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8364NEWS -- 2013.11.11.Monday -- Veterans Day

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  • James Martin
    Nov 11, 2013
      Monday 11/11/2013
      We honor our Veterans, both those remembered and those forgotten today.
      According to Martin Bashir on MSNBC, 22 veterans commit suicide each day.
      satire alert ---
      Rightwing Republican response -- Helps keep the costs down.
      1) ABC News' Amy Robach Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis
      2) Gay marriage spreads to more states. Will the trend continue?
      3) UK spy bosses: Al-Qaida is loving Snowden leaks
      4) The Stealthy Killer That Is Capitalism
      5) Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) was once the quintessential trendy teen brand
      6) The Dynastic Hillary Bandwagon – Bad for America
      7) '60 Minutes' apologizes again for Benghazi story as questions linger
      8) Vive La France on Iran
      I am now interested in breast cancer, prostate cancer, and alcoholism.  Three separate, unrelated, medical/physical conditions.  Three individuals close to me have each been diagnosed with one of these three problems.  It's like a trinity of medical emergencies coming all at the same time.  One each in each individual.  To me it's like one in three.  Three in one.  All at the same time.
      Here's a report on one of the three --->
      Breast cancer live today -- Good Morning America --

      ABC News' Amy Robach Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis

      By ABC News | ABC News Blogs – Monday 11 November 2013

      By ABC News' Amy Robach

      I remember exactly where I was when I got the call from a "Good Morning America" producer. I was about to interview Marie Monville, the wife of the Amish school shooter, in the bucolic setting of Lancaster, Pa. She was speaking out about the senseless horror that happened in the most unlikely of places.

      I was focused on what was about to be an emotional interview regarding life after tragedy, when our producer asked me if she could make a sensitive request: "Amy, next week we'd like you to do the first ever live television mammogram for 'GMA' Goes Pink day. You're 40, the age women should start getting mammograms. Would you even consider it?"

      It felt like a strange thing to consider given where I was and what I was about to do, but oddly now, it all feels connected.

      For the past 20 years, sadly, a large part of my job deals in tragedy - other peoples' tragedies - but never my own.

      That day, when I was asked to do something I really didn't want to do, something I had put off for more than a year, I had no way of knowing that I was in a life-or-death situation.

      Sitting in that kitchen with Marie Monville, I had cancer and didn't know it. In fact, I would have considered it virtually impossible that I would have cancer. I work out, I eat right, I take care of myself and I have very little family history; in fact, all of my grandparents are still alive.

      So in the days to follow, if several producers and even Robin Roberts herself hadn't convinced me that doing this on live television would save lives, I would never have been able to save my own.

      So on Oct. 1, I had my first mammogram, in front of millions of people.

      After breathing a big sigh of relief once it was done, my breath was taken away only a few weeks later.

      I thought I was going back in for a few follow-up images, only to find out in a matter of hours that I had breast cancer.

      I was alone that afternoon, never thinking to bring anyone with me, never thinking that day would be life-altering. My husband was on a business trip and my parents live across the country, but that night everyone flew into New York City and we started gearing up for a fight.

      On Thursday, Nov. 14, I will go into surgery where my doctors will perform a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery. Only then will I know more about what that fight will fully entail, but I am mentally and physically as prepared as anyone can be in this situation.

      And while everyone who gets cancer is clearly unlucky, I got lucky by catching it early, and there are so many people to thank for making sure I did. Every producer, every person who urged me to do this, changed my trajectory.

      The doctors told me bluntly: "That mammogram just saved your life."

      I was also told this, for every person who has cancer, at least 15 lives are saved because people around them become vigilant. They go to their doctors, they get checked.

      I can only hope my story will do the same and inspire every woman who hears it to get a mammogram, to take a self exam. No excuses. It is the difference between life and death.

      Christian Science Monitor

      Gay marriage spreads to more states. Will the trend continue?

      With Hawaii and Illinois soon to join the list, that makes 16 states legalizing same-sex marriage. Proposed ballot measures in several more states, plus another federal court case, could accelerate the movement.

