Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Democracy Now: Tim Karr, Dean Obeidallah, Hend Ayoub; Robert Parry, Dave Lindorff,

Pentagon Admits White Phosphorus Use in Iraq
After initial denials, the Pentagon is now admitting it used white phosphorus as an offensive weapon in the attack on Fallujah last November. The allegations were made in an Italian documentary produced by the Italian state television network RAI. Democracy Now played an excerpt of the film last Tuesday, the day of its premiere. On the same program, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Steve Boylan denied the allegations, saying "I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus." The Pentagon now says it used the weapon against insurgents. White phosphorus produces a dense white smoke that can cause serious burns to human flesh. The RAI documentary, entitled "Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre", showed graphic footage of civilians with severe wounds and burns allegedly caused by phosphorus bombing.

Woodward Was Told of Plame’s Identity
Longtime Washington Post journalist and current assistant editor Bob Woodward testified Monday a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame nearly a month before her identity was thought to be first disclosed. The official appears to be someone other than Lewis Libby or Karl Rove. Woodward was questioned by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald after the unnamed official alerted Fitzgerald of his conversation with Woodward. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Woodward and Post editors did not reveal the source’s identity. Post editors say Woodward only told them of the conversation last month.

Report: Oil Reps Met With Cheney Task Force
A White House document obtained by the Washington Post shows executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney’s energy task force in 2001. The documents appear to prove a suspicion long held by environmentalists and contradict testimony oil executives gave before Congress last week. The document shows representatives from Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Shell Oil and BP America met with Cheney aides responsible for developing a national energy policy. Some of their task force’s recommendations have become law while others have been held up in Congress. In testimony before the Senate Energy and Commerce committees last week, chief executives from Exxon, Chevron and ConocoPhillips denied their companies took part in the energy task force discussions. The White House has refused to release records of the meetings’ participants. A spokesperson for Vice President Cheney declined comment on the White House document. The executives were not sworn in for their testimony, and so cannot face perjury charges. Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey said he will ask the Justice Department to investigate. Lautenberg told the Post: "The White House went to great lengths to keep these meetings secret, and now oil executives may be lying to Congress about their role in the Cheney task force."

The above three items are from today's Democracy Now! Headlines and were selected by Micah, Brady and Keesha. Democracy Now! ("always worth watching," as Marcia says):

Headlines for November 16, 2005
- Pentagon Admits White Phosphorus Use in Iraq
- Hundreds of Tortured Iraqis Discovered in Government Compound
- Republicans Defeat Measure For Withdrawal Timetable
- Gito Lawyers Reject Senate "Compromise" on Habeas Corpus
- Israeli Captain Acquitted for Killing of Palestinian Schoolgirl
- 150,000 Katrina Evacuees To Lose Hotel Subsidies
- Report: Oil Reps Met With Cheney Task Force

Los Titulares de Hoy: Democracy Now!'s daily news summary translated into Spanish

Internal CPB Report Charges Former Chair Tomlinson with Ethics Violations, Uncovers "Cryptic" Emails With White House Staff
The results of a 6-month internal investigation of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) were made public Thursday, exposing political interference by Kenneth Tomlinson, former CPB chairman. The investigation also uncovered emails between Tomlinson and White House staff that raises questions about the hiring of the new CPB President. We speak with Tim Karr of Free Press. [includes rush transcript]

Palestinian, Israeli and American Discuss the Split in Israel’s Labour Party, the Separation Barrier and the Latest on Gaza
With a series of important developments affecting the Israel-Palestine conflict in the last week -- including the surprise upset of Shimon Peres in the Labour Party leadership race and the reopening of Gaza’s border with Egypt – we’re joined by three peace activists, one Palestinian, one Israeli, and one American. [includes rush transcript]

Arab-American Comics Perform Before Sold-Out Crowds in New York City
Arab American comics are performing before sold-out crowds at the 2005 New York Arab-American Comedy Festival. The festival, which runs Nov. 13th – 17th, showcases the talents of Arab-American actors, comics, playwrights and filmmakers. We play some of the stand-up performances from the festival and speak with the co-founder Dean Obeidallah as well as Hend Ayoub, a Palestinian actress who stars in the new film "Private".

