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Keyword: williamsafire

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  • Oh, that big 1982 Siberian explosion?

    02/03/2004 9:13:42 PM PST · by Valin · 77 replies · 9,333+ views
    WASHINGTON - Intelligence shortcomings, as we see, have a thousand fathers; secret intelligence triumphs are orphans. Here is the unremarked story of "the Farewell dossier": how a CIA campaign of computer sabotage resulting in a huge explosion in Siberia -- all engineered by a mild-mannered economist named Gus Weiss -- helped us win the Cold War. Weiss worked down the hall from me in the Nixon administration. In early 1974, he wrote a report on Soviet advances in technology through purchasing and copying that led the beleaguered president -- detente notwithstanding -- to place restrictions on the export of computers...
  • William Safire, RIP (This has not been a good time for losing friends)

    09/28/2009 1:04:27 PM PDT · by RobinMasters · 7 replies · 720+ views
    American Spectator ^ | SEPTEMBER 27, 2009 | Ben Stein
    This has not been a good time for losing friends. Genius pal John Hughes. Patriot, superstar political and moral philosopher, Irving Kristol. One of the kindest, gentlest, finest men on the planet, a twinkle of intelligence and love always in his eyes, beautiful soul Irving Kristol. Now, just yesterday, irreplaceable Bill Safire, who was more family than friend. When I think of Safire and losing him to cruel, vicious cancer, I think of losing the walking talking embodiment of that highest of virtues, loyalty. (Kristol, too.) Yes, a brilliant writer and phrase-maker -- the words, "an effete corps of impudent...
  • William Safire, Nixon Speechwriter and Times Columnist, Is Dead at 79

    09/27/2009 11:19:38 AM PDT · by fours · 94 replies · 5,215+ views
    New York Times ^ | 9/28/2009 | ROBERT D. McFADDEN
    <p>No article yet; just an announcement on the NYT front page.</p>
  • The Audacity of Hype (Barry's Overblown Acceptance Speech)

    08/31/2008 10:22:43 AM PDT · by mojito · 45 replies · 283+ views
    NYT ^ | 8/31/2008 | William Safire
    BY choosing the venue of a vast outdoor stadium as John Kennedy did for his “new frontier” acceptance, and by speaking on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” address, Barack Obama — whose claim to fame is an ability to move audiences with his words — deliberately invited comparison with two of the most memorable speeches of our recent history. What a mistake. A speaker must first ask: what is the best setting to make close contact with the person I want to reach? In this day and age, it is not a huge throng wildly...
  • Blizzard of Lies

    01/30/2007 5:37:44 AM PST · by Ouderkirk · 27 replies · 1,674+ views
    New York Times ^ | 1-8-96 | William Safire
    Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady - a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation - is a congenital liar. Drip by drip, like Whitewater torture, the case is being made that she is compelled to mislead, and to ensnare her subordinates and friends in a web of deceit. 1) Remember the story she told about studying The Wall Street Journal to explain her 10,000 percent profit in 1979 commodity trading? We now know that was a lie told to turn aside accusations that...
  • The Office Pool, 2007

    01/05/2007 3:14:05 PM PST · by neverdem · 3 replies · 464+ views
    NY Times ^ | December 29, 2006 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OPTIMISTIC predictions took a beating in 2006 (except for the stock market), but today — in my 33rd annual office pool in this space — is my chance to recoup. In these multiple choices, pick one, all or none. 1. The “O’Connorless Supreme Court” will decide (a) without reversing Roe v. Wade to uphold laws restricting late-term abortion because they do not impose an “undue burden” on women (b) that public schools in Seattle and Louisville, in their zeal to prevent re-segregation, have gone too far in using race in selection of students (c) to reject Massachusetts’ case to force...
  • Weekend Talk Show *Preview* for 7/1 and 7/2/06 (not the live thread)

