Thursday, April 13, 2006

Other Items

The Davids of the New York Times fly separately this morning. David Johnston files "Prosecutor Corrects Filing About Former Aide to Cheney" which is part of the 'snazzier, briefer' stories that Bill Keller just knows are going to be a hit with readers -- old and new! Johnston brief details how Patrick Fitzgerald has filed a change (one paragraph) to the charges in the Scooter Libby case:

Mr. Fitzgerald's amended version changed the wording so that the passage would say that Mr. Libby was authorized to disclose "some of the key judgments of the N.I.E., and that the N.I.E. stated that Iraq was vigorously trying to procure uranium."

Martha notes R. Jeffrey Smith's "Libby Wasn't Ordered to Leak Name, Papers Say" (Washington Post) which offers the defense's counter-claims. Summarized: Scoots alleges he did not know that Plame was undercover, he was so busy getting out the counter-narrative that now it's a blur and he needs to see papers -- apparently classified -- to jog his memory. It's the tired story that's been gone over repeatedly and it's laughable as a defense. Before he started tossing around her name, it was incumbent upon him to know what Valerie Plame did (that's giving him the beneift of the doubt that he didn't -- a benefit most wouldn't assume he's earned). The new piece of information is that Scooter maintains George Tenant had a "bias" against him.

Back to the Times, Marci notes Peter Kiefer's "Italian Minister Declines to Seek Extradition of C.I.A. Operatives:"

After months of deliberation, the justice minister, Roberto Castelli, alerted prosecutors on Wednesday that he was refusing to forward their extradition request to Washington, which would have paved the way for the agents to be tried in Italy.
Italian prosecutors accused the 22 Americans of involvement in the 2003 kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, a terrorism suspect who is also known as Abu Omar. Prosecutors believe that Abu Omar was taken first to Germany, then to Egypt, and that he was tortured during the interrogations.

Kayla notes Katrina vanden Heuvel's "Haditha, Iraq" (Editor's Cut, The Nation) and wonders if more are covering this topic and she's just missing it or if vanden Heuvel's piece is one of the few to follow up on the issue:

As the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday, this much is known to be true: On November 19, after a roadside bomb killed Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas, 15 Iraqi civilians – including seven women and three children – were allegedly shot and killed by a unit of US Marines operating in Haditha, Iraq. Then, this past Friday, a battalion commander and two company commanders from the same unit were relieved of their duties.
We also know that the Marine Corps initially claimed that the 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by a roadside bomb. But in January, after Time magazine presented the military with Iraqi accounts and video proof of the attack's aftermath, officials acknowledged that
the civilians were killed by Marines but blamed insurgents nonetheless who had "placed noncombatants in the line of fire."
However, video evidence shows that women and children were shot in their homes while still wearing nightclothes. And while there are no bullet holes outside the houses to support the military's assertion of a firefight with insurgents, "inside the houses…the walls and ceilings are pockmarked with shrapnel and bullet holes as well as the telltale spray of blood."

My guess is KvH is one of the few. With the focus on Iran, there's a huge decrease in the amount of space (I'm referring to print journalism) being given to Iraq lately. There was one day this week when Ava, Jess and I were hunting down developments in Iraq to note in the mid-morning (sometimes late afternoon) entry and we realized, I believe this was Monday, that even most of the wire services contained only news from the day before. That could also be, as is the case with the laughable Good Morning America, to some caving from pressure applied by the fright-wing after they got their marching orders from the Bully Boy to scream: "You don't tell the good news!" Speaking of morning shows, no, I don't watch GMA (or any TV other than what Ava and I comment on at The Third Estate Sunday Review), we'll be tackling the issue of the treatment of Katie Couric in the press narrative -- one that began with NBC authorizing a trashing of Couric in an attempt to make CBS question their interest in Couric over a year ago, a story that many still act as though never happened but considering how many printed those whispers, they'd have to, now wouldn't they? E-mails keep asking about that, it'll go up Sunday.
We have the title, the opening paragraph and at least one incident that all the ones weighing in refuse to note -- one that undermines their own arguments and indicates they've judged Katie Couric less by what she's actually done and more by some parody of her on The Simpsons. It may have been humorous for some, but it wasn't reality. Those who only know the clip from Michael Moore's film should especially be interested in the commentary.

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