- Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator
George Piro pretty fascinating.
The media begins to awaken.
Recently, Tom Curley, the President and CEO of Associated Press lashed out at the absurd conditions surrounding the detention of Bilal Hussein
. After being detained for over 18 months
, the US Military has finally decided to charge him, but nobody can say for what, or when, or why, or what evidence might be brought forth. Strangely, Mr. Curley writes this without a hint of the irony present in being caught in the net of lies, deception and constructed memory hole that the media has participated in the creation of. Playing patsy comes back to bite. AP hosts a timeline of articles
Prisoners of their Bureaus--the Besieged Press of Baghdad
What it's like to be a journalist in Iraq now--and especially relevant given the current attacks on the media
for not reporting all the good that's happening in Iraq-- ...
an ever-widening gulf between official language and the reality of the actual situation in Baghdad. While official language is relentlessly upbeat, the already nightmarish reality has been getting worse with each passing day. ... the insurgent attacks on the US forces and Iraqi government and the sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shiites have become destructive beyond what most journalists have been able to convey ...
(NY Review of Books)
The big payback in Iraq.
Last night on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, ROBERT LICHTER, President, Center for Media and Public Affairs put forth the following: You know, Charlie Peter, a great Washington journalist, once said, "The message of Watergate was dig, dig, dig, but journalists thought the message was act tough." And so I think you're getting negative coverage that may be kind of compensatory criticism.
Should the news focus more on the optimistic elements
or is it reflecting public opinion
. Is "compensatory criticism" justified for what it might wrongly perceive as possible White House manipulation during the run up to the war?
Don't Bomb Us.
In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar
on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues
, firsthand accounts of US attacks
on their offices, links to relevant reports
on the controversy
, Flickr photosets
of protests calling for an official investigation
, and al Jazeera's code of ethics
. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!
" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
News Filter: Senate in closed session.
Looks like Senate is now in close session, after Harry Reid invoked Rule 21
and asked for an investigation into the lead-up to the war
. Does it sound like a major deal or is it political maneuvering?
On Monday, US Civil Administrator Paul Bremer handed over "sovereignty" to the Interim Government of Iraq in a furtive ceremony, two days ahead of schedule. Not the stuff that independence days are made of. How sovereign is Iraq; what kind of future does the ongoing process offer for that shattered nation; and most significantly, how can a genuinely free, democratic and prosperous Iraq be created? Al-Ahram Weekly, in these special pages, invited Iraqi journalists and intellectuals to provide some answers. via Informed Comment
Joe Previtera, a 21 year old student at Boston College, was arrested Wednesday and charged with felonies after dressing as a hooded Iraqi prisoner in front of a military recruitment center in downtown Boston
. Previtera faces misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and felony charges of making a false bomb threat and using a hoax device. The charges apparently reflect the District Attorney's concern that Mr Previtera might have been mistaken for a terrorist
You'd think the return of the Japanese hostages from Iraq would be cause for celebration. Nope. "You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody.
Nightline: Baghdad blogger, Salam Pax,
gives Ted Koeppel an interview and a tour of Baghdad.
Claim: U.S. Government Spurned Peace Talks Before the War With Iraq
- A possible negotiated peace deal was laid out in a heavily guarded compound in Baghdad in the days before the war, ABCNews has been told, but a top former Pentagon adviser says he was ordered not to pursue the deal, ABCNews has learned.
Baghdad Scrambled to Offer Deal to U.S. as War Loomed
- As American soldiers massed on the Iraqi border in March and diplomats argued about war, an influential adviser to the Pentagon received a secret message from a Lebanese-American businessman: Saddam Hussein wanted to make a deal. Iraqi officials, including the chief of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, had told the businessman that they wanted Washington to know that Iraq no longer had weapons of mass destruction, and they offered to allow American troops and experts to conduct an independent search. The businessman said in an interview that the Iraqis also offered to hand over a man accused of being involved in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 who was being held in Baghdad. At one point, he said, the Iraqis pledged to hold elections.
Krugman on Iraq
"The direct military cost of the occupation is $4 billion a month, and there's no end in sight. But that's only part of the bill.
This week Paul Bremer suddenly admitted that Iraq would need "several tens of billions" in aid next year. That remark was probably aimed not at the public but at his masters in Washington; he apparently needed to get their attention."
"hey mom and dad"
a word from the front - i feel horrible for this guy and his family. why isn't he getting food, water and being rotated? where are all our taxpayer dollars going anyway
"It's simple. They want water. I have it, as long as they agree to get baptized
," he said. [via anil]
Policeman to the World? Andrew Buncombe
in Nasiriyah reports on this "liberated" city "where looters run wild and death stalks the streets."
"While much of the Iraqi army and Fedayeen militia may have been destroyed or forced underground, the city has been given over to lawlessness and looting. Yesterday, the Saddam Hospital itself was pillaged by a gang of 20 armed looters, who made off with a haul of drugs. They even looted several of the hospital's ambulances.
What is clear is that Nasiriyah is neither safe nor secure. If this is an example of how the war will unfold in other cities throughout Iraq, it does not bode well.
Superseding the mainstream media, or "quirky parasites"?
Less of interest here than the IraqFilter context itself - which amounts to the question "Is blogging to Gulf II what TV was to Vietnam and cable was to Gulf I?" - is an established medium caught in the act of visibly sizing up this comer, this new kid on the block, this parvenu we know as "blogging."
Is it a valid new medium of reportage, fit to take its place alongside print and broadcast? Or is it merely parasitic, interstitial, even marginal? Inquiring minds want to know. (Note O'Donnell's hedges and his final & bizarrely misplaced condescension: "Maybe Allbritton will start a trend - bloggers no longer dependent on the mainstream for their material." WTF?)
Robert Fisk in the Independent
Today's front page of the UK broadsheet comprises solely of a text-only report of yesterday's bombing of a Baghdad marketplace, beginning: "It was an outrage, an obscenity. The severed hand on the metal door, the swamp of blood and mud across the road, the human brains inside a garage, the incinerated, skeletal remains of an Iraqi mother and her three small children in their still-smouldering car..."
This is how war reporting should be.
Not All Iraqis Dancing in the Streets.
To watch the
embedded reporters, you would think that every Iraqi is overjoyed to see America in his or her country. But the reality seems to be quite different: "Why are you here in this country? Are you trying to take over? Are you going to take our country forever? Are the Israelis coming next? Are you here to steal our oil? When are you going to get out?"
When Flash meets news cheese.
The drums come in like Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks." The cop show synth-strings are ratcheted up to the most intense possible level. It's CNN having a war orgasm, in this ad for the Iraq Tracker
, which apparently sits on your desktop and provides news as exciting as a coke overdose.
saddam makes it tough for reporters to work
, but this two-person US team
gets uncut news out of iraq daily in audio, video, and print.
And so it is.
At approximately 1:20 a.m., the Senate passed S.J. Res 45, a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Iraq. The vote: 77 yea, 23 nay. Some surprising yeas, including Clinton and Daschle. What happens next?