    06/30/2006 5:24:30 PM PDT · by Phsstpok · 41 replies · 1,115+ views
    Network and Cable News Networks | 6/30/06 | Network and Cable News
    Weekend Talk Show *Preview* for 7/1 and 7/2/06 (not the live thread)The main message is the Sunday Shows.  Message 1 will be the Saturday Shows and message 2 will be the show guest links post.  Then I'll post the ping list.ABC This Week (George Stephanopoulos) Meme: Bush was wrong on all the issues McCain is right onThe Supreme's smack down the Bushies (who cares if it endangers the country, it's NEWS!!!) Topics: Hamdan, Immigration, and Iraq Guests Senator John McCain, Republican - Arizona He's BAAAAACKMcCain's back and Georgie's got himIt's such a tragedy that President Bush didn't listen to Saint...
  • Complete 911 Timeline: Able Danger program

    01/07/2006 11:47:17 PM PST · by ATOMIC_PUNK · 14 replies · 1,984+ views
    http://cooperativeresearch.org/ ^ | Center for Cooperative Research
    A report commissioned in mid-1999 by Rep. Curt Weldon (R) looks into possible Chinese front companies in the US seeking technology for the Chinese military. Dr. Eileen Preisser and Michael Maloof are commissioned to make the report. Dr. Preisser, who runs the Information Dominance Center at the US Army's Land Information Warfare Activity (LIWA) and will later become closely tied to Able Danger, uses LIWA's data mining capabilities to search unclassified information. According to Maloof, their results show Chinese front companies in the US posing as US corporations that acquire technology from US defense contractors. When the study is completed...
  • The Jailing of Judith Miller

    06/28/2005 9:46:09 PM PDT · by neverdem · 53 replies · 1,918+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 29, 2005 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    Washington LEGEND has it when Henry David Thoreau went to jail to protest an unjust law, his friend, the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, visited him and asked, "Henry, what are you doing in here?" The great nature writer replied, "What are you doing out there?" The Supreme Court has just flinched from its responsibility to stop the unjust jailing of two journalists - not charged with any wrongdoing - by a runaway prosecutor who will go to any lengths to use the government's contempt power to force them to betray their confidential sources. The case was about the "outing" of...
  • Rumsfeld Drinks with Fox News, Sen. Thune

    03/09/2005 7:58:08 PM PST · by jinkagrl · 22 replies · 506+ views
    The Raw Story ^ | March 10, 2005 | Unknown
    Roll Call’s Mary Ann Akers will reveal Thursday that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dined earlier this week with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and Sen. John Thune, the man who took out former Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Tom Daschle, RAW STORY has learned. The dinner, Akers is set to report, included Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John Jumper, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, conservative columnist William Safire and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot, and their wives. “Despite incessant rumors of Rumseld’s imminent departure, [Aker’s] source said the secretary was...
  • Annan met with UN reform pointman Yevgeny Primakov in Moscow when Oil-For-Food scandal broke

    01/31/2005 9:48:39 AM PST · by MikeEdwards · 1 replies · 607+ views
    CFP ^ | January 31, 2005 | CFP
    Did United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan hightail it to Moscow to check in with his handpicked UN reform man Yevgeny Primakov within weeks of William Safire’s New York Times expose on alleged scandal in the Oil-For-Food Program? The first of Safire’s groundbreaking Oil-For-Food investigative stories ran in mid-March, 2004. Here’s Annan’s Moscow itinerary as documented by The Russian Federation: "Annan arrived in Moscow on Sunday, April 4, 2004 where he had an early working dinner with Evgeni (sic) Primakov, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation." On the following day, Annan visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where...
  • Annan met with UN reform pointman Yevgeny Primakov in Moscow when Oil-For-Food scandal broke

    01/31/2005 9:26:08 AM PST · by UpHereEh · 508+ views
    Canada Free Press ^ | January 31, 2005 | Judy McLeod
    Did United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan hightail it to Moscow to check in with his handpicked UN reform man Yevgeny Primakov within weeks of William Safire’s New York Times expose on alleged scandal in the Oil-For-Food Program? The first of Safire’s groundbreaking Oil-For-Food investigative stories ran in mid-March, 2004. Here’s Annan’s Moscow itinerary as documented by The Russian Federation: "Annan arrived in Moscow on Sunday, April 4, 2004 where he had an early working dinner with Evgeni (sic) Primakov, former Prime Minister of the Russian Federation." On the following day, Annan visited the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where...
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch changes syndicated columnists line-up.