      By Brad KnickerbockerStaff writer / November 10, 2013

      One by one, states are legalizing gay marriage. Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island joined the list this year. Hawaii and Illinois soon will bring the number to 16 states, plus the District of Columbia.

      US Supreme Court decisions this year voiding part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively doing the same to California’s Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriage no doubt have accelerated movement in that direction.

      Oregon is likely to have the subject on a ballot measure next year; Michigan, Ohio, and Arizona may as well.

      Until now, ballot measures on the subject have tended to affirm marriages under state law as limited to one man and one woman. But polls in many states – as they do nationally – now show majority approval of gay marriage, or at least opposition to state constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. That includes Pennsylvania, Indiana, Nevada, Ohio, Colorado, Arizona, Michigan, and Oregon, according to this Monitor survey of 11 gay marriage battleground states.

      “The more people are winning, the more people are stepping up and wanting to become involved and move forward after,” Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, told Time. “The more we make it real – the more places gay people share in the freedom to marry – the more people see with their own eyes families helped and no one hurt.” 

      “They used to say you could only win in the coast, not in the heartland,” Mr. Wolfson said. “But we’ve won in Minnesota and Iowa. With Illinois, we have 37 percent of American people living in a freedom-to-marry state, including states in the heartland with more to come.”

      The next federal court case could come in deeply conservative Idaho, where four couples (all women) are suing the state in federal court to challenge laws banning same-sex marriage and denying recognition to same-sex couples who married in other states.

      Sue Latta and Traci Ehlers, Lori and Sharene Watsen, Shelia Robertson and Andrea Altmayer, and Amber Beierle and Rachael Robertson filed the lawsuit in Boise's US District Court on Friday. 

      "Idaho's exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage and refusal to respect existing marriages undermines the plaintiff couples' ability to achieve their life goals and dreams, disadvantages them financially, and denies them 'dignity and status of immense import,'" the women wrote in their lawsuit. "Further, they and their children are stigmatized and relegated to a second-class status by being barred from marriage."

      In the Idaho lawsuit, the women note that they are allowed to file joint federal tax returns just as any married couple may, but that they are prohibited from joint tax filing status in Idaho, forcing them to file separately here. They also note that they lack the right in Idaho to make decisions for an ill or incapacitated spouse, the right to recognition as a legal parent, and a host of other rights and responsibilities otherwise afforded to married couples in the state.

      The Hawaii House of Representatives passed a special session bill on Friday night legalizing gay marriage, setting up a final approval by the state Senate before it's sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his signature. The Senate passed an earlier version last week.

      "I commend the House of Representatives for taking this historic vote to move justice and equality forward," Gov. Abercrombie said in a statement after the House vote. "After more than 50 hours of public testimony from thousands of testifiers on both sides of the issue, evaluating dozens of amendments, and deliberating procedures through hours of floor debates, the House passed this significant bill, which directly creates a balance between marriage equity for same-sex couples and protects our First Amendment freedoms for religious organizations.”

      This report includes material from the Associated Press.

      My comment ---
      The Southern Baptist Tea Party is not happy with daily screeds like these ---
      There/Here is hope ---
      That's right, blame the messenger and ignore your own faults --->

      UK spy bosses: Al-Qaida is loving Snowden leaks

      By RAPHAEL SATTER and CASSANDRA VINOGRAD Thursday 07 November 2013
      LONDON (AP) — Al-Qaida and other terror groups are having a field day with the leaks from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, U.K. spy chiefs told lawmakers Thursday in a strong condemnation of the American's espionage revelations.
      Iain Lobban, chief of the eavesdropping agency GCHQ, said his spies have picked up "near-daily discussion" of the unauthorized disclosures among his agency's targets. His colleague John Sawers, the chief of the British foreign spy agency MI6, was even more explicit.

      "It's clear that our adversaries are rubbing their hands in glee," he told lawmakers. "Al-Qaida is lapping it up."

