Saturday, November 15, 2003


Just so we don't forget the propaganda operation:

Is that Mahir?

LA Governor's Race

Blanco (D) wins.

Other than the fact that she's a D I know nothing about her, but, these days that's almost enough.

Shut the Tube?

My god, are they insane? Shutting down one line of the tube is enough to cause chaos in that city.

Home Secretary David Blunkett has refused to grant diplomatic immunity to armed American special agents and snipers travelling to Britain as part of President Bush's entourage this week.
In the case of the accidental shooting of a protester, the Americans in Bush's protection squad will face justice in a British court as would any other visitor, the Home Office has confirmed.

The issue of immunity is one of a series of extraordinary US demands turned down by Ministers and Downing Street during preparations for the Bush visit.

These included the closure of the Tube network, the use of US air force planes and helicopters and the shipping in of battlefield weaponry to use against rioters.

In return, the British authorities agreed numerous concessions, including the creation of a 'sterile zone' around the President with a series of road closures in central London and a security cordon keeping the public away from his cavalcade.

Still with the "free speech zone."


Fanatical Moderates

Hey, Tommy F., you should embrace the fanatical moderates at home, too.

The DOD Strikes Back


No. 851-03
IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 15, 2003

DoD Statement on News Reports of al-Qaida and Iraq Connections

News reports that the Defense Department recently confirmed new information with respect to contacts between al-Qaida and Iraq in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee are inaccurate.

A letter was sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee on October 27, 2003 from Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, in response to follow-up questions from his July 10 testimony. One of the questions posed by the committee asked the Department to provide the reports from the Intelligence Community to which he referred in his testimony before the Committee. These reports dealt with the relationship between Iraq and al-Qaida.

The letter to the committee included a classified annex containing a list and description of the requested reports, so that the Committee could obtain the reports from the relevant members of the Intelligence Community.

The items listed in the classified annex were either raw reports or products of the CIA, the NSA, or, in one case, the DIA. The provision of the classified annex to the Intelligence Committee was cleared by other agencies and done with the permission of the Intelligence Community. The selection of the documents was made by DOD to respond to the Committee’s question. The classified annex was not an analysis of the substantive issue of the relationship between Iraq and al Qaida, and it drew no conclusions.

Individuals who leak or purport to leak classified information are doing serious harm to national security; such activity is deplorable and may be illegal.

(thanks to nz)

Agent Smiths

(thanks to fud)


I hate the evil bastards who invented macrovision and region coding.

And, yes, one can get around these things with enough effort, but god is it a pain.

End of rant.

Ladies Against Women

The mind-boggling hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

And, everyone - I mean everyone - should read Susan Faludi's Backlash.

The Chicks

Show'em some love and buy their new live CD set. (link fixed)

Shorter Feith Memo

Joel Swadesh takes a closer look:

I have generated the following simplified treatment of the Standard article.  A few things in it can be debunked instantly.  Others are questionable.  The only named source denies that contacts between al Qaeda and Iraq lasted into 2000. 

Others allegations, I don't know.  I do think that Senator Carl Levin and other members of the intelligence committee have seen them and don't regard them as strong evidence of anything.  My feeling is this is a try to baffle 'em with BS on the part of Feith, but I don't have any inside knowledge. 

I'll try to track down further info.  I think this is an important story, maybe titled "The Neocon Empire Strikes Back"

Regards, Joel

_____________________Synopsis of Weekly Standard on Feith Allegations____

1.  Defector alleges that Sudanese strongman Hassan Al Turabi arranged a swap: Iraq would provide training and instructors if Al Qaeda would provide proscribed weapons.  This was confirmed by a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, who said that  Faruq Hijazi of Iraq Intelligence met Ayman al Zawahiri.  Al Qaida traveled to Baghdad.  Al Turabi is said to be "a leader of the Al-Qaeda-affiliated National Islamic front." 

2.  In 1993, Osama bin laden agreed not to carry forward any anti-Saddam activities.  This is contained in U.S. court documents from the trial related to the bombing of the African embassies. 

3.  According to the FBI, in early 1995, Mahmdouh Mahmud Salim (a.k.a. Abu Hajer al-Iraqi) visited Iraq and had discussions with Iraqi intelligence.  According to the CIA, he was bin Laden's best friend.  He is now in a New York prison. 

4.  A source provided the dates on which bin Laden traveled to various cities and the names of who he met with.  Multiple sources state that Hassan al-Turabi and Ayman al-Zawahiri were at the center of bin Laden's circle in the early 1990s.

5.  A source stated that Osama bin Laden received explosives training from Iraqi expert Brigadier Salim al-Ahmed in Sept/Oct 1995 (at bin Laden's farm in Khartoum) and July 1996 with the Director of Iraq Intelligence Mani-abd-al-Rashi al-Tikriti.    Osama bin Laden asked assistance of Intelligence Director al-Tikriti in making false passports, letterbombs and barometric pressire bombs.  Al-Tikriti ordered explosives expert Salim Al-Ahmed to stay with bin Laden in Sudan.  The same source said Osama bin Laden visited Doha, Qatar, staying with a member of the ruling family on Jan 17-19, 1996.  He discussed bombing targets inside Saudi Arabia.  Saudi Arabia's National Guard went on kingdom-wide alert on "learning" of this [from whom?]  He returned to meet with Iraqi Intelligence officer Hijazi and Sudanese strongman al-Turabi.  The bombing of the Khobar towers was on the anniversary of an attack on Iraqi Intelligence Headquarters. 

6.  A former senior Iraqi intelligence official said that in the late 1990s, Pakistan was contact point for Al Qaeda and Baghdad.  But bin Laden visited Baghdad in January, 1998 and met Tariq Aziz.  Another source said Ayman al-Zawahiri met with the Iraqi vice president on February 3rd, 1998 to arrange for camps headed by Abdul Aziz in Nasariya and in Iraqi Kurdistan.

7.  "According to documents unearthed in April 2003 in the Iraqi Intelligence headquarters by journalists Mitch Potter and Inigo Gilmore"  Iraqi intelligence wrote a memo detailing a coming meeting with a bin Laden representative in Baghdad.  The references to bin Laden were whited out with Liquid Paper.