Gina e-mails to note Robert Parry's "Bush's Rewriting of History" (Consortium News):

For decades, the well-connected Bush family has been treated like a kind of American royalty in which a petulant king or prince can stamp a foot and insist that whatever the evidence says the truth is otherwise. Their subjects are expected to bow in acquiescence, while dissenters can expect a good thrashing.
George H.W. Bush did this during the early Iran-Contra scandal, insisting he was "not in the loop" despite extensive evidence that his vice presidential office was a hub for the secret operations in both Central America and the Middle East. Rep. Lee Hamilton and other bipartisan-seeking Democrats gently let Bush off the hook in the congressional Iran-Contra report, clearing him for the 1988 presidential election.
When Iran-Contra independent counsel Lawrence Walsh finally broke through the Bush cover-up in 1992, Walsh was pilloried across Washington as a crazy old man, a Captain Ahab pursuing the White Whale. George Bush Sr. then destroyed Walsh’s investigation by pardoning six Iran-Contra defendants in December 1992. [For details see Robert Parry's
Secrecy & Privilege.]
Now Bush's eldest son, George W. Bush, is turning to this tried-and-true family tactic to extricate himself from his own web of lies and distortions about the Iraq War. In a Veterans Day speech on Nov. 11, Bush accused those who question his alleged misuse of pre-war intelligence of being the real guilty ones who have distorted the facts.
"It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began," Bush scolded his critics. "These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will."
New Lies
In essence, Bush's argument is that he didn’t lie the nation into war; he and his top aides were just misled by the same faulty intelligence that Congress saw. Plus, they say independent commissions already have cleared Bush of hyping the evidence.
However, as a Washington Post analysis politely observed in response to those two arguments, "neither assertion is wholly accurate."
The White House sees far more detailed intelligence than what is shared with Congress, which found itself depending on a CIA-compiled National Intelligence Estimate that downplayed or left out objections to key pro-war assertions, the Post wrote.
The Post article also noted that neither the Senate Intelligence Committee nor a Bush-appointed commission, headed by retired Judge Laurence Silberman and former Sen. Charles Robb, gave much attention to how the intelligence was used – or misused – addressing instead how it was produced. [Washington Post, Nov. 12, 2005]
The Senate committee has balked at a promised second study that was to focus on whether policymakers compounded the faulty intelligence by cherry-picking the most alarmist information about Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction. For its part, the Silberman-Robb commission's charter excluded a probe into possible misuse of the Iraq intelligence by policymakers, so no conclusion on Bush’s behavior was reached.
Indeed, the latest attack from Bush and his top advisers on people demanding answers about pre-war deceptions looks a lot like déjà vu, a continuation of the long pattern of distortion and intimidation that has marked the U.S. trail into the Iraq quagmire.
Yet, what may be most stunning is Bush's chutzpah in insisting that he’s the innocent victim here. He portrays himself first as the victim of the CIA’s faulty pre-war intelligence and now as the victim of reckless accusations that he helped cook the final intelligence product before it was fed to the public.
Proof of Lying
At, we questioned Bush’s claims about Iraq's WMD in 2002 as well as the wishful thinking underlying his invasion strategy in 2003. [See, for instance, "
Misleading the Nation to War" and "Bay of Pigs Meets Black Hawk Down."]
But we also have noted that perhaps the strongest evidence of Bush’s proclivity to lie about Iraq came after the invasion, when he began falsifying the record – rewriting history – with claims that Saddam Hussein had barred U.N. weapons inspectors from entering Iraq. Hussein’s "defiance" supposedly left Bush no choice but to invade.
So, while it may be impossible to divine whether Bush really believed that Hussein had WMD stockpiles, it is undeniable that Bush knew that his assertion about Hussein barring U.N. inspectors was false. The inspectors returned to Iraq in November 2002 and remained until they were forced out by Bush in March 2003 to let the invasion proceed.
Yet, despite this well-known historical record, Bush began altering the history within a few months of the invasion, just as his other claims about Iraq's WMD programs and its collaboration with al-Qaeda terrorists were falling apart.

Like Poppy, like Bully. The family's that never been held accountable for their actions continues to act as though "laws of accountability" are something they're immune from. As though the principle doesn't apply in their universe.