      U.S. officials have repeatedly warned, without providing much evidence, that the leaks were educating America's enemies about how to avoid detection.

      Lobban came closest to giving a concrete example, saying that GCHQ had caught terror groups in the Middle East and elsewhere discussing how to switch to more secure means of communication after the Snowden leaks broke.

      "I am not going to compound the damage by being specific in public," he said, promising lawmakers a private briefing on the details.

      He, Sawers and Andrew Parker, head of MI5, Britain's domestic spying agency, were at Parliament for their first public and televised testimony before the House of Commons' Intelligence and Security Committee. Their appearance — broadcast with a brief time delay in case anything classified unexpectedly came out during testimony — comes amid an international debate over British and American intelligence tactics triggered by Snowden's revelations.

      All three spy chiefs insisted their agencies operate within the law, guaranteeing parliamentarians that their work was both legal and proportionate.

      "We do not spend our time listening to the telephone calls or reading the emails of the majority," said Lobban.

      He defended GCHQ's work scanning the Web, taking the needle-in-a-haystack metaphor often used by defenders of the NSA to a new level when he compared the Internet to an "enormous hayfield" which GCHQ analysts had to scan for "fragments of needles."

      Syria got a particular amount of attention, with Parker warning that the civil war there was drawing in a large number of British residents to fight in the service of Islamic extremism. He said his intelligence service had "seen low hundreds of people from this country go to Syria," noting that some of them had since returned to the U.K.

      The figure was a significant increase from the estimate of "some 100" Parker had given previously.

      Western intelligence officials have long warned that the war between rebels and Syrian President Bashar Assad's government was attracting foreign fighters from European countries, many of whom have joined hard-line Islamic militant groups. In September, British officials charged two brothers with attending a terror training camp in Syria.



      The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament: http://isc.independent.gov.uk/


      Follow Raphael Satter at http://twitter.com/Razhael and Cassandra Vinograd at http://twitter.com/CassVinograd

      View Comments (331)
      My comment ---
      Is this sort of like evolving to extinction, or delivery to devolution?
      I'm not talking about the government, I'm talking about the human race.
      By the way, this message from England was sent after consultation with America.
      The Stealthy Killer That Is Capitalism
      Paul Buchheit
      The facts show that we were a relatively healthy people until unregulated free-market capitalism began to disrupt our lives.

      The process is gradual, insidious, lethal. It starts with financial stress in various forms, and then, according to growing evidence, leads to health problems and shorter lives.

      Financial stress is brought upon us by the profit motive of capitalism, which offers little incentive to feed hungry children, to treat the sick, to secure us in retirement, to provide job opportunities for middle-class Americans. Some of the steps in the process are becoming more and more familiar to us.

      1. Giving Half of Your 401(k) to the Banks

      The Frontline documentary The Retirement Gamble reported that a 401(k) fund earning 7 percent a year with 2 percent in fees would lose up to 60 percent of the value of an equivalent non-fee fund.

      A 2 percent fee doesn't seem like much, but the documentary's claim was close to the truth. Based on the 6 percent historical stock market return, an employee investing $1,000 a year for 30 years in a non-fee fund and then holding the accumulated sum for another 20 years would end up with $269,000. Imposing a 2 percent annual fee would reduce the final total to $127,000, a 53 percent loss. Imposing a 1.3 percent fee, which according to the documentary is the industry average, would reduce the final total to $165,000, a 39 percent loss.

      The financial industry is taking this money from more of us every year. The number of private sector workers depending on a 401(k) instead of a company pension has increased from 12 percent to 68 percent since 1983.

      2. Watching 24,000,000 Children Go Hungry to Avoid Inconveniencing 20 Rich Individuals

      It's an unthinkable trade-off, but it's happening. Although the 2013 SNAP (food stamp) budget of $78 billion is less than the 2012 investment earnings of 20 wealthy Americans, SNAP is being cut while not a penny extra is taken from the multi-billionaires.

      The children, who make up nearly half of the 48 million recipients, will now get $1.40 for a meal instead of $1.50.

