaPo

From my article at Raw Story, Washington Post searching for bloggers from the right and left:

This time around the Washington Post plans to hire two bloggers for its Web site.

The paper’s ombudsman, Deborah Howell, has informed RAW STORY that Jim Brady, executive editor of, is looking for a liberal blogger, along with a conservative one, to replace Ben Domenech who resigned after only three days of blogging, when his earlier writings were discovered by mostly liberal bloggers to be racially insensitive and – in multiple cases – plagiarized.

The paper doesn’t plan on making any formal announcement, but the news should be welcome to many critics on the left who felt that it was unfair to hire just a conservative blogger in the first place.

Also from the same article:

In fact, gone unnoticed in the "firestorm" is that Domenech had a commentary published in the print edition of the Washington Post back when he was only sixteen years old, while being home schooled.


RAW STORY was unable to find out more about the circumstances which led to the publishing of a teenager's column in one of the nation's preeminent newspapers, but its appearance a month after Dobson reportedly cancelled "scheduled meetings with the editorial boards of both The Washington Post and The New York Times" (World Magazine) may be deserving of future scrutiny.

Read the full article at Raw Story.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Doubly Fake News

From my article at Raw Story, 77 TV stations aired 'fake news reports':

A study by a group that monitors the media reveals that, over a ten month span, 77 television stations from all across the nation aired video news releases without informing their viewers even once that the reports were actually sponsored content, RAW STORY has found.


News broadcasts based on a General Motors VNR stand out in the report as a striking example of "fake news," not just because they were left largely unchanged when aired on stations in Louisiana and Pennsylvania.

"GM, who introduced the first manufacturer web site in 1996, has recently lowered prices, in some cases by thousands of dollars, on all of their models as a direct result of the customers' ability to comparison shop on the Internet," Medialink's Kate Brookes "reported" in all three broadcasts.

But the Center for Media and Democracy blasts GM's "historical claim" as "fake."

"A simple dated search for "automotive web site" in the Nexis news database revealed a press release from August 1995 in which Volkswagen heralded the launch of their web portal," the report states. "It wasn't until February 1996 that General Motors announced in their own press release."

More at Raw Story and at The New York Times.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Feingold '08

It's pathetic how groudbreaking this is for a major (hell...even a minor) Democratic while it's hard to "commend" Senator Russ Feingold it's easy to endorse him as a Presidential candidate worth following (though of course this is by no means a final endorsement...Conyers '08 and Boxer '08 have appeared in these parts before).

Feingold set the's see who follows or who ends up clunking their head on the bar of intolerance and cowardice.

This should be a no-brainer for any Democrat...let alone American.

Some day same-sex marriage will become a "litmus test" for millions of Americans. Some day soon.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Right & Left Blogs Blast Associated Press

(Updated Tuesday: New article at Raw Story about how the Associated Press continue to make asses out of themselves: Associated Press releases statement about Raw Story accusations which contradicts their own source)

On March 14, an article entitled "US quietly tightens access to classified information" was published at Raw Story, written by John Byrne and Larisa Alexandrovna with additional research by Muriel Kane.

Later that same day the Associated Press syndicated an article entitled "Security clearance rules may impede gays," written by Katharine Shrader.

(Note: The Raw Story article actually first appeared on March linked in Tuesday's article above at Raw)

Unlike Raw Story, the Associated Press article didn't mention the names of the researchers on their story.

The names of those researchers should have been John Byrne, Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel Kane because they're the ones that did the research on which the article was based.

More information can be found on the backstory of this plagiarism ( qualifies: "Plagiarism is theft of another person's writings or ideas) here, here and here.

Now, I've personally busted a number of plagiarists...and some of them even cribbed from the Associated Press (ePluribus Talon News plagiarism file) I guess you can say that this shit really gets my goat (cliches are free for all!).

Plus, since I work at Raw - and am friends with the innocent victims - my opinion is going to be biased, no doubt.

So instead I present to the Associated Press the voices of all bloggers whom I could find that have weighed in on this still-building scandal (I'm going to leave this post at the top of my blog for the next few days and add more bloggers as I find them).

The voices come not only from the left, but from the right and the middle. Truly impressive. On some things a great number of bloggers from all sides and stripes (and/or Internet-based journalists) are firmly on the same side (not sure about the same stripe though).

First's Brad Friedman from Brad Blog (another friend) weighing in at Editor & Publisher:

Journalism is journalism is journalism. The quality of the reporting and the journalism therein is what matters no matter the name given to the media--"Web site" or "blog" --originating the work. The reason that all of this matters is not so that the creators of Web sites or blogs receive some form of personal adulation or ego stroke for our hard work. So why does proper credit to such sources really matter?

It matters because while Internet news sites (and, yes, that includes blogs like mine which do original reporting) continue to dig and investigate and report day in and day out on stories that matter to this country and the world, recognition for that work by others is paramount for our ability to continue to produce such work.

Appropriate recognition and attribution from others is essential if we are to see our work picked up elsewhere and otherwise advanced by officials and the mainstream and any other damned media source which can add to that reporting and bring us all closer to the truth.

