Today's Blogs

Grim Discovery

Bloggers respond to the recovery of the bodies of two missing U.S. soldiers in Iraq. They also bid Dan Rather farewell and discuss Jason Leopold’s discredited “scoop” in the Valerie Plame case. 

Grim discovery: Two U.S. soldiers were found dead south of Baghdad, three days after being kidnapped by insurgents during an ambush at a traffic checkpoint. Iraqi officials announced that the soldiers had been “killed in a brutal way and tortured.”

McQ at the libertarian QandO reminds readers of basic counterinsurgency protocol: Don’t split up. And in the case of capture, he writes, “Never surrender. They’ll just kill you anyway. It’s better to go down fighting.” John Little at Blogs of War writes that the U.S.-led rescue mission probably forced the insurgents to prematurely abort their plan: “It’s hard to believe, but this could have lasted much longer and been worse for our troops.”

Conservative bloggers steel themselves against liberal backlash. “The murders of these brave soldiers by desperate terrorists will be used to bolster the flailing cut-and-run brigade’s agenda,” writesMichelle Malkin. Sweetness and Light, responding to reports that the bodies were mutilated, points to double standards regarding torture: “They butcher their prisoners and we feed ours honey-glazed chicken. And who catches holy hell from the ‘human rights’ groups?”

The response of one soldier’s family has drawn nearly as much attention as the deaths themselves. On NBC’s Today, the uncle of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca criticized the U.S. response to the kidnappings. “Because the U.S. government did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid for it with his life,” he said.

John Hinderaker at Power Line accused the uncle of repeating “weirdly inapplicable Democratic Party talking points” during the interview. Greg Sargent at The Horse’s Mouth responds: “To the likes of Hinderaker, the pain of those who lost loved ones to this war only matters to the extent that the bereaved allow their grief to be used to prop up the war effort and Bush himself.”

Ed Morrissey at Captain’s Quarters suspects the soldiers died before any negotiation could have happened: “In any case, paying ransom for kidnappings only subsidizes more kidnappings …”

Read more about the recovery.

Rather signs off: Dan Rather called it quits Tuesday after a 44-year career with CBS. The apparently messy breakup prompts bloggers to revisit the 2004 controversy over Rather’s discredited exclusive on President Bush’s National Guard service.

Conservative James Joyner at Outside the Beltway thinks Rather is getting a raw deal: “If Rather is costing them viewers, fine. But to say there’s not enough time for him what with Anderson Cooper coming aboard? Even Rather doesn’t deserve that.” The Skipper at Barking Moonbat Early Warning System welcomes the departure of the “poster-child for the biased mainstream media.” “Over the years I’ve watched his ‘soft’ interviews with Democrats like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and conversely his ‘attack’ interviews with Republicans like Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush. I always knew exactly how many grains of salt to take with Dan Rather.” Reason magazine’s blog Hit and Run urgesstrength in the face of adversity: “Courage, Dan, courage.”

Rather’s next project may be a weekly show on Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s HDNet cable channel, or maybe even a blog. Princeton, N.J., executive TigerHawk imagines that “Writing a blog will be a brutal experience for Dan Rather, I think. His traffic statistics will reflect the disaggregation of his real audience from the people who just wanted to watch the CBS Evening News, no matter who was talking.”

Read more about Dan Rather’s exit.

Jason and the Snarkonauts: Reporter Jason Leopold and Truthout editor Marc Ash are sticking to their story that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald indicted Karl Rove for his involvement in the Valerie Plame saga. That’s after freelance journalist Joe Lauria accused Leopold of identity theft in Sunday’s Washington Post. The indictment is sealed, according to Ash, to protect Rove in exchange for information supposedly implicating Dick Cheney in the leak. “Yes, it does appear that Truthout was used, but not lied to or misled,” he writes.

Progressive blogger Steven D at Booman Tribune gets frustrated over the prosecution’s silence: “It would be nice if Fitzgerald’s office would … [go] on the record regarding the facts as reported by Leopold, but to date Fitzgerald hasn’t had any desire to do so.”

But most bloggers yuk it up. “Apparently, Ash and Leopold aren’t content with merely shooting each other with a bullet to the fleshy part of their respective thighs. No. They empty the freakin’ magazine on themselves,” howls the conservative PunditGuy. Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom can barely contain himself: “And when the world sees Evil Dick with a pair of teardrop tats lifting weights in a federal pen alongside those Enron bitches, Jason Leopold will laugh and laugh and laugh!

Read more about Jason Leopold.