8.  In 1998, bin Laden issued a fatwa on the plight of Iraq, stating that America has been occupying Islam's holiest places.  [JS: This allegation appears to be false.  But the US was not occupying Iraq.  It was "occupying"  Saudi Arabia.] 

9.  Immediately after America bombed Iraq in Operation Desert Fox (Dec 16-19, 1998), Iraqi intelligence officer Hijazi offered bin Laden safe haven in Iraq.  [JS:  This is a very peculiar statement.]  CIA reporting stated that an Iraqi delegation met with bin laden in Afghanistan in late 1998, that bin Laden and al-Zawahiri met wit two Iraqi intelligence officers in December 1998 and that an Iraqi intelligence officer went to Afghanistan in late 1998 to meet with Al Qaeda and Taliban head Mullah Omar.  Iraq intelligence officer Hijazi met with bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1999.  The contacts were so extensive and well-known that Newsweek ran an article titled "Saddam + Bin laden?"

10.  One Iraqi intelligence officer, Khalil Ibrahim Abdallah, "said that the last contact between the IIS and al Qaeda was in July 1999"  Unnamed sources contradict that.

11.  An Iraqi living in Malaysia, Ahmed Hikmat Shakir, "facilitated the arrival" of one of the 9/11 hijackers for an "operational meeting" in Kuala Lumpur in January 2000. Shakir worked at the airport.  One of the men at the meeting was  "Tawfiz al Atash, a top bin Laden lieutenant later identified as the mastermind of the October 12, 2000, attack on the USS Cole."  The CIA says that "fragmentary evidence" links Iraq to the Cole bombing.   [American Spectator separately states that "Other intelligence reports indicate that Shakir whisked not one but two September 11 hijackers--Khalid al Midhar and Nawaq al Hamzi--through the passport and customs process upon their arrival in Kuala Lumpur on January 5, 2000. Shakir then traveled with the hijackers to the Kuala Lumpur Hotel where they met with Ramzi bin al Shibh, one of the masterminds of the September 11 plot....{Shakir} was detained in Qatar on September 17, 2001. Authorities found in his possession contact information for terrorists involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1998 embassy bombings, the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, and the September 11 hijackings. The CIA had previous reporting that Shakir had received a phone call from the safe house where the 1993 World Trade Center attacks had been plotted. "  And yet, despite all these allegations, he was detained by the Qataris and released and held by the Jordanians where he was interrogated by the CIA for three months-- and released]

12.  During a "custodial interview" [what does this mean?], a senior al Qaeda operative Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi said that he traveled to Iraq in 1998 to obtain poisons and gas training.  In December 2000, two al-Qaeda operatives traveled to Iraq to obtain training in chemical and biological weapons.  The CIA says this statement is consistent with reports that bin Laden requested such training from Saddam in 1998.

13.  [In a long-ago debunked charge], Mohammed Atta met with intelligence official Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani in Prague. Al Ani ordered Iraqi Intelligence to give Atta money.  The CIA claims that two meetings occurred, but two are in question.  "Five high-ranking members of the Czech government have publicly confirmed meetings between Atta and al Ani." [but Vaclav Havel himself has said it didn't happen, as did the FBI.] 

14.  An October 2002 "report" [by whom?]  said that Iraq and Al Qaeda reached an agreement whereby Iraq would provide safe haven.  They obtained Syrian and Iraqi passports [which we are supposed to infer were fraudulent.] 

15.  As stated by Colin Powell, al Qaeda "associate"  Abu Musab al Zarqawi had contacts with Iraqi Intelligence to obtain weapons and explosives, including surface-to-air missiles as well as a base in Iraq. A contact says that an Iraqi intelligence officer said that Iraqi Intelligence supplied weapons to Ansar al-Islam [which is Iranian-directed and then located in Kurdistan in an area outside Iraqi control]. "Pre-war intelligence" claims Iraqi intelligence gave Ansar al Islam $100,000.  

Last One

I think this qualifies as Dumbest. Post. Ever.

Overwrought Hobgoblins

Not so long ago a non-classified memo, written by Big Don Strangefeld, managed to make it into the hands of the press. Instapundit's reaction then:

As with the Plame affair, the reporter should be subpoenaed, and the leaker should be canned, or jailed. This sort of thing shouldn't be leaking.

Now there's the mysterious top secret memo, which if true demonstrates that we should have invaded Iraq on 9/12/01 and should be exhibit A in Bush's impeachment trial. Here's Instapundit now:

Roger Simon observes that this is devastating evidence of how Big Media folks missed the Iraq/Al Qaeda story: "The other major media are lagging behind perhaps because this information cries out: WHERE WERE THEY? Well, they were reporting on our "quagmire" in Iraq while a ton of justification for our intervention was waiting for them to sift through. Why weren't they interested?"

Why, indeed?

Note to self, add "overwrought" to the short list of Instapundit debate tricks. It's always the word he uses when someone calls him on his bullshit.

More on Iraq

Eriposte reponds to this earlier post on Iraq. His basic point is that it's important to do it right, and he lists all of the reasons. I don't think really rebuts anything I said. I think it's important to "do it right" - I just question whether there's anything much we can do. I think insurgents, whether they number 5,000, 50,000, or 500,000 will continue to hack away at our soldiers and attack any institutions and "collaborators" we install. I just don't know if there's anything we can do about it.

The Joys of Privatization


Dozens of Forest Service employees in Utah and Montana were told last March they would be among the first victims of the Bush administration decision to bid out work by government employees to private contractors, who could do it cheaper.

A required analysis three months later showed it's going to cost the government $425,000 a year more for the same work that was being done by the 41 members of the Forest Service's Content Analysis Team in Salt Lake City and in Missoula, Mont.

"I think we can make a pretty strong case for keeping us on board, but nobody gave us an opportunity to do that," said Karl Vester, whose last day on the job was Friday. "The Forest Service should be ashamed for what they've done to us."

In all, 41 members of the team are losing their jobs to private contractors in the competitive sourcing program.

The Forest Service spent $24 million studying the idea, which was meant to reduce the federal payroll by switching the work to private contractors, assuming they can do it at lower cost.

