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Jack Kelly

PROSECUTING JOURNALISTS – AND SENATORS – FOR TREASON?

Journalists will be paying rapt attention when Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman go on trial next month for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman were officials of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.  They received classified information from Lawrence Franklin, an analyst at the Department of Defense, which they passed on to an Israeli diplomat, and to journalists.  They are the first private citizens ever to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

Mr. Franklin pled guilty Jan. 20th and was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison, though his sentence could be reduced in exchange for testimony against Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman.

Journalists note there is little difference between what Mr. Rosen and Weissman are accused of doing, and what reporters who have published stories based on leaks of classified information have done, and beads of sweat form on their brows. 

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MAKING EXCUSES FOR MOSLEM VIOLENCE

On March 3, Mohammed Taheri-azar, a 22-year-old graduate of the University of North Carolina, rented an SUV and drove it into "the Pit," an area between two libraries on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill where students congregate, injuring nine.

Mr. Taheri-azar told police he made the attack "to avenge the deaths of Moslems around the world." He smiled and waved at his arraignment, and told reporters he was "thankful for the opportunity to spread the will of Allah."

In Chapel Hill, university officials have refused to characterize Mr. Taheri-azar's assault as either a hate crime or an act of terror.   When some students protested the attack, there was a counter protest.

"By calling it religious violence, you are telling people that Moslems are violent," sophomore Johnathon Pourzal complained to the Durham Herald Sun.

Gee, I wonder what would give people that idea?

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NO CIVIL WAR: IRAQ DISAPPOINTS THE NEW YORK TIMES ONCE AGAIN

The Associated Press reported Monday (2/27) that Sunni Arabs in Iraq are prepared to end their boycott of talks to form a national unity government, thus disappointing yet again those journalists who've been telling us for two years civil war is imminent.

It seemed last Wednesday (2/22) as if the pessimists might finally be right after terrorists destroyed the Golden Mosque in Samarra, one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam.  Shia militias attacked more than a dozen Sunni mosques in retaliation.  An unprecedented three day curfew was imposed in Baghdad in order to curb sectarian violence in which more than 100 people were killed.

To the grave disappointment of the New York Times, both Sunni and Shia religious leaders have called for calm.  "We have much more evidence of a strong national unity movement in Iraq," says Iraqi Web logger Haider Ajina of the weekend demonstrations.  "This attack was supposed to plunge Iraq into sectarian mayhem and senseless massive killing.  This did not happen."

These peaceful demonstrations for peace drew little attention from a news media that is eager to report on a civil war, even if it isn't happening.

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IS IT SMART TO ATTACK ALL MOSLEMS?

What do the arrests of three suspected Moslem terrorists in Ohio have to do with the purchase by an Arab company of the firm that manages facilities at six U.S. seaports?

Nothing...and everything.

The Justice Department indicted Tuesday Mohammad Zaki Amawi, 26, of Toledo; Marwan Othman al-Hindi, 42, of Toledo, and Wassim Mazloum, 24, of Cleveland, on charges of plotting to kill U.S. military personnel.

So what does this have to do with the purchase by Dubai Ports World of the British firm that manages commercial operations at ports in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Miami and New Orleans?

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AL GORE: CRAZY, STUPID, TREASONOUS, OR ALL THREE?

Former Vice President Al Gore is bitterly disappointed he was not elected president.  Periodically, he expresses his disappointment in ways that gives us reason to be thankful he wasn't.

The most recent was last weekend, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia to make a speech denouncing the United States. The occasion was the annual Jeddah economic forum, which is sponsored in part by the family of Osama bin Laden (which claims to have distanced itself from the family black sheep). 

Mr. Gore has not disclosed how much he was paid for his words of wisdom.  It probably is less than the $267,000 former president Bill Clinton was paid for speaking to the group in 2002, but odds are his fee was in six figures.

Whatever Mr. Gore's speaking fee was, his hosts likely thought it a bargain, considering what the former vice president had to say.

