Sunday, April 23, 2006

NYT: Anonymice fill out the paper

For those who feel it's not news until the New York Times reports it, check out "C.I.A. Director Has Made Plugging Leaks a Top Priority." (Yes, we already knew that.) The article, written by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti is a lot of column inches looking for something to cover (and failing). The polygraph tests were "single issue" ones and an anonymice retired from the CIA tells the reporters (who tell the readers and so on, and so on . . .) that Mary O. McCarthy (need the "O" in there for fear that someone might confuse her with the Mary McCarthy) had access to information on the detention centers hidden around the world "because she worked in the inspector's general's office, which is investigating the detention and interrogation of CIA prisoners." We're told that "[t]his was one program that they really did try to protect." (Same anonymice.) That's page A25, on the front page, David S. Cloud offers "Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules."

We hear she also really applied herself and played well with others. That was sarcasm but on level with the "news" in the article. We hear a lot from anonymice. Including this -- so take it for what it's worth:

Government officials said that after Ms. McCarthy's polygraph examination showed the possibility of deception, she examiner confronted her and she disclosed having had conversations with reporters.

The point of the story? McCarthy isn't talking and Cloud has to pad out a little public information, a few quotes from named people (including Larry Johnson) and a lot of anonymice.

It reads like an extended blind item from the Hollywood Kids.

Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt speak to "Young Officers Join the Debate Over Rumsfeld" [insert "Who" after "Officers" and before "Join"]. The criticism of the ex-generals is traveling down the ranks with some examing the criticism, some debating the intel and some debating the actions of the ex-generals. From the article:

The discussions often flare with anger, particularly among many midlevel officers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and face the prospect of additional tours of duty.
"This is about the moral bankruptcy of general officers who lived through the Vietnam era yet refused to advise our civilian leadership properly," said one Army major in the Special Forces who has served two combat tours. "I can only hope that my generation does better someday."

And? Isaiah's comic goes up when this finishes posting (link goes to last week's comic). We're still working on The Third Estate Sunday Review's latest edition. (Ava and I haven't had time to write a TV review yet, so heads up on that.)

Dallas notes Leigh Saavedra's "Billion Dollar Baghdad Embassy" (BuzzFlash):

That's the estimate, though only half of it has been appropriated so far, a billion dollars to build a new embassy in Iraq. It will be the largest on the globe, the largest the world has ever seen, the size of Vatican City in Italy.
U.S. embassies typically cover ten acres. This one, a 104-acre complex, will be comprised of 21 buildings, its own water wells, an electricity plant and wastewater-treatment facility that makes the huge compound completely independent of Iraq, whose "interim government" sold the land to the U.S. in October 2004. Terms of the agreement do not appear to be readily accessible.
The massive compound will include two major diplomatic office buildings, homes for the ambassador and his deputy, apartment buildings for staff, and a recreational facility that will provide a swimming pool, gym, commissary, food court and American Club.
In this case, the devil is less in the details than in the monumental size and cost of the endeavor. The likeness to a small fortified city is frightening to those who object to a permanent presence of the U.S. in Iraq, already destroyed by American bombs and depleted uranium, and the core of such fear lies in the question of WHY the U.S., already dangerously in debt back home and dangerously despised in Iraq and most of the mideast, is pounding its chest with such a noisy bravado. Is this the finale of "Shock and Awe"?

The e-mail address for this site is