      3. Listening to the "Job Creators" Mock the Truth

      Casino billionaire Steve Wynn: "Guys like me are job creators and we don't like having a bulls-eye painted on our back."

      Bank CEO John A. Allison IV: "Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let's call it an attack on the very productive."

      The reality is that corporate profits have doubled in ten years, and the corporate tax percent has been cut in half, while millions of jobs have been lost. Some of the job-cutting data comes from The NationMarket Watch, and Business Insider.

      How did "job creators" Steve Wynn and John A. Allison IV do? The following numbers are taken from their annual 10-K reports, submitted to the SEC:

      From Wynn ResortsA doubling or more of profits, a reduction in employees

      ---- 2012 Income $728,699,000  Employees 16,000

      ---- 2011 Income $825,113,000  Employees 16,400

      ---- 2010 Income $316,596,000  Employees 16,405

      ---- 2009 Income $ 39,107,000   Employees 18,900

      From Allison's bank, BB&TA doubling or more of profits, little difference in employees

      ---- 2012 Income $2,028,000,000  Employees 34,000

      ---- 2011 Income $1,332,000,000  Employees 31,800

      ---- 2010 Income $ 854,000,000    Employees 31,400

      ---- 2009 Income $ 877,000,000    Employees 32,400

      4. Feeling the Debilitating Stress

      Over 200 recent studies have confirmed a link between financial stress and sickness. In just 20 years America's ranking among developed countries dropped on nearly every major health measure.

      Lack of proper health care is one source of that stress. A Harvard study estimated that nearly 45,000 Americans lost their lives in 2005 due to lack of health insurance.

      In addition to its effects on our physical health, financial stress threatens our mental well-being. Stunningly, one out of every five American adults had mental illness in 2011, as reported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Another recent study found that unemployment, whether voluntary or involuntary, can significantly impact a person's mental health. But only one of two Americans needing mental health care can afford treatment.

      Grimmer still is the growing suicide rate, also linked to unemployment and declining wealth. The rate has accelerated since the 2008 recession.

      The facts show that we were a relatively healthy people until unregulated free-market capitalism began to disrupt our lives. Now, because of its winner-take-all profit motive, we're literally fighting for our lives.


      Paul Buchheit is a college teacher with formal training in language development and cognitive science. He is the founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (www.UsAgainstGreed.org, www.RappingHistory.org, www.PayUpNow.org), and the editor and main author of "American Wars: Illusions and Realities" (Clarity Press). He can be reached at paul@....

      see also
      [ click on URL to watch the video ]

      Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) was once the quintessential trendy teen brand. The chain bucked conventional wisdom by willfully rejecting the masses in favor of exclusivity. In a world of retail window displays designed to lure people in, Abercrombie told customers they weren't welcome unless they fit a certain mold. Like a hot club it blocked off the windows, turned the lights down low, and put up velvet ropes outside.

      This attitude was no accident. "We go after cool kids," CEO Mike Jeffries told Salon.com in a 2006 interview. "A lot of people don't belong and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely." One part of being cool in Jeffries mind was being thin. Abercrombie & Fitch didn't carry sizes above 'large' or pants bigger than size 10 for women.

      Related: Abercrombie Outrage! Is Being Obnoxious a Fireable Offense?

      Unfortunately for Jeffires and Abercrombie, 2006 is a lifetime ago to the company's core customer base of teenagers. The back to school season was such a disaster for the retailer that it's been forced to consider the once unthinkable by offering larger sizes for women in a test run next Spring.

      In the attached clip, Brian Sozzi of Belus Capital Advisors says it's too little too late. "They are fundamentally flawed company," Sozzi says in the attached clip. "The teen customer has moved away from the company in a big way, and that's a big problem." Jeffries' halfhearted effort to broaden the product offerings shows just how out of touch he is.

