Friday, August 12, 2005

Other articles in this morning's New York Times

We'll start by noting an item Zach feels will otherwise be missed in this morning's New York Times due to it's being brief and in "World Briefings:"

URUGUAY: ROLE IN ARGENTINA'S 'DISAPPEARED' The Uruguay Air Force has acknowledged for the first time that it operated flights from Argentina that transported political prisoners who were killed during the 1973-85 military dictatorship. The admission came in a report issued in response to a demand by the country's new president, Tabare Vazquez, that the armed forces account for human right abuses that occurred during military rule. The air force admits to two flights with 26 passengers aboard, but its report does not make clear if the prisoners were killed during the flights and their bodies dumped into the sea, or were executed later at prisons. Larry Rohter (NYT)

Erika e-mails to note Sheryl Gay Stolberg's "Abortion Rights Group Plans to Pull Ad on Roberts:"

Under pressure to withdraw an advertisement that describes Judge John G. Roberts Jr. as "one whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans," an abortion rights advocacy group announced Thursday night that it would replace the advertisement, which had drawn widespread criticism as being false and misleading.
The advocacy group, Naral Pro-Choice America, announced its decision in a letter to Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a longtime supporter of abortion rights. Earlier in the day, Mr. Specter urged Naral to withdraw the 30-second spot, calling it "blatantly untrue and unfair."
In the letter to Mr. Specter, Naral's president, Nancy Keenan, said that the debate over the spot had "become a distraction from the serious discussion we hoped to have with the American public."

Erika especially wanted this noted:

Some prominent Democrats said they agreed with Mr. Specter. Lanny Davis, a top official in the Clinton administration, said in an interview Thursday that he had been making phone calls to liberal advocacy groups urging them to denounce the advertisement, which he called "inaccurate, filled with innuendo and shameless."

Erika: What a prince, huh? Cause and effect was what the spot was about.

Liang e-mails to note Eric Lichtblau and William K. Rashbaum's "Officials Warn of Possibility of Attack Around Sept. 11:"

A group of F.B.I. counterterrorism analysts warned this week of possible terrorist attacks in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago around Sept. 11, but officials cautioned on Thursday that they were skeptical about the seriousness of the threat.
The warning grew out of intelligence developed from an overseas source indicating that terrorists might seek to steal fuel tanker trucks in order to inflict "mass casualties" by staging an anniversary attack, officials said.
The information led F.B.I. joint terrorism task forces in Los Angeles and Newark to alert other government and law enforcement officials privately this week about the threat, law enforcement officials said. Several government officials in Washington who were briefed on the threat said it was described as credible and specific enough to warrant attention.

Brent e-mails to note Andrew C. Revkin's "Errors Cited in Assessing Climate Data:"

Some scientists who question whether human-caused global warming poses a threat have long pointed to records that showed the atmosphere's lowest layer, the troposphere, had not warmed over the last two decades and had cooled in the tropics.
Now two independent studies have found errors in the complicated calculations used to generate the old temperature records, which involved stitching together data from thousands of weather balloons lofted around the world and a series of short-lived weather satellites.

Wally e-mails to note David Leonhardt's "Auditors Find Violations by DeLay's PAC:"

A political action committee run by the House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, broke election law by paying expenses from the wrong account, an audit by the Federal Election Commission has found. By doing so, the committee effectively increased the amount of money it could spend on Congressional races in the 2002 campaign.
The committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, should have paid $203,000 in administrative expenses for 2001-2 with money designated for federal campaigns, known as hard money, rather than with other, soft-money funds that it actually tapped, according to the audit, released this week.
Under the law at that time, Armpac was required to cover 93 percent of its administrative expenses with hard money because 93 percent of its campaign spending was directed at federal races. Instead, the committee split its administrative expenses evenly between hard-money and soft-money accounts, leaving itself more to spend on federal races.

Wally also notes Philip Shenon's "U.S. Fraud Charge for Top Lobbyist:"

Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist involved in ethics allegations facing Representative Tom DeLay, was indicted in Florida on Thursday on unrelated fraud charges involving his purchase of a fleet of gambling boats from a businessman who was slain amid bitter wrangling over the sale.
The indictment by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale charges Mr. Abramoff and a business partner with conspiracy and wire fraud in the $147.5 million purchase of the shipping line, SunCruz Casinos, in 2000. They are accused of presenting lenders with a counterfeit document suggesting that they had arranged a $23 million wire transfer to the seller.

[. . .]
The Florida indictment charged Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Kidan with one count of conspiracy and five counts of wire fraud - each count carries up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine - and asked that they be forced to pay $60 million in criminal penalties.

Wally: Seems the just can't seem to walk the straight and narrow when money's laying around.

Lloyd e-mails to note Julia Preston's "Officials See Risk in the Release of Images of Iraq Prisoner Abuse:"

Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein authorized the A.C.L.U. yesterday to make public papers it filed on Aug. 3 contesting the Pentagon argument that the images must be withheld because they put individuals at risk. The A.C.L.U. said the government was seeking to withhold the photos only "to avert adverse reaction," undermining the information act.
The A.C.L.U.'s papers drew attention to the Pentagon's filings, which had been unsealed last week.
"The situation on the ground in Iraq is dynamic and dangerous," General Myers said, with 70 insurgent attacks daily. He also said there was evidence that the Taliban, though still weak, was gaining ground because of popular discontent in Afghanistan.
General Myers cited the violence that erupted in some Muslim countries in May after Newsweek published an item, later retracted, saying that a Koran had been thrown in a toilet in the United States detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He also said the images could fuel terrorist disinformation campaigns.

By Muslim countries does he mean Afghanistan? If so, it's a real shame that Jon Lee Anderson's New Yorker article ("The Man In the Palace") didn't get the attention it should have -- the Night Letter goes to the heart of the false claim re: "Newsweek caused riots in Afghanistan!"

Scheduled topics for today's Democracy Now! (courtesy of Rod):

Antonia Juhasz on the new Iraqi constitution. She is a Foreign Policy In Focus Scholar and the author of the forthcoming book, The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's grandson James Roosevelt Jr. on the 70th anniversaryof the signing of the Social Security Act of 1935.
Gerald Horne on the 40th anniversary of Watts. He is the author of FireThis Time: The Watts Uprising and the 1960s.

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