Saturday, February 11, 2006

Other Items

Mr. Brown said that he told a senior White House official early on of the New Orleans flooding, and that the administration was too focused on terrorism to respond properly to natural disasters.
Testifying before a Senate committee, Mr. Brown said he notified a senior White House official -- who he said was probably Joe Hagin, the deputy White House chief of staff, but might have been Andrew H. Card Jr., the chief of staff -- on the day the hurricane hit to report that it had turned into his "worst nightmare" and that New Orleans was flooding.
It was the first public identification of any White House official who was said to have directly received reports of extensive flooding on Monday, Aug. 29, the day Hurricane Katrina hit.

[. . .]
The Bush administration, as a whole, he said, did not seem to care enough about natural disasters and had relegated natural disasters to a "stepchild" of national security.
"It is my belief," Mr. Brown told the senators, that if "we've confirmed that a terrorist has blown up the 17th Street Canal levee, then everybody would have jumped all over that and been trying to do everything they could."

The above, noted by Brenda, is from Eric Lipton's "Ex-FEMA Leader Faults Response by White House" in this morning's New York Times.

Scott Shane offers a mess of reporting (or "reporting") in "Ex-C.I.A. Official Says Iraq Data Was Distorted:"

The views of Paul R. Pillar, who retired in October as national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, echoed previous criticism from Democrats and from some administration officials, including Richard A. Clarke, the former White House counterterrorism adviser, and Paul H. O'Neill, the former treasury secretary.
But Mr. Pillar is the first high-level C.I.A. insider to speak out by name on the use of prewar intelligence. His article for the March-April issue of Foreign Affairs, which charges the administration with the selective use of intelligence about Iraq's unconventional weapons and the chances of postwar chaos in Iraq, was posted Friday on the journal's Web site after it was reported in The Washington Post.

Why a "mess"? It's a story that Shane should be able to mop up -- it is, after all, based upon an article from a magazine and has been already covered by the Post. But note who gets to speak and who doesn't. It's no surprise (we're talking about the Times here) that we've got the usual "balance" of some say this, and some say that. But notice who "some" includes. An AEI war cheerleader/freak is given the last word (two paragraphs at the end). And why is that? In the Times notion of "balance" is the AEI the equivalent of the CIA? Or does the paper of record, considering their own record on Iraq, need to trot out a screeching voice to hide behind?

It's not balance, not even in the paper's flawed concept of "balance." We were lied into war. Mike wondered if this issue would even make the paper? It did. With selective voices and a general "nothing to see here, move along" attitude.

By the way, for visitors wondering about the op-ed the paper ran by Porter Goss (or "Porter Goss"), I did see the embarrassing op-ed that ran yesterday in the Times.

I can't take it on because I try to avoid disputing opinions from the paper's columns and editorials. We can note silences (like the fact that no column or editorial was written on the life of Coretta Scott King by the New York Times). And I'm comfortable in noting that Goss was allowed to violate the paper's own rules. (He criticizes the reporting and report that broke the NSA warrantless spying story in the Times. The Times has refused to let others question Jeff Gerth's Whitewater "reporting" -- to offer one example -- on the grounds that they don't self-criticize in the paper. They creation of the public editor has resulted in a forum for criticism of the paper within the paper; however, the broadsides the outgoing Okrent -- he's not missed -- took at Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd and others did not result in a response in kind. Krugman had to insist on his column that did finally run -- arguing that the basis was clearing up charges and not part of a 'back and forth.' The Times loves their official sources and considered it such a coup to have the op-ed by Porter Goss (that no one appears to have noticed in the print world, I spent last night talking to several reporters none of whom were even aware Goss had penned an op-ed -- or "Goss" if it was ghost written which is highly likely) in Friday's paper that they were willing to look the other way as he went after the paper. (It helps that the article Goss is slamming was co-written by James Risen who truly is on his own now -- whether he realizes it or not.) But Goss ticked off a number of "facts" that should have led to criticism and hoepfully it did elsewhere, but that's not the focus of this site (the op-ed pages).

And that's it for the paper today. A general is making the charge that the administration is guilty of poor planning with regards to the training of Iraqi troops. He's got a piece due out shortly so the Times figures there's a story in that. So brave. When officials speak, the Times is always there. There's a new level of disgusting to how we'll treat immigrants in this country ("illegal immigrants" some visitor will snap in an e-mail later on, I'm sure) but then we've postured so on that issue that there's really nothing to be done until we can stop demonizing immigrants. That will require something other than the "I support ___" (immigration, abortion, pick your issue) "but I'm personally opposed to/aware of the risks of . . ." dance that passes for bravery these days. The Times offers violence on the border (Mexico and California; Mexico and Texas) and seems overly focused on rock throwing as opposed to the shootings that have occurred and resulted in deaths. (Who was more often pulling the trigger? Consider what the Times focuses on and you have the answer.) We don't discuss/address every report in the main section (formerly "hard news) of the paper.

What else is planned for today? Kat will give a heads up on Laura Flanders' show, Maria's running down headlines from the week's Democracy Now! (that will go up after Laura Flanders' program starts) and Ruth's got a report that will go up after I get something scanned. (I'm playing it with it now to make it readable. The page being scanned.) Trina's planning to post this evening. If there are problems with Blogger/Blogspot (as was the case last week), check the mirror site. Betty posted her latest chapter Thursday night (and thanks to Ava for going in and adding the link to it in a dictated post yesterday -- also thanks to her for the corrections and additions she and Jess have done all week). It's entitled "Thomas Friedman plays the woman scorned." Be sure to check that out. Isaiah has a new comic planned for tomorrow. He's convinced The New Yorker must have grabbed it already (he was convinced of that last Sunday and pulled it). They haven't done it. Someone may have, but that magazine hasn't as of the latest issue that's arrived in my mailbox (and I promised him I'd check today to make sure it wasn't in the issue currently on sale). So look for Isaiah's latest tomorrow morning. Let me do a shout out to Wally. Every e-mail here has been pleased with this week's direction at The Daily Jot. If you've missed it, Wally's doing "Bully Boy Press." For how long? As long as he wants to. Don't box him in. Wally got burnt out for a number of reasons (including the spineless behavior of Democratic senators on Alito) but his site was always intended to be humorous and a "jot." When Hurricane Wilma came along and the national press took a pass on it (apparently there's no "human interest" in Thanksgivings without electricity -- if nothing else, one might think that effect would've caught their attention), Wally, as a resident of Florida, stepped up to the plate and The Daily Jot began morphing into something other than what he had originally intended. "Bully Boy Press" gets him back to doing what he wanted to and he may stick with "Bully Boy Press" for some time or he may drop it when a new idea comes along. For more on that, check out Mike's interview with Wally. And despite Cedric's comments on the phone this morning when I called him, I'd recommend you check out his "Random Thoughts." (Cedric's doesn't think it's worth steering to. I disagree.)

So Ruth shortly. Ten minutes or an hour depending upon how long it takes me to get a workable scan of the black & white text. (Yes, "black & white text" -- I have no idea why it didn't scan easily the first time either. I'll probably clean the lens before trying again.)

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