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The Bush White House has always had an obsession with direct control over the media flow from Baghdad. An important part of the terrible distortion that emanated from Baghdad came not from trained Defense Department professionals, but from Karl Rove’s flaks. A key figure in this process was Dan Senor, who was placed in Baghdad at the core of the insurrection with a specific mission—suppressing the truth. Senor moved from this slot to serving, quite appropriately, as a commentator for Fox News. And he’s had no shortage of follow-up.
A senior public affairs officer in Baghdad reports the killing of a key figure in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. It grabs headlines everywhere. And then someone checks the records. It turns out that this is the second “confirmed” killing of the same man in the last year. Who’s responsible?
The Cunning Realist, who calls this Dr. Strangelove meets Weekend at Bernie’s, looks behind the scenes and gives us the bio.
He became head spokesman for the U.S. military in Iraq in early June. His official title? Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Effects. He was Michael Gordon’s only source for this New York Times piece on alleged Iranian ties to the Karbala raid in which five American troops were killed. His previous position: Special Assistant to President Bush.
Surprised? And you were wondering perhaps about the stunning successes accomplished every week by the surge even as violence reaches unequaled levels, and the fact that now every enemy is a certified member of Al Qaeda?
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”