Posts from July 2003

Cover-ups never end

Cover-ups never end
: So Nixon flunkie Jeb Stuart Magruder says — finally — that Richard Nixon ordered the Watergate break-in.

Why didn’t he say it before? “Nobody ever asked me . . . about that.”

Once a slimy operative, always a slimy operative.

: I met Magruder after he got out of jail. He was attending Princeton Theological Seminary and working as a student minister in Princeton’s Presbyterian church, where my sister was associate pastor. She had a party one night and invited me and there I met Magruder. We chatted about this and that. And then he asked what I did for a living.

I write for People magazine, I told him.

It was as if he had just learned that I had anthrax, bad breath, body odor, and a loaded pistol. I’ve never seen anyone back away from me so fast and with such fear in his eyes.

: I’ve often quoted a story Magruder told in Princeton about the moral relativism of working in the Nixon White House. I tell this story whenever someone I’m working with admits that something’s not right but justifies it by saying that at least they saved the situation from being even worse.

Magruder said that working at the White House he’d spend all day shooting down crazy scheme after crazy scheme from the likes of Howard Hunt. He’d get home at night, put up his feet, and pat himself on the back: “I killed nine crazy Hunt schemes today.”

The only problem was, the tenth crazy Hunt scheme was Watergate.

Do as I say, not as I do

Do as I say, not as I do
: A man responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat now renounces his act and says it’s wrong to kill the rest of us:

…a prison inmate has stirred the Islamic world by citing the Quran and the Sunna (the sayings and doings of the prophet Mohammed) to argue that “killing Jews, Christians and Americans is wrong.”

Egypt, an important player in several Middle Eastern and African peace processes, is considering releasing from prison Karam Zohdi, 50, a key figure in the 1981 assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat….

Zohdi says that killing Anwar Sadat and the policeman who died defending him was a “grave sin.”


: Haven’t had time to post today; been busy with chores. But I did send a post to Michele for Blogathaon.

Release the 28 pages!

Release the 28 pages!
: Well, it sounds as if even the Saudis agree that we should release the 28 pages of the 9/11 report about them:

Saudi Arabia has angrily rejected US allegations that the kingdom may have had a hand in the September 11 terror attacks.

The Saudi Ambassador to the United States called the claims, contained in a long-awaited Congressional report on the attacks, “blatantly false”.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan suggested in a statement released after the report was made public yesterday that sections of the document dealing with possible Saudi involvement had been blacked out because they could not be substantiated.

The White House has refused to declassify 28 pages of the report – a decision that drew sharp rebukes from numerous members of Congress, who called on the White House to allow the information to be made public.

The Ambassador said: “In a 900-page report, 28 blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people.

“Rumours, innuendos and untruths have become, when it comes to the kingdom, the order of the day.”…

“Saudi Arabia has nothing to hide. We can deal with questions in public, but we cannot respond to blank pages.”

So let’s forget the rumors, innuendos, and untruths and release the 28 pages!

And by the way, Mr. Saudi, if you haven’t seen the 28 pages, how do you know they’re not true?

Bruuuuuuuce Blooooooog

Bruuuuuuuce Blooooooog
: We’ve started another blog: the Bruce Blog in honor of the Boss’ tour.

Vini Lopez, former Bruce band member who sat in the other night, even emailed our blog with his first-person account.

As I said in my ill-fated story about weblogs, I’m very proud of the creativity coming from all quarters of my company regarding blogs. will have a blog by a Cleveland Indians player starting any second. As I’ve mentioned often, my colleague Joe Territo is turning his blog into a forum for email interviews of National Interest.We blog Bourbon Street. And, of course, there’s Beach Blog.

More fun with editors

More fun with editors
: James Taranto pointed to this bit of creative editing (it should be called creative writing) from Reuters. The reporter Deanna Wrenn’s original lead:

In this small county seat with just 995 residents, the girl everyone calls Jessi is a true heroine


: Britain reacted the pictures of the dead Saddam sons differently. The Mirror plastered the corpses onto the front page (and evil the Mirror admitted that they were evil). Yesterday, for awhile, the Guardian had them on the home page.

Here in the U.S., CNN and my own sites put them behind a linked that warned of the graphic nature: see them if you wish.

But leave it to The Sun to have the last laugh. Their headline: “Rest in pieces”

: Update: Now the U.S. says it will allow reporters to videotape the bodies just to absolutely completely utterly fully once and for all without a shred of doubt in this universe or the next convince skeptical Iraqis that the SOBs are dead.

Next, the bodies will be shipped to Madame Tussaud’s so they can become a New York tourist attraction.

: Update: And there’s this from the Telegraph:

The brothers’ bodies will be kept at the morgue until a member of their family comes to claim them.

Saddam calling.

Men’s room

Men’s room
: Pedram finds this gem of a comment from an Iranian reader on the Farsi section of the BBC’s web site:

“Our country is free and democratic and people enjoy complete social freedoms. The internet is a scientific phenomena and if used properly, it is a noble element. This regime is not against science. Mr. Khamenei himself owns several sites. The important factor is how it is used. In my opinion, if chat rooms are divided into separate men and ladies rooms it will be better and could prevent spread of moral corruption.”