discarded lies: thursday, march 22, 2018 6:02 am zst
We can always panic tomorrow.
daily archive: 01/10/2005
evariste in Discarded Lies:
Yeah, He's Back!
Charles Johnson to s'kiddiots: bite me.
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in Discarded Lies:
Mapes Makes a Statement
Here is the just-released statement (PDF) from Mary Mapes about her involvement in the fraudulent Killian memo affair:

I am terribly disappointed in the conclusions of the report and its effects on the four of us who will no longer work at CBS News. I am disappointed as well for the entire organization. It has been my second family and I will miss my colleagues there.

I am shocked by the vitriolic scape-goating in Les Moonves’s statement. I am very concerned that his actions are motivated by corporate and political considerations -- ratings rather than journalism. Mr. Moonves’s response to the review panel’s report and the panel’s assessment of the evidence it developed in its investigation combine not only to condemn me, but to put all investigative reporting in the CBS tradition at risk.

Much has been made about the fact that these documents are photocopies and therefore cannot be trusted, but decades of investigative reporting have relied on just such copies of memos, documents and notes. In vetting these documents, we did not have ink to analyze, original signatures to compare, or paper to date. We did have context and corroboration and believed, as many journalists have before and after our story, that authenticity is not limited to original documents. Photocopies are often a basis for verified stories.

Before the Bush/Guard story aired, the newly found documents that supported it were thoroughly examined and corroborated. The contents of the new documents mesh perfectly, in large ways and small, with all previously known records. The new documents also were corroborated by retired Gen. Bobby Hodges, the late Col. Killian’s commander, who said that the documents showed Col. Killian’s true sentiments as well as his actions in the case. After the broadcast, Marian Carr Knox provided the same corroboration in her televised interview. Yet, despite the panel’s recognition of the heretofore unchalleneged integrity of my work in the past, the panel was quick to condemn me here on the basis of statements of people who told my associates and me very different versions than what they told the panel.

I cooperated fully with the review panel, provided them with more than 1,000 pages of reporting and background materials and answered each and every one of their questions completely and truthfully. To the extent that my answers differed from others’ statements, I can only emphasize my own honesty and integrity in attempting to reconstruct the details of the days leading up to the story’s airing.

It is noteworthy the panel did not conclude that these documents are false. Indeed, in the end, all that the panel did conclude was that there were many red flags that counseled against going to air quickly. I never had control of the timing of any airing of a 60 Minutes segment; that has always been a decision made by my superiors. Airing this story when it did, was also a decision made by my superiors, including Andrew Heyward. If there was a journalistic crime committed here, it was not by me. Those superiors also made the decision to give the White House little time to consider or respond to the Killian documents. Contrary to the conclusions of the panel, I vetted all aspects of the story with my editors. In fact, as I have always done with my editors, I told them everything.

I believe the segment presented to the American people facts they were free to accept or reject, and that as those facts were presented, there was nothing that was false or misleading. I am heartened to see that the panel found no political bias on my part, as indeed I have none. For 25 years, I have built a reputation as a fair, honest and thorough journalist. I have had 15 wonderful years at CBS News and four very bad months. I love and respect the people there and I wish them every good fortune.
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evariste in Discarded Lies:
Monday Winds of War
I almost forgot to mention that my Monday Winds of War roundup at Winds of Change.NET, on which I collaborate with Bill Roggio of the fourth rail, is up! As of several hours ago!
Topics in the roundup include
Iraqi terrorists head to Europe; Talk of regime change in Iran; Faultlines in Asia; Wars of 2004; the Muslim Brotherhood; China tells US to mind beeswax; Iran threatens Europe if it doesn't appease fast enough; Iran continues to brutally quash free speech; new group claims to hold missing Israeli woman, demands release of 1000 prisoners; Libya ambassador asked to leave Saudi; first video of Dimona; Belligerent Egyptian incursions into Israeli airspace;US gets foreign advice in the war on terror; Mideasterner tries to purchase McVeigh fertilizer explosive;illegal immigrant detentions, crossings up;threat chatter level down; Sudan: 1 war ended, 1 genocide ongoing; Philippines operations against terrorists; Aus first airport antiterror team; Turkey facing Islamist blowback; Stratfor chief says 9/11 attacks drew desired response from US; Afghan judge helped terrorists kill 10 Americans; UK closes Yemen embassy; Pakistan strife kills over two dozen, curfews imposed, gas pipeline attacked, terrorists regrouping and more;US to sell Taiwan Hellfires, purchase 300mn bullets; Spain arrested 130 terrorists in 2004; Belarus authoritarian mocks democratic revolutions; new robotic warriors are coming to the battlefield and more...
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in Discarded Lies:
The DNC Connection
When last I wrote about the Memogate report at LGF, lo those many moons ago, I identified the big question: would the report deal with the connections between CBS News and the DNC?

