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February 08, 2008

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kim

Like Penny's ex, can't tell if he's stupid or just a liar.
===============================

MayBee

Politico has the email exchange before Shuster apologized. He is a hack, but I can't say he's wrong on this point:
It is a fact that chelsea has made calls to superdelegates, as your campaign colleagues have acknowledged. It is also a fact that the campaign has reacted quite harshly to any media who have sought to interview chelsea. That was the point. By slamming any reporter who seeks to chat with chelsea while simultaneously having chelsea do campaign tasks such as trying to convince super delegates to support her mom, that's the reference.

Still, saying she's being "pimped out" is always going to be unacceptable on a news channel.

Diane Lander-Simon

David Shuster is such a weany. It's about time he got a smack down. I hope they never bring him back. He's not bright, he's ot insightful. He's like the snotty kid on the playground who pushes kids down the slide. His tenure at Fox on the Whitewater non-story has tainted him forevermore. He should get out of broadcast and go teach journalism - as in Learn From My Mistakes!

PaulL

Is Shuster suspended with pay?

We wouldn't want him so short of funds to make his mortgage that he has to pimp out his daughter.

BarbaraS

You people are overlooking the point that Chelsea is sacred not to be tampered with. All during Bill's presidency talking about her was a no-no. Other president's children (mainly republican) could be trashed at will but not Chelsea. She is above all that. You don't hear about her dring beer while underage but in college. You certainly never heard of her shacking up with her boy friend. Mark my words, this girl is being groomed for a xsecond or third term of the presidency. The idea she can be prominent in Hillary;s campaign but out of limits to the press shows how arrogant the Clintons are.

Jane

I have two thoughts on the matter, no three. 1. Shuster is an ass, but it doesn't sound all that different about how all of MSNBC talks about the right on a daily basis. Clearly the Clinton's are looking for press. 2. Chelsea is perhaps overstepping her bounds - except that is not possible for a Clinton. 3. We are headed for the Fairness Doctrine which scares me more than the first 2.

On that note, WAKE UP! It's not-so superduper Saturday. What will happen. Will the Huckster gain ground? Will the messiah have a second coming? Does anyone know if the RW cried yesterday? Let the games begin.

steveaz

Shuster is the victim of racism.

Here's why. If he had used a classic Anglo vernacular, like, "tarted," he'd still have a job.

But, no. He used a hip-hop vernacular, "pimped-out." And it cost him his job. Just like Imus' ghetto-mouth cost him.

CRAZY. In the 90's, Oakland tried to make Ebonics an official teachable language in its public schools. And in 2008, journalists are getting fired for speaking it!

Soylent Red

Jane:

I think you are correct. This incident is driven more by the untouchable-ness of Chelsea, and by the Clintonian tactic of shrieking victimhood at every setback, than by any actual concern for Chelsea, propriety, etc.

Steveaz nails the reason why. "Pimp", "pimping" and so forth has become common vernacular for people of Chelsea's age group. The are shows on TV titled "Pimp my (ride) (house), etc"

If I were Shuster I would immediately claim I was just trying to "keep it real" for the twenty-somethings and connect with the age group who uses such terms, and who Chelsea ostensibly represents.

I would then tell the editor "Damn dawg! Why you got to be hating? Das straight whizzack!" and go back to work.

Sue

I agree with the remarks about Shuster and the Clintons, but dang, I just can't get all worked up about him getting his hand slapped.

Syl

Scarborough, and even Mika, have been slapping him around pretty good lately on Morning Joe.

Obviously the problem with Shuster is excess partisanship (he hangs out with the netroots who are his fans) which colors all his political 'reporting'.

But I do, in fairness, have to say that when the issue is straight reporting of live situations where politics/spinning is not a factor, at least in the early going, he can be quite good.

When the attempted car bombings happened in London and Glasgow, I channel-hopped to catch all the reports coming in. Shuster did the best job of anyone on any network, collating the information and separating what was confirmed from rumors. I imagine work like that is what got him where he's at--before his mind got polluted by politics and he lost his objectivity.

Syl

BTW, I caught Huck's speech at CPAC on MSNBC. Alex said that even if you didn't agree with his politics, his speech was impressive.

And it was. Huck talks about families and small businesses and the working guy and everyone these days calls it populism. But when Reagan talked about the same things he was admired for it. Go figure.

Alex had McCain's campaign mgr on after to discuss Huck's speech (forgot his name) and he brought up an interesting point that I haven't heard anyone mention...

He said that Huckabee had said earlier that staying in the race and continuing with the primaries, even though McCain is the presumptive nominee, will keep the Republicans in the news cycles instead of ceding all that territory to the Democrats.

And he (and McCain) are just fine with that.

Sounds good to me. (someone should mention this to Krauthammer.)

centralcal

At MSNBC they are just "performance artists." Question is who is writing the script? The script writers who bash Bush, the right, etc. all seem to be on the same bias page. Unfortunately, the lefty script writers seem to be torn. So we have drooling apologies from Matthews, from Schuster, et al.

