Sunday, November 06, 2005

Morning copy 11.06.2005

The Eighteenth Brumaire

Blogosphere/MSM contest: come up with the most pretentious pun about the French riots.

Opinion Journal's headline is "Les Misérables" and says in part:

With the situation threatening to get out of control, Mr. de Villepin at last got off his hands. Vowing to restore order, he dispatched heavy reinforcements to previously "no go" areas overrun by drug dealers, gangs and Islamic extremists. Most French voters share Mr. Sarkozy's brutally honest diagnosis of the law-enforcement problem there, not least--as in America's once blighted inner cities--the silent, non-violent majority who live in the tough Paris suburbs and whose cars and shops are going up in flames. In sheer numbers, France is Western Europe's most policed country. Yet all the years of malign neglect out in the Arab-dominated projects will be hard to undo overnight. France is bracing for worse.

BBC News:

France has suffered its heaviest riot damage yet as warnings of tough prison sentences failed to deter arsonists.

Police reported 1,295 vehicle burnings and made 312 arrests as unrest in African and Arab communities spread to Strasbourg, Toulouse and Nantes.

Times of London:

“We’re used to stones,” grinned Bigot as blaring sirens echoed off the walls of giant concrete tower blocks built in the 1960s and 1970s to house the first immigrants. “Household appliances are a bit more dangerous. A falling television or a toaster, it could kill you.”

Monsters and Critics:

The rioters have also started using motorbikes and mobile phones to trace the movements of police riot squads, in tactics reminiscent of urban guerrilla movements.

Karl Rove

Mike Allen in TIME has another major story.

Karl Rove's colleagues don't know exactly when it will happen, but they are already laying out the reasons they will give for the departure of the man President George W. Bush dubbed the architect. A Roveless Bush seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. But that has changed as the President's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff remains embroiled in the CIA leak scandal.

Peter Wallsten and Tom Hamburger in the Los Angeles Times:

But in the White House, where Karl Rove is under federal investigation for his role in the exposure of a covert CIA officer, the longtime advisor to President Bush continues to enjoy full access to government secrets.

That is drawing the attention of intelligence experts and prominent conservatives as a debate brews over whether Rove should retain his top-secret clearance and remain in his post as White House deputy chief of staff — even as Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald mulls over whether to charge him with a crime in connection with the operative's exposure.

Intelligence or lack there of

Very important story in the New York Times today:

The document, an intelligence report from February 2002, said it was probable that the prisoner, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, “was intentionally misleading the debriefers’’ in making claims about Iraqi support for Al Qaeda’s work with illicit weapons.

The document provides the earliest and strongest indication of doubts voiced by American intelligence agencies about Mr. Libi’s credibility. Without mentioning him by name, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Colin L. Powell, then secretary of state, and other administration officials repeatedly cited Mr. Libi’s information as “credible’’ evidence that Iraq was training Al Qaeda members in the use of explosives and illicit weapons.

Dick Cheney

Daniel Klaidman and Michael Isikoff in Newsweek:

The vice president could be forgiven for retreating to his undisclosed location and waiting out the worst of it. Instead, his response has been pure Cheney. He's not budging. If anything—as the Senate meeting shows—the veep has become more convinced that he's right and his opponents are wrong.

Samuel Alito

Profiled by Stuart Taylor Jr. and Evan Thomas in Newsweek:

At Yale, it was fashionable (then and now) to believe that the law could be used as a tool of social reform. In this hothouse atmosphere (Bill and Hillary Clinton were third-year students) Alito was an island of dispassion. A classmate, Anthony Kronman, recalls that the first time Alito was called on in class, "he answered with such calm that I was taken aback." Unlike the other students, who viewed the law through an ideological prism, Alito was more interested in the nuts and bolts—the complexities, the importance of precedent, the uses of logic and reason. "At the time, if you had asked me what Sam's political slant was, I would have been at a loss to tell you," says Kronman, who is a former dean of Yale Law School.

Patriot act

In today's Washington Post:

The Connecticut case affords a rare glimpse of an exponentially growing practice of domestic surveillance under the USA Patriot Act, which marked its fourth anniversary on Oct. 26. "National security letters," created in the 1970s for espionage and terrorism investigations, originated as narrow exceptions in consumer privacy law, enabling the FBI to review in secret the customer records of suspected foreign agents. The Patriot Act, and Bush administration guidelines for its use, transformed those letters by permitting clandestine scrutiny of U.S. residents and visitors who are not alleged to be terrorists or spies.

Tom DeLay

His defense is analyzed in the Washington Post:

Other politicians caught in a legal bind have tried to make a similar case that they were victims of prosecutorial excess or partisan attack. But few have done it to the degree of DeLay and his allies, who have launched an aggressive campaign to portray the former House majority leader as both a victim of a vendetta and an irreplaceable champion of conservatism.

Ahmad Chalabi

In the New York Times:

In a series of closed meetings, including one with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, Mr. Chalabi said he had spoken to the Iranians about Iranian interference in Iraq’s domestic politics, a move likely to endear him to the Bush administration.

Warren Beatty, Annette Bening and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Only in Kal-ee-fornia. The Los Angeles Times:

An outspoken opponent of the governor's agenda, Beatty refused to leave when Schwarzenegger's campaign team made it clear he was not welcome at the invitation-only event and accused Beatty of being a force for the political status quo.


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