Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What they were doing: 1

We inaugurate today a new feature which will continue for the remainder of the perjury trial of Scooter Libby. It will juxtapose the summer 2003 priorities of senior White House officials, from the President on down, as revealed in their day-to-day activities during this period, with actual events in Iraq for that day. [The links to the latter will be from the RTE website, which is easily accessed for a particular past day]. Consider the 7th of July 2003 in then press secretary Ari Fleischer's diary --

1000 a.m. Haircut w/ Rocky ...
1200 p.m. Lunch with Scooter Libby

This would be the lunch at which they discussed being Miami Dolphins fans -- and Scooter's knowledge about Joe Wilson's wife. Anyway, in Iraq that day --

Officials from the CIA have said they believe Saddam Hussein's voice was on the recently released audio tape that warned of more bloodshed in Iraq and urged Iraqis to support resistance to US forces. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said the quality of the tape aired last Friday by Arabic TV channel al Jazeera was poor, so that it could not be determined with absolute certainty that it was Saddam Hussein's voice. The former Iraq leader has not been seen in public since he was ousted from power on 9 April in the US-led war on Iraq.

In a related development, two more American soldiers have been killed in overnight attacks in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. A military spokesman said the first soldier died in a firefight with two Iraqi gunmen, one of whom was also killed. A second man died when an improvised explosive device went off.

In another incident, American troops shot dead two Iraqi civilians during clashes with guerrillas in the town of Ramadi, west of Baghdad. Witnesses said the troops opened fire on a vehicle carrying the two civilians after an American convoy was ambushed by guerrillas. Four US soldiers were wounded in the attack.

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