According to Hardball guest host Ron Reagan, former Vice President Dick Cheney is a "war criminal" for endorsing waterboarding. On Thursday, the son of the former President attacked, "But the fact of the matter is...[Cheney's] a war criminal. Torture is a crime and this is a guy who can't travel to Europe anymore for fear of being- ending up in the Hague."
Reagan was commenting on a new interview Cheney has given to NBC in which he reiterates support for waterboarding. The liberal anchor discussed the subject with Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune. Reagan reiterated, "...Any neutral reading of, say, the U.N. Convention Against Torture makes it pretty clear that if you support waterboarding and you enact that sort of a policy, you're guilty of a war crime."
Thursday's NBC Today previewed an upcoming Dateline interview with Dick Cheney about his new memoir and labeled the former Vice President "controversial" three times in less than a minute. Co-host Ann Curry proclaimed him to be "one of the most controversial figures of our time." [Audio available here]
Turning to correspondent Jamie Gangel, who conducted the interview, Curry noted: "I understand that you asked the former Vice President, in a wide-ranging conversation, about one of the biggest controversies of his time in office and that's the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques?"
Gangel described how Cheney's book was "filled with revelations and he does not back down on those controversial programs he championed that made him such a lightning rod for criticism after 9/11."
Is the Obama Administration inappropriately disclosing classified data to movie producers in the hopes of getting a film about the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden released before the 2012 election? That is the question that Congressman Peter King (R-NY) is asking after word got out that the White House is giving inside information about the military raid that killed bin Laden earlier this year to the creators of the Oscar-winning film "Hurt Locker."
"This alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history," King wrote in a letter addressed to officials at the CIA and the Department of Defense which asked for full details on the government's involvement with the film. The Defense Department acknowledged the collaboration in an interview with the Wall Street Journal:
While Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) was calling for troop withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for that military spending to go to deficit reduction, CNN's Piers Morgan would not press him about U.S. military action in Libya – a decision authorized by Democrat President Obama.
Frank has been a champion of cutting the defense budget and continued his screed Tuesday night, calling for a $200 billion-a-year cut on military spending. He even criticized Obama's decision to leave troops in Iraq. However, he was not asked about Libya, and did not comment on it.
In an otherwise typically dismal column about President Barack Obama which is one part pity party and another part an attempt at building him a he-man reputation (not kidding), New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd describes an upcoming movie featuring the exploits of Navy SEAL Team 6 in the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden on May 1.
Dowd celebrates the fact that the movie's currently anticipated opening is October 12, 2012, describing it as "perfectly timed" and "just as Obamaland was hoping." She expects that it will "give a home-stretch boost to a campaign that has grown tougher," and "counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual."
Here are the relevant paragraphs from Dowd's column, including reference to a New Yorker column about the operation which has become the subject of considerable controversy (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
Fox News's Steve Doocy and former CIA officer Michael Scheuer took the gossip site Gawker to task Friday for claiming to out the identity of the CIA officer responsible for orchestrating the Osama bin Laden raid in May. "I think most of the media is anti-Agency, and they think it's fun to put people at risk," said Scheuer.
New York Times international columnist Roger Cohen smeared Sarah Palin and Republicans in general in a politically opportunistic hit piece, ostensibly about the massacre in Norway, posted to nytimes.com on Monday, “Breivik and His Enablers.”
On one level Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian responsible for the biggest massacre by a single gunman in modern times, is just a particularly murderous psychotic loner: the 32-year-old mama’s boy with no contact with his father, obsessed by video games (Dragon Age II) as he preens himself (“There was a relatively hot girl on [sic] the restaurant today checking me out”) and dedicates his time in asexual isolation to the cultivation of hatred and the assembly of a bomb from crushed aspirin and fertilizer.
No doubt, that is how Islamophobic right-wingers in Europe and the United States who share his views but not his methods will seek to portray Breivik.
We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon [sic], Arizona -- after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” -- the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)
But while the Times showed no reluctance to identify Anders Behring Breivik, the lone gunman in the Norway attacks, as a “Christian extremist” in a front-page headline and hinted at more danger from "right-wing extremists" in Europe (photo credit Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Agence France-Presse) the paper previously showed a clear reluctance to identify Islam after the last major terrorist attack on Europe, the deadly July 7, 2005 attacks by Muslim terrorists on subways and buses in London that killed 52. Instead the Times treated the attacks as British Prime Minister Tony Blair's "bitter harvest" for following President George W. Bush into Iraq.
He said it, he meant it, and there's no denying it.
On Monday, in a statement carried at the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the New York Times (Page A8 of Tuesday's print edition), and elsewhere, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad: "The reason you guys are here is because on 9/11 the United States got attacked. And 3,000 Americans — 3,000 not just Americans, 3,000 human beings, innocent human beings — got killed because of al-Qaeda. And we’ve been fighting as a result of that."
That sound you hear is a Democratic Party meme shattering into teeny tiny pieces. The attempts to put Humpty Dumpty together again, both by Panetta himself and the establishment press contingent following him, have been pathetic and ineffectual, which is what happens when one is up against succinctly stated truths.