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YELLOW-BELLIED LILY LIVERED US MEDIA COWARDS I

The New York Times had an editorial Tuesday, February 7, on the controversy triggered by publication in a Danish newspaper of 12 caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed. "The New York Times and much of the rest of the nation's news media have reported on the cartoons but refrained from showing them," the editors said. "That seems a reasonable choice for news organizations that usually refrain from gratuitous assaults on religious symbols..." The very next day, Wednesday, February 8, the Times published, gratuitously, an image of the Virgin Mary in elephant dung. And the New York Times was one of many newspapers which in 1989 published a photograph of Christ on a crucifix submerged in a vat of urine. Washington Post executive editor Len Downie told Editor & Publisher he wouldn't publish the Danish cartoons because of "general good taste." Had Mr. Downie developed his good taste a week earlier, the Post might not have published a cartoon of a quadruple amputee soldier so vile all six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote a letter to the editor protesting it. Most in the news media don't mind offending people who express their outrage by writing letters to the editor. But when the offended threaten to cut off the editor's head, editors become more "culturally sensitive."

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BLACK DEMOCRAT POTS

It was no way to treat a lady. Washington Post ombudswoman Deborah Howell wrote a column praising her paper for exposing lobbyist Jack Abramoff. She was deluged with so much obscene email from outraged liberals the Post had to shut down one of its Web sites. Mr. Abramoff pled guilty earlier this month to defrauding his clients (Indian tribes who owned casinos) and the Internal Revenue Service. Ms. Howell's critics were in high dudgeon over a distinction without a difference. In the 7th paragraph of her story lauding reporter Susan Schmidt, she wrote: "And (Abramoff) had made substantial contributions to both major parties." "I heard that I was lying, that Democrats never got a penny of Abramoff-tainted money, that I was trying to say it was a bipartisan scandal," a stunned Ms. Howell wrote in her column last Sunday. All of Mr. Abramoff's personal contributions went to Republicans. But the big money was what Mr. Abramoff directed his clients to contribute.

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DOES AL GORE WANT OSAMA BIN LADEN TO SUCCEED?

In an audiotape broadcast Thursday on al Jazeera, Osama bin Laden said al Qaeda is preparing to strike the United States again. Last month Italian authorities arrested three Algerians with al Qaeda connections. They were plotting attacks on ships, railway stations and stadiums in the United States, said Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu. Some Democrats think President Bush should be impeached for trying to keep them from succeeding. Like Al Gore.

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THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL LUNATIC THUG

The good news is we're unlikely to be as obsessed with the war in Iraq in 2006 as we were in 2005. The bad news is we may soon have much more to worry about. Mahmoud Amadinejad is the president of Iran, picked by the aging mullahs of the Guardian Council who hold the real power in the land. Since his election last August, Mr. Amadinejad has been replacing elderly clerics in senior government positions with colleagues from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Iranian version of the Nazi SS, which he once commanded. Mr. Amadinejad is a thug, a religious lunatic, and may soon be armed with nukes.

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“KYOTO” IS JAPANESE FOR HYPOCRISY

It isn't absolutely necessary to be a hypocrite in order to be a liberal, but it sure helps. During the first week in December, ten thousand people gathered in Montreal for a UN-sponsored conference on global warming. Rex Murphy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. thought the size of the gathering inappropriate: "Just think of the Montreal summit's ecological footprint," he said. "Is there really a need to fly ten thousand people from 189 countries to a cold city to exchange ideas? Is there no email? Are the phone lines down?" Then Mr. Murphy answered his own question: "I suppose...ecology is not really different from politics. High on sermons, low on example."

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MOONBAT DEMOCRATS

Rep. John Murtha probably wasn't on President Bush's Christmas card list, but Democratic political analyst Charles Cook thinks he should have been. Mr. Cook noted in the president's popularity started to rebound almost immediately after the Pennsylvania Democrat made a speech urging immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. While a majority of Americans now think it was a mistake to have gone into Iraq in the first place, a larger majority thinks it would be a bigger mistake to cut and run. Rep. Murtha took the spotlight off the president and focused it on the Democrats, who have no "plan" for Iraq other than preemptive surrender. He focused it further this week by making the extraordinary public statement that if he were a young man now, he would not join the military – a statement guaranteed to further to diminish Democrats’ popularity.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BELONGS IN JAIL

Finally, some good may come from the Valerie Plame kerfuffle -- if President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez have the stones to do what's right. A grave crime was exposed Dec. 16th when New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau published a story revealing President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to listen in on conversations between al Qaeda suspects abroad and people in the United States without first obtaining a warrant. "We're seeing clearly now that (President) Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator," wrote Newsweek's Jonathan Alter. But the scandal was not the program Risen and Lichtblau wrote about. The scandal is that they wrote about it.