How long before Olbermann gets a turn at drooling before the cameras?

GE must be so proud of their investment!

MayBee

Yes, I do think Shuster has a point with his own defense, but he is a hack in general. The problem after seeing his reports on the Plame case is that, like Olbermann, I just never know when their reports are accurate anymore.

Again, though, the point he was making about Clinton was actually being discussed on The View (I saw a clip while I was working out) before he made his gaffe. Each of the hosts of the show got a call from Chelsea and they were discussing the calls on the show. Apparently, many people including Arianna Huffington got all bent out of shape because when they spoke what Chelsea had said, they used this tiny soft voice. "Disrespectful!" The critics said. "You are mocking The Chelsea!"
It is odd how protected she is supposed to be, given that she is an adult that has chosen to be active in their campaign.

kim

Let's bring back a fine old underused word: tout.
==============================

anduril

OT OT OT OT

Belmont has an excellent, understated response to Rowan Williams' suggestion that Sharia law should be accommodated in England. Williams is a man who claims to be a socially conscious Christian, but seems to have no regard for the "little ones," the "wretched of the earth":

Probably the single most devastating critique of Rowan William's advocacy of Sharia law in Britain comes from a Muslim woman writing in the Independent.
Look around the Islamic world where sharia rules and, in every single country, these ordinances reduce our human value to less than half that is accorded a male; homosexuals are imprisoned or killed, children have no free voice or autonomy, authoritarianism rules and infantilises populations.

What's more, different Muslim nations claim to have their own allegedly god-given sharia. ... There is no agreed body of sharia, it is all drafted by males and the most cruel is now claiming absolute authority. In Pakistan, on the statutes are strictures on adultery introduced by the military dictator Zia ul-Haq. Women activists in that country have given their lives protesting against the injustice of those laws where women suspected of adultery, or rape victims, are punished in hideous ways and the man goes free. The Iranian theocracy changes its regulations from year to year, capriciously playing with the lives of females. ..

Two Iranian friends chose to die rather than live under the demeaning religious orders. Go to Afghanistan if you fancy a 12-year-old bride – a practice approved by the mullahs. That's sharia for you. Many women, gay men and dissidents came to Britain to escape Islamic tyrants and their laws. Dr Williams supports those laws and, by default, makes the refugees victims again.

Four years ago, a Saudi woman in her fifties came to my home. She was divorced from a Saudi prince who had sent her away and kept her children. What she said about sharia cannot be repeated. She had money, this princess, but no parental rights and she howled like a child in excruciating pain in my living room.

Yet, family disputes, says Dr Williams, would be easier, within sharia. For whom exactly? The polygamous men who live in this country, yes, certainly. Not for their wives who will be told that God intends them to lower their eyes and accept unjust verdicts.

It goes on and on. But what's clear from the public reaction and the commentary by many British Muslims themselves is that Rowan Williams had no idea what he was talking about and is in shock over the reaction his remarks have received. But I think it is nearer the truth to say Rowan Williams did have an idea of sharia -- except that that it was of the hand-clapping, colorfully costumed, group-smiling sort that bore as much relationship to the real thing as a Disney cartoon tiger does to a man-eater in the Terai. One commenter at a British blog said that Rowan Williams reminded him of one of those well-meaning "mad souls who frighten children" and are best sent to run along with a pound coin for a cup of tea.

The really scary thing about Rowan Williams is not that he is deviant but actually representative of a certain type of soft-left individual who believes in Global Warming, organic food, and the "inevitability" of certain kinds of social engineering. How much better informed are the supporters of certain US Presidential candidates than Rowan Williams, for example? And its better than even odds that despite the intellectual bankruptcy of Williams ideas that these will presently become the conventional wisdom.

Ignorance is a form of entropy. And the West is running out of energy. Rowan Williams may have run out of energy sooner than the rest. He sees the future and it is now.

kim

I like 'flog'.
======

kim

Just as feminists tossed women over the gunnels about Clinton, so has the left tossed them about Sharia.

The dissonance is enough to drive one to BDS. The only cure is Obamism, God help us all.
=================

capitano

What a guy indeed! I knew of Fawcett from George Crile's book -- Charlie Wilson's War -- but not his full bio. Wow! Hedy Lamar's lover? (Not Hedley.)

As for Schuster's comment, don't hate the messenger. It was in keeping with the times, as Patterico pointed out a few days ago with this link.

MayBee

How about "Hawking", Kim? No Hawking, Chelsea.