      In the age of social networking, aloof isn't cool. It's just boring. Selfies and social networking are all about sharing and being inclusive and being part of a bigger community. There's nothing welcoming about a stores that's roped off and seemingly guarded by a buff wall of "ab-tastic" teenagers. Abercrombie's sepia-toned ad campaigns with scantily clad teens romping around on beaches or in locker rooms aren't hip and inviting. They're just... creepy. "It's uncomfortable to shop (there)" as Sozzi puts it, "You don't want to go in there and talk to a (clerk) with your mom or your dad." Rest assured dads don't want their daughters talking to those guys either.

      Forced to grovel to its customers with slightly expanded sizes and lower prices only makes Abercrombie look worse. It's long past time for the 69-year old Jeffries to be sent out to pasture in favor of someone with slightly more familairity with millennials.

      Jeffries' contract runs out next year but Sozzi says there's no time to waste, and Wall Street seems to agree. Abercrombie & Fitch shares are off more than 30% in 2013.

      Lots of comments at the URL.  Especially the one from KS, and the responses to KS.

      The Dynastic Hillary Bandwagon – Bad for America

      By Ralph Nader

      November 10, 2013  Information Clearing House

      The Hillary Clinton for President in 2016 bandwagon has started very early and with a purpose. The idea is to get large numbers of endorsers, so that no Democratic Primary competitors dare make a move. These supporters include Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), financier George Soros and Ready for Hillary, a super PAC mobilizing with great specificity (already in Iowa).

      Given this early bird launch, it is important to raise the pressing question:

      Does the future of our country benefit from Hillary, another Clinton, another politician almost indistinguishable from Barack Obama’s militaristic, corporatist policies garnished by big money donors from Wall Street and other plutocratic canyons?

      There is no doubt the Clintons are syrupy political charmers, beguiling many naïve Democrats who have long been vulnerable to a practiced set of comforting words or phrases camouflaging contrary deeds.

      Everybody knows that Hillary is for women, children and education. She says so every day. But Democrats and others can’t get the Clintons even to support a $10.50 federal minimum wage that would almost equal the 1968 minimum wage, inflation-adjusted, and would raise the wages of 30 million workers mired in the gap between the present minimum wage of $7.25 and $10.50 an hour. It just so happens that almost two-thirds of these Americans are women, many of them single moms struggling to support their impoverished children. Nearly a million of these workers labor for Walmart, on whose Board of Directors Hillary Clinton once sat. Words hide the deeds.

      As a Senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary had to start proving that women, just like the macho men, can be belligerent and never see a weapons system and its use that they didn’t like. Never did she demonstrate any ongoing interest in debloating the massive, wasteful, duplicative military budget so as to free up big monies for domestic public works programs or other necessities.

      As Senator she also admitted that she didn’t have time to read a critical National Intelligence Estimate Report, which had caveats that might have dissuaded her from voting with George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003. War-mongering and wars of Empire never bothered her then or now. Just a few weeks ago, she was photographed giving the recidivist war criminal, Republican Henry Kissinger, a big, smiling hug at a public event. It’s all part of the bi-partisan image she is cultivating under the opportunistic banner of “cooperation.” (For more information, read the New York Times’ Collateral Damage and Nixon and Kissinger’s Forgotten Shame, or Seymour Hersh’s The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House.)

      As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton accelerated the Department’s militarization, belting far more war-like, threatening assertions toward governments of developing countries than did the Secretaries of Defense. She loved to give speeches on “force projection,” the latest synonym for “the Empire,” and “the pivot” toward East Asia and against the asserted looming threat of China. Taking due note, the Chinese generals demanded larger budgets.

      The Secretary of State’s highest duty is diplomacy. Not for her. Despite her heavy travelling, she made little or no effort to get the government to sign onto the numerous international treaties which already had over a hundred nations as signatories. These include stronger climate change agreements and, as Human Rights Watch reports, unratified treaties “relating to children, women, persons with disabilities, torture, enforced disappearance and the use of anti-personal landmines and cluster munitions.” These tasks bore her.

      Much more exciting was military action. Against the wishes of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, she pulled Barack Obama into the Libyan war. There were consequences. Libya is now in militia chaos, having spilled over into Mali, but without Gaddafi, its overthrown dictator who had disarmed and was making peace with western nations and oil companies.

