"It was perilous, but then Alexander Litvinenko was no stranger to risk. Over the summer months, the former Kremlin spy began finalising an extraordinary business proposition that may prove the most compelling motive yet for murder.* nomentum wants to send more troops to iraq. lindsay graham too on FNS.
Litvinenko claimed to have made contact with senior sources in the heart of the FSB, the successor to the KGB, who would supply him with a stream of confidential dossiers on any target that the 43-year-old exile requested.
These documents would, according to Litvinenko, be used to 'blackmail' some of Russia's most shadowy and formidable figures. It was simple: either they would pay or the world would learn their blackest secrets.
Among the theories that remain open is that the poisonings were an accident that happened while Litvinenko tried to assemble a dirty bomb for Chechen rebels. Those who know him believe he was crazy enough to attempt such a thing and, in the past week, some have implicated him in the smuggling of nuclear materials from Russia."
"Rumsfeld is guilty for his complicity in duping and lying to the American public about the Iraq War and for failing to take the responsibility for Guantanamo, Haditha, Abu Ghraib, and the shortage of body armor for U.S. soldiers -- among many other bad decisions.* frank rich:
But he is the modern McNamara who was and is smart enough -- as seen by this and previous leaked memos -- to see the right course but did nothing substantial to move a President who was making horrible decisions in a less destructive direction."
'When news organizations, politicians and bloggers had their own civil war about the proper usage of that designation last week, it was highly instructive - but about America, not Iraq. The intensity of the squabble showed the corrosive effect the president's subversion of language has had on our larger culture. Iraq arguably passed beyond civil war months ago into what might more accurately be termed ethnic cleansing or chaos. That we were fighting over "civil war" at this late date was a reminder that wittingly or not, we have all taken to following Mr. Bush's lead in retreating from English as we once knew it.
It's been a familiar pattern for the news media, politicians and the public alike in the Bush era. It took us far too long to acknowledge that the "abuses" at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere might be more accurately called torture. And that the "manipulation" of prewar intelligence might be more accurately called lying. Next up is "pullback," the Iraq Study Group's reported euphemism to stave off the word "retreat" (if not retreat itself).
But that election has come and gone, and Mr. Bush is more isolated from the real world than ever. That's scary. Neither he nor his party has anything to gain politically by pretending that Iraq is not in crisis. Yet Mr. Bush clings to his delusions with a near-rage - watch him seethe in his press conference with Mr. Maliki - that can't be explained away by sheer stubbornness or misguided principles or a pat psychological theory. Whatever the reason, he is slipping into the same zone as Woodrow Wilson did when refusing to face the rejection of the League of Nations, as a sleepless L.B.J. did when micromanaging bombing missions in Vietnam, as Ronald Reagan did when checking out during Iran-Contra."