Porchlight

Shuster is an ass, but he's right about Chelsea. Bill got put back in the prop room after SC, and Off Limits Chelsea is now being trotted out, partly to remind Hillary's older female base of why they think Hillary stuck with Bill all these years. (Thoughts they might not have while seeing the transgressor himself out on the stump.)

centralcal, I believe GE has wanted to dump NBC for years. The problem is finding a buyer.

clarice

Hedy Lamar was something herself. Did you know she was quite a mathematician and invented a code breaker which she patented and was used in WWII.

capitano

Clarice - yes, but only because my wife is a film history buff. And you left out the most important part -- she was a knockout.

Jane

Glenn linked to Extreme Mortiman's post regarding Shuster, which talks about Olberman using "pimp" but talking about Petraeus so it was okay. More interesting to me was reliapundit's comment following the post, because he nails the democrats perfectly.

(link under my name)

Marty Davis

Twelve years ago two upstart cable TV networks manifested in the cosmic etherland. Fox News and MSNBC joining "serious news" CNN. What has happened since is nothing short of a journalistic breakdown.

The decline and fall of American television news standards was chronicled by Paddy Chayefsky in his prescient script for the 1976 movie "Network" directed by Sidney Lumet. The greedy, corrupt, amoral TV network sacrificed news anchor Howard "I'm Mad As Hell" Beale to the Gods Of Ratings by letting the "Mad Prophet Of The Airwaves" say and do anything on the air.

It took two years for the new cable TV networks to start slip slidin' away. The seminal (no pun intended) event was the 1998 Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal. The wall-to-wall news coverage of the 1994 O.J. Simpson slow speed freeway police pursuit and the subsequent murder trial provided a glimmer of what was to come.

With the suspension of MSNBC's David Shuster for his on-air Chelsea Clinton comments, it behooves the TV news industry to conduct an inventory of standards and practices.

To invoke a Clintonesque phrase: It's time to end "the politics of personal destruction." Journalism has been jettisoned in pursuit of ratings.

It is time to reign in the likes of Fox News Bill O'Reilly, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews and rewrite the attendant philosphy, practices, and standards banning no-holds-barred slander.

It is time to call a truce between warring cable TV networks, and show hosts. New ground rules must be enacted to set clear boundaries governing appropriate and inappropriate on-air behavior, opinion and analysis.

The David Shuster incident is opening the door for network news management to collectively agree that enough is enough and declare a truce to restore television news to the level of credibility the networks - and viewers - deserve. To invoke a diplomatic term: peaceful coexistence.

Let us embrace the "civil" in civilization.

clarice

All you have to do is change channels, Marty. I agree much of the coverage is uncivil..MSNBC is however the worst by a long shot. OTOH, spare us the govt mandated fairness pablum.

Hannity & COlmes warring talking points shows may make your teeth itch but no one makes you watch it, and it's less coarse than public executions.

Rick Ballard

It's time to destroy the MSM - starting with the NYT, which still has the Pulitzer earned by the "lies in defense of a greater truth" told by Walter Duranty hanging on the wall.

Let us embrace their destruction in order to restore the "civil" in civilization because none have done more to destroy it and make slaves of us all.

I have absolutely no desire to return to those halcyon days when "civil discourse" was actively promoting the enslavement of the entire human race nor do I believe for a milisecond that your suggestion is driven by any more than a desire to crush dissent.

Sorry, you're knocking on the wrong door.

Sue

New ground rules must be enacted to set clear boundaries governing appropriate and inappropriate on-air behavior, opinion and analysis.

You mean like enacting our own HRC like Canada and Europe? Who would you like to see in charge of the thought police?

hit and run

Syl:
Scarborough, and even Mika, have been slapping him around pretty good lately on Morning Joe.

Really? I mean, Joe "You think she [Jeri Thompson] works the pole?" Scarborough is slapping Schuster for using "pimpedout"?

centralcal

Jane: I agree, reliapundit has them nailed!

Clarice: your comments to Marty are right on too. Change the channel Marty, or don't watch any of them. Express your personal choices with your clicker, but not with government or institutional mandates on "fairness."

Free markets will decide. One has only to look at the decline in media circulation and viewers to see that. Either they self correct or they self destruct.

Other Tom

Well, if fate decrees that someone must be treated unfairly, by all means let it be David Shuster.

As the priceless Ann might say, if I expend any sympathey for Shuster I won't have enough left for my puppy. (I hope that, over time, readers will forget that Ann came up with that one, so I can gradually begin to claim it as my own.)

Other Tom

sympathy...

hit and run

I thoroughly enjoyed Jonah Goldberg’s article yesterday, comparing the Republican and Democratic campaigns.

I agree with everything in his article, except, I do have one small quibble. The article ended:

On the Democratic side, if you strip away the crass appeals to identity politics, the emotional pandering and the helium-infused rhetoric, you’re pretty much left with a campaign about nothing.

I think "campaign about nothing" misses the mark.

