Tuesday, May 15, 2007

alleged application to become an Islamic warrior

* LATimes:
"When federal prosecutors begin to present evidence Monday against terrorism suspect Jose Padilla, their case is expected to rest heavily on a single document: his alleged application to become an Islamic warrior."

* Indy:
"The most senior Taliban military commander in Afghanistan, Mullah Dadullah, is reported to have been killed in fighting yesterday.

Dadullah, who was one-legged and claimed links with al-Qa'ida, is said to have died in an operation involving US, British and Afghan forces in the south of the country. According to defence sources, his movement had been tracked for several days by satellite after information received from within insurgent ranks before he was ambushed between Sangin and Nahri Sarraj districts of Helmand.

The body of the 40-year-old, called the Afghan version of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the now dead Iraqi insurgent leader, was shown yesterday in Kandahar. The corpse, with the left leg missing, showed one bullet wound to the head and two to the stomach.

The decision by Kandahar Governor Assadullah Khalid to put the body on display was an attempt to prove that Dadullah really had been killed. Previous reports of his death had proved to be untrue. Mr Khalid said: " Mullah Dadullah was the backbone of the Taliban. He was a cruel commander who killed and beheaded Afghan civilians.""

* Tenet, via Jonathon:
"The lesson learned is that sometimes intentions do not reside in secret—they are out there all to see and hear. What we believe to be implausible often has nothing to do with how a foreign culture might act. We would learn this in a different way years later with regard to Iraq. We thought it implausible that someone like Saddam would risk the destruction of his regime over noncompliance with UN resolutions. What we did not account for was the mind-set never to show weakness in a very dangerous neighborhood—particularly in regard to a growing Iranian military capability. Relying on secrets by themselves, divorced from deep knowledge of cultural mind-sets and history, will take you only so far."

* Observer:
"But then the DC Madam scandal is, at its heart, about hypocrisy. It is about the Washington movers and shakers sweating out the prospect of Palfrey's court case. It is about the public face of a city whose political denizens exhort others to standards they clearly fail to meet themselves. 'We think of ourselves as faithful to our Puritan founders, but the US regularly loses its innocence with scandals like this,' says Bruce Gronbeck, an expert on political scandal at the University of Iowa.

Palfrey is not giving up. She recently turned over about 20 per cent of her client list to ABC News. She claims she did it to enlist its help in identifying her clients so they could exonerate her; it is a disingenuous argument. ABC's main investigative reporter, Brian Ross, concluded the names they found were not newsworthy enough to publish - yet it still devoted a prime-time show to highlighting the case and its exclusive interview with Palfrey.

Palfrey has barely begun. She will find other ways to get the names into the public domain. Many won't blame her. 'I never named names, but if she's getting in trouble, so should her clients,' says Cutler.

Palfrey has been selling interviews on eBay. She has also handed over a whole new section of her list to a group of Washington investigative writers and there is the coming court case in which she will be defended by Preston Burton, the lawyer who once represented Monica Lewinsky. That seems fitting. 'She's decided to fight this until the end,' says Mirabel.

The story of the DC Madam may have only just begun."

* John at BJ:
"I am so sick and tired of the role of religion in elections and politicvs. The role of religion in our national decision making should be simple- there shouldn’t be one. Religion is for the individual, and God should be celebrated/worshipped in the home, and in the church, and in the heart. Not in the middle of a national campaign, not as the centerpiece of legislation.

At any rate, I am not sure what all the fuss is about, anyway. Given the way Romney has flip-flopped on virtually every issue to try to get himself elected, by November 2008 he will have declared that he is Baptist."

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