On NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show” this morning, the host’s panel members stated that the reason 55 percent of Americans surveyed in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll were comfortable with the way the CIA is treating captured terror suspects is because Americans either “don’t know the truth” or “don’t want to know what the specifics are.”

The discussion was focused on torture issues raised in Congress this week, and Matthews brought up this poll to demonstrate that a majority of Americans don't seem to be concerned by how the CIA is interrogating prisoners. Andrew Sullivan of the New Republic quickly responded, “I don't think they know the full truth of what we're doing.”

Michelle Norris of NPR said:



Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad caused quite a stir by violating every international agreement in existence when calling - at a government-sponsored conference - to "wipe Israel off the face of the map." (The Indispensible MEMRI has the full text of the President-Kidnapper's remarks here.)



CBS's Rene Syler interviewed the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Peter Pace, in the first half hour of today's Early Show. Her first question to Pace was prefaced by the body count of yesterday's suicide bombings at American hotels in Amman, Jordan at the hands of terrorists who had crossed the border from Iraq. In light of that tragedy, Syler wondered: "Do you take this as a sign that we are losing the war on terror?"

Though Syler and other co-hosts of the Early Show mentioned today is Veteran's Day and briefly thanked American veterans for their military service, there were no positive stories on accomplishments in Iraq or Afghanistan or reviews of progress in the war on terror overall. This is par for the course for the Early Show, however, as I've blogged here and here. The full transcript is posted below:

Video excerpt: RealPlayer or Windows Media



The Paris riots have highlighted more than any other issue in recent years not only the bias, but the ignorance of the "old media.&



You would think that this would be front-page, headline news:

“The insurgent organization al Qaeda in Iraq asserted responsibility Thursday for the blasts that tore through three hotels here the night before, the deadliest terrorist attack ever carried out in Jordan.

“‘After studying and observing the targets, the places of execution were chosen to be some hotels which the tyrant of Jordan has turned into a back yard for the enemies of Islam, such as the Jews and Crusaders,’" the group said in a statement.”

Oddly, the editors of the Washington Post must not have thought a statement from the terrorist organization that has declared war on America was very important, for they buried it on page A21.



You may wonder why an American columnist would want to talk about the proper technique of burning cars, but that's exactly what Slate's Daniel Engber did in an article entitled, So, You Wanna Torch a Peugot? Forget the al Qaeda training videos and CD-ROMs. If you want to know how to cause mayhem, one need only to turn to Slate.

A cigarette butt probably won't set off a blaze by itself, but a single sheet of newspaper, if ignited, could do the trick.

The easiest way to torch a car would be to crack open a window, douse the interior with lighter fluid, and toss in a match. If the windows aren't open or smashed, a car fire will burn itself out for lack of oxygen. (The heat, soot, and smoke from one of these contained fires will often total a car all the same.)

A fire that starts on the outside of a car is less likely to spark a serious blaze, unless burning fluid—from a molotov cocktail, perhaps—drips into the rubber door seals. Once those seals melt, the fire can get inside and ignite the passenger compartment. The rubber tubes and flammable liquids on the car's underside are also vulnerable to torching. (In a recent incident in Ohio, vandals allegedly lit up a car by piling American flags beneath it.) Fires that burn beneath a car could sustain themselves on nearby grass or dry leaves.

Thank you, Slate. Now could you please tell us all how to make a dirty bomb with medical waste?


If there's one area in which the French take a back seat to no one, it's in the realm of surrender and appeasement.  We have seen history repeat itself today as French Prime Minister de Villepin announced a series of new and expanded welfare programs to reward the Muslim rioters who have set fire to 300 French cities.

But those heroic Gallic efforts to appease Muslim insurgents aren't coming fast enough to please NBC reporter Jim Maceda. 



The Washington Post’s new ombudsman Deborah Howell, in only her second article in her new position, chose to defend journalists’ use of unnamed sources. Of late, this has become quite a hot-button issue, as an increasing number of articles from more and more media outlets seem to rely almost exclusively on anonymous suppliers of information, supposedly from within the White House.

In fact, in the past week, two of America’s leading magazines, Newsweek and TIME, published articles about turmoil inside the White House with bold predictions about changes to come within the administration. The latter just Monday claimed that deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, Treasury Secretary John Snow, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld are all about to leave the White House in a huge administration reshuffling.

Yet, in both of these reports, not one source was named. This makes the beginning of Howell’s article even more disturbing:



Last evening, NBC’s “Nightly News” began its program with a report from the Pentagon concerning new rules governing the torture of prisoners. In a two minute forty-four second piece, a total of 15 seconds was devoted to demands by Republican leaders of Congress for an investigation into who leaked information about overseas CIA detention centers to the Washington Post.



The mainstream media seemed to have settled on the sobriquet of “youths” to describe the people who are in their 13th night of burning cars, buildings, and in one instance a handicapped woman, in cities across France. Of course, it is hard to get an exact demographic profile of rioters on the run; however, reports on those who have been arrested are that only 30% are under 21.


Today in Paris, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) issued a fatwa, or religious decree, against the participation of Muslims in the 10 days of rioting and arson in France. Typical of the mainstream media coverage of this action, is this report from Reuters:

“One of France's largest Islamic groups issued a fatwa against rioting on Sunday after officials suggested Muslim militants could be partly to blame for violent protests scarring poor neighbourhoods around the country.