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Mainstream Media

"Panic on the Hill"

Eleanor Clift, Newsweek

Like the movie, "No Way Out," Iraq can only get worse; it can't get
better. Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command, said as much when
he testified this week before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the
violence would increase after the June 30 handover and that the Iraqis won't
be ready to assume responsibility for security until April 2005.

Who is President Bush kidding when he talks of turning over sovereignty to
the Iraqis? No one yet has been identified to give power to, and the
Pentagon's love affair with Iraqi exile leader Ahmad Chalabi is over.
American troops stormed Chalabi's residence and offices in Baghdad, a
remarkable reversal of fortune for a man who was on the U.S. payroll until
this month, and who provided most of the phony intelligence that formed the
Bush administration's basis for war.

Four Suspects Detained in Berg Beheading

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Coalition forces detained four suspects in the Nicholas Berg killing, and two were later released, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday.

The suspects were detained during a raid Wednesday in Baghdad, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a news conference.

The new Useless News and World Distort has this revealing tidbit:

"Washington Whispers"

US News and World Report, May 24, 2004

From the White House, a nightmare scenario

White House officials say they've got a "working premise" about
terrorism and the presidential election: It's going to happen. "We
assume," says a top administration official, "an attack will happen
leading up to the election." And, he added, "it will happen here."

are two worst-case scenarios, the official says. The first posits an
attack on Washington, possibly the Capitol, which was believed to be the
target of the 9/11 jet that crashed in Pennsylvania.

Theory 2: smaller
but more frequent attacks in Washington and other major cities leading
up to the election. To prepare, the administration has been holding
secret antiterrorism drills to make sure top officials know what to do.
"There was a sense," says one official involved in the drills, "of mass
confusion on 9/11. Now we have a sense of order."

Unclear is the
political impact, though most Bushies think the nation would rally
around the president. "I can tell you one thing," adds the official
sternly, "we won't be like Spain," which tossed its government days
after the Madrid train bombings.

"Un-Liberating the Airwaves:

WFMU's Ken Freedman on the Post-Janet Jackson FCC"

Dave Mandl, Brooklyn Rail

Dave Mandl (Rail): How have things changed for radio broadcasters in
the wake of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl performance?

Ken Freedman: Things have changed drastically in recent months. As
recently as last fall, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued
a series of decisions that loosened their language rules
considerably — ruling, for example, that the word "fuck" was permissible if
used non-literally, as an adjective. Things have now not only reverted to
the way they were before, they've become much more rigid than ever.

"Tourists and Torturers"

Luc Sante, New York Times

So now we think we know who took some of the photographs at Abu Ghraib. The works attributed to Specialist Jeremy Sivits are fated to remain among the indelible images of our time. They will have changed the course of history; just how much we do not yet know. It is arguable that without them, news of what happened within the walls of that prison would never have emerged from the fog of classified internal memos. We owe their circulation and perhaps their existence to the popular technology of our day, to digital cameras and JPEG files and e-mail. Photographs can now be disseminated as quickly and widely as rumors.

nolympics writes
Just in case anyone thought there might be some daylight between the two candidates...

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry on Monday tried to convey to a major Jewish audience, at the annual convention of the Anti-Defamation League, his strong personal commitment to Israel and its security.

But instead of delivering a programmatic speech on the Middle East he decided to appeal to the emotions of the audience, and spoke at length about his first visit to the country, 20 years ago, when he traveled from north to south.

Along with the personal stories, he of course also emphasized that he would never pressure Israel, would not force it to negotiate with an unreliable partner, and would continue trying as president to advance the disengagement plan.

Read the rest at Haaretz.

"Torture at Abu Ghraib"

Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker

American soldiers brutalized Iraqis. How far up does the responsibility go?

In the era of Saddam Hussein, Abu Ghraib, twenty miles west of Baghdad, was one of the world’s most notorious prisons, with torture, weekly executions, and vile living conditions. As many as fifty thousand men and women — no accurate count is possible — were jammed into Abu Ghraib at one time, in twelve-by-twelve-foot cells that were little more than human holding pits.

"North Korea Nuclear Estimate To Rise:

U.S. Report to Say Country Has At Least 8 Bombs"

Glenn Kessler, Washington Post

The United States is preparing to significantly raise its estimate of the number of nuclear weapons held by North Korea, from "possibly two" to at least eight, according to U.S. officials involved in the preparation of the report.

G.O.P. Protesters Plan to Infiltrate Convention as Volunteers

Michael Slackman, NY Times

It is accepted as an article of faith among protesters planning to demonstrate against the Republican National Convention this summer that agents seeking to undermine their efforts have infiltrated their ranks. But now the protesters are talking about infiltrating the convention to undermine the event itself.

U.S. Moves to Rehire Some From Baath Party, Military

Robin Wright, >Washington Post

The United States is moving to rehire former members of Iraq's ruling Baath Party and senior Iraqi military officers fired after the ouster of Saddam Hussein, in an effort to undo the damage of its two most controversial policies in Iraq, according to U.S. officials.

The U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, proposed the policy shifts to broaden the strategy to entice the powerful Sunni minority back into the political fold and weaken support for the insurgency in the volatile Sunni Triangle, two of the most persistent challenges for the U.S.-led occupation, the officials say. Both policies are at the heart of national reconciliation, increasingly important as the occupation nears an end.

Full story is: here


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