The latest from the Political Grapevine:
Analyzing the Analyses
The Columbia Journalism Review, which calls itself "America's Premier Media Monitor" has said little criticizing CBS' discredited report on President Bush's National Guard (search) service. And it has now come out with what amounts to a full-blown defense of the report insisting not that the memos in the report were real, but that their falsity has not been proven. An article posted on CJR's web site says, "we don't know whether the memos were forged, authentic, or some combination thereof. Indeed, they could be fake but accurate."
CJR says analyses of the memos' typography and military terminology both uncharacteristic of the time, are "inconclusive... [and] not final," insisting, "The bottom line, which credible document examiners concede, is that copies cannot be authenticated either way with absolute certainty."
So, CJR concludes, "Ultimately, we don't know enough to justify the conventional wisdom: that the documents were 'apparently bogus'."
U.S. Needs A Change?
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi (search) is urging the U.S. to change "shameful" form of government into a real democracy, insisting, "The U.S. doesn't have a regime worth imitating. If any regime is worth imitating, it is the Libyan regime: A republic of the masses, in which men and women govern themselves. ... a direct popular democracy."
In an interview on Al-Jazeera (search), Qaddafi says, "We call upon the American people to govern themselves, and convene popular committees. Today, after the bitter experience of 2004, it has been proven that the project of traditional democracy of political parties of elections [and] of presidents … failed. These are old classic molds that should all be in a museum. ... It is a disgrace to human nature."
While U.S. forces have estimated the number of insurgents in Iraq to be about 20,000, the head of Iraqi intelligence says the real number is more than ten times that, insisting, "I think the resistance is bigger than the U.S. military in Iraq."
General Mohammad Abdullah Shah-wani (search) says many of these insurgents are being organized by Saddam Hussein's half-brother and a former aide, who are helping to orchestrate attacks from inside Syria. Shah-wani's number of insurgents includes hard-core fighters, part-time fighters, and those who provide logistical support to the fighters.
Tribesmen on the small islands off India's coast, ravaged by last week's tsunami, have assaulted a helicopter bringing them aid with bows and arrows.
The helicopter and crew carrying food and water from the Indian government were unhurt. So are authorities alarmed by the attack? Nope... they're glad. After all, they say, the attacks show the islands' tribal groups survived the tsunami.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report