    01/31/2005 10:19:56 AM PST · by rwa265 · 8 replies · 845+ views
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 1/30/05 | Eric Mink
    There are substantial revisions to our lineup and schedule of syndicated national columnists: Six columnists from our current lineup - Charles Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg, Maureen Dowd, Leonard Pitts, David Broder and Ellen Goodman - are continuing, but their work will appear on different days of the week. We're adding five new columnists to the page - three conservative, two liberal - with an eye toward freshening up the mix and upgrading the quality of the writing and advocacy. Conservative Michael Barone, a senior writer for U.S. News & World Report and principal co-writer of the "Almanac of American Politics," has...
  • 'Never Retire' (William Safire's last NYT Op-Ed column)

    01/24/2005 10:01:27 PM PST · by HAL9000 · 7 replies · 600+ views
    The New York Times ^ | January 24, 2005 | William Safire
    The Nobel laureate James Watson, who started a revolution in science as co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, put it to me straight a couple of years ago: "Never retire. Your brain needs exercise or it will atrophy." Why, then, am I bidding Op-Ed readers farewell today after more than 3,000 columns? Nobody pushed me; at 75, I'm in good shape, not afflicted with political ennui; and my recent column about tsunami injustice and the Book of Job drew the biggest mail response in 32 years of pounding out punditry. Here's why I'm outta here: In an interview 50...
  • Character Is Destiny

    01/11/2005 10:21:28 PM PST · by neverdem · 2 replies · 325+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 12, 2005 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST WASHINGTON — What's the secret to long-run success? For a person, it's useful to have the smarts, look great, be lucky and exude charisma. All that is not enough. For a political party, it helps to have good organization, articulate candidates and pollsters to discern a popular set of issues. Not enough. For a nation, success can seem assured by natural resources, free enterprise, a culture of compassion and a free press. It can still go under. For a person, a party and a nation, the element essential to success is character, a word that grew out of...
  • Two Internal Splits (Safire)

    01/04/2005 9:04:43 PM PST · by neverdem · 5 replies · 470+ views
    NY Times ^ | January 5, 2005 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST WASHINGTON — A global coalition of the giving - bolstered by American military ships and choppers that are able to deliver needed relief to sick and starving tsunami victims - rightly dominates the news. In Asia, the cataclysm's aftermath pulls even warring factions together. Not in the Middle East. Palestinians and Israelis must first resolve their internal battles before they can begin to make peace with each other. In Gaza, the leading candidate to replace Yasir Arafat in Sunday's election, Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen, has embraced the radical Arabs who want not peace but conquest. These...
  • The Fourth Election

    11/30/2004 7:32:07 PM PST · by Tumbleweed_Connection · 1 replies · 429+ views
    NY Times ^ | Dec 1, 2004 | William Safire
    "Welcome to the world's interrelated four-month, four-nation election cycle" was the challenge posted here in October. So far, voters who support implanting freedom in the Middle East have won three in a row, electing President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, the American ally John Howard in Australia, and George Bush here. Now pessimists are trying desperately to call off the fourth election - the one scheduled for late January in Iraq to elect a 275-member national assembly that will write a constitution - lest they lose that vote, too. For one awful moment last week, it seemed the foot-draggers might succeed....
  • TIMES' SAFIRE TO QUIT

    11/15/2004 11:29:00 PM PST · by kattracks · 7 replies · 386+ views
    New York Post ^ | 11/16/04
    Thoughtful hair-splitter William Safire is giving up his political column at The New York Times after 31 years, saying it was time "to hang up his hatchet." Safire, 74, will write his final op-ed column on Jan. 24, the newspaper said yesterday. A Pulitzer Prize-winner and author of 25 books, Safire will continue to write his "On Language" column about syntax and semantics, which has appeared in the Sunday Times magazine since 1979 and spawned 15 of his books. [snip] Prior to the Times, Safire worked as a publicist and brought together President Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev...
  • Safire to Step Down as Times Columnist

    11/15/2004 1:05:31 PM PST · by neverdem · 39 replies · 2,844+ views
    THE NEW YORK TIMES ^ | November 15, 2004 | By THE NEW YORK TIMES
    William Safire, whose political commentary column has appeared on the Op-Ed Page of The New York Times for more than 30 years, is stepping down, The Times said today. The newspaper said in a statement that Mr. Safire would make his final appearance as an Op-Ed columnist on Jan. 24, 2005. "The New York Times without Bill Safire is all but unimaginable," Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The Times, said in the statement. "Bill's provocative and insightful commentary has held our readers captive since he first graced our Op-Ed Page in 1973. Reaching for his column became a critical...
  • The New York Times to Run Final Op-Ed Column by William Safire on January 24, 2005 (replacement?)

