Friday, May 16, 2008

NYT sees no news from Iraq

Three employees of the Iranian embassy and their Iraqi driver were shot and wounded as they traveled Thursday to the Shiite Kadhemiyah Shrine in northern Baghdad.
As the Iranian men pulled into a Shiite area in Baghdad on the way to the shrine, two men on a motorbike pulled up to the vehicle and riddled their car with bullets, Iranian and Iraqi officials said.
Two of the Iranians were seriously wounded; another Iranian and an Iraqi suffered minor wounds, a spokesman for the Iranian embassy said Wednesday.
"We don't know who did this," said the spokesman, Manoucher Taslimi. "But we know there are many sides in Iraq who do not want good relations between Iran and Iraq."

The above is from Leila Fadel's "Iranian embassy employees shot in Baghdad" (McClatchy Newspapers), reporting on an assassination attempt and one of three stories McClatchy filed in the last 24 hours on Iraq. Search in vain for even one Iraq report in today's New York Times. Another report may be too close too home for the Times due to the close nature between Chalabi and Judith Miller, yes, but also between Chalabi and Dexy Filkins.

From Nancy A. Youssef, Leila Fadel and Warren P. Strobel's "U.S. again cuts off Chalabi, this time over rivalry with Maliki"

U.S. military and diplomatic officials in Baghdad have cut off contact with controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi, a former Pentagon favorite, because of his increasingly strained relationship with U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington told McClatchy.
Both the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and top American military leaders made the decision earlier this week. "That's it. He's out," one senior military official said.
The U.S. decision, which was first disclosed on, is the fourth time that the U.S. has ended an alliance with Chalabi, whom officials in the Pentagon and Vice President Dick Cheney's office once touted as a successor to Saddam Hussein. The State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies, however, have long regarded Chalabi as untrustworthy and a "charlatan."
Although the CIA stopped funding Chalabi's exile group, the Iraqi National Congress, in 1995, the INC fed intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and ties to terrorism, much of it bogus, to officials in the Pentagon and Cheney's office. Those officials used it to help build their case for invading Iraq and fulfilling Chalabi's and their ultimate goal -- Saddam's ouster.
A State Department official said that this time the U.S. cut off Chalabi, who was appointed in September to head Maliki's Services Committee, which is meant to help usher services into communities after they're secured by U.S. and Iraqi troops, in deference to Maliki.

Dexy and Chalabi, illustration from The Third Estate Sunday Review's "Go down, Dexy." The closest the Times gets to Iraq (outside of spending which will be noted next entry) is A16 where a tiny seven paragraph AP article ("V.A. Disavows Combat Stress Memo") runs. The brief quotes an e-mail sent out by the VA, entitled "Suggestion." CREW has [PDF format warning] the memo here:

Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out. Consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Diorder, R/O PTSD.
Additionally, we really don't or have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD.
Also, there have been some incidence where the veteran has a C & P, is not given a diagnosis of PTSD, then the veteran comes here and we give the diagnosis, and the veteran appeals his case based on our assessment.
This is just a suggestion for the reasons listed above.

Carlton notes Howard Wolfson's "HUBdate: Leading the Popular Vote" (

Leading the Popular Vote: According to ABC News, Hillary’s West Virginia victory put her over the top in the popular vote. She now leads Sen. Obama 16,691,283 to 16,647,926 when Florida and Michigan are included in the count. Read more.
Previewing Today: Hillary Clinton travels to South Dakota and attends a "Solutions for the Rural Economy" town hall in Bath, SD.
Automatic Delegate Watch: Yesterday, Tennessee Automatic Delegate Vicky Harwell endorsed Hillary. "Hillary’s decisive victory in West Virginia is the latest evidence that she is the strongest candidate to take on John McCain and win back the White House," Harwell said.
Read more.
In Case You Missed It: Clinton National Campaign Co-Chair Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones and other Members of Congress held a press conference last night to discuss Hillary Clinton’s strong pro-choice record. The Politico’s Ben Smith reports "Amie Parnes emails that more than a dozen congresswomen who endorsed Clinton gathered in front of the DCCC to express disappointment in NARAL's Obama endorsement. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said 'we feel abandoned by this organization today.' Rep. Shelley Berkeley called the endorsement 'extremely unnecessary' and 'inappropriate.' Rep. Jane Harmon called it ‘a betrayal.'" Read more.
Kentucky Endorsement Watch: Four former Kentucky governors endorsed Hillary yesterday. "The people of Kentucky need a President who has the strength, experience, and leadership to lead on day one," said former Governor Julian Carroll. "My friendship with Hillary goes back more than 30 years and I know she'll make a fine President."
Read more and more.
OR Supporters Standing By Hillary: "Linda Mayer of Eugene knows they’re out there: the pollsters and pundits who insist that Sen. Hillary Clinton is on the ropes and should give up her quest for the presidency. But that doesn’t mean she has to listen to them…A retired Lane Community College teacher who is giving about 30 volunteer hours a week, [Mayer said:] 'As a woman, I’ve been waiting for a woman -- who is qualified -- for a long time…To me, Hillary is the best qualified and also very brave and courageous.'"
Read more.
Why I Support Hillary: Jordan Kokich, a student at Portland State University and a field organizer for Hillary in Oregon remembers meeting Hillary through the Make-A-Wish Foundation when she was only eight years old. She says, "I am 22 now, and in less than four hours I would be meeting Hillary yet again…Upon seeing her at last, I met her half way as she greeted me with open arms. This was history coming full circle."
Read more.
'Esa es mi candidata': In Puerto Rico, "A group of volunteers took to the busy streets of Río Piedras, handing out bumper stickers, yard signs and, most importantly, one-on-one information on Hillary's comprehensive agenda for the jurisdiction with the largest Hispanic population under the American flag." Read more.
On Tap: This Friday, Hillary will campaign throughout Oregon.

And let's also note "Senator Clinton Statement on Senator McCain's Speech Today" (

This morning, John McCain said that four more years of the same strategy will produce victory in Iraq, though he provided no new approach or new proposals. This is not the first time Senator McCain has predicted victory in Iraq. He promises more of the same Bush policies that have weakened our military, our national security, and our standing in the world. Our country cannot afford more empty promises on Iraq. When I am President, the United States will no longer give Iraq a blank check. I will bring this war to a swift and honorable conclusion, and bring our troops home, beginning within 60 days of taking office.

That topic is being held for Third on Sunday so that's all that will appear here.

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