On ABC’s World News on Sunday, a report by correspondent Jim Avila highlighted the complaints of left-wing mayors who expressed wishes that more defense spending would be redirected at projects in their cities.
The NBC correspondent speculated about what other items could be paid for using the money used by the Pentagon in Afghanistan and Iraq, and concluded the report seeming to suggest that spending on the wars had played a role in causing "damage" to the economy of the U.S. Avila: "It's a growing part of this country's war fatigue - a decade of human cost and damage to a struggling economy."
Over the course of the last few months, Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress, has been cherry-picking the Pledge of Allegiance in an attempt to portray prominent Republicans as bigoted islamophobes.
Earlier this year, Ellison responded to the Peter King hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims by saying that conservatives believe in liberty, but are against the “and justice for all.” In an appearance on MSNBC two weeks ago, he advised Herman Cain to “review that Pledge of Allegiance”, particularly the part proclaiming “liberty and justice for all.” And more recently, Ellison gave an interview to C-SPAN, in which he ran off a list of supposed differences between himself and Michele Bachmann. That list included a declaration that he, and apparently only he, “believe(s) in liberty and justice for all.”
One line however, does not an entire pledge make.
We know why Ellison is invoking this specific phrase from the pledge – liberty and justice for all. It is an attempt to push the progressive agenda of placating radical Muslims. But it is also important to counter such slander, by examining the motivations behind those that Ellison hopes to marginalize as islamophobic.
As she steps into her new role as CBS News Chief White House correspondent, Norah O'Donnell may have made a good impression on the man she'll now be covering with comments she made this weekend.
While chatting with the panel of "The Chris Matthews Show," O'Donnell told the host that President Obama has more aggressively prosecuted the War on Terror than George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NBC barely covered the Thursday arrests of two Islamists in a planned terrorist attack on a military facility in Seattle. The network didn't cover the breaking news at all on Thursday's Nightly News, and devoted only 17 seconds to it on Friday's Today Show. Thursday's CBS Evening News had a minute-long report on the arrests, while ABC had full reports on the arrests on World News and GMA.
CBS anchor Scott Pelley introduced correspondent Bob Orr's brief report on the terror plot: "It has been a busy 48 hours for the FBI. We learned today that agents have arrested two men in what the feds say was a terrorist plot to attack a military recruiting station in Seattle." Orr only made one indirect and vague reference to the suspects' religion: "The two men...somehow had become radicalized on their own." Actually, in an online report on Thursday, ABC referenced unnamed officials who stated that they are "believed to have met in prison and to have converted to Islam in prison."
New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, notorious for exposing (along with colleague Eric Lichtblau) two anti-terrorist government programs during the Bush years, filed an affidavit in federal court in Virginia on Tuesday, refusing to comply with a subpoena that he identify a source in his 2006 book “State of War” about a C.I.A. plan to feed Iran bad information to cripple its nuclear program.
After a long promotional listing of his journalistic credentials, Risen in the affidavit cites a 2006 report from ABC News claiming the Bush administration had harassed Risen and other journalists. "The Bush administration eventually singled me out as a target for political harassment," Risen writes in the filing.
Last Wednesday as Rep. Peter King conducted hearings on Muslim inmate radicalization in America's prisons, MSNBC was busy attacking the proceeding as unnecessary and/or unfairly targeted to unfairly single out the Islamic faith.
On Thursday's NBC Today, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd recited Obama administration spin as he gave a fully positive assessment of the President's Wednesday announcement of an Afghanistan troop withdrawal: "The President went with the most aggressive compromised withdrawal plan he could get commanders at the Pentagon to sign off on."
Moments later, Todd declared: "It was a sober sounding president, not a triumphant one, who announced from the White House that he's fulfilling his promise to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces next month." The headline on screen throughout the report touted a line from the speech that the White House was probably pleased with: "'A Position of Strength'; Obama Defends Plan For U.S. Troop Withdrawal."
President Obama announced last night that he will withdraw his entire 30,000 troop surge from 2009, bringing home 10,000 troops from Afghanistan this year, and an additional 20,000 troops by the end of next summer.
The plan is a much more aggressive withdrawal than recommended by the Gen. David Petraeus and other Pentagon officials, who recommended one more fighting season against the Taliban to maintain the recent gains American troops have made.
Check out a video of his speech after the break, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Appearing on Sunday's Meet the Press, NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried about the cost of combating terrorism and took the opportunity to bash the effort: "You talk about money the U.S. spent fighting this global war on terrorism. I think, which is a terrible misnomer, it's like a war on fear or something like that. And I think in many ways it has been a war of fear." [Audio available here]
Instead, on Friday night ABC offered a bunch of ways to describe Melaku , who caused a major incident when his car was found hidden in bushes near the Pentagon -- starting with anchor Diane Sawyer who identified him simply as a “Marine Lance Corporal.” Reporter Pierre Thomas referred to him as “the suspect” multiple times as well as a “Marine reservist,” “a 22-year old Ethiopian American” and a “lone wolf.”
With Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) holding a hearing on the radicalization of Muslim inmates in U.S. prisons, MSNBC's Thomas Roberts this morning set out to discredit the premise of the proceedings by interviewing Minnesota Democrat and practicing Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, Roberts reminded viewers of MSNBC's 11 a.m. Eastern hour of live news coverage, provided tearful testimony at a hearing in March on Islamic radicalization.
Roberts began his interview by practically holding Ellison forth as an expert when it comes to the data regarding prisoner radicalization (emphasis mine):
On Sunday, New York Times movie critic John Anderson issued a favorable profile of “If a Tree Falls,” a partisan documentary from Marshall Curry featuring convicted arsonist Daniel McGowan of the environmental terrorist group Earth Liberation Front: “Activist or Terrorist, Rendered in Red, White and Green.”
When Daniel McGowan moved in with his sister after college, he was so passionate about recycling that he took all the labels off her canned food. The problem was, he didn’t wait for her to open the cans. 'I didn’t know if I had soup, or what kind of soup; I don’t know if there’s peas, or corn,' Lisa McGowan said in an interview. 'He said, 'I never thought of that.'
Some would call Mr. McGowan overeager. The government calls him a terrorist.
The problem is, McGowan isn’t in jail for taking labels off canned food items but for arson and conspiracy related to the destruction of two lumber companies in Oregon, domestic terrorism credited to the Earth Liberation Front.
Fox News haters love to advance the myth that the network pushes exclusively conservative views and the anchors surround themselves with right-leaning yes men who never question them.
On the latest installment of "Fox News Sunday," liberal political analyst Juan Williams challenged host Chris Wallace's view of the public's support for the war in Afghanistan leading to a humorous exchange (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a surprise announcement, Bill Keller is resigning as New York Times executive editor as of September 6. He will be replaced by Jill Abramson, the paper’s managing editor, Jeremy Peters reported on nytimes.com Thursday morning.
Keller will still write for the paper: "As for Mr. Keller’s plans, he said he was still working out the details of a column he will write for the paper’s new Sunday opinion section, which will be introduced later this month."
Abramson will be the first woman to run the Times newsroom in the paper’s 160-year history. For Abramson, the Times is holy writ:
On Friday, the morning shows of the Big Three networks barely touched on President Obama approving the renewal of key provisions in the Patriot Act, avoiding the kind of criticism they launched during the terms of former President George W. Bush. During that time, the networks often expressed "concern...that civil liberties are threatened as never before" by the law, as CBS Evening News put it in 2003.
ABC's Good Morning America devoted one news brief to the development 17 minutes into 7 am Eastern hour. News anchor Josh Elliott noted how "President Obama signed an extension of the U.S. Patriot Act. He used a device called the auto pen because the bill had to be signed before midnight Washington time." NBC's Today show devoted the most attention to the presidential action with three news briefs from Ann Curry at 15 minutes past the 7 am Eastern hour, and at the top of the 8 and 9 am hours.
On The Early Show, CBS's Jeff Glor's brief on the Patriot Act extension, which aired at the same time as Curry's first brief on NBC, gave the most negative hint against the law of the three networks:
New York Times legal reporter Charlie Savage’s two stories on libertarian Sen. Rand Paul holding up extending sections of the Patriot Act ignored the huge hypocrisy of the act’s newest vocal defender, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The paper also demonstrated a new-found comfort on the part of the Times for the act, which it excoriated during the Bush years.
Reid attacked fellow Sen. Ron Paul in personal terms on the Senate floor Wednesday, but the Times ignored both the attack and Reid’s overheated defense of the Patriot Act, which would surely have been denounced as demagoguery coming from a Republican. Liberal journalist Spencer Ackerman called Reid a demagogue, saying "Dick Cheney would be proud." (Ouch!) Ackerman fumed:
The War Powers Act is relevant in certain circumstances, including (Section 1543) "in any case in which United States Armed Forces are introduced ... into the territory, airspace or waters of a foreign nation, while equipped for combat." This would clearly apply to the Libyan situation.
The Act requires timely presidential notification of the commencement of such operations. Though of dubious constitutionality, the Act further requires that (Section 1544) "Within sixty calendar days ... the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces" unless Congress has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization ..."
We're at Day 60, and the Obama administration isn't going to comply with any of this. Here is how the Associated Press is headlining and describing Barack Obama's failure to comply (copied in full for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):
How sad indeed when liberals turn on one another, their nastiness quickly achieving critical mass.
Radio host and columnist David Sirota wasn't expecting a call from fellow liberal and MSNBC loose-cannon Ed Schultz on his radio show yesterday, broadcast out of AM 760 in Denver.
When word filtered back to Schultz that Sirota was badmouthing him for Schultz's criticism of "intellectual liberal hand-wringing" over the manner of bin Laden's death, Schultz decided to give Sirota a call.
The result, lasting barely more than two minutes, was decidedly unpretty (audio clip below page break) --