    11/15/2004 9:56:07 AM PST · by Cableguy · 32 replies · 1,383+ views
    Business Wire ^ | 11/15/04
    William Safire will publish his final column as a New York Times Op-Ed columnist on January 24, 2005. Arthur Sulzberger Jr, publisher of The New York Times, said, "The New York Times without Bill Safire is all but unimaginable. Bill's provocative and insightful commentary has held our readers captive since he first graced our Op-Ed Page in 1973. Reaching for his column became a critical and enjoyable part of the day for our readers across the country and around the world. Whether you agreed with him or not was never the point. His writing is delightful, informed and engaging. So,...
  • William Safire Leaving NY Times

    11/15/2004 9:00:43 AM PST · by Rutles4Ever · 29 replies · 1,263+ views
    Drudge Report ^ | 11/15/2004 | Matt Drudge
    WILLIAM SAFIRE LEAVING NYT; RETIRES COLUMN... DEVELOPING...
  • U.N. Obstructs Justice

    11/14/2004 9:41:10 PM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies · 1,128+ views
    NY Times ^ | November 15, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST Washington — "I'm angry that we find the U.N. proactively interfering with our investigation," Senator Norm Coleman, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, informed Lou Dobbs on CNN, "by telling certain folks not to cooperate with us." He repeated for emphasis his sharp response to Secretary General Kofi Annan's "interfering with our ability to get information we need" about the oil-for-food scandal. Judith Miller of The Times had revealed that the Minnesota Republican, joined by ranking Democrat Carl Levin, sent a letter noting Annan's four-month foot-dragging and that "the U.N. is hindering our efforts to obtain...
  • The Best Political News of 2004

    10/26/2004 10:11:12 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies · 805+ views
    NY Times ^ | October 27, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST WASHINGTON — Good news is no news. That's why the most historic development of this news-drenched year has not been on front pages and hasn't led TV newscasts. Against all dire predictions and threats from terrorists, Afghanistan - breeding ground of Al Qaeda under the medieval rule of Taliban fundamentalists - has just held the first presidential election in its bloodstained history. The winner was Hamid Karzai, 46, a politician of the majority Pashtuns, who emerged with 55 percent of the eight million votes cast. The runner-up, Yunus Qanooni, received 1.2 million votes; after grumbling about a few...
  • The Runaway Prosecutor

    09/28/2004 10:09:46 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies · 616+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 29, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before. Three decades ago, not long after I left the Nixon administration to join The New York Times, I criticized the posturing of the special prosecutor Leon Jaworski - then the darling of the press corps. Al Haig, the White House chief of staff at the time, collared me at a party to pass along a message about Jaworski's triggering a grand-jury subpoena: "Leon says to tell you to get off his back or else."...
  • The Kidnap Weapon

    09/26/2004 8:35:51 PM PDT · by neverdem · 13 replies · 517+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 27, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    Washington — The Zarqawi terrorist network in Iraq has developed a powerful new weapon. It requires no munitions and no suicide zealots, runs no risk to terrorists of death or capture and provides cash to finance other operations. The weapon is publicized kidnapping. Pictures of helpless captives begging for their lives trigger worldwide coverage of tearful families begging for mercy. Films sometimes conclude with a sadistic Zarqawi slowly sawing off the heads of his victims. For the psychological warriors, it is a win-win tactic. If the ransom is paid by a private contractor, the extorted cash buys rockets and mortars....
  • William Safire: Duping of CBS journalists was more than a 'dirty trick' (it's a crime)

    09/23/2004 7:17:00 PM PDT · by FairOpinion · 32 replies · 2,158+ views
    Star Tribune/NY Times ^ | Sept. 24, 2004 | William Safire
    Whoever, having devised any scheme or artifice to defraud transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. --- U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 63, Section 1343. That was no mere "dirty trick"; it could be a violation of the U.S. criminal code. If the artifice had not been revealed by sharp-eyed bloggers, a national election could have been swung by a blatant falsehood. Who...
  • First, Find the Forger