I say the campaign breaks down into:

The Naked Pursuit of Power by Any Means Necessary

--VS--

The Emperor-Has-No-Clothes Pursuit of Transformative Change for the Sake of Changing the Transformational Pursuit by Means of Pursuing the Change That Transforms Us

Therefore, to paraphrase Jonah's last sentence, I would conclude:

"On the Democratic side, if you strip away [everything else], you're pretty much left with a campaign about…" nudity.

Syl

Hit

Scarborough is turning into a first class a**hole though he belives himself to be ironic, sarcastic, and clever. blech

I was pointing out, though, that both Joe and Mika have been in the habit of shutting Shuster up lately. There is no love lost between Joe and David and it shows. Mika just wants everyone to be nice. Sigh.

clarice

It'll take a great deal more pilates classes before I'm about to hop aboard a campaign based on nudity,Hit. You'll have to ride out on that float alone. (Well. maybe Jane will join you, bit I won't.)

clarice

**bUt I won't***

Jane

Not a bloody chance. Mud-wrestling is as far as I go.

hit and run

And you think the mud wrestling is with clothes on?

How quaint.

anduril

Gabe Schoenfeld plugs his latest article (linked in the blog), asking (in re Risen, James) whether there is A CIA Cover Up?

I can't quite put the title of the blog together with its content--maybe the article explains.

MayBee

I'm just waiting for Elizabeth Edwards to do as she did with Lynn Cheney, and say that Hillary is upset because she obviously doesn't love her daughter for who she is.

Cecil Turner

To invoke a Clintonesque phrase: It's time to end "the politics of personal destruction." Journalism has been jettisoned in pursuit of ratings.

Fine, why not have the Clintons start? We can have Bill apologize to everyone he's ever harassed (okay, narrow it down to the sexual ones . . . we don't have all day here), and Hillary can stop pretending she was too busy digging through political opponents' FBI background checks to notice her husband's philandering . . . and apologize to those she slandered for pointing out the emperor's scanty wardrobe. Okay, that thought experiment didn't take very long. The idea that the Clintons were ever mistreated by the media is so much risible nonsense. And the fact that the MSM continues to fawn over them (and their perceived slights) is a better indicator of the decline of journalism than anything nasty one might say about them (most of which usually turns out to be true, anyway).

Speaking of which, it's way funny to watch Shuster get away with months of pernicious lies . . . and then get tripped up by telling the truth about Hillary!™ using her daughter to wheedle superdelegates. And I suppose the nutroot response will be an attempt to rein-in right wing media (maybe because their hate created the atmosphere that made it possible for Chelsea to be savaged by her mother's putative media allies, or some such). Whatever. Pass the popcorn.

clarice

The article in the Weekly Standard indicates he thinks Risen printed state secrets--particularly codebreaking and communications secrets and imperiled national security--not that this is revenge by the CIA because he embarrassed the agency.
http://weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=14714&R=13951143E3>Risen

Topsecretk9

Gabe Schoenfeld plugs his latest article (linked in the blog), asking (in re Risen, James) whether there is A CIA Cover Up?

the chapter in question is about Operation Merlin:

PLAME: Our mission was to make sure that the bad guys, basically, did not get nuclear weapons.

COURIC: When senior administration officials leaked her name to reporters, they may have exposed other spies and damaged operations targeting Iran. CBS News has learned that she was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin, and it was first revealed in a book by investigative reporter James Risen.

COURIC: Are you familiar with that?

PLAME: I don’t think I can tell you.

COURIC: He said the idea was to give the Iranians blueprints for the bomb that were seriously flawed to set them back. Does that sound like something the counter-proliferation division would do?

PLAME: I think I can say it sounds like a good idea.

COURIC: Were you surprised to read about Operation Merlin in the press?

PLAME: Indeed.

COURIC: Is that problematic for the CIA?

PLAME: Leaks are always bad news.

COURIC: She should know, revealing for the first time that the leak of her name had serious repercussions.

PLAME: I can tell you all the intelligence services in the world were running my name through their databases to see did anyone by this name come in the country? When? Do we know anything about it? Where did she stay? Who did she see?

COURIC: And what would be the ramifications of that?

PLAME: Well, it was very serious. It puts in danger, if not shuts down, the operations that I had worked on.

Never did find out the actual source(s) Judy Miller went to jail to protect.

Jane

H&R -

Now that's just silly. Have you already started drinking?

Syl

Cecil

While I agree the media has been kind to the Clintons (and then some) over the years, in this election cycle they have switched their allegiance to Obama. I think it was Kurtz quoting some stuff that said Obama got 80% favorable coverage vs clinton's barely 50%.

hit and run

Huckabee explains his economic philosophy at CPAC:

"I didn't major in math," the former Arkansas governor told a cheering crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting. "I majored in miracles."

Oh wait. Sorry. That's his campaign strategy for staying in the race.

Cecil Turner

the chapter in question is about Operation Merlin:

Dare we hope Risen will be forced to admit Plame was one of his best sources, unravelling the VIPSter connection? I'd also note the venue is Alexandria, which suggests the government is serious.

