Saturday, July 02, 2005

NYT: "U.S. Troops Still Missing After Crash in Afghanistan" (Carlotta Gall)

Articles of note in this morning's New York Times include Carlotta Gall's "U.S. Troops Still Missing After Crash in Afghanistan:"

Still searching for a small reconnaissance team, hundreds of United States troops swarmed the mountainous terrain of eastern Afghanistan on Friday, near where a helicopter was shot down on Tuesday, killing all 16 aboard, military officials said.
The helicopter, a Chinook MH-47 with Navy Seal commandos and other Special Operations personnel aboard, was flying in to extract the reconnaissance team during a battle with insurgents suspected as members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, said Lt. Col. Gerry O'Hara, a military spokesman at Bagram Air Base north of Kabul. The Chinook came under small-arms fire and was hit by a larger projectile, most likely a rocket-propelled grenade, and crashed, the military has said.

Note that David S. Cloud contributed to the report.

Marica e-mails to note Elisabetta Povoledo's "Italian Leader Chastises U.S. in Kidnapping Case in Milan:"

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi demanded Friday that the United States show "full respect" for Italian sovereignty, after summoning the American ambassador and asking him to explain the reported abduction of a Muslim cleric by people associated with the C.I.A.
Mr. Berlusconi told the ambassador, Mel Sembler, that he "demanded full respect for Italian sovereignty from the United States," according to a curt statement released by the prime minister's office. He also reassured Mr. Sembler that relations between the countries remained strong.

Zach e-mails to note Lizette Alvarez's "A Scotsman With the Gifts of Gab and Jab:"

INCORRIGIBLE to the core, George Galloway is used to being threatened, ousted, libeled, filleted in the press and just plain reviled.
Over the years, the grand-père terrible of British politics has been called corrupt and treacherous; labeled an apologist for Saddam Hussein, a claim he forcefully rejects; portrayed as a Louis Vuitton-toting Socialist; and dismissed as a self-aggrandizing Labor Party turncoat.

"I could show you my scars," Mr. Galloway, 50, said from inside the ramshackle room where he sat, the stubby end of his Montecristo cigar a reassuring arm's reach away. "I am swimming against the stream. As Dr. Johnson once said, 'The grimmest dictatorship is the dictatorship of the prevailing orthodoxy,' and I am fighting that orthodoxy. It's not that I relish it. It's that I am not afraid of it."
But since his appearance in May before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, where to the delight of many here and in America he flung scorn at two senators over Iraq, vilification has shifted to a modicum of admiration (even if it is grudging, at least in Britain).
Mr. Galloway, who is accused by the Senate subcommittee of enriching himself through the scandal-plagued oil-for-food program, volunteered to testify. Then, he swiftly turned the tables, he said. Entering the room, "not as the accused, but as the accuser," he ripped into the senators for ignoring central questions about Iraq and conducting what he called "the mother of all smokescreens."

From Adam Liptak we get an update on the Plame outing, in terms of Matthew Cooper (Time) and Judith Miller (goes without saying) in "Reporters Facing Jail Time Submit Preferences:"

In her papers, Ms. Miller argued that it was pointless to imprison her because she will never talk. She provided Judge Hogan with letters from soldiers with whom she was embedded during the war in Iraq attesting to that.

Tolerate her or hate her, Miller at least appears to realize how she needs to fight this. (Liptak's doing a straightforward report this morning, by the way. So consider that noted as well.) If the paper won't help her (Liptak does no harm in his report today), looks like Miller's finally ready to fight her own battle the way it should be fought.

Demonstrating that he is the Stephen King of the press set, Woody's hawking his latest, a book on Mark Felt. It's called Tuesdays With Tyranny. No, I jest. It's called How to Turn a Bully Into a National Hero. Again, I jest. But we won't print the title here nor we will help get the word out on his book. (Read Michael Janofsky's article if you're interested in the book.) From the start of the "news" (which appears to be less precise than originally reported, no surprise), we've noted the troublesome issues of Felt's actions at the F.B.I. We stand behind that judgement. Others can rush to praise him as a "national hero." That's their business. Here we don't applaud the destruction of civil rights. Jennifer Dorhn was but one victim. We don't have short memories and we know the time period. Felt was no hero. He and Nixon had an inter-mural squabble and the country benefitted (sports analogy! I'm tired). Daniel Schorr was probably correct (my opinion) in his assumption/evaluation that it had to do with Felt being passed over. As one of several people who were Deep Throat (if you missed that, it wasn't trumpted as loudly, Felt couldn't have passed on all that Deep Throat did or been working alone), he's earned a place in history. But he had already had a place in history and it's far less noble than the illusion of Deep Throat. After becoming "Deep Throat," he never rejected his past actions but defended them. That is not a hero in my book. Apparently it is in Woody's. But then we have him to thank for Janet Cook which says about all that needs to be said there.

If I pick up the book at all, it will be to read Carl Bernstein's breif section ("A Reporter's Assessment") and, due to it's brevity, I'll read that in store.

Neil A. Lewis offers a run down in "In List of Potential Justices, Many Kinds of Conservative."

I'm phoning it in this morning. (Thank yous, big ones, to Zach and Marcia for picking a highlight each.) I have yet to get any sleep since getting up Friday morning. There will be posts throughtout the next few days. We are not on holiday.

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