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Joining my cousins for a bath
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Occasional comments on politics also see: for occasional comments on all the arts, especially in Seattle; and and and and ten sub sites if you want to be excessively well informed about the Austrian author Peter Handke

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Posting # 11 Tuesday, March 21


jack shafer vrs. judith miller et al

Judith Miller's New Excuse
The former Times reporter tells Vanity Fair the "slanderous" bloggers destroyed her.
By Jack Shafer
Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006, at 8:11 PM ET ....

In December 2002, Jack Shafer penned the first of his 20 columns about "Miss Run Amok." In April 2003, he twice chided Miller for her "rococo—and somewhat creepy—sourcing" in her front-page scoop on an Iraqi chemical-weapons scientist. In May 2003, he tracked the evolution of Miller's WMD coverage: "By May 7 she was writing about MET Alpha's search not for WMD but for an ancient copy of the Talmud!" he wrote. By the end of May, with WMDs still failing to materialize, he called for a re-examination of Miller's reportage on the topic. In June, he defended Miller's brass-knuckled reporting tactics while remaining unimpressed with the quality of her journalism: "[I]f she caused soldiers to cave out of fear, she did us all a great service by exposing their weakness. When the greatest army in the history of the world can't stand up to one belligerent harpy of a reporter, freedom is in trouble." In July, he catalogued Judy's "melted" Times scoops, and in August he wondered if Saddam himself was the source feeding disinformation to an eager Judith Miller. In September came his whacking of Miller's uncritical reporting on then Undersecretary of State John Bolton's congressional testimony. In a February 2004 article pegged to Michael Massing's essay in the New York Review of Books, he asked that Miller's work be re-examined: "If a messenger persists in delivering inflated and deceptive information—information that benefits her government sources—doesn't she deserve a good public flogging?" In April, he defended a reporter's right to get the story wrong, occasionally, before launching into a discussion of the "elephant in the New York Times newsroom"—Judith Miller's WMD reporting, as it were. On May 17, 2004, after then Secretary of State Powell confessed that he and the CIA had been duped by faulty weapons intelligence, he marveled that, until Miller is brought to account, "we'll be occupying a bizarro world in which the secretary of state is more accountable than the New York Times." The next day, he demanded the surrender of Judy after Knight Ridder reporter Jonathan S. Landay discredited one of her main WMD sources. On May 25, 2004, as whispers confirmed that the Times was finally preparing an editor's note on the newspaper's WMD coverage, he found balm in the thought that the public would soon have closure in the Miller scandal. When the note appeared in the Times the next day, he dubbed it "more 'mini culpa' than mea culpa" before hoping that the newspaper's journalism would be more rigorous in the future. In October, he wrote that Miller, subpoenaed by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald in the Plame investigation, should thank him "for her instant make-over from journalistic pariah to First Amendment martyr." In September 2005, upon Miller's capitulation to Fitzgerald's demands, he chastised the Times' editorial page for its fixation on Miller's "plight." In October, Shafer again called on the Times to fully explain the Miller imbroglio. In December, he criticized the unorthodox reporting methods she used in one of her books where she covers Israeli authorities' interrogation of a suspect

michaelroloff - 2:06 PM ET March 18, 2006 (#2971 of 2983)

intelligence and surveillance matters
"This file contains document relevant to the Mukhabarat or Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), it explains the structure of the IIS," according to the DNI synopsis of the document (record number CMPC-2003-006430). In fact, the document was written in 1997 by John Pike (then at FAS, now at, except for an added cover page which is handwritten in Arabic. The newly released documents may be found here: [...]

See also "U.S. Reveals Once-Secret Files From Hussein Regime" by Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times, March 17:

The interesting possibility that raw intelligence materials like these could be productively assessed by members of the public working together online was optimistically considered by former intelligence officer Michael Tanji. "A successful collaborative analysis of Iraqi documents has implications that go beyond just this problem set. Such an endeavor will not go unnoticed by the reform-minded in the intelligence community," he wrote. See "An Army of Analysts," by Michael Tanji, The Weekly Standard, March 14:
Writing in the blog GroupIntel, Mr. Tanji also had a provocative response to the March 13 Secrecy News story on the new intelligence community document marking "RELIDO." See his "RELIDO: Why Bother?":
BILL TO AUTHORIZE WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE INTRODUCED Senate Republicans led by Sen. Mike DeWine yesterday introduced a bill that would authorize warrantless intelligence surveillance for up to 45 days, after which it could be renewed upon review by the Attorney General. The bill would require notification to Congress of various aspects of the program. But significantly, it would impose no external constraints on domestic surveillance by the executive branch. The bill would also impose penalties of up to $1 million and/or 15 years in prison for unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to such surveillance activity. Stung by criticism that this approach could be used to punish reporters who write about illegal government surveillance, the Senators declared that the proposed penalty, in an amendment to 18 U.S.C. 798, "does not apply to journalists." Thus, while the current 18 U.S.C. 798(a) apparently prohibits unauthorized disclosures of certain specific types of classified information by "any person", the new proposed section 798(b) would only apply to "any covered person," which means someone who has authorized possession of the classified information, but not a reporter or other recipient of the information. See "DeWine, Graham, Hagel and Snowe Introduce the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006," news release, March 16: On March 13 Sen. Russ Feingold introduced a resolution to censure President Bush for what he described as a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. See:

michaelroloff - 2:22 PM ET March 18, 2006 (#2972 of 2983)

saturday supplements

The Real Daily Horror Story in Iraq That Bush Wants to Cover Up with PR Diversions that the Mainstream Press Swallows Like Caviar: The Muslim pilgrims' road to the holy city of Karbala was a highway of bullets and bombs for Shiites on Friday. Drive-by shootings and roadside and bus bombs killed or wounded 19 people, ratcheting up the sectarian tensions gripping Iraq. [...]--

News & Analysis ----------------------------------------- France: Political issues in the fight against the government's "First Job Contract" France: Hundreds of youth arrested following anti-government protests

U.S. War Spending to Rise 44% to $9.8 Billion a Month, Report Says


Amid mounting sectarian violence, political stalemate continues in Iraq


Zaki Chehab | They Ask, We Ask: Was it Worse Under Saddam?


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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website