Kaloogian’s latest excuse.
Imus Executive Producer: Carroll is “The Kind of Woman Who Would Wear One of Those Suicide Vests, Sneak Into the Green Zone”
There was a shocking segment earlier today on the popular radio/television show “Imus In The Morning.” Watch this exchange between Executive Producer (and “quick-witted on-air contributor”) Bernard McGuirk and Don Imus’ sidekick Charles McCord.
MCGUIRK: She strikes me as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests. You know, walk into the — try and sneak into the Green Zone.
IMUS: Oh, no. No, no, no, no.
MCCORD: Just because she always appears in traditional Arab garb and wearing a burka.
MCGUIRK: Yeah, what’s with the head gear? Take it off. Let’s see.
MCCORD: Exactly. She cooked with them, lived with them.
IMUS: This is not helping.
MCGUIRK: She may be carrying Habib’s baby at this point.
IMUS: She could. It’s not like she was representing the insurgents or the terrorists or those people.
MCCORD: Well, there’s no evidence directly of that -
IMUS: Oh, gosh, you better shut up!
MCGUIRK: She’s like the Taliban Johnny or something.
Full transcript posted HERE.
This week at a conference in Jordan, Blackwater USA vice chairman Cofer Black announced that the private security company is ready to shift from a security role to a more “overt combat role,” essentially becoming an army for hire.
The Bush administration has shown itself more than willing to call in Blackwater in place of U.S. troops.
In Aug. 2003, the Bush administration awarded Blackwater a $21.3 million contract to guard then Amb. Paul Bremer. The average senior special operations officer makes $50,000 a year from the U.S. government. Employees in private security firms in Iraq often make more than $1,000 a day from government contracts. This arrangement is “depleting the ranks of the special forces,” luring them into lucrative private jobs.
Some military analysts initially welcomed the administration’s private security arrangement with Blackwater because it allowed “regular military troops to concentrate on fighting.” But Blackwater’s new proposal would shift some of the fighting to the private sector, further diminishing the role of the all-volunteer army.
Today, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller cited a “prominent Republican” who says Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten wants to replace Treasury Secretary Snow with someone who could “more forcefully communicate the administration’s message that the economy is strong”:
A prominent Republican in Washington who consults often with the White House said Mr. Bolten, who is to assume his duties next month, wants Mr. Bush to replace the Treasury secretary, John W. Snow, with someone who can more forcefully communicate the administration’s message that the economy is strong. This Republican was granted anonymity to discuss private deliberations within the administration.
Bumiller wrote a very similar article last December, but with one important difference – she named House speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) as the one saying that Snow needed “to be more aggressive in talking about the economy”:
The grousing about Mr. Snow was so loud that even Democratic Congressional aides were aware that the House speaker, Representative J. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, had complained to Mr. Card and Mr. Bartlett that the administration needed to be more aggressive in talking about the economy.
It seems likely that Bumiller’s source on Bolten today was Speaker Hastert, who “sealed the fate” of the first Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill. (According to Robert Novak, Bolten and Hastert get along “especially” well.) But why are they upset with Snow?
Bumiller reports it’s because conservatives want a new Treasury Secretary to “reassure financial markets, which are increasingly worried about record-high budget and trade deficits.” It makes sense that Josh Bolten — who oversaw a $1.8 trillion expansion of the national debt as OMB Director — would be particularly sensitive to this issue.
Robert Novak says Josh Bolten’s appointment as chief of staff is “confirmation of Karl Rove’s supremacy in the White House.” No surprise, considering Bolten’s “guiding principle”: “absolute loyalty to the boss.”
Number of Iraqis who have been displaced as a result of the sectarian violence over the past month.
Justice Antonin Scalia gestures “go take it in the ass” in church.
Listen live HERE. Topics include: Iraq, Michelle Wie and John McCain. Call in and sound off: 1-866-557-7377. Leave questions and comments in this thread and we’ll read them live on the show.
Today, Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll released after three months of being held in captivity in Iraq by kidnappers. The National Review’s John Podhoretz responded by attacking her mental state:
It’s wonderful that she’s free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn’t beaten or killed — while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is — I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days.
This is a day that we should celebrate Jill Carroll’s courage. She put herself in danger to try to give the world a more accurate picture of Iraq. It is totally inappropriate to assume that her description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth.
Podhoretz owes Jill Carroll an apology.
UPDATE: Imus Executive Producer: Carroll is “The Kind of Woman Who Would Wear One of Those Suicide Vests, Sneak Into the Green Zone”
UPDATE II: Andrew Sullivan agrees JPod was out of line.
UPDATE III: Right-wing author and blogger Orrin Judd says Carroll’s comments prove “she was a willing participant” in her own kidnapping.
UPDATE IV: Powerline’s John Hinderaker joins in: “…I want to register a small protest against her statement, widely quoted in the press, that she was ‘well treated’ by her captors. This is a sentiment that one often hears from people who have been released by kidnappers; one gets the sense that the victims are grateful–understandably, perhaps–to the terrorists for letting them go.”
The administration appears to be taking “measures in Iraq that would wreck its most cherished goal there: democracy.” Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said Bush’s latest efforts cause “concern among the Iraqi people that the democratic process is being threatened.”
The UK Independent presents examples of the Lincoln Group’s propaganda work in Iraq, which one military specialist described as “comical.” One exaggerated headline: ‘IRAQI ARMY DEFEATS TERRORISM.’
The nation’s capital is still not prepared to deal with a terrorist attack.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a bill yesterday that would put lawsuits challenging the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program on a fast track to the Supreme Court.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) “left open the possibility” yesterday that Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) resolution to censure Bush over his warrantless domestic spying program “could get its day before the full Senate.” Specter “suggested it could be brought to the floor under a rare procedural move.”
Josh Bolten’s first act as chief of staff may be trying to convince Bush to replace Treasury Secretary John Snow “with someone who can more forcefully communicate the administration’s message that the economy is strong.” Read more