In 93 percent of the cases, the Agriculture Department agency found it was cheaper for government employees to do the work. Fewer than 250 jobs are being sent to the private sector.

Look, this is no surprise. These jobs aren't very high paying. A lot of the infrastructure to do them is in place. People become Forest Servce employees not to scam money out of the government, but because it's something they really want to do.


Mark Kleiman's on it. I disagree with the "new low" part - we've been here many times before. But, otherwise, about right.

The General Writes to Tom Tomorrow

I have to admit he has a point.

Page 3

Bush grants exclusive interview to the Sun, well-known for its Page 3 Girls.



Mommy He Hit Me Back!

David Brooks's latest "can't we all just get along" column is actually kind of amusing, in a pathetic sort of way.

Friday, November 14, 2003

LOTR Ships Tuesday

The Two Towers Extended edition ships Tuesday. You know you can't resist.


I have to admit I basically agree with Max. The "we broke it we bought it" crowd assumes that somehow if we just stick it out things will get better. Whether we're concerned about our national interests or the interests of Iraqis, I just don't see how staying furthers either of those.

The truth is, this position isn't any different than that of the Democratic candidates or the Bush administration's official position. They simply have higher hopes about what can be accomplished, but unless we plan to make Iraq an American colony the position of just about everybody is "let's get out as soon as we can." The Max view is that there's nothing much to be accomplished by staying, and I tend to agree. We may be wrong, but the view that we just have to try and make things better presupposes that there's much we can do.

...Josh Marshall says:

But first there's got to be some accountability, a threshold recognition that the people who navigated us into this mess aren't the best suited to help us find our way out of it.

He's right, but we already had one round of this. Remember, these were the people who backed Saddam in the first place. Jolly old pals, remember? In the warped universe of Christopher Hitchens, for some reason this meant that these idiots had a moral obligation to right a wrong. They do have a moral obligation - to step aside and let somebody competent take over.

He Gets Letters

Check out this delightful little email to Arch Pundit from a former member of the St. Louis School Board.

Feel the love.



ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said today he had tried to stop US President George W Bush from going to war against Iraq.

"I didn't support every action of the United States. I tried to persuade them not to intervene militarily," Berlusconi said.

"But when I saw there was no way (to prevent it), I stood by the United States."

Gay Marriage

David E. has a nice article in the LA Weekly.

Give Give Give

Okay, we're about $800 away from meeting the $3000 goal. That $2203 includes a contribution from me and some that were mailed directly. I'll let the fundraising run the full six weeks as I promised - that is, any contributions to my paypal account until then will be forwarded on, but once we hit $3000 I'll stop begging. In fact, I promise to stop making fundraising appeals of any kind (Except, maybe, go 'help out a fellow blogger' kinda things), until February at which point I'll have decided on my '04 Mighty Blog Fundraising Plans.

Click here to give.

Those Wacky Conservative College Kids

It looks like Dinesh D'Souza left his brain behind when he left Dartmouth.

Yesterday morning, Dartmouth students awoke to find posters -- complete with Confederate flag backgrounds -- advertising today's lecture by Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean on bulletin boards across campus. The poster, which purported to be an ad created by the Dean campaign on campus, was a hoax and neither Generation Dean nor the Young Democrats was involved in its creation, according to Young Democrats President Paul Heintz '06.

"Whoever is doing this is engaging in the most negative form of campaigning imaginable or participating in the most awful sort of prank," Heintz said.

Heintz said that he found out about the posters early Wednesday morning via blitzmail. Heintz also said that he is particularly concerned that many students actually think that the flyers were made by either the Young Democrats or Generation Dean.

"I actually got a blitz to the Young Democrats account saying that they were offended by the posters that we put up," Heintz said.

Documentary Film Proposal

Emma has a documentary film proposal. Go check it out.

Mighty Unreasonable

If one ever wonders if the most of the right side of the blogosphere is interested in actual discussion, just read this.

And, then go read this and the comments.

...see Orcinus for more on the warm fuzzy right.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Notable Quotables

There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said -- no. But, somehow we missed it.

Well, we'll know better next time.
-Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

...Jim Henley had me beat by a few months on this quote.,

.... and another

We must hurry if we are going to dance.
-Stoppard, Arcadia


Flashback Pop Quiz

Who said this?

The fact of the matter is we live in a free society, and freedom means freedom for everybody. We don’t get to choose, and shouldn’t be able to choose and say, ‘You get to live free, but you don’t.’ And I think that means that people should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into. It’s really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard.

The next step, then, of course, is the question you ask of whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That’s a tougher problem. That’s not a slam dunk.

I think the fact of the matter, of course, is that matter is regulated by the states. I think different states are likely to come to different conclusions, and that’s appropriate. I don’t think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area.

I try to be open-minded about it as much as I can, and tolerant of those relationships... I also wrestle with the extent to which there ought to be legal sanction of those relationships. I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into.

No cheating.

....answer is, this man!

Angels in America

HBO is doing a 6 hour version of the Tony Kushner play with Al Pacino starring as Roy Cohn. Should be interesting, to say the least. The production of it that I saw (at a small regional theater) was one of the few truly sublime theater experiences I've had.

Let's make this the theater thread. Discuss *your* favorite plays...

Economy Bump

Bush at 50% in latest CBS poll.


Asked if the results of the war were "worth it," 40 percent of respondents said yes, while 51 percent said the results of the war were "not worth it." That's down from 46 percent who said yes in August and up from 45 percent who said no three months ago.

And half of Americans now say the reconstruction of Iraq is going "badly," the highest number who gave that assessment since Bush declared an end to "major combat operations" on May 1. Forty-seven percent said the reconstruction is going "well."

Why do Americans hate America so much? Don't they know it's this kind of attitude which will cause us to lose this war?


Earlier I was listening to NPR on my cool MP3 player and the author of An Imperfect God : George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America was on, talking about the book. There were a couple of interesting tidbits, such as the fact that Martha owned a slave who was her half-sister, but what I really found interesting was talk about the degree to which the military during the revolution was both multi-racial and integrated. This itself wasn't news to me, although the fact that there were units such as the 1st Rhode Island Regiment that were integrated in a surprising way - 75% black/25% white - was. But, it got me thinking about revolutionary war art - the portrayals on canvas of various events and battles, such as Yorktown where the 1st RI played a prominent role. I couldn't remember seeing a single black face. I went hunting around the internet, and couldn't find a single one.

