25 July 2004


Brad DeLong is maddened yet again by our press corps praising by faint damnation.
Powell's presentation relied heavily on the claims of one especially dubious Iraqi defector, dubbed "Curve Ball" inside the intel community .... Nobody inside the U.S. government had ever actually spoken to the informant --- except the Pentagon analyst, who concluded the man was an alcoholic and utterly useless as a source.
After reading Powell's speech, the analyst decided he had to speak up .... The CIA official quickly responded: "Let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn't say," he wrote. "The Powers That Be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he's talking about."

The saga of Curve Ball is just one of many wince-inducing moments ....

Wince-Inducing Moment? Wince-Inducing Moment!? WINCE-INDUCING MOMENT!?!?

I wince when I hear George W. Bush try to pronounce "nuclear" or "Abu Ghraib." I wince when my daughter does a belly flop off the diving board. I wince when one of my students misses an easy question in class. One winces when Georgie seeks praise for his skeet shooting, or when Muffy misses her serve again.

When a Deputy to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency --- or somebody at that level --- refuses to do his job, saying that he is not going to provide intelligence to the Secretary of State because the Secretary of State is uninterested in whether what he is about to say to the United Nations is true or not, it is not appropriate to "wince." It is appropriate to be outraged.

Part of his excellent ongoing coverage of our need for a better press corps.

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