Wednesday, January 11, 2006

NYT: "Al Jazeera: From Network, to a Bush Target, to Courts" (Alan Cowell -- sleeping on the job)

In the latest legal maneuvers, David Keogh, 49, a government communications officer, and Leo O'Connor, 42, a former parliamentary researcher, face charges under the Official Secrets Act. They were indicted last November.
Mr. Keogh is accused on two counts. One is that he passed a memo to Mr. O'Connor between April 16 and May 29, 2004. The second, made public on Tuesday, is that he, "without lawful authority, made a damaging disclosure of a document dated April 16, 2004, which had been in his possession by virtue of his position as a crown servant."
Mr. O'Connor has indicated that he plans to plead not guilty. Mr. Keogh did not say how he would plead in the trial, scheduled for Jan. 24.
The document was described last fall by The Daily Mirror as a transcript of a conversation in the White House on April 16, 2004, in which Mr. Blair dissuaded President Bush from bombing Al Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar, in the Persian Gulf.

That's from Alan Cowell's "Al Jazeera: From Network, to a Bush Target, to Courts" in this morning's New York Times and, as Pru and others note, that's about all the news you can use from Cowell this morning. To get to that point, you have to wade through Cowell's frantic attempts to try to convince you he hasn't been sleeping on the job. (He has been.)

Why Tuesday, in the Guardian of London, General Sir Michael Rose said Tony Blair should be impeached! It was shocking to Cowell because he'd been sleeping on the job. We noted Rose's impeachment call on Sunday via Kyle's highlight. B-b-but, The Guardian of London just printed their story . . .

Let's note Kyle's highlight again, "Blair Should Be Impeached Over Iraq War: UK General" (

British Prime Minister Tony Blair should be impeached for his role in the Iraq war, a leading British Army officer was quoted as saying by Britain's the Mail on Sunday.
"I think the politicians should be held to account ... my view is that Blair should be impeached," General Sir Michael Rose, a former UN commander in Bosnia, said in a television documentary to be aired on Channel Four television on Friday, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
"That would prevent the politicians treating quite so carelessly the subject of taking a country into war."
US President George Bush and his war alley Blair invaded Iraq in March 2003 without a mandate from the UN Security Council on claims of possessing weapons of mass destruction, none of them had ever been found.
"I would not have gone to war on such flimsy grounds," Rose said.
Clare Short, a former minister who quit Blair's government over the Iraq invasion, has said the government never held an honest debate concerning Iraq's WMDs and most ministers saw little intelligence and knew only what they read in the press.
In 2004, an official inquiry blasted the British pre-war intelligence as unreliable and seriously flawed.

Cowell feels that Rose's remarks on impeaching Blair, published Tuesday in The Guardian, were "unusually blunt." He seems unaware that the remarks were "new" on Tuesday only to him.

Yesterday, we noted this from Danny Schechter's News Dissector (

Mark Crispin Miller say NPR stations are not having him on to discuss his new book on election fraud:
"As Philadelphia goes, so goes NPR from coast to coast. Although I've been on many NPR shows several times over the years, none of them will have me on to talk about this book. For instance, 'The Connection,' a national show broadcast from Boston, had had me on two or three times before this book came out. This time, the show's producer just refused outright to have me come back on-- even after the show's host, Jack Beatty, tried to get her to relent. (Jack is an old friend of mine.)
"So let's be clear what this is all about. It's not because the book's 'not new' (it came out just two months ago), or because I didn't do a good job as a guest on 'The Connection' (after all, they'd asked me back), that I can't get on NPR to talk about this book. (I can't get on any PBS shows, either.) It's because the subjects of election fraud and the dire need for electoral reform are now officially verboten on what we still call 'public radio.'"

Click here to read it. (The link yesterday took you to CODEPINK. Brian caught that.)

When the Times is of so little use and it is (Alito pledged an "open mind" on abortion, the Times tells you repeatedly, proving that Cowell wasn't the only one sleeping on the job), you move away from the rancid smell quickly. So we'll note Zach's highlight, Robert Parry's "Death of an American Hero" (Consortium News):

"Hero" is one of the most abused words in the English language, often applied to people who simply face some danger or who do well in sports or business. But the word really should be reserved for someone who -- in the face of danger -- does the right thing.
Hugh Thompson, who died on Jan. 6 at the age of 62 from cancer, was such a hero. In one of the darkest moments of modern American history -- on March 16, 1968, in the Vietnamese village of My Lai -- Thompson landed his helicopter between rampaging U.S. soldiers and a group of terrified Vietnamese villagers to save their lives.
Circling over the village, Thompson was at first uncertain what he was witnessing. A bloodied unit of the Americal Division, furious over its own casualties, had stormed into a hamlet known as My Lai 4.
Revenge-seeking American soldiers rousted Vietnamese civilians – mostly old men, women and children -- from their thatched huts and herded them into the village's irrigation ditches.
As the round-up continued, some Americans raped the girls. Then, under orders from junior officers on the ground, soldiers began emptying their M-16s into the terrified peasants. Some parents used their bodies futilely to shield their children from the bullets. Soldiers stepped among the corpses to finish off the wounded.
American Heroes
But there also were American heroes that day in My Lai, including helicopter pilot Hugh Clowers Thompson Jr. from Stone Mountain, Georgia. After concluding that he was witnessing a massacre, he landed his helicopter between one group of fleeing civilians and American soldiers in pursuit.
Thompson ordered his helicopter door gunner, Lawrence Colburn, to shoot the Americans if they tried to harm the Vietnamese. After a tense confrontation, the soldiers backed off.
Later, two of Thompson’s men climbed into one ditch filled with corpses and pulled out a three-year-old boy who was still alive. Thompson, then a warrant officer, called in other U.S. helicopters to assist the Vietnamese. All told, they airlifted at least nine Vietnamese civilians to safety.

Rod passes on one of the scheduled topics for today's Democracy Now!:

Day Two of the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

Remember as well that Pacifica continues broadcasting the Alito hearings today, live coverage.

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