“U.S. intelligence and terrorism experts say they believe Iran would respond to U.S. military strikes on its nuclear sites by deploying its intelligence operatives and Hezbollah teams to carry out terrorist attacks worldwide,” the Washington Post reports. There is “a growing consensus that Iran’s agents would target civilians in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.”
Fox News and others have relentlessly pushed the line that the media is too negative in its reporting on Iraq. Former CENTCOM commander Gen. Anthony Zinni was asked about this critique this morning on Meet the Press.
RUSSERT: Do you believe the American media is distorting the news from Iraq or presenting an accurate picture?
ZINNI: Well, I think the American media is being made a scapegoat for what’s going on out there. At last count, I think something like 80 journalists have been killed in Iraq. It’s hard to get outside the Green Zone and not risk your life or risk kidnapping at a minimum to get the story. And it’s hard to blame the media for no good stories when the security situation is such that they can’t even go out and get the good stories without risking their lives. And you have to remember that it’s hard to dwell on the good things when the bad things are so overwhelmingly traumatic and catastrophic. So I think that’s an unfair blame that’s put on the media. I think that there probably are good things at the lower level, but are they balanced out by the bad things that are happening? All the good things happening out there will mean nothing if this unity government doesn’t come together.
This morning on Meet the Press, Gen. Anthony Zinni, former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, called on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush officials to resign for making a “series of disastrous mistakes” in Iraq. Watch it:
ZINNI: There’s a series of disastrous mistakes. We just heard the Secretary of State say these were tactical mistakes. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policies made back here. Don’t blame the troops. They’ve been magnificent. If anything saves us, it will be them.
RUSSERT: Should someone resign?
ZINNI: Secretary of Defense to begin with.
RUSSERT: Anyone else?
ZINNI: Well, I think that we — those that have been responsible for the planning, for overriding all the efforts that were made in planning before that, that those that stood by and allowed this to happen that didn’t speak out – and there were appropriate ways within the system you can speak out, at congressional hearings and otherwise — I think they have to be held accountable.
Full transcript below: Read more
This morning on Meet the Press, Sen. John McCain declared that right-wing Rev. Jerry Falwell is no longer an “agent of intolerance,” as McCain described him in 2000. Watch it:
RUSSERT: Do you believe that Jerry Falwell is still an agent of intolerance?
MCCAIN: No, I don’t. I think that Jerry Falwell can explain to you his views on this program when you have him on.
Back in 2000, when McCain was asked whether he stood by his description of Falwell, he said, “I must not and will not retract anything that I said in that speech at Virginia Beach. It was carefully crafted, it was carefully thought out.” (Hardball, 3/1/00)
UPDATE: Georgia10 has more.
Full transcript below: Read more
Last night, journalist Jill Carroll issued a statement. Here’s is an excerpt:
I also gave a TV interview to the Iraqi Islamic Party shortly after my release. The party had promised me the interview would never be aired on television, and broke their word. At any rate, fearing retribution from my captors, I did not speak freely…
I want to be judged as a journalist, not as a hostage. I remain as committed as ever to fairness and accuracy–to discovering the truth–and so I will not engage in polemics. But let me be clear: I abhor all who kidnap and murder civilians, and my captors are clearly guilty of both crimes.
As I explained before Carroll’s statement was released, future comments by Carroll “may not be completely consistent with what she said moments after being released” but “Carroll is the only one who know the facts.” (Goldberg falsely claims that ThinkProgress and others “took her initial statements at face value.”) The point was that, until the full story is revealed by Carroll, it is inappropriate for pundits like Goldberg and Podhoretz to attack her personally.
Goldberg and Podhoretz both suggested that Carroll was suffering from a mental disorder. (Goldberg: “maybe JPod’s right about Stockholm syndrome.”) Goldberg said that he was “getting a bad vibe” from Carroll and she was “really starting to bug me.” He followed up by asserting that her “moral center” was not “in good order” and she wasn’t “thinking clearly.”
Now Goldberg and Podhoretz think I should apologize to them for criticizing their remarks. I will not. (Podhoretz claims that my earlier call for him to apologize – which I stand by – damages “civil discourse.” Goldberg, to his credit, apologizes for suggesting she was a terrorist sympathizer.) The attacks on her mental state and her character were completely unjustified. Carroll’s statement only underscores that.