      As a Yale Law School graduate, she was not in the least bothered that the attack on Libya occurred without any Congressional declaration, authorization or appropriation of funds – a classic Madisonian definition of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors.

      Like Bill Clinton, she is an unabashed cheerleader for corporate globalization under NAFTA, the World Trade Organization and the proposed sovereignty-stripping, anti-worker Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement. Secretary of State Clinton, in the words of trade expert Jamie Love, “put the hammer to India when the government took steps to grant compulsory licenses on cancer drug patents” by not requiring life-saving compulsory license of expensive drugs so that low-income people and their children could have access to more affordable medication.

      Even regarding the easy clampdown on waste and fraud, Hillary Clinton fired Peter Van Buren, a 24-year-Foreign Service Officer, who exposed such waste and mismanagement by corporate contractors in Iraq. (For more information, see http://wemeantwell.com/).

      Foreshadowing this season’s headlines, former Secretary of State Clinton ordered U.S. officials to spy on top UN diplomats including Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, and those from the United Kingdom. She ordered her emissaries around the world to obtain DNA data, iris scans and fingerprints along with credit card and frequent flier numbers. Not only was this a clear violation of the 1946 UN convention, but after admitting what happened she didn’t even make a public apology to the affected parties.

      Under her watch, the advice and status of the Department’s foreign service officers and aid workers were marginalized in favor of the militarists – and not only in Iraq.

      Many Wall Streeters like Hillary Clinton. Expecting their ample contributions, and socializing with their business barons, it is not surprising that Hillary Clinton avoids going after the crooked casino capitalism that collapsed the economy, drained investors, pensions, jobs and taxpayer bailouts. Hillary Clinton is a far cry from the stalwart Senator Elizabeth Warren on this towering pattern of unaccountable corporate abuse.

      The surreal world of Hillary Clinton is giving $200,000 speeches, collecting prestigious awards she does not deserve, including one from the American Bar Association, and basking in the glory of her admirers while appropriately blasting the Republicans for their “War on Women” – the safe refrain of her forthcoming campaign.

      It is true that the Republican madheads make it easy for any Democratic candidate to judge themselves by the cruel, rabid, ravaging Republicans. But, is that the kind of choice our country deserves?

      A Clinton Coronation two years or more before the 2016 elections will stifle any broader choice of competitive primary candidates and more important a more progressive agenda supported by a majority of the American people.

      Full Medicare for all, cracking down on corporate abuses, a fairer tax system, a broad public works program, a living wage, access to justice and citizen empowerment, clean election practices, and pulling back on the expensive, boomeranging Empire to come home to America’s necessities and legitimate hopes are some examples of what the people want.

      Maybe the sugarcoating is starting to wear. Columnist Frank Bruni, writing in the New York Times (Hillary in 2016? Not so Fast), reports her polls are starting to slump. Apparently, as Bruni suggests, she’s being seen as part of the old Washington crowd that voters are souring on.

      As I wrote to Hillary Clinton in early summer 2008, when calls were made by Obama partisans for her to drop out, no one should be told not to run. That’s everyone’s First Amendment right. However, not voting for her is the prudent decision.

      My comment ---
      I recently went through the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.  It is beautiful and worth a visit.
      However, I will not be supporting Hillary. We need a real progressive.  Not pseudo ones like Obama and Clinton.
      There are so many dangers facing America now -- terrorists of all sorts.  Religious (Christian and Islamic), 1% capitalist pigs, and N-/E-/A spies.  If you think your bank is working for you, just try opening a new account without a $15,000 minimum deposit.  How much do you charge for this checking account per month?
      How come there are so many unemployed veterans?  Because many of them are lower class less educated slaves (black and white) recruited to do the dirty work of capitalist pigs.  Then when they are used up, they are turned out to fend for themselves.  Many of those young men (some bigots by early childhood osmosis) don't know that they are about to get "taken to the cleaners".
      In the much larger picture of America, it's like the sins of the fathers being visited on the children.  America's disgraceful intervention, takeover, and robbery of other countries, is being worked out.  All the while acting like we are the savior.
      Happy Veterans Day.
      On another front, locally, in San Francisco Saturday night, at the National Association of Realtors annual convention, Hillary Clinton was the guest speaker.  Some folks from Mississippi with whom I am familiar attended this convention.  They did not attend Hillary's talk; they are all of the white "educated" Tea Party class. They are tuned in to Fox News. Only.
      Hillary's speech was not covered by the Press.  The Press was not allowed inside -- Clinton's people have learned from Republicans.