Billy e-mails to note Dave Lindorff's "Pentagon Admits Using Phosphorous Bombs on Fallujah" (CounterPunch):

Now the fall-back limited hang-out excuse from the Pentagon is that okay, the military did use phosphorus bombs, but only on military targets, not civilians. Check out the photos of raining phosphorus when you read the word "target".
This latest war crime dwarfs the earlier reports of officially sanctioned torture.
Countless civilians--including women and children--were cruelly burned to death (whether incidentally or in a deliberate attempt to terrorize scarcely matters) in the most agonizing of ways. Enemy fighters were killed through the use of weapons that have been outlawed by the civilized world--a world that America can not claim to be a part of.
American troops even have a term for the barbaric technique -- "Shake and Bake"--clear evidence that this was no one-off affair.
No wonder journalists have been barred from Fallujah, except when safely embedded and under the control of U.S. military units. No wonder there were reports of whole blocks being bulldozed clear of soil and hosed down after the fighting ended. No wonder the U.S. took control of hospitals in the area and barred the media. No wonder the U.S. military avoided doing body counts.

"Safely embedded and under the control of U.S. military units"? Hum it to yourself and it positively sings "Dexter Fillkins." The ultimate embed, "reporting" from the slaughter of Falluja in his, "I witnessed a massacre and all I reporteed was a rah-rah, video game." At what point does the "award winning" Dexter Filkins have to answer for that "award winning" 'reporting'?
And at what point does he start getting asked why his "award winning report" on the November 15th actions in Falluja don't appear in print (and on the front page) until November 21st? Oh little Dexy, as Elton John might sing, you were always someone's fool.

Lots of e-mails complaining that "no one" is talking about Woody's knowledge of Plamegate. That's not correct. Go to Romensko (Poynter Online) and you'll find links to Editor & Publisher articles -- among other things.

Current top item:

Woodward apologizes for not disclosing knowledge of Plame
Washington Post
Bob Woodward says he told Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. that he held back the information about being told about Valerie Plame in June 2003 because he was worried about being subpoenaed by the special prosecutor. "I apologized because I should have told him about this much sooner," says Woodward. "I explained in detail that I was trying to protect my sources. That's Job No. 1 in a case like this. . . .I hunkered down. I'm in the habit of keeping secrets. I didn't want anything out there that was going to get me subpoenaed."

Bob Woodward doesn't know his paper's own ethics guidelines. At least one editor should know a source's name. But Woodward didn't just conceal a name from an editor, which is frowned upon in the paper's official guidelines, he didn't even tell them that he was involved. Let's repeat that. There's a criminal investigation that goes on for months and months and Woody never told his superiors of his involvement until "last month" according to the paper today.

What's going on right now is exactly what the people at the Post whom I spoke to last night feared would happen (I didn't seek this out, I was the one called, not the one placing calls): people in power at the paper shy from taking on Woodward. He always gets a pass. They were afraid that he would this time as well.

Ben Bradlee pops out of semi-retirement long enough to cluck to Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher ("Ben Bradlee Defends Woodward's Actions in Plame Case"):

"I don't see anything wrong with that. He doesn't have to disclose every ____ thing he knows."

He can save the potty mouth for Sally Quinn, but note that he's indirectly explaining the Post's operating principle during Iran-Contra.

Bradlee's protecting his own ass. Take away Woodward ("& Bernstein") and what claim to fame does Bradlee have? Not a damn thing. (Unless someone thinks marriage to Sally Quinn is a "credit." Although the story of their coming together certainly is "readable.") (To put it mildly.)

Woodward's compromised himself for years. Bradlee's got nothing to hang onto if he can't hang onto Woodward. For him, it's cover your own ass.

But, and this point was made repeatedly in phone calls last night, if Bob Woodward was Bob Smith, he'd be fired right now. There was a criminal investigation. Woodward could be called to testify about his own involvement in that. He never told the paper about it until the investigation was concluding. Months and months of silence.

That's not allowed. It was incumbent upon him to apprise Downie once the investigation started that he might be called as a witness. He didn't do that.

Ben Bradlee comes roaring to defend Woody (as he's always done). Woody pulls a Garbo and can't talk to the press. This is a big issue at the Post. Whether it becomes a big issue elsewhere or not will depend on whether people just wanted to play bash the bitch with Judith Miller or whether they meant anything they wrote.