I'm sure Jonah Goldberg can tell me why it's racist for me to even bring this up.

....Update, David in NYC provides an exception.

Closer Than I Thought

Don't worry, I'm not going to violate my primary free zone promise yet, but I would just like to comment... - holy crap, they're only 2 months away!


The Republicans really look like a bunch of whiners, judging by the Newshour coverage of it.

Here's TNR:

By now, the "debate" on the floor has slowed to tedious, repetitive speeches--mostly by freshman members of both parties who got stuck with the debate's worst time slots. Earlier in the evening, however, there had been a few delicious moments as Democrats mocked the phoniness of the marathon. At one point Nevada Democrat Harry Reid noted that when Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist conducted a poll about judicial filibusters on his website, the Democratic position won a 60 percent majority--thanks to some well-coordinated mischief, no doubt--before the posted results mysteriously vanished.

With evident delight, Reid also quoted from a GOP email that Democrats had somehow acquired that day.

It is important to double your efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time. Fox News channel is really excited about the marathon. Britt [sic] Hume at 6 would love to open the door to all our 51 Senators walking on to the floor. The producer wants to know, will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so we can get it live to open Britt Hume's show? Or, if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start?

Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin then asked Reid, with a funny faux-earnestness, whether "we [will] get updates from time to time how Fox News would like to orchestrate the rest of this?" "Perhaps so," Reid replied with a smile. "If not, maybe we could check with the Federalist Society, which, coincidentally, is starting their convention tomorrow." This was masterful stuff. Later in the night I would overhear one irked Republican staffer mutter to another "How did they get that email?"

and, here's Reuters on Frist's poll shenanigans:

Meanwhile, according to Web records and people following the skirmish, the poll was doing some changing of its own.

-- First, temporarily daunting "No" voters, the question was flipped, to: "Should the Senate be prevented from exercising its Constitutional duty to provide the president's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?"

-- It was soon restored to the original sense, if not wording, then reading: "Should the Senate exercise its Constitutional duty to provide the president's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?"

-- But a few hours later, the question was again coming from the opposite tack, asking: "Should the Senate minority block the body's Constitutional duty to provide the president's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?"

-- Finally, late Wednesday night, with thousands of votes pouring in every minute, the poll was closed and the result recorded as: "Should the Senate perform its constitutional duty to provide the president's judicial nominees with an up or down vote. Yes: 54 percent. No: 46 percent. 106,615 votes."

Frist's spokesman, Bob Stevenson, denied on Thursday the poll had been changed to try to ensure any particular result, attributing the initial back-and-forth to efforts to foil the automatic voting programs that were being used.

(make sure to rate that story at the bottom of the page!)


Okay, I'm selling ads again though the prices are higher. If the number of ads falls considerably, they may come back down a bit. Supply/Demand and whatnot.

I'm also going to have a new ad placement policy. I make no guarantees about where your ad is going to be placed, but here's what I'm going to try and do. Any new ad will be placed in the top spot. If another ad comes in, it'll bump it down a notch. After a few days to a week, all ads will rotate automatically in one of the lower spots. Again, no guarantees on this, but it's my intention...

Don't Mess with Fox

Haha. Once CNBC cans him, Miller will have nowhere to go:

Miller's abrupt departure from Fox News, where he had provided weekly essays for "Hannity & Colmes" also was a dangerous move - for Miller, that is. FNC has never been particularly shy about blasting defectors, and when Miller called late one afternoon last month to say he had accepted the CNBC offer, Fox executives were stunned. They quickly iced the last seven essays he was under contract to write (Miller says there were only three left), and neither party has spoken since.

"Frankly, when we deal with talent we usually have better conversations before someone leaves," says Kevin Magee, FNC's vice president of programming. "I don't think he'll have as many viewers as he had on "Hannity & Colmes," but we'll figure out some way to fill those three minutes and move on." Miller, too, is eager to move on and make up. He said he took the CNBC offer (which originated from NBC Entertainment chief Jeff Zucker) because he had "never heard" from Fox about whether the network wanted to keep him beyond this year. "I figured there was no interest there."

The Great Falling Asleep

Allen Brill notes that Nick Kristof is full of it.

Cut and Run

It seems that Bush is now a more radical peacenik than Kucinich. It's hard to believe, but I bet will be down to 50,000 troops max by August, no matter what is happening there. Of course, by September we may be in Syria, but...

A Victory for Lovers of Democracy

A defeat for theocracy.

State Television

Fox News and the Republicans coordinate to stage manage their little shows.

Aparently, there's more than one memo circulating. Manuel Miranda, a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sent a memo around to Republicans regarding the 30 hour filibuster. Fox News wanted to make sure they started on time, so they could put in on their 'unbiased' show.

They pointed to a memo from Manuel Miranda, a staffer for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), which said:

"It is important to double efforts to get your boss to S-230 on time ... Fox News Channel is really excited about this marathon and Brit Hume at 6 would love to open with all our 51 senators walking onto the floor -- the producer wants to know will we walk in exactly at 6:02 when the show starts so they get it live to open Brit Hume's show? Or if not, can we give them an exact time for the walk-in start?"


I'm not the first to comment on this, but it's worth highlighting. First, the CIA document about how crappy the situation in Iraq is wasn't apparently put out there by the CIA, but was pushed by some administration officials, including Bremer. Second, it's increasingly evident that the Happy News Only Filter has put a cloud of ignorance around the top folks at the White House.

One Party State

Jesse asks a question - what kinds of criticisms are actually allowed under the new political correctness?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Flippity Floppity

So, Frist has changed the question *yet again* (without resetting the poll numbers). Once again, once the poll started going against him, he inverted the meaning. It now asks:

Should the Senate minority block the body's Constitutional duty to provide the President's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?

This really isn't appropriate for the Majority Leader.

Thug Watch

Vets removed from parade:

TALLAHASSEE -- A group of 30 military veterans critical of the war in Iraq hoped to use Tuesday's Veterans Day parade to call attention to the increasingly deadly conflict but instead found themselves fighting for something much more fundamental.

