Posts from December 13, 2003

9/11 terrorist kingpin Atta ‘trained in Iraq’

9/11 terrorist kingpin Atta ‘trained in Iraq’
: The Telegraph has a blockbuster story:

Iraq’s coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.

Details of Atta’s visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service….

Although Iraqi officials refused to disclose how and where they had obtained the document, Dr Ayad Allawi, a member of Iraq’s ruling seven-man Presidential Committee, said the document was genuine.

“We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam’s involvement with al-Qaeda,” he said. “But this is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks.”

Hmmm. That would be a hat trick:

1. Evidence of Saddam’s relationship with al-Queda and September 11.

2. Evidence of Saddam’s support of weapons of mass destruction — Mohammad Atta being a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

3. Evidence of Saddam’s support of terrorism against the United States.

Support for Iraq war growing

Support for Iraq war growing
: A new Gallup poll finds

…an increase in support for the war in Iraq. Since the end of September, the number of Americans saying the war was worth it has increased. In the past month, support for keeping American troops in Iraq has also increased. A clear majority of Americans continue to support the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq, but less than a majority approve of how well the United States is doing there now.

The war is not the killer issue most Democrat candidates would wish it were:

Eighty-six percent of Republicans say the situation in Iraq was worth going to war over, compared with just 35% of Democrats. Fifty-eight percent of independents feel it was worth going to war over.

Neither is America calling for quick withdrawl:

A majority of Americans, 55%, say the United States should keep at least the same level of forces it currently has — including 22% who want to increase troop strength. About 4 in 10 (42%) want to withdraw at least some troops — including 17% who want complete withdrawal.

Strom Thurmond’s interracial love child

Strom Thurmond’s interracial love child
: Politics makes… you know the rest.

Let it schnee, let it schnee, let it schnee!

Let it schnee, let it schnee, let it schnee!
: For the Californian on your gift list: A 3,000-Euro personal snow-making machine. (Auf Deutsch, but you’ll get the idea.) [via PDW]

No pigeon will dare drop on it

No pigeon will dare drop on it
: Graz is restarting plans to build an 80-foot statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

EU toast

EU toast
: The EU is doomed, always was. This is a continent at war for centuries. Suddenly, they’re doing to hug? No, they’re not. They can’t agree on a constitution. Now France and Germany threaten to go it alone. In the immortal words of that great American, Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise.

: Chirac blames Blair. Much infighting and backstabbing ensues. Yes, a model of unity.

Stating the painfully obvious

freedomtower.jpgStating the painfully obvious
: Didn’t anyone stand back and look at the latest design for the schmaltzily-named Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center?

Just look at it. Do you see what I see?

I see the towers falling!

That is the last thing we need to see every day.

I don’t like the Liebeskind design.

I don’t like this, the Childs design.

We’re messing this up, aren’t we?

Digital vs. old style

Digital vs. old style
: Glenn Reynolds does the pro-con boogie with digital vs. film photography.

At the MIT Media Lab event last week, I sat next to the person in charge of design and photography at Newsweek and asked her how much of her photography is digital these days.

She said at least 80 percent (more than I would have thought). Mostly what she gets done in film is special studio shoots (though she also noted that when she needed some extensive work done quickly over the Thanksgiving holiday, the British photographer who did it used digital and she was delighted with the speed).

As Glenn notes, digital is certainly leading in news (witness Zeyad). The rest will follow.