Also from Joe Strupp, "Pincus: Woodward 'Asked Me to Keep Him Out' of Plame Reporting" (Editor & Publisher):

Pincus said he did not believe Woodward had purposely lied about their conversation, saying, "I think he thought he told me something." Pincus declined to comment on the other revelation in today's story, namely that Woodward had waited until last month before revealing his conversation with the White House official to Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. "I don't talk about what other people do, other reporters," he said. "Everybody does in this business what they think is the right thing to do."
Pincus also declined to comment on what reaction there has been in the Post newsroom to Woodward's testimony. "I'm not listening," he said.Woodward did not return calls seeking comment.

Pincus may decline to comment but what I was told repeatedly in phone call after phone call is that the reaction is one of fury and rage that Woodward's dragged the Post into a "Judy situation." His books are being mocked and their "contributions" -- and here's one question being asked: "Does the paper exist to prop up his books or are his books secondary to putting out a daily paper?" There is rage at Woody for opening the paper up to criticism (that it should receive) as a result of his actions.

Nowhere in Strupp's articles am I seeing anyone noting that Woody didn't just keep his mouth shut to the paper, but that he also (and this is what makes people at the Post especially angry) went around to other outlets weighing in on Plamegate as though he were just an objective reporter offering his opinion based upon the public record. Woody was involved and when he was weighing in to NPR, or Larry King or whomever, he should have disclosed that.

He didn't. He compromised himself and since he was linked on those shows to the paper, he compromised the paper. That's the feeling of people at the Post. They also feel that readers and people outside the paper won't give Woody a pass on this but that the media pack will. So it will be hushed up in media circles while, to the public, everyone at the paper will be identified as compromised as a result of "unofficial spokesman [for the paper] Bob Woodward." Much more than Judith Miller was linked to the New York Times in the public's mind, Bob Woodward is the Washington Post.

They are furious that he's put the paper into a situation where everyone's credibility is questioned. There was anger about the books ("nothing but stenography") and anger that the paper has to promote the books even though Woody frequently gives other outlets advance access. The feeling is that the paper serves Woody and not the other way around. That anger comes to a boil now that Woody has compromised the paper's repuation.

I don't focus on the Post for two reasons, I don't care for their editorial position and I know too many people at the Post. (I also don't read it because I hear about the stories that will appear in the paper.)

Friends called repeatedly last night to gripe about this (friends at the paper) and to ask that I put something up here about it. They felt Woody was going to slide through yet again while the paper would suffer (yet again). They brought up everything including Janet Cook. This is not something that's going to vanish in the "newsroom." P.J. is a member of this community who's identified, when quoted here, as being with the Post. Because P.J. is a member of the community, when the calls started coming I made a decision not call P.J. and ask, "What's going on?" P.J. did call (after several others had) and with P.J. I confined my questions to the ethics policy at the paper, asking to be slowly walked through. P.J. walked me through it.

Woody's violated several guidelines with his actions. His "waiver" for his books does not include silence to the higher ups if he may be a witness in a criminal investigation. His "waiver" does not allow, as Ben Bradlee claims, him to not tell an editor what's going on. He might be able to avoid naming the person he spoke to, that depends on the deal he made with the source -- but a deal where not even an editor can know the identity of a source is frowned upon. But there is no "waiver" that allows Woody to keep the paper out of the loop if he may be involved in a criminal investigation.

Judith Miller was a lightening rod who allowed others to hide their own stenography as bash the bitch became the most popular online sport. Miller's gone from the Times. There's no cover now -- a point made in repeated calls last night. The feeling is that this should have come out before Miller left the Times because the Post wouldn't look so bad. (I'm not agreeing with that statement, I'm merely saying what the feeling was.)

With Miller not around to capture attention (and the story not being all about Miller), the paper (the Washington Post) is left open to criticism. Miller's departure was announced last Wednesday (and in print Thursday), Woody testified Monday. The people who called me felt that Woody should have gone public before his testimony. They feel that the cover Miller-rage provided would have benefitted the Post.

There are a number of issues that Woody's late disclosure touches upon. I've focused solely on the ethical nature (by the paper's written guidelines) and the fact that once you name a name to the grand jury you can't, if you're a reporter, then take the attitude of "confidentiality." That's not confidiality -- that's betraying the public's right to know.