The Justice Department openly uses the eastern district, called the rocket docket, to get an advantage. The court is viewed as deeply conservative and extremely pro-government.

hit and run

Jane:
Now that's just silly. Have you already started drinking?

Oh gosh - talk about silly. "Started"? Why in the world would you assume that I have stopped?

Cecil Turner

. . . in this election cycle they have switched their allegiance to Obama.

Shuster's firing over this nonsense suggests the Clintons retain substantial clout in the media biz. (Though I'll accept your point about Obama-fandom as well.)

hit and run

Syl:
in this election cycle they have switched their allegiance to Obama

Six threads ago Tom made a predicted an Obama backlash.

Though without the requisite 70% probability to make it a true Bold Prediction™.

hit and run

Tom made a predicted an Obama backlash

yikes.

**Tom predictionated** of course

JJ

"His story telling will not be missed."

That's right.

Tangling news in innuendo was a Shuster talent. Olby, his twin, tap dances on that line too and one day is going to fall over it as well. Although so far, his "analysis", which MSNBC passes off as "news" most of the time, cover his sneers.

Whether the Clintons hooked NBC because they can is not the point, I think.

sbw

Anduril: Ignorance is a form of entropy.

Worth repeating. But entropy is a technical word little understood by those engulfed in the fog. People cannot fear what they do not understand.

Ignorance is fog that puts you to sleep unnoticed. As a parallel: nobody notices the edge of one's vision where it disappears. But it does.

Topsecretk9
Risen writes in State of War that, "Several of the Iranian [CIA] agents were arrested and jailed, while the fate of some of the others is still unknown", after a CIA official in 2004 sent an Iranian agent an encrypted electronic message, mistakenly including data that could potentially identify "virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran". The Iranian was a double agent and handed over the information to Iranian intelligence.

----

She had probably done this a dozen times before. ...Modern digital technology had made clandestine communications with overseas agents seem routine. Back in the cold war, contacting a secret agent in Moscow or Beijing was a dangerous, labour-intensive process that could take days or even weeks. But by 2004, it was possible to send high-speed, encrypted messages directly and instantaneously from CIA headquarters to agents in the field who were equipped with small, covert personal communications devices. So the officer at CIA headquarters assigned to handle communications with the agency's spies in Iran probably didn't think twice when she began her latest download. With a few simple commands, she sent a secret data flow to one of the Iranian agents in the CIA's spy network. Just as she had done so many times before.

But this time, the ease and speed of the technology betrayed her. The CIA officer had made a disastrous mistake. She had sent information to one Iranian agent that exposed an entire spy network; the data could be used to identify virtually every spy the CIA had inside Iran.

Mistake piled on mistake. As the CIA later learned, the Iranian who received the download was a double agent. The agent quickly turned the data over to Iranian security officials, and it enabled them to "roll up" the CIA's network throughout Iran. CIA sources say that several of the Iranian agents were arrested and jailed, while the fates of some of the others is still unknown.

This espionage disaster, of course, was not reported.

remember someone had THE "ENFORCED" LEAVE: ...in June of 2004

IIRC the Times held the NSA story for a year which means that it was ready in the Fall of 04.

RichatUF

TSK9-

Nor did she ever say that she was involved, directly or indirectly, in Operation Merlin. It would be an interesting admission however; why would the Iraq counter-proliferation desk have within their portfolio Iranian attempts to procure components and scientists for a nuclear weapon.


from the Schoenfeld WS article-

Part of it recounts an agency foul-up in 2004 with a system that made it possible "to send high-speed, encrypted messages directly and instantaneously from CIA headquarters to agents in the field who were equipped with small, covert personal communications devices." In short order, thanks to a botched transmission, the entire roster of American spies in Iran was rolled up. The CIA, according to Risen, was left "virtually blind in Iran, unable to provide any significant intelligence on one of the most critical issues facing the United States--whether Tehran was about to go nuclear."

Throws a different light on the Chalabi accusations in 2004.

hit and run

Y'all did see this, right?

Fred endorses McCain

Cecil Turner

Whether the Clintons hooked NBC because they can is not the point, I think.

I think it's the biggest point (i.e., that the supposedly independent media is subservient to a particular subset of American politics). The fact that Shuster is a whiny little twerp that just offended his only allies is a meaningless little soap opera that's fun to watch. The rot in our Fourth Estate (exemplified by the vigor with which they crib their political stories from DNC press releases) is a real issue.

Jane

Not to mention how much press it gives the victim Hillary...