Members of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War were yanked off a downtown Tallahassee street, directly in front of the Old Capitol, while marching in the holiday parade they had legitimately registered in.

As organizers allowed the parade to roll on -- including veterans from various wars, several high school marching bands and even a group of young women from the local Hooters restaurant -- the anti-war veterans were ordered onto sidewalks where they passed out leaflets and displayed a banner reading, "Honor the Warrior, Not the War."

"There's a war going on that's based on lies, just like Vietnam," said veteran Tom Baxter, an Army equipment maintenance officer in Vietnam for 16 months in 1967-69. "They were lying then, and they're lying now."

Parade chairman Ken Conroy, a Korean War veteran, said he ejected the anti-war veterans because they were offensive and because Tallahassee police also wanted them removed. He offered to refund their $10 registration fee and said he was not suppressing the group's free speech rights.

"They can have their free speech, just not in the parade," Conroy said. "They belong on the sidewalk."

The six-block parade circling downtown Tallahassee was sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3308.

Baxter said about 12 of the 30 anti-war members at the parade were walking in line when they were kicked out about 20 minutes into the hourlong event. He said the parade applications were filled out fully and correctly but must have gone unnoticed by organizers.

"They said we were offensive, but we heard no boos or anything," he said. "A few harsh looks from some of the active-duty guys, but that's about it."

Tallahassee police Sgt. David Folsom denied police played any role in the situation and said Tuesday was the first time he could recall anyone being excluded from the parade.

"We don't police the participants," Folsom said. "We don't have an opinion on who's in it, as long as they're not walking around naked or drinking in public. It's just not a police decision."

(via Ampersand)


I don't even know what to make of this:

COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) - Four soldiers at Fort Benning have been arrested and accused of stabbing to death a member of their infantry unit, setting the body on fire and leaving it in the woods just days after their return from Iraq.

Police said the soldiers had gotten mad at Spc. Richard R. Davis for insulting a dancer at a strip club and getting them kicked out of the place.

Davis, 24, of St. Charles, Mo., was stabbed repeatedly in July. His skeletal remains were found Friday, nearly four months after he was reported missing. Fort Benning investigators had received a tip to search the woods near the Army post.

Three of the soldiers - Jacob Burgoyne, Mario Naverrete and Douglas Woodcoff - were arrested Friday and charged with murder. A judge on Monday reduced the charges against them to concealing a body, though prosecutors said they will press for murder charges.

The fourth suspect, Alberto Martinez, is awaiting extradition from California on murder charges. Police said it was Martinez who stabbed Davis while he fought with Burgoyne and Naverrete. All of the suspects are 24.

All five soldiers belonged to same company and had returned to Fort Benning from Iraq just days before the slaying. Their unit is part of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which led the assault on Baghdad.

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Feel the Love

From Jeb:

Gov. Jeb Bush joked during a Florida Cabinet meeting Wednesday that the people of San Francisco may be endangered and, "That's probably good news for the country."

The subject was environmental land and Bush was looking at a map of showing locations with a lot of different wildlife at the time.

"It looks like the people of San Francisco are an endangered species, which may not be a bad thing. That's probably good news for the country."

People in the room broke into laughter.

Can't wait 'till I can bring out my vast arsenal of witty "ha ha look at the dead hurricane victims" jokes.

...Wait, maybe Jeb ain't so bad after all. Here's his spokesman:

Bush spokesman Jacob DiPietre later explained the governor's thinking: "The Cabinet was talking about endangered species and everyone knows that Republicans are an endangered species in California."

So, it's a good thing for the country that Republicans are an endangered species in California? Sounds about right to me. Preach on, Brother Jeb!

Do Over

That sneaky Frist is taking lessons from Lou Dobbs. He's started his poll all over again...

Here's a screenshot of what was up there before.

...I wasn't watching, but someone informs me that Harry Reid just mentioned Frist's poll.

More Tricksiness - For awhile Frist had switched the question to "Should the Senate be prevented from exercising its Constitutional duty to provide the President's judicial nominees with an up or down vote," flipping the meaning of Yes and No.

Now it doesn't even make sense - " Should the Senate from exercise its Constitutional duty to provide the President's judicial nominees with an up or down vote?"

Thick as a Brick

Methinks Ian Anderson'll kick all their asses.

Apocalypse Now

Ah, just what we need - an apocalypse mini-series.

I wonder if the Right Wing Machine will insist upon its "accuracy."

(via War Liberal)

Dr. Frist Wants Your Opinion

Go give it to him.

...damn, the freepies are getting it. Ah well, was fun while it lasted.

...hey, we won - 40 Yes, 60 No.

Democrats are Unpatriotic

Well, that's the centerpiece of election '04. Hey, Nick Kristoff - blow me.

And, what the hell is this "hate speech" crap they keep bringing up? I thought that was the kind of thing they made fun of our side for.


Men, Women, and Minorities

I caught this little Trent Lott gem on NPR this morning, too.

Bring it On

They did.

Big Government

Miss those small government days of the 90s. What is with Republicans and your money?

Inevitable newfound love for Keynesian demand management and "9/11 changed everything" excuses to follow...

Conflict of Interest

Mark Kleiman is absolutely right about this. It's a disgrace that the Washington Post is consistently cheerleding Bush's education policy without disclosing that its sister company, Kaplan, stands to make oodles of money from it. And, as Big Media Matt notes, they're "naive" to an extent which defies belief.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

The Cornier

From the Poor Man.

Au Revoir Monsieur Pollack

Neal Pollack realizes that writing for free just isn't as profitable as he thought.

Let's remember two of Neal's best...

A Man Wronged


Cost Benefit Analysis

I'm always a bit amused (saddened, angered, whatever) by the willingness of the conservatarians to apply rigid cost-benefit analyses to legislation they don't like (Food Stamps, Environmental regs, etc...) while utterly ignoring such considerations for things they do like (the Iraq War). Regardless of the merits of the intent, it's just hard to see how spending $20 billion to militarize our southern border has been a particularly good deal.

The first time I hit an internal border check, about 50 miles North of the Mexican border, I was really really shocked. I didn't know our country did such things.