    09/21/2004 9:21:43 PM PDT · by neverdem · 86 replies · 2,083+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 22, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    OP-ED COLUMNIST Whoever, having devised any scheme or artifice to defraud transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. " U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 63, Section 1343. WASHINGTON — At the root of what is today treated as an embarrassing blunder by duped CBS journalists may turn out to be a felony by its faithless sources. Some person or persons conceived a scheme...
  • Those Discredited Memos (FR Mentioned)

    09/12/2004 10:13:58 PM PDT · by Anti-Bubba182 · 59 replies · 2,310+ views
    NY Times ^ | September 13, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    ashington Alert bloggers who knew the difference between the product of old typewriters and new word processors immediately suspected a hoax: the "documents" presented by CBS News suggesting preferential treatment in Lt. George W. Bush's National Guard service have all the earmarks of forgeries.The copies of copies of copies that formed the basis for the latest charges were supposedly typed by Guard officer Jerry Killian three decades ago and placed in his "personal" file. But it is the default typeface of Microsoft Word, highly unlikely to have been used by that Texas colonel, who died in 1984. His widow says...
  • Hillary-Powell may face off against McCain-Giuliani in '08 per Safire

    09/01/2004 5:58:20 AM PDT · by ItIsATigerIMarried · 34 replies · 1,815+ views
    NY Times ^ | 9/1/04 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    ohn McCain's presence onstage was powerful, and his no-apologies message went to the heart of the matter in this campaign: The war against terror is being fought for a noble cause and the candidate most likely to persevere in it is George W. Bush. Speaking to a couple of us at his birthday party the night before, the most trusted man in America made clear that his unequivocal embrace of Bush was not mere "campaign oratory," in Wendell Willkie's phrase. He was certain that his former rival had the gumption to see it through, and could not be certain that...
  • The New Groupthink (Safire on Senate Intel Committee)

    07/13/2004 9:51:55 PM PDT · by conservative in nyc · 10 replies · 856+ views
    New York Times ^ | 07/14/04 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    The New GroupthinkBy WILLIAM SAFIREPublished: July 14, 2004 he salient news in the Senate Intelligence Committee report is this: all you have been hearing about "he lied to us" and "they cooked the books" is a lot of partisan nonsense. The 511-page Senate report concluded this: Nobody in the White House or the Pentagon pressured the C.I.A. to change an intelligence analysis to conform to the judgment that the world would be a safer place with the monstrous Saddam overthrown.Ah, second-guessers say, but what about "groupthink"? Before Gulf War I, the consensus held that Saddam was five to 10 years...
  • Rights of Terror Suspects

    07/04/2004 9:16:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 2 replies · 403+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 5, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — "Misadvised by a frustrated and panic-stricken attorney general, a president of the United States has just assumed what amounts to dictatorial power to jail or execute aliens." So wrote a purpling libertarian kook on Nov. 15, 2001, the day after President Bush issued an executive order cracking down on suspected terrorist captives. "At a time when even liberals are debating the ethics of torture of suspects," this soft-on-terror wimp went on, "weighing the distaste for barbarism against the need to save innocent lives — it's time for conservative iconoclasts and card-carrying hard-liners to stand up for...
  • Beware of Certitude(Chirac tell US FU)

    06/29/2004 9:42:18 PM PDT · by neverdem · 15 replies · 223+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 30, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    Only two days ago, I wrote with all the confidence of a bigfoot pundit that French President Jacques Chirac, at the NATO summit in Istanbul, would find it in his political interest to paper over past differences with the U.S., Britain and most other European nations about overthrowing Saddam. So much for my certitude. Instead, Chirac stuck his thumb in the alliance's eye: he would not allow any troops under the NATO flag to help the newly sovereign Iraqis defeat the terrorists. Even the training of Iraqi police officers would have to take place outside that country; Chirac slyly suggested...
  • The Hollow Alliance

