Patterico's Pontifications


Michael Yon Reports from Iraq

Filed under: War — Patterico @ 11:14 pm

Here is a taste of the reporting being done by Michael Yon from Iraq. It is a thousand times better and more gripping than anything you will read in any Big Media outlet. Just amazing, with pictures and excellent writing. Go read it, now.

Rutten Accepts Hewitt’s Demand to Tape and Broadcast His Interview

Filed under: Media Bias — Patterico @ 8:58 pm

I previously mentioned Hugh Hewitt’s demand that Big Media journalists who wish to interview him do so on the air, so everyone can hear the interview and learn what was put in the story — and what was left out. I added a caveat: if a journalist claims that a live broadcast would blow his/her story, Hugh should agree to tape it and delay the broadcast until after the story has run. It looks like Hugh has agreed to just such an arrangement with the L.A. Times‘s Tim Rutten:

I pretaped a 45 minute interview with The Los Angeles Times’ media essayist Tim Rutten today. Tim had called to interview me about talk radio, and I pulled my standard “OK, if you do it on air.” Rutt[e]n countered with the offer of a delay of the broadcast of the tape until Monday, which is fine by me. We cover a lot of ground, especially on the subject of bias at the Los Angeles Times. You can hear it Monday.

I’m looking forward to this. First we’ll see Rutten’s column, and then we’ll hear the interview on the radio. Of course, we’ll never know to what extent the Heisenberg Principle was at work: would Rutten have written the same column if he didn’t know the interview would be broadcast? Still, an interesting experiment indeed. I’ll look forward especially to the reaction of Linda Seebach.

I’m also looking forward with great interest to the discussion about bias in the L.A. Times. Man, this’ll be fun.

A Modest Proposal

Filed under: Judiciary,War — Patterico @ 7:05 pm

Many have recently expressed concerns that the Iraqi constitution may overemphasize religion.

I believe I have the solution. Don’t worry about the language of the Iraqi constitution. The key to keeping the Iraqi government secular is constitutional interpretation.

I therefore propose that President Bush donate Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter, and Breyer to Iraq, to be Justices of a new Iraqi Supreme Court. These Justices can be relied upon to secularize the Iraqi government, regardless of the actual language of the Iraqi constitution, or any traditions of religious observance in Iraqi public life.

We’d miss them, of course. But sometimes sacrifices must be made — for the greater good, you understand.

Clinton Watson Taylor on Leaving Evil Unchallenged

Filed under: War — Patterico @ 6:57 pm

In an article at National Review Online, Clinton Watson Taylor says:

What have we learned from Fallujah? If nothing else, we’ve seen that evil unchallenged only grows stronger.

Which leads to another question posed by Mr. Taylor: if you believe that, then why is Moqtada al-Sadr still walking around?

Good question.

Is Anybody Reading “Outside the Tent” at the L.A. Times?

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 6:52 pm

You can see the L.A. Times is really taking the message of my recent “Outside the Tent” op-ed to heart, in its Peter Wallsten article about Cindy Sheehan today titled Back in Crawford, Sheehan Vows Not to Quit.


Let’s look at one curious and horribly written sentence from the article, to see why I say “not” (in bold type, no less!):

The president met with Sheehan in 2004, but she has since said she was offended by his approach — when he repeatedly referred to her as “mom,” and learned later that the weapons of mass destruction initially used to justify the March 2003 invasion were never found.

Who learned what now?

I don’t think Peter Wallsten meant to say that Bush later learned that the WMD were never found. I guess Wallsten means that Sheehan learned after her 2004 meeting with Bush that the WMD were never found. And, I suppose, that is mentioned to explain why Sheehan is all hot under the collar now — as opposed to then, when she praised the president (a fact the paper has still, even now, never mentioned on its news pages).

Except that Sheehan has experienced no change in attitude about the war — she was against it before the meeting, during the meeting, and immediately after the meeting. So what’s the point of mentioning WMD in that sentence?

And what is the meaning of saying that WMD were “initially used to justify the March 2003 invasion”? I think the (false) implication here, if you flesh it out, is that Bush never mentioned democracy as a justification before the war — otherwise, Wallsten should say WMD were “initially used as a justification for the March 2003 invasion.”

The idea that the president didn’t mention democracy initially, or whispered it only in passing, is a myth that this paper has been pushing for some time. I’ll grant you that WMD were the main reason to go to war in most people’s minds, including mine. But if Wallsten is suggesting that democracy wasn’t a justification for war before the fact, that ain’t true.

By the way, Sheehan says that it wouldn’t make any difference if Bush decided to meet with her: “If George Bush came out and spoke with me today and we went home, this wouldn’t end.”

Maybe at least we can now all stop wondering why Bush isn’t meeting with her.

Cindy Sheehan: Terrorists Are “Freedom Fighters”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Sheehan,War — Patterico @ 7:02 am

Well, Cindy Sheehan is back in Crawford. So, whether you’re bored of her story or not, you’re going to get more of it. But the media probably won’t tell you that she has used the term “freedom fighters” to refer to the terrorists fighting American forces in Iraq.

The video is available at this link. It is Sheehan responding to a question from CBS News correspondent Mark Knoller’s question: “You know that the President says Iraq is the central front in the war on terrorism; don’t you believe that?” Here is Sheehan’s response:

Um, no, because it’s not true. You know, Iraq was no threat to the United States of America until we invaded. I mean, they’re not even a threat to the United States of America. Iraq was not involved in 9/11. Iraq was not a terrorist state.

But now that we have decimated the country, the borders are open. Uh, freedom fighters from other, um, countries are going in. And they have created more terrorism by going to an Islamic country, devastating the country and killing innocent people in that country.

The terrorism is growing. And people who never thought of being car bombers or suicide bombers are now doing it because they want the United States of America out of their, out of their country.

It takes your breath away, doesn’t it? These are the very people who killed her son, and she is calling them “freedom fighters.”

News? You be the judge. The blog post with the video was published two days ago. But Sheehan’s “freedom fighters” reference is apparently not important to the L.A. Times, which has not reported that or similar statements since the Sheehan controversy began. (The closest the paper has come was to publish my op-ed.)

Instead, the paper is running stories like today’s, titled Bush Invokes Military Mother to Defend War. Rather than searching out military mothers who support the war, the paper just sits back and waits for Bush to tell their stories, and then portrays him as exploiting them. The story mentions Cindy Sheehan in the context of drawing a parallel between Iraq and Vietnam, describing her as “[t]he most prominent of the antiwar activists.”

Oh, well. In that case, we’d better not tell readers that she is calling terrorists “freedom fighters.”

No Evidence — That We’re Going to Tell You About, Anyway . . .

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:35 am

The L.A. Times story on Able Danger yesterday, titled No Evidence Atta Was Identified, consisted of two entire paragraphs:

The Pentagon has been unable to validate claims that a secret intelligence unit identified Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta as a terrorist more than a year before the attacks, a Defense Department spokesman said.

Larry Di Rita said research into the matter continued, but that there had been no evidence that the intelligence unit, called Able Danger, came up with information as specific as an Army Reserve officer associated with the program had asserted.

That’s two instances of the phrase “no evidence” — one in the headline, and one in the body of this puny little story. But one leetle name is noticeably missing from the story: Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott. Independent Sources explains.

P.S. This is the last story the paper ran on Able Danger. Nice job, guys.

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