Back at the Wheel

Taibbi on Tommy Friedman.

11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month

One gets a true appreciation for the long memory of the horrors of war when London pauses as Big Ben chimes.

Red Ken Throws a Party


Yesterday Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, encouraged the anti-war protests by saying he had arranged a Peace Reception for prominent opponents of the war and subsequent "occupation" of Iraq, next Wednesday midway through the president's stay.

His anti-war party, costing £8,000 of taxpayers' money, has caused consternation at Downing Street.

It has infuriated Mr Blair who has been busy trying to lure the Left-wing Mayor of London - expelled from the Labour Party three years ago for standing as an independent in the mayoral race - back into the Labour fold in a gesture of conciliation to the Left.

An upbeat and unapologetic Mr Livingstone said yesterday that the event would bring prominent peace-minded people together and serve as a powerful anti-war "statement".

"I'm confining myself to putting on here a reception for those people who take an alternative view, representatives of the peace movement, Muslim organisations and Americans who disagree with George Bush's policies so that they can mingle amongst themselves and make a statement."

Wonder if Tony will dissolve the position like Maggie did last time Ken got uppity.

Primary Free Zone

Well, it all just depresses me too much. Will Rogers was right. So, we're gonna be absolutely primary free until at least January. I hope. Feel free to get your primary bloggy goodness elsewhere.

Bush Administration Hate Merry-Go-Round

Tbogg lays it all out.

Plus Ca Change... c'est la meme chose.

The Houston Chronicle

November 14, 1991, Thursday, 2 Star Edition

SECTION: B; Opinion; Pg. 18

LENGTH: 735 words

HEADLINE: Dems can't win on just domestic issues


PRESIDENT Bush seems rattled by sudden pressures to turn his attention to domestic problems.

But even as he tried at his Rome news conference to change the subject, he sounded a warning that next year's Democratic nominee would do well to heed.

First, Bush beat his breast with words voters are likely to hear in 1992 as often as they heard ""Willie Horton'' in 1988:

""If I had had to listen to advice from the United States Senate leadership, the Democrats -- or from the House, the leadership over there -- to do something about the Persian Gulf, we'd have still been sitting there in the United States, fat, dumb and happy, with Saddam Hussein maybe in Saudi Arabia.''

That may not be the political sledgehammer it appeared to be last winter. For one thing, it's not true -- Democrats supported the original dispatch of U.S. troops to defend Saudi Arabia, as well as economic sanctions on Iraq; and no one but Bush suggests that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would have invaded Saudi Arabia after these actions.

More to the point, however, are the indications of polls and focus groups that euphoria over the desert war has largely faded, owing to disappointment at an inconclusive outcome that left Saddam in power, and to concern for the domestic economy.

But in a more potent vein, Bush added that though Americans are hurting economically and need help, ""They don't need the president to forswear his obligations for national security and foreign affairs.''

They certainly don't, and any president who did so, or even appeared to, would court defeat. One reason, of many, why Jimmy Carter was not re-elected in 1980 was widespread public doubt about his willingness and capacity to represent the nation forcefully in its foreign and security policies.

Americans like to think their nation is No. 1 in the world, which is why the quick desert victory was so cheering -- if only briefly -- to a people hungry for a demonstrable victory. Whatever else they may think of their president, they expect him, as their representative, to be a formidable figure on the world stage. Winning a war, as Bush did, tends to make any president just such an international champion.

Thus, any candidate the Democrats nominate to run against Bush next year is not likely to win merely by denouncing the president on the economy (unless the country is in a depression on a scale approaching 1932) and other domestic issues. Those issues make Bush vulnerable; but voters also will have to be convinced that if a Democratic challenger is elected, the nation's foreign interests and its military security will be in strong, reliable hands.

This is more nearly a problem of personality than of experience. Ronald Reagan, for instance, was elected in 1980 with no foreign or security policy experience; but the public saw him as more trustworthy in these fields than Carter, whose standing as a tough guy had been hurt by his inability to win or force release of the hostages then held in Iran.

Similarly, in 1992, the problem for a Democratic nominee will not be the debatable question of his or her party's role in the desert war; rather, it will be that Bush himself organized an international coalition, led it and the nation, and won a war, however messy its diplomatic results. In doing so, he became ""presidential''; he showed himself capable of the primary duty the people demand of their leader -- strong assertion and defense of American interests in the world.

That may be a commentary on Americans -- that war is more convincing to them than, say, the peace that Carter maintained. But for the politics of 1992, the real question is whether any Democrat can match Bush's claim to be a proven presidential figure, validated by war and victory.

Making Stuff Up

While I agree that Dean doesn't have the nomination all to himself, this email to Josh Marshall from even the liberal John Judis is just ridiculous There's no polling data to indicate that Dean is any more or less "electable" than any of the other frontrunners. Most of what Judis writes about is about the circumstances surrounding the election, which every candidate will be faced with, and the rest seems to be highlighting Dean's real strengths. Judis may have a valid argument (though currently unexpressed) about why Dean's strengths are overhyped, but there's nothing in there to indicate why Dean would be worse than the other Dem candidates.

Judis writes:

Not just the insurgent voter enthusiasm, the new ways of fundraising, and the bevy of flummoxed opponents, but also the economy (artificially stimulated by Nixon through the Fed and by Bush through the dollar just in time for election year) and the war (raging, but bound to quiet some by election time, and to raise prospects of peace). The economy deprives the Democrat of the issue that would allow him to attract working class votes; the war splits the Democrats, but not the Republicans.

Other than the fundraising, which, you know, is a good thing, all the candidates will face the war and economy issues. Judis has made an argument why no Dem can win. If a million roses bloom in Baghdad and the economy is booming, there's a reasonable chance he's right - but I have no idea why this is an issue specific to Dean. Or any other candidate.

I'm really getting sick of the Old Left and the Old Right trying to have a Vietnam-era rematch. The Old Right want to prove we should've won in Vietnam, and the Old Left want to redo the '72 election. Stop letting your personal demons dictate how you play electoral and geopolitical chess. Sheesh.

