Washington Post blogger Ben Domenech regrets the error.
says faculty are forbidden to use the “e-word” (evolution). More: “I am instructed NOT to use hard numbers when telling kids how old rocks are. I am supposed to say that these rocks are VERY VERY OLD…but I am NOT to say that these rocks are thought to be about 300 million years old.”
McCLELLAN: Well, I think you should look at the Afghan constitution. It was a constitution that was widely praised for how forward-looking it was and the values that are enshrined in that constitution. And it’s important for the government of Afghanistan to reaffirm the bedrock principles in that constitution, one of which is freedom of religion.
McClellan added that the prosecution of Abdul Rahman for converting to Christianity “clearly violates the Afghan constitution.” It’s not true. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an government entity, explained in a letter it sent to President Bush yesterday:
On several previous occasions, the Commission has raised concern that the Afghan constitution’s failure to include adequate guarantees of freedom of religion and expression for members of the country’s majority Muslim community could lead to unjust criminal accusations of apostasy and blasphemy. With no guarantee of the right to religious freedom for all individuals, together with a judicial system instructed to enforce Islamic principles and Islamic law, the door is open for a harsh, unfair, or even abusive interpretation of religious orthodoxy to be officially imposed…
This is an extremely important distinction. If the Afghan constitution protected freedom of religion, the entire issue could be resolved by convincing the Afghan government to drop the case against Rahman. Actually, it’s a systemic problem, rooted in the constitution, that requires the United States to pressure the Afghan government to make fundamental reforms.
The USCIRF has been encouraging the Bush administration to do just that for years, to no avail.
Having left the administration, Natsios now blasts the Iraq contracting process that he helped oversee: “The contractors they chose weren’t the best people. I heard lots of stories. The staff would come in and say a group of retired officers has set up a business and they got this contract, and they didn’t have any qualifications for it.” And Natsios said nothing until now.
Fox News published a story this week headlined, “Premium Placed on Lobbyists Who Served in Congress.” The first two paragraphs:
What do Tom Daschle, John Ashcroft, Fred Thompson, J.C. Watts, Zell Miller and Dick Gephardt have in common these days?
They are all former members of Congress “” and they are all registered lobbyists.
Actually, neither Gephardt nor Daschle (who is a fellow at the Center for American Progress) are or have been registered lobbyists since they left office, according to the U.S. Senate’s official database. We called both their offices to confirm the Senate’s records.
The error is especially egregious considering how easy it is to find out who has been registered as a lobbyist. Just search a name at http://sopr.senate.gov. Ashcroft, Thompson, Watts, and Miller are all there. Gephardt and Daschle — the only two progressives on Fox’s list — aren’t.
Email Fox News at email@example.com and tell them to correct the record for their readers. (Remember, be polite.)
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld declined to predict on Thursday when U.S. forces would completely leave Iraq, a decision President Bush has said would be up to a future U.S. president and a future Iraqi government. “I’ve avoided predicting the timing,” Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon.
The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. [11/14/02]
It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months. [2/7/03]
The cost of the Iraq war, according to a new analysis by the Center for Strategic & Budgetary Assessments.
“The headquarters of the anti-terrorist unit in Baghdad was today targeted in a wave of bomb attacks that left at least 56 people dead.” A second car bombing at a market area outside a Shia mosque left 6 dead and more than 20 wounded, “many of them children.”
“Former first lady Barbara Bush donated an undisclosed amount of money to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund with specific instructions that the money be spent with an educational software company owned by her son Neil.” TPM has details on Neil’s firm.
The latest White House talking point on Iraq is that the media is systematically ignoring the “good news” about the war. Secretary Rumsfeld has led the charge, and right-wing bloggers are serving as an echo chamber. Last night, Newsweek’s Richard Wolffe explained what’s going on:
At a time when…conservatives in general are feeling very disillusioned about the war and about their president, you’ve got to find something to rally around. Beating up the media is one of those.
So far, the public isn’t buying the spin: 60 percent of Americans believe that the media are reporting events in Iraq either accurately or better than they really are. And they’re right.
Eyewitness accounts both by the Bush administration and by journalists on the ground back up the media’s perspective of the chaos and refute the right-wing’s claims of journalistic neglect:
State Department Human Rights Practices report on Iraq, 3/8/06:
[A] climate of extreme violence in which people were killed for political and other reasons. … Bombings, executions, killings, kidnappings, shootings, and intimidation were a daily occurrence throughout all regions and sectors of society. An illustrative list of these attacks, even a highly selective one, could scarcely reflect the broad dimension of the violence.