ThinkFast: April 9, 2007

On the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and the toppling of Saddam’s statue, up to one million Iraqi Shias summoned by Moqtada al-Sadr “have gathered in the holy city of Najaf for a mass demonstration calling for US-led troops to leave Iraq.”

The Washington Post interviews a man who helped sledgehammer Saddam’s statue: “We got rid of a tyrant and tyranny. But we were surprised that after one thief had left, another 40 replaced him. Now, we regret that Saddam Hussein is gone, no matter how much we hated him.”

President Bush heads to the Arizona border today for a speech debuting his new, more hard-line conservative approach to immigration “devised after weeks of closed-door meetings with Republican senators.” has uncovered further evidence that the military, in a desperate effort to fill its ranks for President Bush’s escalation, “sent soldiers with acute post-traumatic stress disorder, severe back injuries and other serious war wounds back to Iraq.”


“After weeks of arguing over when the military will run out of money, House and Senate Republicans hope to up the rhetorical ante this week by formally calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to bring the House back from a two-week spring recess to finish drafting the controversial $120 billion-plus Iraq War spending bill.”

“Army prosecutions of desertion and other unauthorized absences have risen sharply in the last four years,” as negative discharges and prison time are being used “to serve as a deterrent to a growing number of soldiers who are ambivalent about heading — or heading back — to Iraq and may be looking for a way out.”

The New York Times calls for an investigation of a “loyal Bushie” U.S. Attorney in Wisconsin. “The case involved Georgia Thompson, a state employee sent to prison on the flimsiest of corruption charges just as her boss, a Democrat, was fighting off a Republican challenger. It just might shed some light on a question that lurks behind the firing of eight top federal prosecutors: what did the surviving attorneys do to escape the axe?

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service might reclassify manatees as ‘threatened’ instead of ‘endangered,’ a move that would cause the animal to lose its endangered species protection, according to an internal memo obtained by The Washington Post.”

And finally: A real-life blogger ethics panel? “A few high-profile figures in high-tech are proposing a blogger code of conduct to clean up the quality of online discourse.” Chief among their recommendations “is that bloggers consider banning anonymous comments left by visitors to their pages and be able to delete threatening or libelous comments without facing cries of censorship.”