Look, I'm concerned with the general "electability" issue as well, being an anyone but Bush kinda guy, but these attempts to paint Dean as some sort of crazy peacenik liberal are just ridiculous. TNR is so transparent about its hate for Anyone-But-Joe that I can't imagine why anyone takes them seriously anymore.

Things Not Going Swimmingly

Viceroy Bremer I is running back to Washington.

L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq, is returning unexpectedly to Washington for high level consultations amid continued frustration with the performance of Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council, administration officials said Tuesday.

The Bush administration is considering changes in the structure and timing of Iraq's transition self-governance, including a new Iraqi constitution and elected government, said an administration official involved in Iraq policy in Washington.

In September, Bremer outlined a seven-step plan for Iraqi sovereignty. "It's beginning to be realized that it's not going to follow that path," the official said. "And we need some kind of provisional government that we can give some kind of authority to. The whole political piece is a work in progress. He's got a lot of work to do."

Bremer's mission will be to "consult, consult, consult," particularly on Iraq's political structure, the official said.

One issue under discussion is the sequence of restoring sovereignty to Iraq. The Bush administration appears to be backing away from its earlier insistence that a constitution must be written and ratified by nationwide referendum before Iraqis gain significant sovereignty.

Money for Access

I have no idea if this is true, but once again let's apply the "imagine if this had been Clinton (and Roger)" standard....

Fox/Franken Court Transcript

Not sure if this is new, but I hadn't seen it. has the full thing.

Flynt More Class than Bush

Larry Flynt shows when it comes to exploitation, the Bushies have him way beat:

By David K. Li and Bill Sanderson — Pornmeister Larry Flynt (search) said he's bought purported nude photos of Iraq war heroine Jessica Lynch (search) - to keep them from ever being published.


"I was offered photos of Jessica Lynch. I purchased them in order to keep them out of circulation, not to publish them," Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, said in a statement read by a publicist.

"Jessica Lynch is being used as a pawn by the media and by the government to create a hero who can sell this war to the American people."

Flynt, no friend of the Bush administration or the Republicans, said the president is using Lynch "to justify the war in Iraq."


CNN plants debate question.

Taking it to the Streets

They would be wise not to shut down central London.

Super Delegates

Like Josh Marshall, I'm not convinced that Dean - or anyone - has the nomination clinched. I'm also not too worried about the possibility of a brokered convention. What I am worried about is a candidate having a majority of primary and caucus delegates - or at least a strong plurality - and having the so-called "Super Delegates" throwing it to someone else.

Bad press and bad mojo.

Hey, George!

Over here! Yoo-hoo! I'm a lot cheaper than $5 million...

Monday, November 10, 2003

Those Damn Democrats

Why do they keep killing people?

Actual photo caption:

Rep. Bill Janklow, D-South Dakota, is charged with manslaughter in a fatal traffic accident. fixed. (sometime before 12:14pm today)

Moonie Monday

The New UPI editor is....a Moonie!

Leftist Tyranny

How dare people criticize a judge for using his 1st amendment rights to dress up as a shackled prisoner in blackface.

I've Arrived

Mentioned in the New Yorker.

Parse This

Gotta run, but two questions about this Vennochi mea culpa. First, what "deception" is she talking about? Second, since when is it illegal to post nude pictures of yourself on the internet?

....ah, he was accused of sending them to students. Joan sure is hacktackular.

Macho Macho Man

It looks like the "pussified" American men don't like flightsuit boy much. Obviously intimidated by Sir Robin's testosterone filled courage:

"In general, would you like to see George W. Bush reelected to another term as president, or not?"
Yes No Don'tKnow
% % %
ALL 44 50 6
Men 45 51 4
Women 42 51 7
Republicans 86 10 4
Democrats 10 86 4
Independents 40 53 7

Soft on Crime

The one benefit of having Republican governors is that, somewhat paradoxically, they are occasionally "soft on crime." By soft I mean that they can sometimes have more reasonable approaches to sentencing, incarceration, and rehabilitation which Democrats just can't get away with. As we all know [coulter]Democrats want to let murderers out of jail so they can continue their slaughter of innocents[/coulter]. So, any soft on crime intiative with tragic consequences - say, a pardon or early release program which results in the murder of child - will be the end of any Democrats' political career.

Piggybacking this on top of the state budget crises, and one can have some small hopes for some longer term prison and sentencing reform. Those life sentences aren't cheap, and the liberal in me has to believe that recidivism rates are much higher for prisoners who have few education options in prison, though I don't remember reading any recent studies about such things....

Easterbrook Wept

Shocking the world, Texas has approved some biology textbooks which weren't sufficiently anti-evolution enough to keep the Christianists happy.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Big Donor, Small Donor

Chickenblogger Down

Tom Tomorrow.


You know, I understand how and why cities and states - sometimes even justifiably - fork over subsidies to big companies. But, don't any of them have decent lawyers who know how to write a contract which doesn't let the company unload the risk onto them?

INDIANAPOLIS — A huge, light-gray building, trimmed jauntily in blue, rises from the rolling, grassy fields on the far side of the runways at Indianapolis International Airport. From the approach road, the building seems active. But the parking lots are empty and, inside, the 12 elaborately equipped hangar bays are silent and dark. It is as if the owner of a lavishly furnished mansion had suddenly walked away, leaving everything in place.

That is what happened. United Airlines got $320 million in taxpayer money to build what is by all accounts the most technologically advanced aircraft maintenance center in America. But six months ago, the company walked away, leaving the city and state governments out all that money, and no new tenant in sight.

Wrong Men for the Wrong Job

I was always more than a little dubious about the whole Excellent Iraqi adventure. But, still - I was ready to be convinced. There were liberal hawkish people who had read Ken Pollack's book and believed Saddam was a looming, if not imminent threat, and we'd have to deal with him eventually so we may as well deal with him now. Others had their "Colin Powell Moment" - that moment when their misplaced trust in Colin Powell caused them to uncritically digest the lumps of shit he handed to them, leading them to cower under their beds in fear of Ricin being delivered into their homes on the wings of 3 foot long balsa planes.

I never was convinced. I understood that some were, but I never understood how anyone could trust this lot to pull it off. The runup to the war demonstrated that they were equal parts dishonest, corrupt, and incompetent, and the experience since then has only validated this evaluation. As time goes on, it's hard to comprehend how anyone can believe that these were the right men for this job, even if you believed in the job.

