Ron The Cop

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.

March 24th, 2008

Turning the Tables on the Associated Press


Blogger Brian Ledbetter recently received a notice from AP’s legal eagles that his use of AP photos exceeded the normal “fair use” conventions. That’s interesting. This is a case of being half pregnant. Anyway the AP was not so constrained from using the photos of Eliot Spitzer’s call girl. Hypocrisy?

Ron the Cop

Turning the Tables on the Associated Press

The AP threatened to sue Brian C. Ledbetter for reproducing their photos without authorization. But they didn’t ask permission before they grabbed Ashley Dupre’s pictures.

by Brian C. Ledbetter

The life of a blogger will occasionally resemble that of Buffalo Bill Cody’s stories of old. And, much like the lead-slingers of times long past, we sometimes get nicked.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been writing Snapped Shot, a blog that focuses on providing commentary, analysis, and the occasional exposé on professional photojournalism. Looking through the product of the photo newswire services daily and pointing out anything that seems out of the ordinary. Looking for possible counterfeiting in Lebanon. The ever-raging Rage Boy. Mystery missiles, unfired bullets, and playground munitions (oh my). All in all, it’s proven to be quite an entertaining hobby to keep my spare time occupied, and has introduced me to a terrific bunch of people.

Then, one day, a volley of proverbial bullets appeared on my porch, neatly wrapped in a FedEx envelope. The label said it all, the gunslinger having put their return address ever so neatly on the envelope. The Associated Press had sent me a friendly little care package.

The counsel for the Associated Press had fired the first warning shot, informing me that it was their opinion that Snapped Shot was in violation of their copyright.

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March 24th, 2008

BREAKING – Iraqi Documents Show al-Qaida Ties

 I’m generally not posting GWOT items here but at Rockets Brain Trust but I thought this one was worth it.


Ron the Cop


From an email to the Friends of Mark Fuhrman:

What Ray, Mark, and Scott have been saying is now breaking in the MSM [See group email below].  See today’s WSJ lead editorial.  Why aren’t other MSM outlets following the WSJ’s lead?  BTW Scott now has the blow by blow update at Flopping Aces.




Saddam’s Terror Links
March 24, 2008; Page A14

Five years on, few Iraq myths are as persistent as the notion that the Bush Administration invented a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Yet a new Pentagon report suggests that Iraq’s links to world-wide terror networks, including al Qaeda, were far more extensive than previously understood.

Naturally, it’s getting little or no attention. Press accounts have been misleading or outright distortions, while the Bush Administration seems indifferent. Even John McCain has let the study’s revelations float by. But that doesn’t make the facts any less notable or true.

[Saddam Hussein]The redacted version of “Saddam and Terrorism” is the most definitive public assessment to date from the Harmony program, the trove of “exploitable” documents, audio and video records, and computer files captured in Iraq. On the basis of about 600,000 items, the report lays out Saddam’s willingness to use terrorism against American and other international targets, as well as his larger state sponsorship of terror, which included harboring, training and equipping jihadis throughout the Middle East.

“The rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the region gave Saddam the opportunity to make terrorism, one of the few tools remaining in Saddam’s ‘coercion’ toolbox, not only cost effective but a formal instrument of state power,” the authors conclude. Throughout the 1990s, the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) cooperated with Hamas; the Palestine Liberation Front, which maintained a Baghdad office; Force 17, Yasser Arafat’s private army; and others. The IIS gave commando training for members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the organization that assassinated Anwar Sadat and whose “emir” was Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command when the group merged with al Qaeda in 1998.

At the very least the report should dispel the notion that outwardly “secular” Saddam would never consort with religious types like al Qaeda. A pan-Arab nationalist, Saddam viewed radical Islamists as potential allies, and they likewise. According to a 1993 memo, Saddam decided to “form a group to start hunting Americans present on Arab soil; especially Somalia,” where al Qaeda was then working with warlords against U.S. humanitarian forces. Saddam also trained Sudanese fighters in Iraq.

The Pentagon report cites this as “a tactical example” of their cooperation. When Saddam “was ordering action in Somalia aimed at the American presence, Osama bin Laden was doing the same thing.” Saddam took an interest in “far-flung terrorist groups . . . to locate any organization whose services he might use in the future.” The Harmony documents “reveal that the regime was willing to co-opt or support organizations it knew to be part of al Qaeda — as long as that organization’s near-term goals supported Saddam’s long-term version.”

For 20 years, such “support” included using Fedayeen Saddam training camps to school terrorists, especially Palestinians but also non-Iraqis “directly associated” with al Qaeda, continuing up to the fall of Baghdad. Saddam also provided financial support and weapons, amounting to “a state-directed program of significant scale.” In July 2001, the regime began patronizing a terror cartel in Bahrain calling itself the Army of Muhammad, which, according to an Iraqi memo, “is under the wings of bin Laden.”

It’s true that the Pentagon report found no “smoking gun,” i.e., a direct connection on a joint Iraq-al Qaeda operation. Supposedly this vindicates the view that Iraq’s liberation was launched on false premises. But the Administration was always cautious, with Colin Powell alleging merely a “sinister nexus” in his 2003 U.N. speech. If anything, sinister is an understatement. The main Iraq intelligence failure was over WMD, but the report indicates that the CIA also underestimated Saddam’s ties to global terror cartels.

The Administration has always maintained that Iraq is just one front in the war on terror; and the report offers “evidence of logistical preparation for terrorist operations in other nations, including those in the West.” In 2002, an IIS memo explained to Saddam that Iraqi embassies were stockpiling weapons, while many of the terrorists trained in Fedayeen camps were dispatched to London with counterfeit documents, where they circulated throughout Europe.

