"Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger, former adviser to Richard Nixon, to be a political consultant and he accepted."* me:
"maybe the Turks / Bin Ladin / Gray Wolves / Ledeen were going to take out a hit on the Pope, and so the Pope had to get his own 'heavy' as a signal that his team knows that something is in the wings?"a moment, and/or strategy, of tension.
* Ken at Harpers has done a great job on the Turkish/Lockheen/Cohen/Raslton story, with an assist from Mizgin. He ends thusly:
"It’s hard to understand how the Bush Administration could appoint a special envoy with so many conflicts of interest, but Lockheed’s corporate slogan says it all: “We never forget who we’re working for.” Neither, it seems, does General Ralston."
"House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has decided against naming either Rep. Jane Harman (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, or Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.), the panel's No. 2 Democrat, to chair the pivotal committee next year."yay!
"A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled that key portions of a presidential order blocking financial assistance to terrorist groups are unconstitutional, further complicating the Bush administration's attempts to defend its aggressive anti-terrorism tactics in federal courts.
U.S. District Judge Audrey B. Collins, in a ruling released late Monday, found that two provisions of an executive order signed Sept. 23, 2001, are impermissibly vague because they allow the president to unilaterally designate organizations as terrorist groups and broadly prohibit association with such groups.
Bruce Fein, a Justice Department official in the Reagan years who has criticized the Bush administration's broad assertions of executive power, said that appealing Collins's ruling may carry more risks for the government than simply changing the executive order's language.
"If they take this up on appeal, they risk another repudiation of this omnipotent-presidency theory that they have," Fein said."