And indeed, this is the weakest section of the report, characterized by contradictory stories from the principals. Mary Mapes' account differs from Josh Howard's:

Mapes also told the Panel that before calling Lockhart, she discussed this request with Howard and that he approved the contact. Mapes said that Howard had reasoned that reporters exchange information from various sources and this request was not problematic. Howard, however, told the Panel a very different version of this conversation and said that he clearly informed Mapes that it would be inappropriate to intervene with Lockhart or anyone else associated with the Kerry campaign on Lieutenant Colonel Burkett’s behalf.

She also tells a different story from Joe Lockhart:

Mapes further told the Panel that at some point prior to September 8 she spoke to Lockhart. According to Mapes, Lockhart called her and the conversation lasted only approximately two minutes. Mapes told the Panel that she merely informed Lockhart that Lieutenant Colonel Burkett wanted to speak with him. She did not think she described Lieutenant Colonel Burkett as a source or that the subject of the documents ever came up during the call.

Lockhart told the Panel a contrasting version of this conversation. Lockhart said that Clanton, who reported to Lockhart, had asked Lockhart to take a call from Mapes about a story she was working on related to President Bush’s TexANG service. Lockhart told the Panel that Clanton said that the story involved documents and that a call from Lockhart to a 60 Minutes Wednesday source who wanted input into the Kerry campaign might assist 60 Minutes Wednesday in obtaining the documents from the source. Lockhart was reluctant to speak with Mapes given that he did not want to give the impression that the campaign was assisting on the matter. Lockhart said that he agreed to speak with Mapes only after he was assured by Clanton that Mapes already had obtained the documents in question and that the reporting stage of the story was complete.

After recounting these serious discrepancies, the report just leaves it there—no further investigation needed, I guess—and faults CBS only for the "appearance" of bias:

The Panel is unable to resolve definitively the conflict between the accounts of Howard and Mapes concerning whether permission was given to speak with a representative of the Kerry campaign in connection with the TexANG story. Whether or not permission was given to Mapes, the Panel finds this contact to be highly inappropriate. The September 8 Segment had a strong political focus and it was to air in the middle of a hotly contested presidential campaign. While it is certainly proper to receive information from a variety of sources, this contact crossed the line as, at a minimum, it gave the appearance of a political bias and could have been perceived as a news organization’s assisting a campaign as opposed to reporting on a story.

It looks as if the investigators knew they had to bring up the issue, but completely shied away from pursuing it.

I wouldn't call this report a "whitewash," exactly; it's more of a "greywash."
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in Discarded Lies:
The Beam in the CBS Report's Eye
One of the most questionable assertions in the CBS Report is that there is no conclusive evidence of political bias on the part of CBS News, when a thorough reading of the report reveals that both Mary Mapes and her partner Michael Smith were full-fledged sufferers of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Leave Bill Burkett out of it; we're talking about seriously obsessed moonbats on the CBS payroll. Some of their quoted emails have a tone that can only be described as "conspiratorial."