Topsecretk9

RichatUF

Very interesting. The date of that Chalabi report is June 2004...see my 02:03 PM above.

clarice

Rich, Ledeen persuasively argued at the time that that Chalabi accusation was B.S. Macranger reminds me that the Risen gj is the one that's been sitting since 2005 examining various leaks of national security matters and that it should wind up soon. Can we hope that Rockefeller and the entire NYT editorial board will be perp walked? HEH

Topsecretk9

And Rich

60 min's says they 'learned'

--CBS News has learned that she was involved in one highly classified mission to deliver fake nuclear weapons blueprints to Tehran. It was called Operation Merlin, and it was first revealed in a book by investigative reporter James Risen.--

clarice

Ledeen noted that the accusation was that using the penetrated code Chalabi warned the Iranis that the code had been broken...suggesting that those making the accusation were at least as dumb as the FBI's notably stupid CI unit.

Topsecretk9

Clarice

--Macranger reminds me that the Risen gj is the one that's been sitting since 2005 examining various leaks of national security matters and that it should wind up soon.--

Just thought I would point out that Schoenfeld does not believe this is the same grand jury FWIW.

Who knows.

clarice

Thanks, ts. One wonders when someone will provide life support to the 2005 gj..

Topsecretk9

Shadow Warriors covers the bogus Chalabi accusation and goes in detail about the idiocy of it. However, i can't remember all the detail now. I'll have to refresh my memory.

On cursory view though, sounds like the Chalabi accusation might have been a cover for the agency's own malfeasance.

clarice

CBS said "it has learned..." etc but on camera Plame never confirmed it and for all we know the VIPs with their usual facility to pawn off lies were the source of CNS' hot tip and Plame was playing along with her dance of the seven veils.

clarice

CBS said "it has learned..." etc but on camera Plame never confirmed it and for all we know the VIPs with their usual facility to pawn off lies were the source of CBS' hot tip and Plame was playing along with her dance of the seven veils.

clarice

ts--The CIA was backing a Chalabi rival who flamed out even with all their help.
Chalabi is a genius. I can not imagine him on the line to the Mullahs saying ixnay on the odecay the gencyay ashay rokenbay it.

Topsecretk9

Clarice

Beleive me, grain of salt time, but it seems interesting to me that she would dance around such a flawed operation and say:

COURIC: He said the idea was to give the Iranians blueprints for the bomb that were seriously flawed to set them back. Does that sound like something the counter-proliferation division would do?

PLAME: I think I can say it sounds like a good idea.

Why?

anduril

1. There is a third possibility that Schoenfeld doesn't explore: both possibilities may be true.

As I wrote yesterday, I just finished reading Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes," a history of the CIA. The claim to be a history of the CIA is, of course, overly ambitious, and Weiner undoubtedly writes from a left perspective (thus he at various spots contradicts himself in his assessments), but the overall picture is generally one of appalling a) incompetence and b) ignorance of the target. What the book does do is shed quite a bit of light on US foreign policy. To read this book (albeit with a grain of salt) is to comprehend some of our current problems and to understand in part how we got there.

Therefore, don't discount the possibility of incompetence and a desire to conceal that incompetence in any of this. At the same time, the CIA has had some signal successes:

2. Operation Merlin sounds like an attempt to pull off a reprise of one of our (including the CIA's) great Cold War successes, in which during the Reagan years we successfully sabotaged Russian espionage efforts by supplying flawed technology. The results apparently included, by all accounts, a Siberian pipeline explosion that may have been the largest non-nuclear explosion known to man (well, excepting some volcanic eruptions, perhaps). Revealing anything about Operation Merlin sounds utterly unconscionable.

3. Plame's possible knowledge of Operation Merlin is interesting in that it suggests a very elastic application of standard "need to know" rules--unless she was more deeply involved than anyone has hitherto suspected. If her operation was part of Operation Merlin, that definitely opens the door to the "both" theory--which is to say, that the CIA is anxious to cover up significant incompetence as well as valuable intelligence. The obvious reasoning behind this is the fact that Plame's cover was well and truly blown years before Operation Merlin got off the ground, and there were multiple ways for that information to get to the Iranians, the Turks, the Pakis or whomever. It reminds me of the passage from "Legacy of Ashes" that I quoted yesterday:

The French interior ministry ran a counterespionage operation [in the mid 1990s] that included the seduction of a CIA officer working under nonofficial cover as a businesswoman. There was pillow talk and secrets were spilled.

4. Schoenfeld is absolutely right to point out the folly of the proposed shield law to prevent journalists from being forced to reveal sources to grand juries. If he had asked me to edit his article I would have suggested that he develop some sort of contrast between the proposed shield law and the Dems willingness to offer up the telecom companies that assisted in protecting our national security to the tender mercies of the plaintiffs bar.

clarice

Dance pf the seven veils,ts. VIPS PIMP the story to Risen, Plame plays along without actuallly saying anything which (a0 makes the info seem sound(b) helps Risen and (3) makes the CIPE seem credible while (4) making her seem like a far more important player than I think she ever was.Oh, and (5) makes her "outing" seem so much more serious and relevant .

clarice

***makes the VIPs seem ****

clarice

anduril--your last suggestion is a good one--you should email it to schienfeld or blog it.

anduril

sbw: huh? :-)

I think the energy Wretchard is referring to is moral energy, which gives a certain spin to "entropy."

