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April 6, 2005
Schiavo Memo: The Plot ThickensBy Greyhawk
Just a few weeks after the story first appeared on Powerline, the Washington Times offers some investigation and reporting on the ABC/Washington Post memo. In response to a survey conducted by the paper, all 55 Republican senators say they had never seen the document prior to it's appearance on ABC and in the Washington Post, and only one Democrat insists he saw it circulate on the Senate floor.
Interesting that Tom Harkin was the only senator to see the memo circulate on the floor. Harkin, who 'through a spokeswoman' has accused every Republican senator in America of lying, is well known for lying about his service in Vietnam.
Recall that the NY Times reported that unnamed "Democratic aides" were the only people ever seen distributing the memo:
There's much more at the Washington Times - although there's no mention of the fact that blogs broke the story.
Martinez, in his statement, said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, had asked for background information on the bill ordering a federal court to review the Schiavo case.Given the Washington Times story above a likely scenario would be Martinez is telling the truth. And exaggerating the importance of the document would certainly seem to be in character for the faux "Vietnam veteran fighter pilot". If nothing else, at this point it seems that at least one Senator's aid and another Senator are certainly guilty of seeking political profit from the Schiavo case. That they represent both sides of the aisle is disappointing but absolutely not surprising. We'll assume neither individual is representative of their respective parties until proven otherwise.
Both the above links note a host of unanswered questions, but the whole truth might yet be revealed in this story - and only due to the efforts of bloggers who kept the light shining. That many will be unsatisfied with the result doesn't change that fact.
More to come - we'll certainly stay on it here. I'm sure the finger pointing and acrimony have just begun...
There are still several unanswered questions, of which the most important is: Did Harkin (or possibly someone else) misinform the reporters about the source, nature and distriubtion of the memo, or did the reporters see the memo and leap to the wrong conclusion? I have posed this question to Mike Allen of the Post, and will pass on any reply that I receive.That is the central question now - but I wouldn't exect to see it answered any time soon. Nor would I expect clarification on the issues raised by Michelle Malikin:
A related issue was ABC News' and the Post's mischaracterizations of their own reporting. ABC News insisted it never said the memo was distributed by Senate Republicans even though Kate Snow said just that. Allen repeatedly denied that he reported the memo was distributed by GOP "party leaders" even though a widely-published article carrying his byline said just that. After this blog and others pointed out the discrepancy, Allen himself requested that his initial claim be retracted. Post editors, however, concluded that a retraction was not warranted.
WaPo's Mike Allen reports that the now-famous Schiavo "talking points" memo came from freshman GOP senator Mel Martinez's office. So that mystery is cleared up. The memo wasn't a fake. But Allen doesn't come off looking too good in this latest account. a) The memo was apparently not "distributed to Republican Senators by party leaders," as Allen's initial story, sent out through the Post news service to other papers, reported. It was--at least judging from today's account--handed to one Democratic senator, Tom Harkin, by one freshman Republican senator (who isn't in the party leadership); b) Allen doesn't explain why he told Howie Kurtz he "did not call them talking points or a Republican memo" when he had in fact done just that in the news service draft; c) Even the later, more "carefully worded" account Allen published in the Post itself was apparently wrong. Allen wroteMuch more here.In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue" ...
Still more (fair and balanced): see this too.
Posted by Greyhawk / April 6, 2005 10:13 AM | Permalink
Brian DeBoseand Stephen Dinan ask in today's Washington Times; "Was the Schiavo memo a fake?" Here are the opening two... Read More
The Washington Times looks into the Shiavo talking points memo allegedly passed around to Republicans while debating whether or not to intervene in the case. I see two things happening here. First, the MSM is, for the most part, ignoring... Read More
LOTS OF UPDATES... keep scrolling! Check out the latest from This Modern World: In this case, the memo in question is obtained by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, and alleges that Condoleezza Rice is "actually a hideous multi-tentacled alien being which... Read More
This Modern World gets in on the act with a cartoon. But more important, the mighty Matt Drudge has finally taken up the call with a link to a Washington Times piece that asks, "Was the Schiavo memo a fake?"All... Read More
Well, now, here is the big question of the day: Was the Schiavo Memo a fake? It's only taken how many weeks to find a MSM outlet that would even ask the question? Read More
Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has a piece (go read it)on the so called "talking points" memo supposedly circulated by the Repubs prior to the Terri Schiavo vote. The only problem is, is that all 55 of the Republicans deny seeing or authoring it, none of... Read More
I haven’t had the time this week to dig into the stories about the Schiavo memo circulating on the hill. Here is some of the press coverage: AJC Hartford Courant Boston Globe ABC News Post (and here) Many blogs are covering the coverage, an... Read More
For all the carping and whining the liberal MSM does about the "moonie" newspaper The Washington Times, its reporters apparently could teach their competitors at the Washington Post a thing or two about investigative reporting. Read the Times' st... Read More
The Washington Times (finally, someone in the old media, even if it is right-leaning) has looked further into the Schiavo "talking points" memo and they have found no Republican fingerprints. (Hat tip: Powerline) The first paragraphs lay it out: ... Read More
The Washington Times asked all 55 republican Senators if they had personally gotten a look at the alleged GOP Talking Points Memo on Terri Schiavo. Not one single Republican Senator would say that they had seen the memo before ABC and... Read More
Mudville Gazette has the latest on the talking points memo debacle. Seems the only people ever seen distributing the memo were Democrat aides. Strange thing, that. Democrats telling Republicans what their talking points are. Read More
I don't know how many holes one has to shoot in something before it actually either sinks or goes down in flames, but this "Schiavo Memo" must be made of something special. Nobody in the MSM or in the Democratic ranks are going to admit that maybe they h Read More
Greyhawk writes, In response to a survey conducted by the paper, all 55 Republican senators say they had never seen the document prior to it's appearance on ABC and in the Washington Post, and only one Democrat insists he saw... Read More
Last week, I posted my solution to the Schiavo memo story: a real Republican list of talking points by Senator Mel Martinez of Florida was altered by Democratic aides. Mudville Gazette links today to a Washington Times story with new information. Read More
This was written in my comments area earlier today. I am responding to it here. Parts in bold are my replies. You stated "b) it was not written by the Republican Party as a whole" when actually, "The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) adm Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
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Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com