But even though the report absolves CBS of liberal bias—a bias for which there is voluminous evidence—it dismissively refers to "bloggers with a conservative agenda" without bothering to justify the smear:

This was followed on the morning of September 9 by further attacks, mostly by bloggers with a conservative agenda, challenging the authenticity of the documents. These included stories on Powerlineblog.com86 and littlegreenfootballs.com.87 Finally, by about 3 p.m., Matt Drudge, the author of the widely read Drudge Report website, had joined the fray, and, thereafter, the onslaught of attacks on the authenticity of the Killian documents was unrelenting.

Any perceived "conservative agenda," of course, has nothing to do with the truth or falsehood of the charges. So why is it included in the report, except to cast doubt? This is slightly sleazy.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Basking in the Limelight
What can I say? We're famous. We are so famous in fact, that evariste and I have been plotzing all morning and are running out of smelling salts and whiskey. Of course all this has to do with our brilliant intellect and nothing whatsoever with Charles Johnson.

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in Discarded Lies:
CBS Report: Not Quite a Whitewash
The long-awaited CBS Report is out -- and Little Green Footballs is still offline due to the DDOS attack on the Hosting Matters network.

Here's the article on the report at CBS News; the only one to be fired is, as many suspected, Mary Mapes, although three other CBS employees were "asked to resign."

The report's large, and has a surprising amount of meat in it; it's not the total whitewash some expected. I'm still reading, but Sarah D. points out a really damning passage strongly indicating that Mapes was trying to "change the momentum of the election," as Mapes associate Michael Smith proposes getting Bill Burkett a book deal:

Today I am going to send the following hypothetical scenario to a reliable, trustable editor friend of mine . . . What if there was a person who might have some information that could possibly change the momentum of an election but we needed to get an ASAP book deal to help get us the information? What kinds of turnaround payment schedules are possible, keeping in mind the book probably could not make it out until after the election . . . . What I am asking is in this best case hypothetical scenario, can we get a decent sized advance payment, and get it turned around quickly.

The report explicitly denies that political bias was a factor in the pattern of lying and covering up that followed the initial 60 Minutes II segment, but it's quite obvious this is another obfuscation. I'm still reading, and will have more thoughts as I continue to absorb it; but this is going to give the blogosphere a lot to chew over.

(Thanks to evariste for allowing me to post at Discarded Lies!)


If you had a suspicion that Dan Rather's apology on September 20 was ... uh, less than sincere, you were right:

The Panel asked Rather about his interview with Marcia Kramer. Rather said that he did not want to do the interview or the apology on September 20, but Heyward and Schwartz asked him to do so. Rather said that he made his case as to why an apology was not appropriate and that management did not agree with him. Rather agreed to do the apology on September 20 and the Marcia Kramer interview because he is a “team player.? Rather informed the Panel that he still believes the content of the documents is true because “the facts are right on the money,? and that no one had provided persuasive evidence that the documents were not authentic.

It is clear that Rather’s joining in the apology given his role as the correspondent on the Segment and his status as CBS News’ most visible presence was critical to its acceptance. The Panel finds his comments disavowing the apology to be troubling, notwithstanding that he said he regarded himself as carrying out what CBS News felt was in its best interest on September 20.


Sarah D. points out another juicy section of the report, as CBS execs became aware that none of their experts would authenticate the memos and exchanged increasingly heated emails:

This prompted an immediate reaction from Schwartz: We need two things: 1. We need our expert available NOW to speak to all those who are reporting this story. We need the expert. Now. We need him now. 2. We need the talking points that can be crafted into a statement of defense and talked about by Dan when he calls people. #1 is essential RIGHT NOW. We NEED THAT EXPERT. [W]ithout him, we’re TOAST. Then we need #2, about six seconds later.

Mapes, meanwhile, appears to have been focused on the superscript “th? and onproducing a piece for the September 10 CBS Evening News. She sent an e-mail to Schwartz, stating that they had put the superscript “th? issue to rest by finding the superscript “th? in the official Bush records: [F]OR THE 100TH TIME, THE “TH? ISSUE IS GONE. WE HAVE EXAMPLES FROM THE “OFFICIAL? WHITE HOUSE DOCS. WE’RE SET.

