Wednesday, January 25, 2006

NYT: Criag Smith on "Secret Prisons"

Mr. Marty said he was equally wary of Romanian and Polish denials of the detention center allegations, noting that both countries are part of the American-led coalition fighting in Iraq and "escaped long dictatorships thanks largely to the American intelligence services."
He has requested data on aircraft movements from the Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control agency, and satellite images from the European Union's Satellite Center. It is not clear what he hopes to find in the data or photographs. His assertion that more than a hundred detainees have been moved through Europe - a number he took from an article in the German newspaper Die Zeit - is not of a scale that would show in satellite images.
[. . .]
Both Mr. Marty and the Council of Europe's secretary general, Terry Davies, are convinced that the American press knows more about the alleged detention centers, but are under government pressure to keep the information secret.
"I know of a television company that has information that they are not willing to broadcast out of concern for their employees," Mr. Davies said. He declined to identify the broadcaster or the source of the allegation.

The above is from Craig S. Smith's "Europe's C.I.A. Inquiry Finds No Evidence of Secret Prisons" in this morning's New York Times. Possibly a New Republican, if he hasn't begun work on another book that will take nearly a decade to churn out and underwhelm the public upon release, will lecture Marty & Davies on "tone" and clutch the pearls for the poor American press under attack?

And no, you didn't misread the headline. The headline and the intro convey a "nothing to see here, move along" attitude that's not really in keeping with the report or the remarks. (Possibly the unidentified Brit had a hand in the editing?) (That was sarcasm, the Times never needs any help to play sleight of hand.)

Bonnie notes James Glanz's "Audit Describes Misuse of Funds in Iraq Projects:"

A new audit of American financial practices in Iraq has uncovered irregularities including millions of reconstruction dollars stuffed casually into footlockers and filing cabinets, an American soldier in the Philippines who gambled away cash belonging to Iraq, and three Iraqis who plunged to their deaths in a rebuilt hospital elevator that had been improperly certified as safe.
The audit, released yesterday by the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, expands on its previous findings of fraud, incompetence and confusion as the American occupation poured money into training and rebuilding programs in 2003 and 2004. The audit uncovers problems in an area that includes half the land mass in Iraq, with new findings in the southern and central provinces of Anbar, Karbala, Najaf, Wasit, Babil, and Qadisiya. The special inspector reports to the secretary of defense and the secretary of state.

Remember, pundits never have to admit that they were wrong which is why the NewsHour won't force the mouthpiece, who in the fall of 2004, slammed someone for suggesting that the
the reconstruction was seriously amiss, won't have to apologize or correct his statements. If anyting, he'll probably be back to entertain and spin and again.

Eric Lipton's "White House Declines to Provide Storm Papers" tells you that the White House, despite recent spin efforts, still wants to play, "You work for us, not the other away around." Not since The Crying Game has one person prided themselves for playing "I've got a secret" as much as the Bully Boy has. Michael Brown won't say whether he spoke to Bully Boy or Cheney.
That would be former FEMA director and "fashion god" Michael Brown.

Rita notes Robert Burns' "Pentagon Study Finds Army Stretched to Breaking Point" (Associated Press):

Stretched by frequent troop rotations to Iraq and Afghanistan, the Army has become a "thin green line" that could snap unless relief comes soon, according to a study for the Pentagon.
Andrew Krepinevich, a retired Army officer who wrote the report under a Pentagon contract, concluded that the Army cannot sustain the pace of troop deployments to Iraq long enough to break the back of the insurgency. He also suggested that the Pentagon's decision, announced in December, to begin reducing the force in Iraq this year was driven in part by a realization that the Army was overextended.
As evidence, Krepinevich points to the Army's 2005 recruiting slump - missing its recruiting goal for the first time since 1999 - and its decision to offer much bigger enlistment bonuses and other incentives.

Rod doesn't know what today's topics are for Democracy Now! but reminds everyone that Amy Goodman's Un-Embed the Media tour goes on:

* Amy Goodman in San Francisco, CA:
Fri, Jan 27
*TIME: 12:15 pm
IPA 2006 Conference
Marines Memorial Hotel,
609 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA*

Amy Goodman in Oakland, CA: Fri, Jan 27
Alice Walker & Amy Goodman: Media Alliance's 30th Anniversary Kick-Off
First Congregational Church of Oakland
2501 Harrison Street,
Oakland, CA
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
Reception is $75 generally, and $40 for recent MA donors already possessingan event voucher. The Reception is reservation only, by phone, in advance.
Purchase tickets online:
Or purchase by phone at 510-832-9000 Å~305
For more information:
Reception Information:
7pm - Join Amy Goodman and the Media Alliance Board for a wine and cheese reception to launch the 30th Anniversary
$75 admission includes reception, 1 preferred seat for 8pm talk, and commemorative poster
$40 admission for recent MA donors possessing event voucher

* Amy Goodman in Arcata, CA:
Sat, Jan 28
An Evening with Amy Goodman
Center Arts Van Duzer Theater
Humbolt State University
1 Harpst St.
Arcata,CA 95521
Tickets are $25 general, $20 Senior/Child and $15 for HSU Students
For more information:
Tickets are available by calling the University TicketOffice at 707-826-3928.
Doors open at 7:30

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