As part of an article on the traitor Randy Cunningham I noted the following choice of words:

No fewer than seven lawmakers, including a Democrat, have been indicted, have pleaded guilty or are under investigation for improper conduct

What’s interesting is that the writer is trying to make the point that, whoever happens to be guilty, this kind of thing turns voters off all politicians. Fair enough, but I think this version would be much more accurate:

No fewer than seven lawmakers, six of them Republicans, have been indicted, have pleaded guilty or are under investigation for improper conduct

Still, what can you expect from the Left Wing Media (TM)?

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Who will rid me?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Briefly, Bush appears to have wanted to bomb the offices of Al Jazeera in Qatar (I’m no expert, but that would appear to be an act of war against a sovereign nation, i.e. not a small deal). Blair is said to have talked him out of it (gold star for Tony). The White House apparently says the accusation is so ludicrous it’s not even worth talking about, but at the same time the British press has been told that they could be in serious trouble if they distribute details of the relevant meeting, and two people are being charged under the Official Secrets Act.

These things aren’t all necessarily directly related. The individuals are being charged with a “damaging disclosure of a document relating to international relations”, which in theory could be a top-secret menu from the post-meeting dinner. And even if the description of the document is broadly correct, there’s no telling at this stage if it was just an “all boys together, back-slapping jape” that they laughed about 2 seconds after. I hope we learn more, but however it turns out it’s certainly interesting.

I’d say more, but I’ve signed the Official Secrets Act too (twice, if memory serves), so I’m not sure I’m allowed to.

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Overly Optimistic

OK, so I got a bit carried away. I thought that we were seeing signs of actual insightful reporting from journalists, rather than just the literal act of reporting what someone told them. I waswrong:

Woodward’s testimony appeared to contradict Fitzgerald’s assertion that Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, was the first official known to have told a reporter about Plame.

Woodward came forward a couple of days ago to say that he had been told about Valerie Plame’s position before Scooter Libby discussed it. Assuming he is telling the whole truth (and given the ins-and-outs of this tale that’s not automatic), then clearly Libby wasn’t the first person to know. But that does nothing to change what Fitzgerald said, which is that Libby was the first person known to have told a reporter. How can somebody who wasn’t known to have leaked it change that?

As a bonus, this comes a little later in the article:

Libby’s defense team asserted that Woodward’s story undercut Fitzgerald’s case against Libby, who was indicted in late October on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

What? Fitzgerald says Libby lied. Woodward says that he, Woodward, knew something but wasn’t telling, and suddenly Libby wasn’t lying any more? That makes no sense. If Libby had been charged with being the leaker, then clearly this would make a huge difference. But he wasn’t. So it doesn’t. Unless, of course, the glove fits, in which case the Wookie must go free. Or something.

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Signs of Journalism

The more I read about politics, the more it irritates and frustrates me outside of any partisan motivations I might have. One of the things that I dislike is the lack of accountability politicians face from the press. In the UK an MP will be challenged on a point, and if he gives the sort of answer characteristic of a US Senator he will be told he’s talking nonsense and challenged again. I particularly lament the easy ride given to Republicans, not because they hold views I tend to disagree with (though that’s always a temptation of course) but because they’re the party in power.

So it is quite refreshing to read this article.

ASSERTION: In his speech, Bush noted that “more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate – who had access to the same intelligence – voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power.”

CONTEXT: This isn’t true.

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Still alive

…just not in a blogging frame of mind. But to keep the blogging tradition of inane commentary alive even here, I just noticed that my arms have turned Minnesota-pasty once again. I guess winter is really here.

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