After which her boss fired back:

The problem, Mary, is one of perception. As far as the press is concerned, the “th? issue is NOT gone. It’s very much alive, and they have people crawling all over it. If we wait to address the issue until tonight’s news, we will DIE in the press tomorrow. Die. As in…dead. You tell me. How do I get the message out RIGHT NOW, as in RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, that the “th? thing is no longer an issue?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin points out Appendix 4 (PDF) to the CBS report, on the web site of Dick Thornburgh's law firm, containing the analysis of another expert, Peter Tytell, who concluded that the documents were (shocka!) produced on a computer with the Times New Roman font!

In summary, Tytell concluded that the Killian documents were generated on a computer. He does not believe that any manual or electric typewriter of the early 1970s could have produced the typeface used in the Killian documents. He believes the IBM Selectric Composer "Press Roman" typestyle is very close to the typestyle used in the Killian documents but has noticeable differences . In addition, he told the Panel that the IBM Selectric Composer did not have the ability to produce the superscript "th" and the "#" symbol as a standard feature, and he believes it would have been unlikely for a TexANG office to have had those features customized on the machine. Therefore, he doubts the authenticity of the Killian documents because in his opinion they could only have been produced on a computer in Times New Roman typestyle that would not have been available in the early 1970s.

The original report comes to no definitive conclusion about the authenticity of the documents, but Appendix 4 makes this equivocation seem rather odd.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Islamisation of Pakistan
The Annual Report on Religious freedom released by the US government reveals (unsurprisingly) that there's discrimination against religious minorities in Pakistan and extreme religious intolerance as islamisation has spread. But it wasn't always like that.
Recent Pakistani history has been marked by local clashes over religion. Since Sharia law was introduced in 1991, violence and attacks by Islamic fundamentalists against minorities have grown exponentially.

In 1997, the Christian village of Shanti Nagar in southern Punjab was attacked by a mob of 30,000 Islamic extremists: 1,500 homes were looted and 80 per cent of the village was torched. Fourteen churches in nearby Khanewal were also destroyed.

Discrimination takes many forms, some seemingly minor. In some areas, restaurant owners ask their patrons’ for their religion before serving them. One restaurant in Hafizabad (Gujranwala district) has separate utensils and wash-basins for Muslims and non-Muslims.

It was not always like that. On the eve of independence on August 11, 1947, Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, said in a speech to the Constituent Assembly that everyone, “no matter to what community he belongs, no matter what relations he had with you in the past, no matter his colour, caste or creed, is first, second and last a citizen of this state with equal rights, privileges and obligations.?

“You are free,? Jinnah said, “free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this state of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed that has nothing to do with the business of state.?

The Republic of Pakistan with its inclusive constitution was thus born, a republic whose principles were soon put aside by the country’s political and religious leaders.

In 1964, General Ayub Khan amended the Constitution to add the prefix “Islamic? to the name.
Religious minorities, persecuted and marginalised
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Rugby Vindicated
hello i am Rugby and i am a rat & it is with the greatest excitemint!! that i announce that if you thikn i am illietrate, you are vrey rwong!
Rats can tell the difference between such languages as Dutch and Japanese, according to researchers in Spain.
For their study neuroscientists Juan Toro and colleagues at Barcelona's Scientific Park tested 64 adult male rats.

They used Dutch and Japanese because these languages were used in earlier, similar tests, and because they are very different from one another in use of words, rhythm and structure.

The rats were trained to respond to either Dutch or Japanese using food as a reward.

Then they were separated into four groups - one that heard each language spoken by a native, one that heard synthesised speech, one that heard sentences read in either language by different speakers and a fourth that heard the languages played backwards.

Rats rewarded for responding to Japanese did not respond to Dutch and rats trained to recognise Dutch did not respond to spoken Japanese.

The rats could not tell apart Japanese or Dutch played backwards.
Lab rats demonstrate language skills
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