Ryan is Nailed!

Ah, justice is served…. Uber-corrupt ex-Illinois Gov. George Ryan is found guilty on all counts:

On their 11th day of deliberations, the six-woman, six-man jury found Ryan, 72, guilty on 18 counts of racketeering, mail fraud, false statements and tax violations.

Winston & Strawn and its disgruntled employees who lost out on numerous hours of pay for the pro-bono case (which may have cost the firm as much as $20 million) cannot be happy.

As Eric Zorn wrote last week, the guilty verdict is “[j]ust the beginning of a whole new process,” as former Gov. Ryan is now eligible for a considerable jail sentence.?
Full Coverage @ the Trib

U.S. Plans ‘Second Liberation’ of Baghdad

a carbomb Sunday left at least 10 deadToo over-the-top to be true? In fact its the most hilarious and disturbingly not-parodied headline story in Sunday’s Times UK (tip via Blairwatch).

THE American military is planning a ?second liberation of Baghdad? to be carried out with the Iraqi army when a new government is installed. […] Strategic and tactical plans are being laid by US commanders in Iraq and at the US army base in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, under Lieutenant- General David Petraeus. […] The battle for Baghdad is expected to entail a ?carrot-and-stick? approach…

This must be an extension of Bush’s infamous “Fool me once… can’t get fooled again” doctrine (video).

Iowa City Twisters

I was up late Thursday night and first heard mention of tornadoes in Iowa City on BBC radio of all places, piped in via KPCC. Immediately I checked for media coverage and was impressed to find a video report and slideshow already up on the Daily Iowan (university paper) website. Additionally, the Iowa City Press-Citizen had a collection sent in from readers and also from two staff photographers who apparently were out all night before getting aerial shots the next day that were inevitably re-printed nationwide.

There were even pictures of baseball-sized hail posted on flickr. Iowa City Public Access TV had already posted a video (unfortunately, without sound) of the storm passing overhead. This must be what the oft-erroneous phrase “citizen journalism” is all about.
But the greatest surprise came today, when I received an e-mail forward linking to a photo sent to the Daily Iowan, showing the century-old house on the corner of Governor and Jefferson in which I lived along with as many as eleven other friends during a two-year stint of intense debauchery education.


the house looks fine, but ah the symbolism of the twisted one-way signs

Post: Iraqi Reporter Killed in Controversial ‘Mosque’ Raid

Kamal Manahi AnbarA 28-year-old reporter, enrolled in the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting was one of the casualities of the March 26th raid by Iraqi and U.S. troops that killed at least 16.

“All that he was carrying was a notebook,” a friend of the victim, Kamal Manahi Anbar, told the Washington Post.

The Pentagon reported that insurgents were killed and captured in the raid and U.S. military photos show several armed victims, while al-Iraqiya television aired photographs of unarmed civilians slain at a mosque.

Jonathan Finer and Naseer Nouri’s report on A12 of Saturday’s Post is the most complete account of the raid and is a necessary follow-up read for everyone who, like myself, was utterly confused by the conflicting reports of the attack.

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Also of note in the much-ignored Saturday papers, is this article in the Los Angeles Times by H.G. Reza. The story sucks you in the moment you read this deck:

The airport worker enjoyed Hollywood’s club scene. His hand was found chained to the steering wheel in Iraq’s deadliest attack.

Meanwhile… in Afghanistan

Several dozen Taliban were reportedly killed on Friday by Afghan and U.S. troops. Seeing as this hasn’t become a news item yet in the States begs the question… exactly HOW MANY Taliban are on the loose if death to 40-some isn’t newsworthy?

From the Beeb:

Some 41 Taleban fighters and six policemen have been killed in a battle in southern Afghanistan, a governor in the region has said.

OK, now I see it here on the Reuters wire, but as has been obvious for months, and has seen coverage of its own this week, is the absence of Afghanistan reporting in the U.S. press.

L.A. Times staff writer Paul Watson, based in Afghanistan, broke a huge story Monday, reporting that “memory sticks” or “flash drives” containing sensitive information are for sale at flea markets “no more than 200 yards from a U.S. base.” NBC confirmed the story, but not until Thursday, and on Saturday AP is picking it up.

We know that the security situation in Iraq precludes on the ground coverage from most media outlets. Is it the same in Afghanistan?

It seems Iraq only gets worse… we’re left hoping that Afghanistan will only get better, but, as E&P and others cry out: where da media at?