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Roy Gutman, DART, via Romenesko:
For example: a deportation of Bosnian Muslims from a village on the Drina by the Serbian state railways in sealed passenger cars—which could only have happened on the orders of the top officials in the state. Upon hearing about the existence of concentration camps, I made an enormous effort to put together a complete picture of what went on in one place—I chose Omarska. It was not just because of the atrocity, but because in a fixed location under state control, any crime can be attributed to the state.

After reporting that there was a string of concentration camps throughout Bosnia, I had a rather rude awakening. What I discovered was that I was not just up against the rump Yugoslav state and its criminal leadership, but the US and nearly every other western government as well, who had every ability to find out the facts on their own but chose not to. The US government response to my initial stories on Omarska—confirmation, denial, and then after several weeks of supposed careful collation of intelligence, a more considered denial—spoke volumes about the West’s overall attitude toward Bosnia, toward European Muslims, toward war crimes, and toward genocide.


Washington Post:

ABC News’s Martha Raddatz was not satisfied. “The violence has gotten worse in certain areas,” she reminded him. “Is it not time for a new strategy?”

Bush acted as if Raddatz were Cindy Sheehan. “We’re not leaving (Iraq), so long as I’m the president,” he vowed. “That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we’ve abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror. It would give the terrorists a safe haven from which to launch attacks. It would embolden Iran. It would embolden extremists.”

“Sir,” Raddatz pointed out, “that’s not really the question.”

Bush shook his head in disbelief. “Sounded like the question to me,” he said.



“The victory that Hezbollah achieved in Lebanon will have earthshaking regional consequences that will have an impact much beyond the borders of Lebanon itself,” Yasser Abuhilalah of Al Ghad, a Jordanian daily, wrote in Tuesday’s issue.

“The resistance celebrates the victory,” read the front-page headline in Al Wafd, an opposition daily in Egypt.

Hezbollah’s perceived triumph has propelled, and been propelled by, a wave already washing over the region. Political Islam was widely seen as the antidote to the failures of Arab nationalism, Communism, socialism and, most recently, what is seen as the false promise of American-style democracy. It was that wave that helped the banned but tolerated Muslim Brotherhood win 88 seats in Egypt’s Parliament last December despite the government’s violent efforts to stop voters from getting to the polls. It was that wave that swept Hamas into power in the Palestinian government in January, shocking Hamas itself.



On July 25, Fox News reporter Bill Hemmer stood on a balcony and pointed to a hilltop on the Lebanon side of Israel’s border. The camera zoomed in. “It’s possible the latest Katushya rocket round left that high point,” Hemmer said, the camera following his sweeping hand over the hazy landscape, “and went down valley to the lower point of the Golan Heights.”

Later, Fox News reporter Greg Palkot provided an update: Hezbollah had issued a directive to “the American media,” starting with Fox. “We have been advised by the Hezbollah militia here not to show the exact positions where those rockets are launched from.” Under Palkot’s long face, a graphic read, “Hezbollah’s Request.”



The civil rights leader Andrew Young, who was hired by Wal-Mart to improve its public image, resigned from that post last night after telling an African-American newspaper that Jewish, Arab and Korean shop owners had “ripped off” urban communities for years, “selling us stale bread, and bad meat and wilted vegetables.”

In the interview, published yesterday in The Los Angeles Sentinel, a weekly, Mr. Young said that Wal-Mart “should” displace mom-and-pop stores in urban neighborhoods.

“You see those are the people who have been overcharging us,” he said of the owners of the small stores, “and they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they’ve ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it’s Arabs.”



“It was a time where, for a while, the top-selling interactive games in the world were essentially books,” said Jason Scott, a Boston filmmaker and Unix system administrator who is shooting a documentary called Get Lamp about text adventure pioneers. As with his last film — a five-and-a-half-hour documentary about bulletin boards called BBS: The Documentary — Scott’s plan is to archive a period in computing history that’s at risk of drifting into obscurity.

Text-based games faded from popular culture in the late 1980s as personal computers became advanced enough to process detailed graphics and sound. But early favorites, like the underground adventure series Zork created by MIT students in the late 1970s, still have a cult following. Online repositories like The Interactive Fiction Archive and the Society for the Promotion of Adventure Games also maintain access to early works.


Photos by Paolo Pellegrin, Magnum:

Israel has told the world that it is targeting only Hezbollah, not civilians, and that is true to a degree, but day after day the bombing continues. As of August 14, 2006 over 1000 Lebanese civilians have been killed.
These photographs were taken in Southern Lebanon in late July/early August 2006.



Photojournalist Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum Photos was one of several people injured in an Aug. 6 missile attack in southern Lebanon.

Pellegrin and reporter Scott Anderson were traveling together in Tyre on assignment for The New York Times Magazine. They were treated for their injuries and now are back at work in Lebanon.

