Monday, June 30, 2008

A Little Of The Old In And Out

(image via

In: Sy Hersh. Hersh's article today in The New Yorker is what everyone in The Chattering Classes is discussing. His military sources, clearly worried about the singleminded post-Iraq obsession with Shiite Persia, are volumninous if anonymous. The article is mindblowing, particularly because it hints that members of the Democratic leadership once again have been willing to go along with this administration's war plans even though this time they have the a majority and a mandate to avert war. From The New Yorker:

"Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.

"'The Finding was focused on undermining Iran’s nuclear ambitions and trying to undermine the government through regime change,' a person familiar with its contents said, and involved 'working with opposition groups and passing money.' The Finding provided for a whole new range of activities in southern Iran and in the areas, in the east, where Baluchi political opposition is strong, he said.

"Although some legislators were troubled by aspects of the Finding, and 'there was a significant amount of high-level discussion' about it, according to the source familiar with it, the funding for the escalation was approved. In other words, some members of the Democratic leadership—Congress has been under Democratic control since the 2006 elections—were willing, in secret, to go along with the Administration in expanding covert activities directed at Iran, while the Party’s presumptive candidate for President, Barack Obama, has said that he favors direct talks and diplomacy.

"The request for funding came in the same period in which the Administration was coming to terms with a National Intelligence Estimate, released in December, that concluded that Iran had halted its work on nuclear weapons in 2003."

More here.

(image via theage)

Out: Graydon Carter's VF. We got this email from Vanity Fair's PR department this afternoon, saying, "We thought you’d be interested in seeing an advance copy of 'Who’s Up? Hollywood’s Next Wave,' a portfolio of Hollywood’s hottest young stars, photographed by Mark Seliger, with an essay by James Wolcott. The full portfolio, along with bonus video footage, can be viewed at" And so we clicked on the link -- please don't -- to see 'Who’s Up? Hollywood’s Next Wave' only to find a single face of color. Apparently, in the world of Vanity Fair there are no faces of color -- no Asians, no Latinos, one African-American -- in Tinseltown.

Fuck you very much, Graydon Carter.

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