Elliott

Four days on from the big day of primaries and caucuses it's still too close to call.

Elliott

The story above was via Drudge. Via Hot Air, the WSJ has a delicious story about the options for the Dems with Florida and Michigan.

clarice

Heh, Elliott. I hope they use butterfly ballots in the Fla do-over.

Topsecretk9

Plame's possible knowledge of Operation Merlin is interesting in that it suggests a very elastic application of standard "need to know" rules--unless she was more deeply involved than anyone has hitherto suspected.

She was the "Iraq" specialist. She was the "iran" specialist. And she was the "Khan network" specialist. Conducting all these 1 woman super hero jobs under deep cover of Brewster Jennings for which she used to donate money to political candidates and which her husband touted her maiden name on all of his various public bios. Can you hear the Wonder Woman jingle in the background?

I've believe that Plame has relied on the CIA to prevent her from printing anything truthful about her background in order to say she was everything to the Agency and hide her known problems - she knows they aren't going to advertise her incompetence- and also lamely claim she's a victim of them.

Otherwise, she would have held out and fought them more vigorously instead of printing blank pages that play to her ability to make herself more important.

the seduction of a CIA officer working under nonofficial cover as a businesswoman. There was pillow talk and secrets were spilled.

----
anduril

I noted this from LOA too...starting HERE

Syl

Hit

Oh wait. Sorry. That's his campaign strategy for staying in the race.

Do you read what I write, or just pick out stuff to snark at? I wrote above a reason for Huck to stay in the race until McCain reaches the magic number of delegates. a reason Huck put forth himself....

Let's say Huck got out the same day Mitt did. What would all the political coverage be about today? tomorrow? tuesday?

The Democrats.

You may hate is guts, but politically Huck is on the ball.

kim

Chalabi is Master of the Bazaar and Sistani, Master of the Mosque, and they have been for quite some time. That's really about all you really need to know about Iraqi Domestic Politics. Those two insights have informed virtually everything I've said about the war for years.
========================

Syl

Hit

Sorry. I apologize. I REALLY didn't mean to get snarky.

Elliott

We can only hope, Clarice, though I doubt it will come to that. The Florida Dems have been wanting a do-over since 2000 so I think their preferred course is simply to award all their delegates to Al Gore.

Syl

Foxnews just called Kansas for Huck.

sbw

OT [sbw: huh? :-)

I think the energy Wretchard is referring to is moral energy, which gives a certain spin to "entropy."]

I'm sorry, Anduril, I was confused by the multiple indents and thought the entropy comment was yours. I had read the succeeding Belmont Club on Rowan Williams but not the previous one you referenced.

Morality is probably more fuzzy than entropy to the audience.

Your comment may have intimated something that went over my head. No matter. I just wanted to reinforce that you elevated a significant point to people's attention.

My simple mind saw Wretchard profoundly concerned that dunces pontificate while oblivious of their duncedness. I only wanted to interject that entropy would be the perfect allusion if more people grasped it. Fog, on the other hand, is everywhere. Yes. It is everywhere. /OT

sbw

OT [sbw: huh? :-)

I think the energy Wretchard is referring to is moral energy, which gives a certain spin to "entropy."]

I'm sorry, Anduril, I was confused by the multiple indents and thought the entropy comment was yours. I had read the succeeding Belmont Club on Rowan Williams but not the previous one you referenced.

Morality is probably more fuzzy than entropy to the audience.

Your comment may have intimated something that went over my head. No matter. I just wanted to reinforce that you elevated a significant point to people's attention.

My simple mind saw Wretchard profoundly concerned that dunces pontificate while oblivious of their duncedness. I only wanted to interject that entropy would be the perfect allusion if more people grasped it. Fog, on the other hand, is everywhere. Yes. It is everywhere. /OT

sbw

Sorry for the double post. Typepad hiccup.

sbw

OT On another blog, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called for new laws to protect religious sensibilities that would punish “thoughtless and cruel” styles of speaking. I commented (at 1/29/2008 8:53:26 PM) things I regularly repeat to the patient readers here:

Your assignment for tomorrow: Plan an essay explaining why the freedom to offend is a core principle of society.

Hint:
1) Start with a reflection on your own past when you thought you were correct and were mistaken.
2) Then, in humility, consider how you depend on others to help you recognize those mistakes.
3) Finally, explain how you depend on an accurate mental map of reality to plan your best future.

Deduce from this mind-experiment why it is that the freedom to offend, and to be offended is essential to an individual. Then project this insight to where groups of individuals interact. We call this society. Interesting, isn't it, that democracy codifies the humility that any one person can think of a better way to do something, and to try to convince others of it. This, my friend, is the freedom to offend -- to tell someone something they may not care to hear.