“They’re in Beirut. They’re fine,” says Kathy Ryan, director of photography for Times magazine.


Featuring the work of Clark James Mishler, Wal-Mart Intervention Project, adam stoves, Matt MWM, Melissa Lyttle, Claudio Parentela, William Greiner, Chris Detrick.



Welcome to Eritrea, Africa’s most paranoid state. Talk about the football, talk about the 30p beer and 10p cappuccinos in the capital Asmara, but if you want to talk about the government, do it over the internet.

Behind locked doors, and in hushed tones, Asmarinos trace the beginning of real paranoia to 2001, when 15 senior politicians were jailed for suggesting that President Isaias Afewerki was not a democrat. Eleven of them have not been seen since. Shortly afterwards, the independent media was shut down. At least 13 journalists remain in prison. Only North Korea has a worse record on press freedom.



PATRIOTIC AMERICAN COMIN’ THRU!  You f*n’ c*sucker.  Boy I’d like to hang every one of you motherf*rs.  We Love You.  F*n’ Brownshirts.  Weeeeee Loooove Yoooooou!  F*n’ Terrorist.  CIRCLE! CIRCLE!  CIRCLE!  WE!! LOVE!! YOU!!!!!


The man behind the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ soft-porn empire lets Claire Hoffman into his world, for
better or worse

LA Times:

Ignoring the two policemen who hovered a few yards away, he tiptoed past them to stand over me. He rubbed my shoulder. His gestures were oddly gentle—even fond. I felt sick.

“I’m sorry,” he said, reaching over to tousle my hair. “We love our little reporter. Don’t we guys? We love our little reporter.”

I stared down at the dirt as he whispered in my ear, “I’m sorry, baby, give me a kiss. Give me a kiss.”


Hawthorne Heights, via PunkNews:

Tony is a man whose greed knows no bounds. After selling more than 1.2 million copies of The Silence In Black and White and If Only You Were Lonely, we have never seen a single dollar in artist royalties from Victory Records. Tony will claim that we have not “recouped,” a term used by those in the music business which means the label has spent more money in advertising than has been made by CD sales. In fact questionable accounting practices are the culprit and we are in fact owed substantial amounts of money much like audits from Taking Back Sunday, Thursday and Atreyu have uncovered.



Reuters began an immediate enquiry into Hajj’s other work and today found that a second photograph, of an Israeli F-16 fighter over Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon and dated August 2, had been doctored to increase the number of flares dropped by the plane from one to three.

“Manipulating photographs in this way is entirely unacceptable and contrary to all the principles consistently held by Reuters throughout its long and distinguished history,” Mr Szlukovenyi said.

“It undermines not only our reputation but also the good name of all our photographers.” He added that the mere fact that Hajj had altered two of his photographs meant none of his work for Reuters could be trusted either by the news service or its users.



I had never met Catherine Leroy before doing the interviews for my book Shooting Under Fire in 2002. I had heard the legends, of course; how she arrived in Vietnam in 1966 with one Leica, no experience and even less money; how she parachuted with the 173rd Airborne in a combat operation; how she lived like a Marine and swore like one too; how she was wounded, only a shattered camera around her neck saving her life. Of course I knew the photographs she had taken, the anguished picture of a Navy Corpsman unable to save the life of his Marine buddy, the first photographs of the North Vietnamese Army in action, and many others, not only from Southeast Asia but from Lebanon and Northern Ireland as well. It wasn’t until I opened the front door of my New York apartment that I let in this whirlwind that blew in and out of my life until the end of hers.



Johnson added: “Smoke simply does not contain repeating symmetrical patterns like this, and you can see the repetition in both plumes of smoke. There’s really no question about it.”

Speaking to Ynetnews, Johnson said: “This has to cast doubt not only on the photographer who did the alterations, but on Reuters’ entire review process. If they could let such an obvious fake get through to publication, how many more faked or ‘enhanced’ photos have not been caught?”


Manowar fan film on YouTube. Do I have to mention that it’s hilarious?

Dexter Filkins reviews Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 99/11, in the NYT Book Review:

The fateful struggle between the C.I.A. and F.B.I. in the months leading up to the attacks has been outlined before, but never in such detail. At meetings, C.I.A. analysts dangled photos of two of the eventual hijackers in front of F.B.I. agents, but wouldn’t tell them who they were. The F.B.I. agents could sense that the C.I.A. possessed crucial pieces of evidence about Islamic radicals they were investigating, but couldn’t tell what they were. The tension came to a head at a meeting in New York on June 11, exactly three months before the catastrophe, which ended with F.B.I. and C.I.A. agents shouting at each other across the room.

In one of the most remarkable scenes in the book, Ali Soufan, an F.B.I. agent assigned to Al Qaeda, was taken aside on Sept. 12 and finally shown the names and photos of the men the C.I.A. had known for more than a year and a half were in America. The planes had already struck. Soufan ran to the bathroom and retched.


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