Reporters can go to jail for refusing to name a source in court. There's never been a case, a class action one, where a reporter was sued for not naming a source to the public. There's never been a need for it. A reporter is supposed to report. If a reporter argues confidentiality, it's across the board. It's not, "I'll testify and name my source in court but I won't do so in print." There's no First Amendment grounds for Woody not naming his source.

The adminstration knows who the source is. The grand jury knows who the source is. The paper knows who the source is. The only people who don't know are the public.

The Washington Post needs to name the source. If only in a "a leak from the grand jury says that ____ was the source who spoke to Bob Woodward."

But this is where a large part of the anger within the Post is coming from. They are telling their readers to trust them, that they will report the news. But they are in possession of actual news and they are hiding behind a flimsy claim of confidentiality that does not exist.

Woodward testified under oath and named the source (actually named more than one person, reportedly) but the readers are the ones left in the dark. That's not reporting.

It's concealing.

And it's self-serving, to hear people at the paper talk. Woody's once again protecting his access and not from a court of law but from the public. That's not the actions of a reporter.

The feelings are that he disgraced the paper by not keeping higher ups in the loop when the investigation started and that he's disgraced the paper with a "I testified but I'm not going to tell you what I said."

In the damage control people are rushing out to say, "People don't know what Woody knows. They don't know his involvement." That's exactly the problem. Though the Washington Post is a corporation, Woody is not a CEO. He is a reporter. A reporter reports. A reporter does not name to a grand jury and then dummy up to the public.

This is a disgrace and that's why people at the paper are outraged by what he's done.

I didn't want to write about this for a number of reasons:

1) We don't cover the Post here. (It's only been mentioned prior if a member has highlighted an article or issue.)

2) Woody's behavior is no surprise to me (or to most people, I'd bet).

3) I don't use this forum to promote issues friends want raised.

But it was stressed from the first phone call that I repeatedly stated Judith Miller was not responsible for the lead up to the war coverage in every outlet, that Miller wasn't the only problem, that it appeared many were taking a pass at criticism to play it safe by playing bash the bitch, etc.

It was thrown up (in my ear?) that I'd noted Cheney waiving the New York Times to Tim Russert doesn't mean that Tim Russert has to say, "Oh well if the Times is reporting it, end of questioning."

Woody's a stenographer. I've always felt that way (as have many others). The revelations of his relationship with Mark Felt only confirm that he reports what he's fed. Bernstein was the investigative journalist. (There are attempts to get Bernstein to weigh in with a statement to provide cover for Woody's latest mishap -- whether that will happen or not, there's an effort underweigh.)

But when the case was made on whether I really believed what I wrote about Miller or not, it was obvious that we had to note it here.

Ben Bradlee's attempts at damage control do not address the issue of the paper's own ethic guidelines nor do they address the issue of sources. Once a source is named to a grand jury, a source is no longer confidential nor is there any reason (or excuse) to not name the source to the readers.

Miller was an easy target because the work had already been done. She was "wounded" by serious critics long before bash the bitch became the parlor game that it did.

That's not a defense of Miller's actions. But I have stated repeatedly that she wasn't on all the networks, she wasn't in all the paper. Miller's not the sole reporter on the lead up to Iraq but a lot of people wanted to hide behind her. And offering Judy Miller "criticism" this summer was the easiest thing in the world to do because the work had already been done. And there was no fallout. It wasn't a brave stand. A brave stand would have been expanding the scope to note others at the Times and elsewhere. It was the perfect time, for instance, to explore Dexter Filkins' "reporting" if someone wanted to focus solely on the Times. It was the perfect time to look at the water carriers for the administration on network TV (broadcast, so-called "reporters"). That didn't happen.

I didn't want to mention Woody. I know too many people who feel burned by him (on the project Wired). I think he's a joke and have thought that for years. He confuses "statements" with "facts." Which goes to the fact that he's not an investigative journalist. Katharine Graham wasn't interested in investigative reporting (and actually called for journalists to back off from it, not unlike her dining philosophy -- rapping the table and admonishing "bring the conversation back to the center"). There's a reason Bernstein left the paper and Woody stayed. There was no reason for Woody to leave, he's not an investigative journalist.