Around the same time, the IIS began to manufacture better improvised explosive devices “designed to be used in civilian areas,” and the regime bureaucratized suicide operations, with local Baath Party leaders competing to provide recruits for Saddam as part of a “Martyrdom Project.”

All of these are inconvenient facts for those who want to assert that somehow Saddam could have been easily contained and presented no threat to the U.S. The Harmony files buttress the case that the decision to oust Saddam was the right one — which makes it all the more puzzling that the Bush Administration is mum. It isn’t the first time the White House has ceded the Iraq debate to its opponents.



To All:

OK some folks don’t think Newsmax is a reliable source.  However as I’ve said before many times before the collective works of Ray Robison, Mark Eichenlaub, Scott Malensek and Kenneth Timmerman including his new must read book “Shadow Warriors,” have demonstrated the connections between the Saddam Regime with Islamofascist terrorist organizations whether they be of Shi’ia or Sunni origin.  Saddam was up to his eyeballs with these groups whenever it was in his best interest to remain in power.  Saddam was a “Friday go to mosque Muslim” as we refer “Sunday to go to church Christians.”


Iraqi Documents Show al-Qaida Ties

Thursday, March 20, 2008 8:09 AM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman


March 24th, 2008

News Without Reporters


News Without Reporters

March 23, 2008 12:15 AM


Reporters are a dying breed, says Steve Boriss, and that’s a good thing. America got along fine without them once before.

by Steve Boriss

One of journalists’ recurring put-downs of bloggers is that they are simply recycling someone else’s news — that there will always be a need for reporters to produce it. Yet, America had a reporterless past and will likely have a reporterless future. And, news will be better for it.

We have lost perspective on what a reporter actually is — a middleman. On one side are news events. On the other are audiences who want to know about them. A reporter’s job is to move “the truth” from Point A to Point B as accurately as possible.

This middleman function, with reporters serving as mere links in a news supply chain, was never needed until fairly recently. Before the printing press was invented, we were all receivers and transmitters of news, spreading it by word-of-mouth. Soon after its invention, multitudes of mostly one-man print-shops, as a sideline, printed newspapers to supplement this word-of-mouth process. These printers wrote their own articles blending facts with opinion, much like bloggers do today. Others also contributed, often without receiving compensation or attribution — citizens, gossips, letter-writing “correspondents” from other towns, and similarly-operating foreign and domestic newspapers whose stories were simply lifted.

Since this is what news looked like at the time of the Founding Fathers, they gave no particular mandate to reporters, a function that did not even exist at the time. The “freedom of the press” they cited in the First Amendment was not about “the press,” but about everyone’s right to freely use a printing press to express their views without government interference, supplementing the free speech clause that allowed everyone to express their views orally.

The first full-time reporter in America did not appear until the 1820’s, after steam engines were integrated into printing presses. Suddenly, newspapers had to be run like businesses to achieve consistently high circulation levels to pay for equipment and keep newsstand prices low. Reporters provided the needed constant flow of consistently well-written articles.

For the first century of their existence, the public had a realistic view of what full-time reporters actually did and awarded them the appropriate, low level of status. Legendary editor Walter Lippmann wrote in 1919 that “reporting is not a dignified profession for which men will invest the time and cost of an education, but an underpaid, insecure, anonymous form of drudgery, conducted on catch-as-catch-can principles.”

But Lippmann was also determined to turn reporting into a profession. He urged us to “make up our minds to send out into reporting a generation of men who will by sheer superiority, drive the incompetents out of business” to be replaced by “patient and fearless men of science who have labored to see what the world really is.” He called for “professional training in journalism in which the ideal of objective testimony is cardinal” with reporters conducting “as impartial an investigation of the facts as is humanly possible.”

But at the same time Lippmann created a puffed-up image of reporters that has lasted for decades, he was planting the seeds of the role’s destruction. Despite their self-image as objective professionals, reporters have yet to create methodologies to back-up their claims. This is painfully obvious in the book The Elements of Journalism, the closest thing there is to journalism scripture, which shrugs-off an admission that every reporter has his own methodology for verifying facts. Now with alternative, challenging voices from cable TV, talk radio, and the blogosphere, the public increasingly understands that reporters are often biased and inaccurate, just like the rest of us. We are also relearning what Thomas Jefferson intuitively understood — the truth is more likely to emerge from a multitude of voices competing in a freewheeling marketplace of ideas than from elites offering their views of the truth drawn from their own limited knowledge and perspectives.

Now, the Internet is eliminating the reporter as middleman by connecting audiences directly with the real sources of news — politicians’ offices, PR firms, whistleblowers, think tanks, courts, police departments, and everyone else with a news ax to grind. These entities have always been capable of writing their own stories in a usable form, but have previously needed reporters to get their stories distributed. Nor will we miss investigative reporters, who had always been dangerously untrained in the skills needed to do their job properly (e.g. forensics, law) and often unfairly destroyed the reputations of innocents. Society has many alternative, more responsible ways to right wrongs, and the blogosphere can easily fill this void.

We will continue to have news middlemen, but those that survive must create real value for their audiences. Editors can create value by aggregating, analyzing, adding opinions, and gathering like-minded audiences for advertisers. Bloggers do the same. But, reporters are repeaters. They, not bloggers, are unnecessary recyclers of news.

Steve Boriss blogs at The Future of News. He works for Washington University in St. Louis, where he is Associate Director of the Center for the Application of Information Technology (CAIT) and teaches a class called “The Future of News.”