"We could, of course, simply assume that the Israeli government and military establishment -- as well as their enablers in Washington -- are incompetent, reckless boobs who don't have the slightest idea what they're doing, or even what they're trying to do. Some of them, like our boob-in-chief, clearly fit the bill. But there is another simple, if cynical, explanation for what's going on here, and it has much less to do with Hezbollah than it does with Iran.
It may be that the imprecise use of air power in southern Lebanon is designed to send a very precise message to the leadership class in Tehran: This is what could happen to your country if we (that is, the USA and/or Israel) decide to launch a full-scale air attack. We may not know where all your nuclear facilities are, but we know exactly where your bridges, power plants, sewage plants, airports and government office buildings are -- and we won't hesitate to flatten them. Maybe we can't stop you from getting the bomb, just like we can't force Hezbollah to disarm, but we can make you pay a terrible price for it."
" A federal judge rejected on Thursday a request from the head of U.S. intelligence and other government officials to dismiss a lawsuit against AT&T which alleges the firm illegally allowed the government to monitor phone conversations and e-mail communications.Miguel: Bye, bye State Secrets
AT&T asked the court in late April to dismiss the case, and two weeks later the U.S. government also asked the federal judge to dismiss it, citing its state secrets privilege.
U.S. director of intelligence John Negroponte told the court in a filing that disclosing the information in the case "could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States."
In a 72-page ruling, Judge Vaughn Walker rejected that request regarding a case that has highlighted the domestic spying program acknowledged by
President George W. Bush.
"The very subject matter of this action is hardly a secret," the U.S. District Court for Northern California judge wrote. "Public disclosures by the government and AT&T indicate that AT&T is assisting the government to implement some kind of surveillance program."
"The compromise between liberty and security remains a difficult one," he continued. "But dismissing this case at the outset would sacrifice liberty for no apparent enhancement of security."
The judge cited what public officials, including Bush, and the media have already said in public about the eavesdropping program.
"Confirming or denying the existence of this program would only affect a terrorist who was insensitive to the publicly disclosed 'terrorist surveillance program' but cared about the alleged program here.