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THE CIA IN DEEP CRISIS

On August 2nd, Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post reported that: "A major U.S. intelligence review has projected that Iran is about a decade away from manufacturing the key ingredient for a nuclear weapon, roughly doubling the previous estimate of five years." On December 5th, the Jerusalem Post reported that Mohammed el Baradei, chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency, "confirmed Israel's assessment that Iran is only a few months away from creating an atomic bomb. "My, how time flies. It hasn't seemed as if ten years have elapsed since last summer. The CIA could be right, and Mossad and the IAEA could be wrong. But given the CIA's forecasting record -- it missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Islamic revolution in Iran, the warning signs of 9/11, and Saddam's WMD -- that's not the way to bet. Intelligence analysis isn't the only thing the CIA does sloppily.

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WHICH SIDE IS CONGRESS – AND JOHN MCCAIN – ON?

There hasn't been a successful terrorist attack in the United States since Sep. 11th, 2001. Congress may be about to change that. Several critical provisions of the Patriot Act will expire at the end of the year, because a Democratic filibuster in the U.S. Senate blocked their renewal. Without these provisions, the FBI will lose most of its ability to track terrorists, the head of the FBI's national security division told the Washington Times. The most important of these provisions is for roving wiretaps, said Gary Bald. "We've had that capability for years on the drug side of the ship and frankly what it does is it cuts out the requirement for us to go back to a judge every time a drug dealer throws his cell phone into the river and gets another one." Before denying those who are trying to protect us from terrorists the tools law enforcement has had for years to wield against less dangerous criminals, Congress – thanks to Senator John McCain – moved to make it unlikely we will ever again get useful information from interrogation of terror suspects.

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DEMOCRAT LYING LIARS

The president went on television to announce: “Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.” “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years,” the vice chairman of the Intelligence committee told the Senate. The president was Bill Clinton (Dec. 16th, 1998). The senator was Jay Rockefeller (Oct. 10th, 2002). These statements should be kept in mind when assessing the hissy fit Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid threw Tuesday when he called the Senate into secret session to discuss whether Bush administration officials had exaggerated prewar intelligence about Iraq.

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MOONBAT COWARDS

Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the al Qaeda chieftain in Iraq, has had a bad week. If it turns out Zarqawi was among seven al Qaeda leaders killed in Mosul Saturday, it'll have been a really bad week. But even if Zarqawi got away again, it's been a rotten week for him. It's also been a bad week for antiwar Democrats, who had their bluff called in the House of Representatives.

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IRAQIS AND AMERICANS ON ONE SIDE, TERRORISTS AND JOURNALISTS ON THE OTHER

Al Qaeda has claimed credit for a large, sophisticated attack Monday on the two hotels in Baghdad where most foreign journalists and many defense contractors stay. The attack failed, but it was a near run thing. The Palestine and Sheraton hotels are across a short street from each other, adjacent to Firdous Square, a traffic roundabout where the statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down on April 9th, 2003. The attack involved three suicide bombers and an unknown number of other fighters. The attack took place at dusk, over a span of four minutes. Several news organizations were tipped off in advance, and cameras were rolling. And we wonder which side the media is on?

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SUICIDE IN AND OF SYRIA

On the morning of Oct. 12th, Syria's Interior minister, Maj. Gen. Ghazi Kanaan, was found dead in his office from a gunshot wound to the head. Kanaan's death was ruled a suicide, but there were doubters. "For those of you who don't know what 'committed suicide' means in Syria, it means someone committed it for him," said Anton Efendi, an American PhD candidate who lives in Lebanon. Kanaan's "suicide" may lead to the suicide of Syria as an intact country.

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