Everyone else:

Talking Points Memo: "Conventional news outlets frequently chide blogs for not doing any original reporting but rather feeding off the original reporting of the mainstream media. In many cases, the criticism is merited. But if that is the criticism it behooves every mainstream media outlet to enforce their own standing policies and not allow reporters to rip off blog writers who are doing original reporting."

Eschaton: "Most of all, original reporting isn't the focus here and even if occasional acts of reporting happen I'm not trying to establish Eschaton as credible news outlet the way that Josh and Raw Story are. While journalism doesn't have the same citation standards of academia, and it generally shouldn't, reporters shouldn't feel entitled to rip things off just because they were originally reported on the internets."

The Blog Herald: "In the past the plagiarism club has had some noteworthy faces CNET, The New York Times, most recently Weblogs Inc, and now entering the plagiarism club because its the lazy popular thing to do is The Associated Press. Plagiarism is the reason that old media will die."

Feministe: "Associated Press: “We do not credit blogs.” Even, apparently, when they lift entire stories from them."

Bloodless Coup: "Total, utter thieving. And they have the nerve to admit it to the people they stole it from."

Search Engine Journal: "Pretty damn lame of an excuse by the AP and goes to show how ‘citizenship media’ is slowly exposing the workings of the traditional press...But dammit, there is no excuse for not even crediting a source, moreover copying their idea and material. Shame on you."

Sassy Lawyer: "It’s an attitude problem alright. I believe it’s called arrogance."

The Four-eyed Journal: "I visited the link to the said blogger’s entry about this foul play against bloggers and any blogger would not help but sympathize and be infuriated by this incident...AP’s act and words; “we do not credit blogs” is an insult to bloggers worldwide."

Uncorrelated: "The elite media apparently has a Dredd-Scott view of bloggers when it comes to plagarism...Seems to me like a number of people at the AP should resign or be fired if the elite media really take plagarism seriously."

The Supreme Irony of Life: "First off, the article in question appeared on Raw Story, which is much more than "a blog", but the larger issue is one that everyone seriously needs to consider. Particularly in light of Ben Domenech. Is a blogger entitled to the same protections from being plagarized as a journalist or author is? Should bloggers receive the same consideration from having their work copied without attibution?"

Shakespeare's Sister: "Idea Thieves."

National Journal's Blogometer: "The AP, apparently, doesn't value blogs as much as their other sources. That, predictably, has bloggers mad."

Roger L. Simon: "But this is more than picking on the small fry. This is fear of the small fry - the media class struggle in its MSM vs. blogs essence. Don't credit blogs unless you have to - a policy followed by the blog (competition) phobic including not only the AP, but Bill O'Reilly and Matt Drudge as well - a group that may cross ideological, but certainly not class, lines. For all of them, this is not about the search for truth. It's about the search for bucks."

MyDD's Matt Stoller: "This is stealing. Raw Story invested the time and effort to investigate the story, and printed it. The AP took that work, uncredited, and used it. The AP should stop stealing from Raw Story. It's that simple."

The Volokh Conspiracy's Jim Lindgren: "According to Alexandrovna, AP didn't just take her work, they misattributed the work to other people. Even if there were some legitimate reason for AP's policy, that would not justify misleading readers."

Majikthise: "Larisa Alexandrova alleges that the Associated Press stole her investigative reporting about changes in security clearance guidlelines. When Alexandrovna confronted the AP, the officials admitted to using the information without permission, saying: "We don't credit blogs.""

L'Ombre de l'Olivier: "I think the only solution is for all blogs to form together in a "advocacy group" for protection. We could call it "Freelance Journalists Against Plagiarizism" or something similar."

Captain's Quarters: "Apparently the Associated Press thinks that bloggers don't deserve the same protections against plagiarism that they themselves claim for their own work...After seeing the pillorying that Ben Domenech received -- and rightly so -- for plagiarism, this arrogant dismissal of outright theft by the supposed "professionals" of the mainstream media puts the whole issue in perspective. This implicates not just the AP, one of the world's largest newsgathering organizations, but every client of the AP that runs their stories on their sites and in their newspapers. That includes almost every major newspaper, most if not all broadcasters, and almost all of the media outlet websites."

Instapundit: "IS THE AP PLAGIARIZING BLOGS? A "we do not credit blogs" policy doesn't sound like much of a defense...Whether or not it's plagiarism, exactly, it's certainly tacky." "Bloggers get fucked by Associated Press: Media wants to discredit blogs while plagarizing the reporting: Huge surprise."

Wot Is It Good 4: "josh: "Earlier this evening, the Associated Press ran a clarification to their story about Rep. Jim Ryun and his house purchase from the now-defunct U.S. Family Network. "The Associated Press," they wrote, "should have credited the blog, which first reported the sale." The reporting in question was by's Paul Kiel. That was classy and we appreciate it." wow. will larisa get same?"

Plagiarism Today: "While this seems to go against the AP’s own ethics policy, which simply states "The newspaper should not plagiarize words or images" (see also their updated news values and principles), it also seems to go against their common practices as some have posted several instances of the AP duly crediting blogs while others have noticed cases where blogs have either not been credited or credited inadequately."

More to come...


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