Archive for July 13th, 2007

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Iranians Getting Squirrelly

July 13, 2007

I just had to put this on the blog: Squirrel Spy Ring? Thats Nuts!

Police in Iran are reported to have taken 14 squirrels into custody – because they are suspected of spying.

The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices.

The reports have come from the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

When asked about the confiscation of the spy squirrels, the national police chief said: “I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information.”

The IRNA said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services – but they were captured two weeks ago by police officers.

If the Brits really are using squirrels, it might mean that MI6’s prairie dog team has been compromised:

Details are sketchy.  There are reports that the British Badger Brigade is having more success in Basra, however. 

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Peggy Noonan Puts ‘BDS’ To Bed

July 13, 2007

Longtime conservative author, columnist and Fox News contributor Peggy Noonan addressed the issue of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) today in a WSJ opinion piece: American Grit —  We can’t fire the president right now, so we’re waiting it out.  — 

I’m not referring to what used to be called Bush Derangement Syndrome. That phrase suggested that to passionately dislike the president was to be somewhat unhinged. No one thinks that anymore. I received an email before the news conference from as rock-ribbed a Republican as you can find, a Georgia woman (middle-aged, entrepreneurial) who’d previously supported him. She said she’d had it. “I don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.” I was startled by her vehemence only because she is, as I said, rock-ribbed. Her email reminded me of another, one a friend received some months ago: “I took the W off my car today,” it said on the subject line. It sounded like a country western song, like a great lament.

Personally, I always chuckled when someone accuses me of ‘suffering’ from BDS.   I do find her line “No one thinks that anymore” to be pretty interesting, because as I type this, my pals at LGF are commenting on this latest post: Peace Activism Meets Al Qaeda Meets BDS

See also my other recent post: I Think We Can Put The Pejorative ‘BDS’ To Bed Now

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Is the NYT Influenced By Glenn Greenwald’s Posts?

July 13, 2007

Seriously.

Just a few days ago I noted how the NYT had owned up to their uncritical reporting of the current situation in Iraq (conflating the Iraqi insurgents with al Qaeda), and how it seemed to be an almost direct response to Greenwald’s postings on the subject.  Greenwald gave them credit for the admission, but that came as an update to another one of his posts slamming the Times’ Michael Gordon for continuing to report the news from Iraq, as he put it, “without challenge, question or dissent”. 

Well, imagine my surprise when I see this article on the NYT’s site: Bush Distorts Qaeda Links, Critics Assert

BAGHDAD, July 12 — In rebuffing calls to bring troops home from Iraq, President Bush on Thursday employed a stark and ominous defense. “The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq,” he said, “were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th, and that’s why what happens in Iraq matters to the security here at home.”

It is an argument Mr. Bush has been making with frequency in the past few months, as the challenges to the continuation of the war have grown. On Thursday alone, he referred at least 30 times to Al Qaeda or its presence in Iraq.

But his references to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship with the Qaeda leadership.

This article was written my none other than Michael Gordon (along with Jim Rutenberg).

Weird, huh? 

Greenwald’s response.  He isn’t taking credit quite yet.