The contrarian view that Hillary might sit out 2008 shows itself, just as Mickey Kaus predicted last month. Douglas MacKinnon's argument is worth reading, but consider a factor that he doesn't: the forward inertia of the Clinton fundraising machine. As long as the money keeps rolling in, it's very hard to see Hillary stepping aside.
The Spectacle Blog
First look at the Tierney translation of a most compelling part of the Saddam Hussein tapes from intelligencesummit.org: there is no fixed date to these exchanges. There is a clue when Saddam Hussein says that America experienced a terror attack two years before, suggesting 2000, two years after the 1998 attack on the embassies in Africa. There is no reference to 9-11.
John, Byron York, far from "sneering" at John Loftus, calls his judgement into question by reporting on his former investigations, publications, and opinions. Surely that's legitimate, and fact-based. Like this:
I first encountered (Loftus's) name in the fall of 2003, when I was working on a story about Bush hatred. I was looking at the people who claim that the Bush family got its wealth from financing the Nazis, and I discovered that one of the sacred texts of that particular worldview is a book, The Secret War Against the Jews, by the authors Mark Aarons and...John Loftus. In 1995, when the book appeared, Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman, who can reasonably be counted on to speak out against people who financed the Nazis, called it "so exaggerated, so scantily documented, so overwrought and convoluted in its presentation, that Loftus and Aarons render laughable their claim to offer 'a glimpse of the world as it really is.'"
First read through of material in the Bill Tierney slide show translation for the Saddam Hussein secret tapes at intelligencesummit.org yields dynamic and confounding material.
Saddam and his aides discuss the Iraq nuclear weapon program; they discuss "plasma" (which is part of hydrogen bomb science); they discuss "fission" bombs. These discussions appear to be after the year 2000. The translations are choppy, require much explanation and correlation, which Tierney does with bullet points and cross referencing with inspector material (he was an inspector before the 2003 invasion.)
Saddam and his aides also discuss asking the Russian, Brazilians and French for help with biologicals. They also discuss hidden missiles, hidden warheads. They discuss at length how to deceive the UN inspectors.
Much work to be done. Much to understand.
Remember, these are tapes that Saddam ordered made: they have been in the Coalition hands since April 2003. There may be thousands more hours of tapes.
See the intelligencesummit.org website now for the slide shows, the downloads of the Arabic.
I'm subbing for Hugh Hewitt again today. We're rocking along, with a lot of what the Prez said today, an interview with Attorney General Gonzales, and the Beltway Boys. Hope you can catch it.6-9 pm on the Salem Radio Network.
Source reports profound, long-term interest in the Saddam tapes from several major meda enterprises. The analysis of the Saddam tapes will go forward in the hands of translators, then in the hands of those who can correlate the tapes with the captured documents associated with DOCEX, then in the hands of the historians. It will be a long, century long, process; and the results will be relevant to the age and state and language in which the analysis is printed.
For now, it is important to speak to the political noise around the release of the tapes at intelligencesummit.org this weekend.
Hotline reports (free) that the White House press corps has learned its lesson from its coverage of the Cheney hunting accident over the weekend and this week. It needs to cover Cheney and his leisure excursions more. While Bush carries an organized press pool with him wherever he goes, Cheney's events are covered on a case-by-case basis and he doesn't suffer from a media watch on his house. Networks and newspapers are now talking about staking out the Naval Observatory and closely monitoring his movements.
That's the ticket. Just when you've gone overboard, turn it up a notch.
Anyone would be remiss, incidentally, not to praise Turkey up to the moon for coming down against violent Islamism. I've already expressed words to that effect, elsewhere, on the C-Intifada -- but now Zaman Online splashes this gem, front page:
Turkey in efforts to contribute to the Middle East peace process hosted the victor of January 25th Palestinian elections, the Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS).
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in line with international pressure made the suggestion "Give up violence, sit at the negotiation table with Israel for peace. Allow the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel side by side as two independent states."
Note to State: re-fax Russia this particular memo.
Mother Jones has a story up detailing the political machinations Democrats in Washington undertook to sabotage the Senate primary campaign of Iraqi veteran Paul Hackett. It's an ugly story.
Most interesting, though, is the role Rep. Henry Waxman and his staff played in the destruction of Hackett: essentially killing off fundraising prospects for Hackett's campaign and touting current Rep. Sherrod Brown's candidacy.
Just as compelling is the role that Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer played. Both heavily recruited Hackett, but then got nervous. It appears what made them sweat was the notion of having a real live Iraq war veteran on the Democrat ballot.
MoJo only hints at what we've reported, which is that Reid and Schumer and their minions inside the Democrat campaign establishment went out of their way to taint Hackett's credentials. They were instrumental in spreading rumors about Hackett's activities, and even after Hackett traveled to Washington and showed Reid photos upon which the rumors were based, Reid and his aides did nothing to tamp down the rumor mill in Ohio.