Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Immigration Legislation Problems, Iraq Funding al Qaeda, Dragon Skin Armor, Bill Richardson, And Phil Spector (Monday's Second Hour)

Hi guys. The hour begins with more of the Lebanon stuff and there's good discussion, but I'm going to have to skip that this time. Then we're onto a Dana Bash piece that focuses on all the perceived flaws of the bipartisan immigration plan. Basically some democrats are afraid the guest worker program is going to create a permanent underclass and some republicans think this whole plan is just amnesty in disguise. It seems the republicans are talking more flak and from doing a tour of the Internets I can tell you some conservatives are practically foaming at the mouth. Not happy at all. I'm guessing this whole plan will go no where.

Next up we learn from Anderson that the "Los Angeles Times" is reporting that the CIA failed in finding bin Laden, but they did find that al Qaeda is getting a bunch of money from Iraq. For more we have a Peter Bergen piece in which he talks with former CIA officer Art Keller who worked on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Basically Keller says that Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists, which is exactly the opposite of how the War on Terror is supposed to work. Also, we pretty much already know this, but Keller says that the Iraq war is sucking up all our resources for fighting al Qaeda. After the piece Anderson asks where the money is coming from and Peter says it's a combination of kidnappings, oil smuggling, and criminal activity. We also learn the money is most likely transfered by courier. Anderson notes the US is paying $1 billion a year to Pakistan and asks if we're getting our money's worth. I'm thinking that's a no. However, Peter thinks it has been worth it on many levels, though there's definitely issues. Okay then. You're the expert.

Transitioning now to a Jamie McIntyre piece on Dragon Skin armor. Right now our troops are using Interceptor armor, but there are charges that Dragon Skin, which is banned by the army, is better. The popular phrase in this piece is "the army says" because Jamie apparently went to a briefing, took notes, and now he's telling us what they said. Lord, I can do that. I pretty much do do that. Okay, to be fair, some phone calls were made, but let me back up here. Back way up actually. For quite a while now people in the military and bloggers have been investigating the Dragon Skin controversy. The story came on my radar probably around summer last year. I wanted further investigation obviously, but I had absolutely no hope any news organization would pick the story up. I mean, I'm not saying I blame the media for falling down on their jobs to such an unbelievable level that we're now in one of the worst quagmires in our nation's history or anything, but... Oh wait, I am saying that. Let's just say that trust thing? Destroyed beyond repair.

Anyway, so I figured the story was a lost cause, but then in September, Lisa Myers of NBC (who is awesome BTW) did a story on the Israel anti-RPG system Trophy and how it could be saving some of our troops right now if only we weren't waiting for the army to build their own system. This sounded similar to the Dragon Skin controversy, so I emailed NBC and posted to Brian William's blog, urging them to look into it. On an amusing side note, I was googling around the other day to see what was being said at the time and came upon a blog post on the subject to Brian's blog. I was interested to see that someone else had brought the topic up at that time until I looked closer and noticed, oh wait, that was me! Ha! It's so weird when you randomly come across your old self on the Internets. Back on topic, I'm sure my urging had nothing to do with it, but I was thrilled to see NBC do the story, which aired on the Nightly News, Countdown, and Dateline. Basically the whole gist of the controvery is that Dragon Skin out performed Interceptor in NBC's independent tests. The army is furious and released a video that shows it failing. Because I'm going to believe a video from them. If you want to learn more I say go to NBC because all we've got here is notes from a briefing.

Next up we have a Candy Crowley piece on Bill Richardson since he just declared today. Then we're onto repeat discussion with John King, Candy, and David Gergen. Finally there's Phil Spector crap, which I don't think I'm going to do ever because I so don't care. Although actually I'm not annoyed with it tonight because it is a two hour show and they didn't spend much time on it. Plus, even more importantly, there was lots of actual news, so I didn't feel like I was missing out on the real stuff. Of course if 360 ever leads with the story or spends half a show on it, I am required to flip out. Fair warning. At about 10:57 central time Anderson throws to break, telling us there's "more of 360 after this." No there's not, Anderson Cooper, you liar. Such a tease. That'll do it, folks.


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