    06/27/2004 9:01:12 PM PDT · by neverdem · 14 replies · 252+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 28, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    LONDON — At this week's NATO summit conference in Istanbul, it will be in the political interest of America's European adversaries — France's Jacques Chirac and Germany's Gerhard Schröder — to appear to cooperate with the coalition helping Iraq complete its liberation. At the same time, it is in the political interest of George W. Bush and Britain's Tony Blair to appear to be delighted with whatever safe and cheap aid that the Chirac-Schröder bloc allows NATO to offer instead of supplying alliance troops. In this way, the French and German leaders can tell their nations that no diplomatic cost...
  • The Great Cash Cow (Safire on Oil-for-Food)

    06/22/2004 11:01:18 PM PDT · by conservative in nyc · 9 replies · 292+ views
    New York Times ^ | 06/23/04 | William Safire
    June 23, 2004OP-ED COLUMNISTThe Great Cash CowBy WILLIAM SAFIRE his was the biggest cash cow in the history of the world," says one of the insiders familiar with the $10 billion U.N. oil-for-food scandal. "Everybody — traders, contractors, banks, inspectors — was milking it. It was supposed to buy food with the money from oil that the U.N. allowed Saddam to sell, but less than half went for that. Perfume, limos, a shipment of 1,500 Ping-Pong tables, for God's sake."Another whistle-blower, often on the "graveyard shift" of round-the-clock operations at the U.N.'s New York Office of the Iraq Program,...
  • The Zelikow Report (9-11 commission report Iraq - Al Qaeda ties)

    06/20/2004 9:52:10 PM PDT · by FairOpinion · 5 replies · 269+ views
    NY Times ^ | June 21, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON — "Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie" went the Times headline. "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed" front-paged The Washington Post. The A.P. led with the thrilling words "Bluntly contradicting the Bush Administration, the commission. . . ." This understandably caused my editorial-page colleagues to draw the conclusion that "there was never any evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. . . ." All wrong. The basis for the hoo-ha was not a judgment of the panel of commissioners appointed to investigate the 9/11 attacks. As reporters noted below the headlines, it was an interim report of the commission's...
  • Tear Down This U.N. Stonewall

    06/13/2004 9:13:19 PM PDT · by conservative in nyc · 10 replies · 179+ views
    New York Times ^ | 06/14/04 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    June 14, 2004OP-ED COLUMNISTTear Down This U.N. StonewallBy WILLIAM SAFIRE he secretary general of the U.N. tapped me on the shoulder at a recent luncheon and said, "May I have a word with you?"Because several columns of mine zapped the U.N. for its cover-up of the costliest financial rip-off in history — even calling it "Kofigate" — I braced myself for an icy rebuke. But Kofi Annan assured me, in his courteous way, that the committee he had appointed to look into the oil-for-food scandal, headed by former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, would do a thorough job.I respectfully asked if...
  • The Resolution's Weakness

    06/09/2004 11:29:12 AM PDT · by Egregious Philbin · 11 replies · 194+ views
    The New York Times ^ | 6/9/04 | William Safire
    In his eagerness for the approval of the Shiite religious leader — and driven by desperation to get yesterday's unanimous U.N. resolution in time for the G-8 meeting — President Bush may be double-crossing the Kurds, our most loyal friends in Iraq. Not a single U.S. soldier has been killed in the area of northern Iraq patrolled by the pesh merga, the army of Kurdish Iraqis who have brought order to their region. Savaged by Saddam's poison-gas attacks in the 80's, Kurdistan was abandoned by the first President Bush to Saddam's vengeance after the first gulf war. When our conscience...
  • Progress in Iraq (Safire)

    05/31/2004 4:52:43 PM PDT · by Piranha · 4 replies · 225+ views
    The New York Times ^ | May 31, 2004 | William Safire
    WASHINGTON — Have you read the encouraging headlines from Iraq? "Monthly U.S. Combat Deaths Down by Half in May" is one. "Radical Shiite Cleric's Militia Decimated in Holy Cities" is another, and finally: "Iraqi Leaders, Defying U.S. and U.N. Dictates, Choose Prime Minister." No, those were not headlines anybody could see. In Gloomy Gus newsrooms, good news is no news. ***********SNIP************** [C]onsider the possibility, for a change, that on our Memorial Day, we have cause for cautious optimism. Rather than admit this, our dovish defeatists have turned themselves into the hardest of hardliners. **************SNIP************** Of course, if coalition forces were...
  • Washington's tribes do battle over Iraq