Now that you have planned the essay, instead of writing that one, write an essay on why this insight is not taught in schools.

Assignment number two is to consider why the freedom to offend does not imply the necessity to do so.

Hint: respect for others who share humility.

These two insights are the cornerstones of civilization.

/OT

clarice

It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.It's only happening to you, sbw.

clarice

Excellent idea,sbw.

Rick Ballard

"write an essay on why this insight is not taught in schools."

Worker unit SBW is hereby advised to unthink any such unthoughts immediately. Failure to do so is judged doubledoubleplusungood and will result in assignment of unperson status pending successful completion of the zero-tolerance tolerance reeducation course.

Yours in unified diversity,

WU Ballard ES* II

*ES = Equality Status

hit and run

Syl -- no need to apologize. I love you. And I hope you know I do.

I chose "strategy" deliberately. Not "rationale".

I do read what you write...AND...I do pick out stuff just to snark at.

I am going to have my cake and eat it too.

Let them me eat cake!


By the way, how are your eyes doing these days?

centralcal

Syl keeps wanting to talk about Huck and I am gonna joing her for a moment with a very serious question to the brainiacs and politically savy folks here.

This morning half awake sipping coffee I read on a blog that one scenario the Huck team is following is that as he racks up delegates (inusfficient though they may seem) he is also ensuring that should something happen to McCain to knock him out of the race, Huck would be the only beneficiary.

So, my question is: if a candidate had a stroke, or got run over by a truck before the convention, before having a running mate - where does that leave us in our candidate selection? Do we have any mechanisms in place?

Rick Ballard

Centralcal,

The candidate is selected at the convention. I'm not sure whether the party has specific rules regarding the death of a candidate but delegates are only pledged through the first vote (to my knowledge) in any event. Please note that Romney's campaign is 'suspended'. He hasn't handed over any candidates to anyone.

It would make for an interesting situation and require more research into actual party rules than I've ever bothered with but I believe that a more likely scenario is that the Huckster is angling for the VP slot. I certainly hope that he gets everything that he deserves.

Rick Ballard

He hasn't handed over any candidates delegates to anyone.

centralcal

Thanks, Rick. With the Huck claiming miracles as one of his talents, I am a little concerned. I really, really dislike McCain and am not sure what I will do come November, but I equally do not like Huck either.

Next question: if something happens to a candidate chosen by the convention, who also has a running mate chosen by the convention, does the running mate automatically assume the Presidential candidate position? I would assume so.

anduril

I know this has been referenced previously, somewhere, but I only just now am listening to it. I'm finding it fairly convincing:

Ann Coulter Speaks At CPAC

Rick Ballard

Centralcal,

No. Nothing makes the VP candidate automatically the Presidential candidate. It goes to the electoral college for resolution.

anduril

the seduction of a CIA officer working under nonofficial cover as a businesswoman. There was pillow talk and secrets were spilled.

----
anduril

I noted this from LOA too...starting HERE

Posted by: Topsecretk9 | February 09, 2008 at 02:55 PM

Yeah, I'm not on that thread so I obviously missed it. Actually, I do know that this was discussed quite a while ago during Plamegate. Weiner references his own account of the Paris debacle, as I note, in an NYT article going back to 1996, so the story has been out there. Did you also catch that bit I quoted about Giraldi being Deputy Chief of Station in Istanbul (I assume working under some sort of official cover) while Grossman was Deputy Chief of Mission in the Embassy in Ankara? The dates are 1989 to early 1990s. He (Giraldi) may also have had some contact with Wilson around that time--as well as with Plame herself, who was in Athens at that time, a hop, skip and a jump away across the Aegean at that time. She helped coordinate a presidential visit, and I'd bet the man in Istanbul had some involvement with that. Yeah, I'd certainly bet on G. knowing Val not only by rep but also through contact. Giraldi ended up in Barcelona (according to Weiner in LOA) at the same time (and a hop, skip and a jump away, over the Pyrenees) that the NOC businesswoman was being seduced in Paris and CIA officers were being PNGed from France. I'd bet that he had pretty good knowledge about that episode. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that WMD was on his radar screen while he was in Istanbul, although that may have been a bit early--that one is hard to say.

Re Coulter, what she says on McCain's pro-life record, his overall ACU ratings, and the Court are the aspects I find convincing. Oh, and I'm listening to her on waterboarding--good sensible points. She points out that Senator McCain has been a liberal having to please conservatives in Arizona. If he becomes president he won't have to please anyone--he'll be legacy hunting.

anduril

Coulter makes an interesting argument as to why Giuliani's Supreme appointments would likely have been much more conservative than McCain's.

clarice

anduril--I seem to recall reading about that incident some time ago and a name was given for the NOC. It wasn't Plame if that's what anyone's thinking. I can't for the life of me, though, remember the name or where I read that.

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