He's happy to sit on anything and protect his access. Which is why the paper now stands disgraced. When his last book on Bully Boy came out during the election, there were a lot on the left (and "left") promoting it as "explosive." The White House also promoted the book. That and the fact that he still has access in the White House tells you all you need to know. He takes dictation. That's why he's been the fair headed boy at the paper for years, why the Janet Cook scandal didn't hurt him though it would have resulted in the firing of any other editor.

The post-Watergate Woody is as much to blame for the current condition of the press as anyone else. Possibly more so since he's remained a "star" even though he's offered nothing of value.
(Bernstein would break the story on the CIA and the media and he would do it by himself and in the pages of Rolling Stone, ot the Washington Post.) As steongographer of the royal court (and party loyalist but we're not supposed to talk about that either -- and when we linked to a rare remak on that, by Robert Redford, the e-mails from visitors were full of outrage), he's demonstrated repeatedly that you can be a "star" (and remain one) by reporting nothing of note, by playing the game and by, as the invasion begins, offering the insipid "critique" that Bully Boy's demonstrating "calcium of the backbone." (Something so banal that, after he repeated it several times, Katie Couric had to ask him, on air, "other than calcium of the backbone . . .")

He's a joke and he's as much responsible for the condition of the media as anyone else since he's been promoted as star for far too long. (Disclosure, I know Carl Bernstein. I have not spoken to Bernstein about this. Nor should my opinions of Woody be read as Bernstein's.)

If "no one" is talking about this (I'm told CJR Daily is reportedly working on something and that Arianna Huffington is as well), it may be due to the fact that the Post wasn't eager to get the story out yesterday. It may also be due to the fact that some people are afraid to go after the "sacred cow" (who dried up long ago) Bob Woodward. Or it may be just another case of a male getting a pass because it's much more "fun" to play bash the bitch.

One talking point, which I haven't seen anywhere yet, will be that Woody didn't write about the outing of Valerie Plame. Neither did Judith Miller. More importantly, Woody made himself available to other outlets to weigh in on how this was a non-story and just "gossip." I'm sure it was "gossip" to Woody. He long ago confused news with gossip.

It's paid off well for him.

The only site I've been to, when I read that "no one" was talking about this, was our latter day Dylan. Not surprisingly, he has nothing to say about Woody. Were that he was focused on his new "beat" (education) that might make sense. But he's once again breaking promises and focusing on an op-ed -- in the Washington Post I believe.

Our online latter day Dylan has compromised himself on this story for some time. I doubt he'll address it. But, I'm dictating this entry, I just asked ___ to check Atrios. There's stuff up there so people are talking about this. I'd guess that Ron would talk about it at Why Are We Back In Iraq? as well. (Provided he has time, he's very busy with Raw Story these days.) If it wasn't the lead item everywhere online, hopefully, that's due to the fact that the Post didn't attempt to promote this story. The people who called me last night called because they were (a) outraged and (b) afraid that it would be hushed up. I don't think it will be. (I could, as always, be wrong.)

There are too many people at the Post who are upset about this, it raises too many issues, and it it's goes to the issues of Plamegate (an administration can smear a spouse and get away with it because a compliant press will cover).

I'm guessing (I could, as always, be wrong) that peopole went to our online, latter day Dylan expecting he would tackle the subject since it's at heart of clowning and the press. Latter day Dylan has, even more so than Woody, attempted to pooh-pah the outing of Valerie Plame. Don't expect him to tackle this subject. (And while he has criticized Woody in the past, Woody being a male, he's always had the "resurrection" prospect that is denied to women at that site.) (Add in that the last volume on Bully Boy was treated by our latter day Dylan as a bible and just give up the fantasy that latter day Dylan's going to have anything to say on this topic.)

When I started dictating this entry (and it's been done in starts and stops), I was much less optimistic than I am now. But I think this will be covered in many places. I think the feeling that "no one" is talking about it stems from the fact that it's an obvious topic for latter day Dylan and I'm guessing that people went there for that reason. Only to be disappointed. But he doesn't want to seriously explore this issue. He's never wanted to. So give up on the idea that he'll lead the charge here. Look elsewhere and I think you'll find coverage on this issue. I also don't think it will vanish after today.

Also note that Wally addressed the topic today at The Daily Jot.

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