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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Seitan Worshipper: "DKos' leevank: Wolfowitz girlfriend planned the Iraqi government"

Maybe hiring her wasn't such a great idea

Thanks to Seitan Worshipper for this great Kos find!

I sh*t you not. What was that old Lily Tomlin (I think) quote? "I tried to be cynical, but I can't keep up [i.e., with real events]."

Wolfowitz girlfriend planned the Iraqi government
by leevank

Tue Apr 17, 2007 at 08:05:02 PM PDT

As if the tangled web of Paul Wolfowitz and his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, weren't already sordid enough, now comes word that while he was Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon ordered Science Applications International Corp., a Pentagon contractor, to enter into a subcontract with Ms. Riza under which she spent approximately a month in the spring of 2003 "studying ways to form a government in Iraq."

Here's the way Reuters describes the arrangement:

leevank's diary :: ::
SAIC said Riza's subcontract lasted from April 25 to May 31, 2003. She was paid expenses but no salary during her trip to Iraq, at her request, according to the contractor. [NOTE: The article doesn't make it clear whether she was paid a salary for the portion of time under the contract in which she wasn't actually in Iraq, but was presumably drafting whatever report she prepared -- if she actually prepared one.]

Melissa Koskovich, a spokeswoman for SAIC, said the contractor "had no role in the selection of the personnel who comprised the Iraq Governance Group under this contract."

Defense sources said the Pentagon was reviewing the matter.

I'd be fascinated to know who, other than Ms. Riza, constituted the "Iraq Governance Group," and what work product Ms. Riza actually delivered. It's not enough that Wolfowitz had a major role in leading this country into an unnecessary war that I think may well turn out to be the most serious foreign policy blunder in this country's history. No, he couldn't leave bad enough alone, but had to get his girlfriend a job planning the most screwed-up occupation and transfer to a new government in perhaps the entire history of military occupations.

I've got a suggestion for Mr. Wolfowitz: After you get fired by the World Bank, why don't you and your honey move to Baghdad and form your little love nest somewhere outside the Green Zone, where you can have lots of togetherness while living in the middle of the great success that you've created? Maybe the Iraqis will be so impressed by this great love affair between a Jewish man and an Arab Muslim woman that they'll realize the foolishness of their silly sectarian quarrels, and Iraq will become the shining beacon of tolerance and democracy that you told us it would be. Of course, things might not turn out that way, but since you're willing to take big risks with other people's lives, I'm sure you won't hesitate to take some risks with your own.

- posted by Seitan Worshipper

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