Sunday, August 27, 2006

Random News & Views Roundup

- Can I just get this off my chest? I seriously think that when awards shows like the Emmys show the 'In Memorium" segment, people should either applaud at the same level all the way through and just wait until the end. Why should there be a popularity contest for the dead? I find it insulting when one person gets more cheers than another. (Also, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert did a bang up job and what the hell was Candace Bergen wearing?? [search: 'Bergen'] Holy crap.)

Now, on to much more serious things:

- The two FOX journalists were freed on Sunday, much to the relief of everybody. Time magazine has the background story and the problems these kidnappings may have caused for the future release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. (And FOX's Brit Hume is a wanker. Notice how Michelle Malkin only posts Hume's comments. Dissent will not be tolerated!)

- David Corn reveals:

It was Richard Armitage, when he was deputy secretary of state in July 2003, who first disclosed to conservative columnist Robert Novak that the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson was a CIA employee.

A Newsweek article--based on the new book I cowrote with Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal and the Selling of the Iraq War--discloses that Armitage passed this classified information to Novak during a July 8, 2003 interview. Though Armitage's role as Novak's primary source has been a subject of speculation, the case is now closed. Our sources for this are three government officials who spoke to us confidentially and who had direct knowledge of Armitage's conversation with Novak. Carl Ford Jr., who was head of the State Department's intelligence branch at the time, told us--on the record--that after Armitage testified before the grand jury investigating the leak case, he told Ford, "I'm afraid I may be the guy that caused the whole thing."

Several left-wing bloggers, however, don't believe the case is closed at all. How many more years is this case going to drag on? My bet is as long as the Iraq war is still going other words, who knows?

- The Cheney Presidency.

Cheney's power is matched only by his penchant for secrecy. When my colleague at the American Prospect, Robert Dreyfuss, requested the names of people who serve on the vice president's staff, he was told this was classified information. Former staffers for other departments provided Dreyfuss with names.

The Wanker in Chief.

- This is quite the admission:

The leader of the militant group Hezbollah says that if he could do it all over again, he wouldn't order the capture of Israeli soldiers that ignited the war in Lebanon.

"You ask me, if I had known on July 11 … that the operation would lead to such a war, would I do it? I say no, absolutely not," Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview with Lebanon's New TV station broadcast Sunday.
"We did not think, even one per cent, that the capture would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude," Nasrallah said.

While Nasrallah claimed victory over Israel when the ceasefire took hold, he apologized in the interview for the suffering of the Lebanese people.

Talks on prisoner swap

Nasrallah also said negotiations with Israel on a prisoner swap are in the early stages.

"Contacts recently began for negotiations," he said.

"The Italians seem to be getting close and are trying to get into the subject. The United Nations is interested," Nasrallah said. The speaker of the Lebanese parliament, Nabih Berri, is in charge of negotiations, he added.

Now, for all of those narrow-minded people on the left and right who were wetting their pants about talking about talking to Hezbollah (see: Borys Wrzesnewskyj), face the facts: sometimes you have to talk to your enemies. Next time, stock up on Depends™ and get over yourselves (cough cough Jason Cherniak/Liberal party cough cough).

- I'm tired, sick and cranky tonite. Sue me.

- Blogswarm: Katrina on Monday. Do it.

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