      '60 Minutes' apologizes again for Benghazi story as questions linger

      Meredith Blake

      November 11, 2013, 7:18 a.m.

      "60 Minutes" briefly apologized Sunday night for its discredited Oct. 27 report on the attack on the American Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, but did not go into detail about the reporting errors that led to it.

      At the end of Sunday's episode, correspondent Lara Logan issued an apology and correction for the politically charged story, which was quickly seized upon by conservative leaders critical of the Obama administration's response to the attack.

      The primary source for the piece was State Department security officer Dylan Davies, who claimed to have rushed to the mission compound twice during the attack, and to have seen the body of U.S. Ambasassador Chris Stevens in a hospital. 

      "After our report aired, questions arose about whether his account was true when an incident report surfaced. It told a different story about what he did the night of the attack," Logan explained, referring to a report obtained by the Washington Post and given to his employer, the Blue Mountain Group, in which Davies said he did not enter the mission compound until the morning following the seige. 

      Davies initially claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign, but on Thursday the New York Times confirmed that his report to the FBI was consistent with the Blue Mountain account.

      "On Thursday night when we discovered the account he gave the FBI was different than what he told us, we realized we had been misled and it was a mistake to include him in the report," Logan said. "For that we are very sorry. The most important thing to every person at '60 Minutes' is the truth and the truth is, we made a mistake."

      It was the second mea culpa in recent days for Logan, who appeared Friday on "CBS This Morning" to say the esteemed news magazine was "wrong" to trust Davies' version of events. In that initial interview, Logan claimed that she and her team had thoroughly vetted Davies, who appeared on "60 Minutes" using the pseudonym "Morgan Jones," checking his account against congressional testimony and U.S. government reports. She also said that "60 Minutes" had always been aware that Davies initially gave a contradictory account of the attack to his employer.

      But to the disappointment of some media observers, on Sunday Logan did not go into detail about the reporting errors that led to the faulty story, which CBS News chairman Jeff Fager has called "as big a mistake as there has been" in the news program's 45-year history.

      Nor did she address allegations that "60 Minutes" was under corporate pressure to include Davies in the report.  Last month Threshold Editions, an imprint of the CBS-owned Simon & Schuster, published "The Embassy House," a book written by Davies under the Morgan Jones pseudonym. (The book has since been recalled.)

      On Sunday night, the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America called the apology "inadequate" and questioned why Logan's report did not acknowledge Davies' contradictory accounts. 

      The Benghazi fiasco has invited comparisons to a 2004 story critical of President George W. Bush's National Guard record which aired on the spinoff program "60 Minutes II." The authenticity of documents used in the report was called into question within hours of the broadcast. CBS later issued a retraction and convened an independent review panel to investigate the matter. The incident led to the firing of four producers, and to the eventual ouster of CBS News anchor Dan Rather.

      So far CBS News has not announced plans for a similar investigation into the Benghazi report.

      My comment --
      The Embassy House -- This book of lies has been used as a bible by the Tea Party clamoring for investigations into the Benghazi fiasco.
      The Tea Party Lindsey Graham (R - South Carolina) remains an asshole.
      man made global problems continue --- nuclear b-o-m-b-s --->
      The Wall Street Journal (Rupert Murdock)

      Vive La France on Iran

      The French save the West from a very bad nuclear deal with Iran.