    05/28/2004 12:10:53 AM PDT · by rmlew · 1 replies · 199+ views
    New York Times (via IHT) ^ | Tuesday, May 25, 2004 | William Safire
    WASHINGTON: William Safire The three factions controlling Iraq - long suspicious of one another - are now on the brink of open tribal warfare. Not the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds - I mean the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA. The spark setting off this U.S. bureaucratic conflagration is the former Iraqi exile Ahmad Chalabi, a sophisticated, secular Shiite who organized resistance to the Sunni despot Saddam Hussein before it was popular. Since 1996, the CIA has hated him with a passion. In that year, American spooks egged on Iraqi officers to overthrow Saddam. Chalabi claims to have warned...
  • William Safire: The Bush-Kerry Nondebate

    05/25/2004 9:57:46 PM PDT · by NutCrackerBoy · 16 replies · 157+ views
    The New York Times ^ | May 26, 2004 | William Safire
    WASHINGTON — On the paramount issue of the Iraq war, we hear a lot of angry debate on cable and see great fulminations on op-ed pages, but the two candidates for president are carrying on a curiously civilized public discussion. Set aside Senator John Kerry's lurch toward the doves during the primaries to derail the Howard Dean bandwagon. Consider instead the nondebate about Iraq now going on in the general election race. Four weeks ago, at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo.,, Kerry laid out three basic options: (1) "continue to do this largely by ourselves" (would never work); (2) "pull...
  • Hold Fast, Idealists

    05/11/2004 9:22:27 PM PDT · by neverdem · 8 replies · 159+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 12, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON — Last month, the angry charge at the 9/11 commission was that our intelligence was weak and ineffective. That was because the terrorists were at war and we were not. This month, with the U.S. at war with terror, the angry charge is that our intelligence was cruelly un-American. Last month, Democrats joined a book-promoting author to try to place the blame for failing to stop Al Qaeda's attacks on an unconcerned President Bush and the bumbling heads of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. This month, Democrats led by Michigan Senator Carl Levin are imputing blame for the pornographic sadism...
  • The Cruelest Month

    05/02/2004 9:22:13 PM PDT · by neverdem · 1 replies · 127+ views
    NY Times ^ | May 3, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON — "April is the cruelest month," wrote T. S. Eliot in "The Waste Land." This April cruelly set back democracy and antiterrorism in Iraq. Casualties reached a peak. A Marine commander had to appeal to a Republican Guard general to come to terms with Baathist insurgents in Falluja. President Bush had to express America's disgust at the humiliation of Iraqi prisoners by a handful of sadistic guards. Taken together, that's about as bad as it gets. However, a certain grim logic suggests a turn for the better may be coming this summer. Our June 30 deadline for the end...
  • Brahimi's Two Mistakes (Safire on Iraq)

    04/26/2004 2:38:30 PM PDT · by neverdem · 4 replies · 212+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 26, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON U.N. Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, the Bush administration's great Arab hope to appoint a transition government that would bring democracy to Iraq, is off to a troubling start. His first mistake was to announce on French radio that "the great poison in the region is this Israeli policy of domination and the suffering imposed on the Palestinians," as well as the "equally unjust support of the United States for this policy." That freelance condemnation was too much for even Kofi Annan, who sent out his official spokesman to explain that Brahimi was "a former foreign minister of Algeria" who...
  • Safire: Scandal With No Friends (U.N. oil-for-food program)

    04/18/2004 11:08:34 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 23 replies · 171+ views
    New York Times ^ | William Safire
    WASHINGTON — How fares the multination cover-up of the richest rip-off in world history? Obstruction of justice has never had it so good. Last month, after some badgering in this space and elsewhere, the House International Relations Committee announced it would look into the $5 billion kickback scandal in the United Nations' six-year Iraqi oil-for-food program, the largest humanitarian aid effort ever undertaken. Our State Department, eager for U.N. help in Iraq, wants no revelations of U.N. ineptitude and corruption. It waltzed the committee staff around. Senate Foreign Relations, however, not wanting to be upstaged by its House counterpart, called...
  • Scandal With No Friends (Iraq Oil for Food Program)

