Front Page Update

As you may have noticed, I just released yet another update to the new design. The class=”textlink”>front page of TTLB is now wholly devoted to tracking the latest and most popular posts from across the blogosphere: there, you’ll now see a rundown over the past several days of all the most-linked posts, along with links to related posts and topics.
More to come, and feedback is welcome as always…

fear the Kos

class=”textlink”>Markos Moulitsas:
“TNR and its enablers are feeling the heat of their own irrelevance and this is how they fight it — by undermining the progressive movement. Zengerle has made common cause with the wingnutosphere, using the laughable “kosola” frame they created and emailing his “scoops” to them for links. This is what the once-proud New Republic has evolved into — just another cog of the Vast RIGHT Wing Conspiracy.”
With such a declaration of war from Markos hanging Damocles-like above their heads, Zengerle and his New Republic colleagues must long for the days when centrist democrats could count on support from powerful institutions like the Democratic Leadership Council in holding back the righteous anger of raging far-left Kossack hordes.
But as we all know, the DLC is but a memory, having been rendered radioactive by Kos in September 2005.
On that fateful day, no DLC calls for truce were brooked, and appeals to party unity fell on deaf ears. When it was over, the formerly glorious DLC was but a smoking ruin, its leadership having fled into hiding under assumed names to live out the rest of their pathetic existences with heads hung in shame from the ignominious defeat visited upon them by the Power of Kos.
In a TTLB exclusive, I managed to locate one such leader, Hillary C, who agreed to speak with me under condition that I not reveal her location (especially to her estranged husband, who was famously spared by Kos after he pledged fealty to the One True Progressive Cause). I can say that she now resides in a small Midwestern city, earning a humble living as a Traffic Enforcement Officer (meter maid) , having been previously dismissed from her position as a Wal-Mart greeter for being “tempermentally unsuited” to the role.
“My advice to Jason Zengerle is: don’t let what happened to me happen to you!” she warned. “I had my chance. They told me withdrawing troops was the way to victory in Iraq, but I didn’t listen! I could have been President, if it wasn’t for those meddling Kos kids!”
At this point, Ms. C became agitated and delusional, ranting on about her Presidential aspirations, and I was forced to terminate the interview. Such a sad thing to see: one can only hope that the Mighty Kos will find mercy in his heart to spare Zengerle and The New Republic a similarly horrible fate…

More on the Power of Kos from across the blogosphere…

Did Time Magazine prompt the Haditha investigation?

When I got this morning’s press release on the latest issue of Time Magazine, class=”textlink”> the following line stuck out:
“The details of what happened in Haditha were first disclosed by TIME’s Tim McGirk and Aparisim Ghosh, and their reporting prompted the military to launch an inquiry into the civilian deaths. ”
…because I remembered Captain Ed pointing to a story that said that in fact, the military had already begun their own investigation by then. Ed referred to a NYT piece that said:
A military investigator uncovered evidence in February and March that contradicted repeated claims by marines that Iraqi civilians killed in Haditha last November were victims of a roadside bomb, according to a senior military official in Iraq.
Among the pieces of evidence that conflicted with the marines’ story were death certificates that showed all the Iraqi victims had gunshot wounds, mostly to the head and chest, the official said.
The investigation, which was led by Col. Gregory Watt, an Army officer in Baghdad, also raised questions about whether the marines followed established rules for identifying hostile threats when they assaulted houses near the site of a bomb attack, which killed a fellow marine.
The three-week inquiry was the first official investigation into an episode that was first uncovered by Time magazine in January and that American military officials now say appears to have been an unprovoked attack by the marines that killed 24 Iraqi civilians. The results of Colonel Watt’s investigation, which began on Feb. 14, have not previously been disclosed.

The NYT piece seemed to indicate that that, contrary to Time’s self-congratulations, military officials were in fact aware of irregularities in the incident, and started an investigation independently without prompting from Time.
But details in Time’s story today seem to shed more light:
In early February, [Time reporter Tim] McGirk presented this evidence to, and asked for comment from, Lieut. Colonel Barry Johnson, U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad. Johnson viewed the VCD, listened to the accounts and responded straightforwardly, “I think there’s enough here for a full and formal investigation.” Army Colonel Gregory Watt was dispatched to Haditha to conduct a three-week probe in which he interviewed Marines, survivors and doctors at the morgue.
So according to Time, the investigation conducted by Colonel Watt that is the centerpeice of the NYT story was, in fact, prompted by Time’s reporting.
My initial reaction, before reading Time’s story in detail, was that Time was unfairly making itself the center of the story. The truth — if we take Time’s latest account at face value — would seem more banal. The Times was almost certainly aware of the fact that Watt’s investigation was prompted by Time’s reporting. But the Times is famous for slighting other news outlets by failing to credit them for scoops — which appears to be exactly what happened in this case. For while the Times story does mention that the incident “was first uncovered by Time magazine in January”, it fails to make clear the crucial link that it was in fact (according to Time) that very reporting that initiated Watt’s investigation in the first place.
This is unfortunately not good news, as it was reassuring to hear that the military was on the case of this incident prior to the media frenzy caused by Time, Representative Murtha, and others. But as we nagivate through the unfolding of this incident, those of us who, like myself, want the Marines involved to receive a fair and impartial hearing must avoid the temptation to bend over too far backwards. The facts are what they are, and we need to follow them wherever they lead.
More from around the blogosphere on Haditha