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ThinkFast: July 5, 2007

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"ThinkFast: July 5, 2007"

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President Bush equated the war in Iraq with the U.S. war for independence during a speech yesterday. “Like those revolutionaries who ‘dropped their pitchforks and picked up their muskets to fight for liberty,’ Bush said, American soldiers were also fighting ‘a new and unprecedented war’ to protect U.S. freedom.”

Associates of Bilal Abdulla, the doctor “who is accused of riding a flaming Jeep into Glasgow’s international airport on Saturday, say he was a religious zealot and a lone wolf whose anger about political developments in Iraq may have driven him to an act of terrorism.”

453: Number of unidentified corpses, “some bound, blindfolded, and bearing signs of torture,” found in Baghdad during June, an increase of 41 percent since the escalation began in January.

U.S. diplomats in Iraq, “increasingly fearful over their personal safety after recent mortar attacks inside the Green Zone,” filed a cable highlighting “a cascade of building and safety blunders” in the U.S. Embassy construction project in Baghdad “as signs that their vulnerability could grow in the months ahead.”

In his upcoming memoir, The Prince of Darkness, 50 Years Reporting in Washington, Robert Novak “will seek to settle some scores with colleagues in the nation’s capitol. But he won’t be expressing any regrets for printing the name of and ‘outing’ covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson.” He writes, “Judging it on the merits, I would still write the story.”

Contractors returning home from Iraq with the same combat-related mental health problems that afflict American military personnel, “are largely left on their own to find care, and their problems often go ignored or are inadequately treated.” Many who file claims for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder are denied coverage.

Ever since Hamas won the Palestinian parliamentary elections in Jan. 2006, the Bush administration has pursued a strategy — crafted by deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams — that “helped to exacerbate dangerous political fissures in Palestinian politics [and has] delivered another setback to the president’s vision of a stable, pro-Western Middle East.”

The Senate is expected to join the House next week in blocking the Bush administration’s plan to place elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe by reducing funds for “construction of 10 interceptor missile sites in Poland and for deployment of an X-band radar in the Czech Republic.”

And finally: Yesterday in Clear Lake, IA, “thousands of people cheered along the Fourth of July parade route.” They were most “gaga” over a “tall man with the familiar white hair.” “Bob Barker! It’s Bob Barker!” two women shrieked. But it was actually President Bill Clinton, marching with his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). The women weren’t disappointed. Realizing “who it really was, they seemed just as thrilled, shouting, ‘Ohhhh!’ and clapping madly.”

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments section.

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