    04/18/2004 11:03:39 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 685+ views
    NY Times ^ | April 19, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON — How fares the multination cover-up of the richest rip-off in world history? Obstruction of justice has never had it so good. Last month, after some badgering in this space and elsewhere, the House International Relations Committee announced it would look into the $5 billion kickback scandal in the United Nations' six-year Iraqi oil-for-food program, the largest humanitarian aid effort ever undertaken. Our State Department, eager for U.N. help in Iraq, wants no revelations of U.N. ineptitude and corruption. It waltzed the committee staff around. Senate Foreign Relations, however, not wanting to be upstaged by its House counterpart, called...
  • Say, who is calling whom a `wing nut'?

    04/11/2004 11:52:28 AM PDT · by weegee · 15 replies · 336+ views
    New York Times via Houston Chronicle ^ | April 11, 2004, 12:20AM | By WILLIAM SAFIRE
    Sometimes a new or offbeat word or phrase is used in common parlance for years before it sees print. Occasionally our computers' search engines, prowling the world of words for everything written or transcribed, can pick up an isolated usage. So it is with wing nut. I've heard this phrase spoken by political reporters for a couple of years but never saw it in print. Then in came an e-mail message from Mary E. Moliski, who describes herself as a "grandmother and word enthusiast" and sees this column in The Houston Chronicle: "Have you researched the word(s) wing nut? I...
  • Safire: Two-Front Insurgency

    04/06/2004 8:33:13 PM PDT · by Pokey78 · 9 replies · 151+ views
    The New York Times ^ | 04/07/04 | William Safire
    WASHINGTON — In light of about a dozen American combat deaths yesterday, we should keep in mind our historic bet: that given their freedom from a savage tyrant, the three groups that make up Iraq could, with our help, create a rudimentary democracy that would turn the tide against terror. In the northern group, we can see success: rival Kurdish parties have come together to work within an Iraqi parliament when elections come. "Kirkuk is our Jerusalem," they say, and that oil-rich area — long the center of Iraqi Kurdistan, before Saddam's ethnic cleansing — should be their regional capital...
  • William Safire: The Floo Floo Bird

    04/04/2004 9:04:26 PM PDT · by quidnunc · 10 replies · 182+ views
    The New York Times ^ | April 5, 2004 | William Safire
    The architect Frank Lloyd Wright warned of the floo floo bird, "the peculiar and especial bird who always flew backward … because it didn't give a darn where it was going, but just had to see where it had been." That's us. With our eyes fixed on our rearview mirror, we obsessively review catastrophes past when we should be looking through our windshield at dangers ahead. Today we are engaged in the wrong debate. The brouhaha about whether the new Bush administration treated the threat of Al Qaeda as "important" versus "urgent" is history almost as ancient as whether F.D.R....
  • Of God and the Flag (and SCOTUS)

    03/24/2004 5:51:52 AM PST · by OESY · 4 replies · 168+ views
    New York Times ^ | March 24, 2004 | WILLIAM SAFIRE
    WASHINGTON — As a very little boy, I thought the opening words to the recitation required at school every morning were "I led the pigeons to the flag." Seemed odd, but I figured the teacher knew best. In my 20's, I noticed how the rhythm of the assertion of national unity at the conclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance — "one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" — was broken into by the insertion by Congress in 1954 of the phrase "under God" between "one nation" and "indivisible." As a geezer today, I sometimes trip over the inserted...
  • UN Kickbacks in Iraq

    03/19/2004 2:11:55 PM PST · by laotzu · 5 replies · 191+ views
    International Herald Tribune ^ | 3/19/04 | William Safire
    WASHINGTON The cover-up in the office of the United Nations secretary general of a multibillion-dollar financial fraud known as the Iraqi oil-for-food program is beginning to come apart. The scandal has been brewing for years. The first I learned of it was in a New York Times Op-Ed article last April by the journalist Claudia Rosett charging that the secretive UN oversight of more than $100 billion in Iraqi oil exports and supposed humanitarian imports was "an invitation to kickbacks, political back-scratching and smuggling done under cover of relief operations." After checking with Kurdish sources in Iraq, I reported that...