      Updated Nov. 10, 2013 5:23 p.m. ET

      We never thought we'd say this, but thank heaven for French foreign-policy exceptionalism. At least for the time being, François Hollande's Socialist government has saved the West from a deal that would all but guarantee that Iran becomes a nuclear power.

      While the negotiating details still aren't fully known, the French made clear Saturday that they objected to a nuclear agreement that British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama were all too eager to sign. These two leaders remind no one, least of all the Iranians, of Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush. That left the French to protect against a historic security blunder, with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius declaring in an interview with French radio that while France still hopes for an agreement with Tehran, it won't accept a "sucker's deal."

      And that's exactly what seems to have been on the table as part of a "first-step agreement" good for six months as the parties negotiated a final deal. Tehran would be allowed to continue enriching uranium, continue manufacturing centrifuges, and continue building a plutonium reactor near the city of Arak. Iran would also get immediate sanctions relief and the unfreezing of as much as $50 billion in oil revenues—no small deliverance for a regime whose annual oil revenues barely topped $95 billion in 2011.

      In return the West would get Iranian promises. There is a promise not to activate the Arak reactor, a promise not to use its most advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium or to install new ones, a promise to stop enriching uranium to 20%, which is near-weapons' grade, and to convert its existing stockpile into uranium oxide (a process that is reversible).

      What Iran has not promised to do is abide by the Additional Protocol of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which imposes additional reporting requirements on Iran and allows U.N. inspectors to conduct short-notice inspections of nuclear facilities. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has complained for years that Iran has refused to answer its questions fully or provide inspectors with access to all of its facilities. IAEA inspectors have been barred from visiting Arak since August 2011.

      In other words, the deal gives Iran immediate, if incomplete, sanctions relief and allows it to keep its nuclear infrastructure intact and keep expanding it at a slightly slower pace. And the deal contains no meaningful mechanisms for verifying compliance. "What we have to do is to make sure that there is a good deal in place from the perspective of us verifying what they're doing," President Obama told NBC's Chuck Todd in an interview Wednesday. What we have is the opposite.

      The President also told Mr. Todd that if Iran fails to honor the deal the U.S. can re-apply existing sanctions: "We can crank that dial back up."

      That's also misleading. Once sanctions are eased, the argument will always be made (no doubt by Mr. Obama) that dialing them back up will give Iran the excuse to restart enrichment. Any "interim" agreement gives more negotiating leverage to Iran. If Iran really intends to cease its nuclear program, it should be willing to do so immediately and unconditionally.

      All of this echoes the strategy Iran pursued after its illicit nuclear facilities were discovered in 2002. Current Iranian President Hasan Rouhani was his country's nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, when Iran briefly suspended its civilian and military nuclear work in the teeth of intense international pressure (and American armies on its borders with Iraq and Afghanistan). That previous suspension is treated by U.S. negotiators as a model of what they might achieve now.

      It's really a model of what they should beware. "Tehran showed that it was possible to exploit the gap between Europe and the United States to achieve Iranian objectives," Hossein Mousavian, Mr. Rouhani's deputy at the time, acknowledged in his memoir. "The world's understanding of 'suspension' was changed from a legally binding obligation" to "a voluntary and short-term undertaking aimed at confidence building."

      Now the U.S. seems to be falling for the same ruse again. This time, however, Iran is much closer to achieving its nuclear objectives. No wonder Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu felt compelled to warn the Administration and Europe that they risked signing "a very, very bad deal," a blunt public rebuke from a Prime Minister who has been notably cautious about criticizing the White House. The Saudis, who gave up on this Administration long ago, are no doubt thinking along similar lines. The BBC reported last week that the Kingdom has nuclear weapons "on order" from Pakistan.

      The negotiators plan to resume talks on November 20, and France will be under enormous pressure to go along with a deal. We hope Messrs. Hollande and Fabius hold firm, and the U.S. Congress could help by strengthening sanctions and passing a resolution insisting that any agreement with Iran must include no uranium enrichment, the dismantling of the Arak plutonium project and all cen

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