See Calpundit and Brad DeLong for more.


I've managed to ignore this latest version of "it's all society's fault that women hate me, and if only I lived in an earlier age before all that feminist and homo crap I'd get laid more often," but this essay on conservative wimps is pretty good.

It's long, but just so you know it's worth it, here's the conclusion:

So, though men have ruled the world for all of recorded history, and though conservatism is everywhere ascendant, the duToitified conservative castrati wail and screech, self-proclaimed paragons of maleness emasculated by a Cheerios commercial and four episodes of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, thus, in the end, confirming their own fears about the decline of man.

Christ, what a bunch of pantywaists.

Transfer Tubes

Gee, how'd I miss this bit of newspeak.

But today's military doesn't even use the words "body bags" — a term in common usage during the Vietnam War, when 58,000 Americans died.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon began calling them "human remains pouches" and it now refers to them as "transfer tubes."

What I get for not always reading to the end of the article...

But, Racism is Dead...

Just ask Julian Sanchez.

Some Perspective

On September 11, 2001, French people mourned in Paris.

On September 11, 2001, Kansans celebrated in Topeka.

There, now maybe we can understand why some might consider deliberately inflammatory and deceptive (if technically true) advertising designed cast aspersions on a particular ethnic group "racist."

I hate those evil Kansans.

To be fair, the Phelps photo was taken in NYC long after 9/11, but you get the point...

(also, please read the two links for context, in order)

(photo from bloggy)

Revisionist Historians

Rumsfeld is denying many of his own statements. Hah.

For Shame

Talk Left discusses a WaPo editorial that argues against any kind of standard due process for people the government thinks might be baddies. Yet another low moment in newspaper history. The Washington Post is truly un-American.

Give a Little to EJI

Here's why organizations like the Equal Justice Initiative are a vital part of our flawed judicial system:

Racial discrimination remains a dominant feature of criminal justice in the United States and Alabama. The state of Alabama disenfranchises more of its citizens as a result of criminal convictions than any other state in the country.

Although black people in Alabama constitute 26% of the total population, none of the 19 appellate court judges and none of the 42 elected District Attorneys in Alabama are black. Nearly 63% of the Alabama prison population is black.

Although only 6% of all murders in Alabama involve black defendants and white victims, over 60% of black death row prisoners have been sentenced for killing someone white.

Each year in Alabama, nearly 65% of all murders involve black victims. However, 80% of the prisoners currently awaiting execution in the state were convicted of crimes in which the victims were white.

EJI litigates on behalf of criminal defendants whose convictions have been unlawfully obtained on the basis of racial discrimination. In the last ten years, 23 capital cases in Alabama have been reversed after it was proven that prosecutors illegally excluded black people from jury service. EJI won most of the cases.

EJI is challenging the wide-spread exclusion of racial minorities in the administration of criminal justice.

Small donations welcome. About 50,000 visitors reach this site every day. I'm not sure how many individual pairs of eyeballs that really translates into, but if only a tenth of you pony up $20 it adds up to a lot.

You can add to a bundled donation here, or if you don't like Paypal or want to deduct the donation from your taxes you should send a donation directly to:

Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama
122 Commerce Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

If you send directly, please let me know so I can keep a tally. Thanks to all of you who have donated so far - we're up to $1241!

Remember When...

The New York Times

May 3, 2003, Saturday, Late Edition - Final

SECTION: Section A; Page 1; Column 1; Foreign Desk

LENGTH: 1540 words

U.S. Plans to Reduce Forces In Iraq, With Help of Allies


The Bush administration is planning to withdraw most United States combat forces from Iraq over the next several months and wants to shrink the American military presence to less than two divisions by the fall, senior allied officials said today.

The United States currently has more than five divisions in Iraq, troops that fought their way into the country and units that were added in an attempt to stabilize it. But the Bush administration is trying to establish a new military structure in which American troops would continue to secure Baghdad while the majority of the forces in Iraq would be from other nations.

Under current planning, there would be three sectors in postwar Iraq. The Americans would keep a division in and around Baghdad; Britain would command a multinational division in the south near Basra; and Poland would command a third division of troops from a variety of nations.

The British are organizing a "force generation" conference next week in London to solicit troops for the effort, and another conference is likely to be held later this month in Warsaw.

The Bush administration's aim is to bring most of the American troops here back to their bases in the United States and Europe so they can prepare for potential crises.

The administration does not want substantial numbers of American forces to be tied down in Iraq. It is eager to avoid the specter of American occupation, and it is hoping to shift much of the peacekeeping burden of stabilizing Iraq to other governments.

If the administration plan is carried out, the effect would be to reduce the number of American troops in Iraq from over 130,000 soldiers and marines at present to 30,000 troops or fewer by the fall.


Greg Beato's on it.

Tom Friedman, Anti-Semite

No, of course not, but if this paragraph were judged by the "Krugman standard" he would be called one:

If President Bush wants to get a better handle on the problems he's facing in Iraq and the West Bank, I suggest he study the speech made Oct. 16 by Malaysia's departing prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, to a conclave of Muslim leaders. Most of that speech was a brutally frank look into the causes of the Muslim world's decline. Though it was also laced with shameful anti-Jewish slurs, it was still revealing. Five times he referred to Muslims as humiliated. If I've learned one thing covering world affairs, it's this: The single most underappreciated force in international relations is humiliation.

Krugman was exorciated by his many stalkers for calling the anti-Semitic comments "inexcusable" because he dared suggest we should consider why he should say such provocative things on the eve of a meeting with Bush. Friedman says it was "shameful" but "was still revealing."

Nothing to See Here

State department employee dead:

State Department sources told The Washington Post that John Kokal (search) worked in a unit that dealt with intelligence and research. Sources said he handled classified documents regularly but was not involved in intelligence analysis.

Police said the official cause and manner of death is to be determined by the D.C. medical examiner, the Post reported.

Fox News has confirmed that Kokal, 58, did work for the State Department Intelligence and Research Bureau (search), but has not yet confirmed that the body is that of Kokal.