Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Greetings from Damascus! Not much to say just now, except I'm astounded by how comfortable and amazing this place is. I suppose it's a bit like Prague would be if it were in the Middle East. Last night I popped in at a club and found it was Monday movie night. They were playing "Crash" (the recent one, not the Cronenberg one) which I'd be wanting to see. Everybody laughed when the D.A. thought the Iraqi fireman named Saddam was black. Beer easily during Ramadan, mediocre local stuff for about two bucks a bottle. Siteseeing today, and tomorrow I'll might fly to Aleppo for what appears to be a ridiculously low price. I dealt with dyed-in-the-wool Syrian bureaucrats today - something about permission to do something, which I apparently don't quite have yet.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Just a first impression of Judy Miller's quasi-confession in The New York Times

My recollection, I told him, was that Mr. Libby wanted to modify our prior understanding that I would attribute information from him to a 'senior administration official.' When the subject turned to Mr. Wilson, Mr. Libby requested that he be identified only as a 'former Hill staffer.' I agreed to the new ground rules because I knew that Mr. Libby had once worked on Capitol Hill.... I assumed Mr. Libby did not want the White House to be seen as attacking Mr. Wilson.
Wait, you're allowed to do this? Cloak the real identity of an anonymous source?

Isn't this a bit like quoting an anonymous diner at a restaurant saying, "It's the best meal I've ever had," without mentioning the diner is also the chef?

Shouldn't this be a firable offense at a place like the Times?

UPDATE: Maybe what I meant to write was, "Shouldn't this be a firable offense, even at a place like the Times?"